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Watch & Listen

Photo of SMI students The National Symphony Orchestra National Trustees
Summer Music Institute

Regarding SMI Application Inquiries over the Weekend:

SMI Application Results have been emailed, if you do not see the email in your inbox, check your spam and with your parents as they may have received the email instead of you.

If you still do not see the email, please notify the NSO Education Program as soon as possible by calling 202-416-8820 or by emailing us.

—NSO Education Staff

Every summer, approximately 70 students (ages 15-20) from all over the nation meet in Washington, D.C., to attend the National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute (SMI). The Institute offers four weeks of private lessons, rehearsals, coaching by National Symphony Orchestra members, classes, and lectures to prepare aspiring musicians for their futures in music.

Several of the students are graduates or current participants of the NSO Youth Fellowship Program, an orchestral training program for talented young musicians. Also included are students participating in the Young Artists of Color National Training Initiative of the Kennedy Center. In addition to their many lessons and training sessions, the students also perform a series of free Kennedy Center Millennium Stage concerts that are open to the public. Watch past SMI Millennium Stage performances by selecting any of the concert dates in the "Watch & Listen" section on the right side of this page.

The Summer Music Institute is coordinated by the National Symphony Orchestra Education Program, which is a component of the Kennedy Center Education Department. Young people, teachers, and families take part in innovative and effective education programs initiated by the Center, including performances, lectures, demonstrations, open rehearsals, dance and music residencies, master classes, competitions for young actors and musicians, backstage tours, and workshops. These programs have become models for communities across the country, as educators and government leaders recognize what the Center has known for years: that the arts can unlock the door to learning for young people, fostering creativity, teaching discipline, improving self-esteem, and challenging students to think in new ways, as well as offering them experiences in the joy of the performing arts.

How to Apply:

To Apply

SMI Application Deadline Extended:
Monday, February 10, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. (EST)
(Program dates: June 30-July 28, 2014)

The following materials are required for the SMI application:

  • Orchestral excerpts for instrument
  • Solo piece
  • One Recommendation from music teacher or conductor (send recommendation e-mail to Carole Wysocki. Be sure to include your name and SMI recommendation in the subject line.)
  • Applicant’s Musical Resumé

All application materials, except the recommendation letter, are to be uploaded onto the online application.

Other Resources


2014 Orchestral Excerpts by Instruments (* Do not record all excerpts in one continuous track. Each excerpt must be its own file attached on the application individually.)

If you have any questions, please contact the NSO Education Program at
(202) 416-8820 or by e-mail at