National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute

At a glance:

  • The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute is designed to prepare students for a 21stCentury career in music.
  • The four-week program is open to students ages 15-20 who are devoted to a well-rounded musical education. 
  • Students work with musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra and take part in workshops.  


The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute is an intensive program focusing on musical development and the skills needed to become a true artist citizen in the 21st century. In addition to private lessons, chamber music coachings, side-by-side orchestra rehearsals, and masterclasses, students take part in a variety of workshops including professionalism, entrepreneurship, public speaking, and audio/video recording. This holistic approach to musical development ensures that students perform at the highest level and are prepared to serve their communities through music. 

In the program’s first week, students will meet virtually for orientation sessions on topics including community-building, budgeting, and practice skills. Guest speakers from the industry also present, and students attend workshops on topics related to citizen artistry. Group planning sessions allow students to get to know each other before arriving on campus and brainstorm projects to engage with the community. 

The following three weeks take place at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. NSOSMI’s faculty are musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra, one of the preeminent ensembles in the country. In addition to individual and ensemble study, students attend NSO rehearsals and performances and are able to rehearse side-by-side with faculty. Students are also exposed to internationally-renowned conductors, soloists, and musicians. 

With a focus on supporting the needs of 21st century students and cultivating the skills of 21st century artists, The Kennedy Center pre-professional artist training programs are committed to nurturing the emerging visionaries who are the future change-makers and culture-shapers. National Symphony Orchestra Education strives to raise up the coming generation of music professionals to be powerful change-makers in an orchestra world with equity and inclusion, racial and gender diversity, and assurances of safety and belonging.

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