Admissions Information


1.  Accreditation

The Collective is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).


2.  Audition Process

An audition, either in person or by home recording emailed to Admissions Director John Castellano at is required. Video auditions are accepted via direct link (i.e. YouTube, etc). Most digital audio formats are acceptable. There is no hard and fast application deadline, however available spots are limited. Therefore it is recommended that you send in your audition material as soon as you can.


Audition Requirements For Drum set: 


The Collective must receive all application forms and fees before setting up a live audition, or sending in an audition recording. Your playing should be unaccompanied except for a metronome (if desired). If you wish to audition in person, please contact the Admissions Director, John Castellano at to make an appointment. Once your level has been established by the results of the audition, a recommendation will be made for an appropriate program.


Prep to Elective Intensive Program Audition Requirements


1. Technique: Single stroke roll, double stroke roll, paradiddles: start each slowly and evenly and increase speed to fastest point.


2. Styles: Maximum of one minute playing each example: rock – funk – swing.


3. Reading: Rate yourself on a level of 0-10. (Note: you will be placed in our integrated reading program based on a day-one evaluation by a faculty member.)


Advanced Performance Program Audition Requirements


1. Technique: Single stroke roll, double stroke roll, paradiddles – start each slowly and evenly and increase speed to fastest point.


2. Styles: Maximum of one minute playing each example: rock – funk – swing – shuffle – reggae – second line – samba – 6/8 bembe – mambo – mozambique – shuffle – hip-hop – 5/4 – 7/8.


3. Reading: Rate yourself on a level of 0-10. (Note: you will be placed in our integrated reading program based on a day-one evaluation by a faculty member.) A minimum of Intermediate level reading skill is a required for this program.



Audition Requirements for Guitar, Keyboard, and Bass:


Prep to Elective Intensive Program Audition Requirements


1. Technique: 
Play all major scales, two octaves, any sequence of keys. Play all Maj7th, Dom7th, Min7th, Min7th (-5), Dim7th and Augmented triad, two octaves, any sequence.


2. Styles: Play each of the following grooves on a blues progression for a minimum of two choruses with a metronome set at a comfortable tempo: rock – funk – swing – samba – Afro-Cuban (optional). 
NOTE: You can use a blues pattern, or any other pattern that you choose to perform in a given style.

3. Reading: Rate yourself on a level of 0-10. (Note: you will be placed in our integrated reading program based on a day-one evaluation by a faculty member.)
NOTE: If you are unable to complete all the required elements, just do what you can. This will help us to place you.



Advanced Performance Program Audition Requirements


1. Technique: 
Play all major scales, two octaves, any sequence of keys. Play the three whole step-half step diminished scales, two octaves, any sequence. Play all Maj7th, Dom7th, Min7th, Min7th(-5), Dim7th and Augmented triad, two octaves, any sequence.

2. Styles: Play each of the following styles for a minimum of two choruses (any chord progression); one chorus playing the melody, and one improvising. Play at a comfortable tempo: rock – funk – swing – shuffle – reggae – second line – samba – 6/8  – Bembe – mambo – Mozambique – shuffle – 5/4 – 7/8.

3. Reading: Rate yourself on a level of 0-10. (Note: you will be placed in our integrated reading program based on a day-one evaluation by a faculty member.) A minimum of Intermediate level reading  skill is a required for this program.



Audition Requirements for Vocal Programs:



Sing a major scale one octave, ascending and descending

Sing a chromatic scale one octave ascending and descending.



Rate your music theory level on the following levels; beginner, intermediate, advanced.

Play the three whole step-half step diminished scales, two octaves, any sequence.


Vocal Performance:

Record yourself singing three different songs – a cappella, or with accompaniment, preferably in different styles.


Keyboard Skills (Optional):

Play all major scales, two octaves, both hands, ascending and descending.

Perform a piece of music, any styles, classical, jazz, or pop.




3.  Application and placement process

A high school diploma or a recognized equivalent is a prerequisite for admissions to The Collective School of Music. Documentation of successful completion of high school or the equivalent must be submitted to the Admissions Office prior to starting classes.

Options for filling out and submitting the application and application fee:


  1. Complete the online application via The Collective website. Please click this link to fill out the online application form. Once the application has been filled out and the application fee has been paid your application will be reviewed.
  2. Request a Hard Copy application via email from Admissions Director John Castellano at A pdf copy will be sent to you.
  3. Email the application as a jpeg or pdf file to Admissions Director John Castellano at
  4. The completed hard copy application may also be faxed to 212-414-5781.


PLEASE NOTE: A non-refundable application fee of $95 must accompany all applications. The application will not be processed without receipt of the application fee. Payment can be made online, or via credit card by calling The Collective main office 212-741-0091 x100.


Cut off dates:

The Collective does not use cut off dates for applications to a specific semester. However, we do award spots based on a first-come, first-serve basis and close out applications once a program is full. Therefore, we recommend  that any perspective student apply as soon as possible to insure that they get into the program of their choice.


Placement Procedure:

Your application and audition material will be reviewed by Admissions Director, John Castellano. Once your application and audition material is reviewed, the Admissions Director will make an initial program recommendation. A final evaluation will be done by a faculty panel the first day of classes and may result in an adjustment of a your program.


Application Steps:

  1. Submit an application with the $95 application fee.
  2. We will send you a confirmation that your application was received.
  3. Submit your audition material, or schedule a live audition.
  4. We will send you a letter confirming the results of the audition and suggesting the best program for you.
  5. Submit the deposit for the program to which you have been accepted.
  6. We will send you a confirmation of the receipt of your deposit.

International Students Only:

  1. The Collective will send you a copy of the I-20 form for you to fill out and return.
  2. Return the completed I-20 form to The Collective and pay the $75 processing fee.
  3. Upon receipt of the completed I-20 form, The Collective will send you back your finalized I-20 form via express mail.
  4. Pay the I-901 fee before making an appointment with the United States Consulate in your region.
  5. The United States Consulate will issue you a student visa to enter the United States.


4.  Class sizes and Teacher to Student Ratios

Most year-one classes at The Collective are capped at five students per class. Year-two classes are capped at four students per class.


5. Curriculum


The Collective School of Music programs are designed to prepare our students for a career as a performing musician. Everything we do focuses on helping our students develop the skills they need to succeed. Courses fall into one of four categories:

1. Musicianship, including reading, music theory, etc.

2. Style Courses, which focus on learning the important styles in a hands-on way performing with professional musicians. Styles include Jazz, Funk, Rock, Fusion, Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Afro-Pop, Hip Hip and Drum ‘n’ Bass.

3. Professional studies, including studio recording, and real-deal type rehearsal situations.

4. Concept courses, including business savvy, health & welfare, and other non-music topics, of which young musicians need to be aware. Students also have individual private study, as well as individual practice time, and have the opportunity to attend master classes with artists-in-residence. Students also have the opportunity to perform in school sponsored jam sessions.

Proficiency levels

The Collective evaluates proficiency levels on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being a beginner level and 5 being a prep-professional. The following is how this system is reflected in our program offerings:

Instrumental Programs and Levels:

  1. Prep-A: Level 1
  2. Prep-B: Level 2
  3. Certificate Program-A: Level 3-4
  4. Certificate Program-B: Level 3-4
  5. Performance Musicianship Program: Level 4
  6. Elective Intensive Program: Level 4
  7. Advanced Performance Program: Level 5 (by separate audition only)

Vocal Programs and Levels:

  1. Year-Long Vocal Certificate Program: Levels 2-4
  2. Six-Semester Vocal Diploma Program: Levels 2-5
  3. Two-Semester Advanced Vocal Studies Program: Levels 4-5

Intensive Short-Term Programs

  1. 5-Day Intensive: Levels 3-4
  2. 2-Week Intensive: Levels 3-5
  3. 3-Week Intensive: Levels 3-5
  4. 4-Week Intensive: Levels 3-5


6.  Deadlines

A. Applications

Applications are accepted up to one year prior to the start of a semester. There are no hard and fast deadlines, however, applicants are advised to apply well in advance.


B. Deposits

1. Within 90 days of the start of a semester, a full deposit equal to approximately 1/4 of the tuition is required.

2.  For periods in excess of 90 days from the start of a semester, a pre-deposit of $1,000 is required, with the balance  of the deposit due 90 days prior to the start of classes, and the balance of tuition due by the first day of classes, unless a payment plan is in place. (See payment options below.)


7. Deposits/Fees

1. Once you are accepted to a program, a deposit (approximately 1/4 of the full tuition, and 1/8 of the two-year tuition) is required to reserve your space. The balance of the program fee is payable on the first day of the program, unless you have made arrangements for a payment plan.

*Please note, payment plans are available for multiple-semester programs only. 

2. Each Full-time student will be given an iPod loaded with course material to use during the semester. A $500 refundable deposit is required for this item.

3. Please see the refund section below for details on our refund policy.


8. Diplomas, Certificates, and Letters of Completion

Diploma requirements at The Collective are a minimum of six semesters, including the successful completion of the Certificate, and Advanced Performance Programs. The diploma will specify which program has been completed, either the 6-semester, or 2-year program of study. A certificate is offered for the successful completion of the two-semester Certificate Program. Letters of completion are given for the successful completion of all other programs of study.


9. Evaluation Process

Students are evaluated twice before being assigned a program or class. The first evaluation is the audition with the Admissions Director, either in person or on recording. The second is a live evaluation by members of our faculty on the first day of class. This method helps to ensure that a student will be placed in an appropriate level class. Reading evaluations are used for placement in the Collective’s school-wide reading program and are generally independent of program placement.


10. Financial Aid

Federal Student Aid

The Collective is approved to offer federal student aid for its diploma programs. Any domestic student planning to apply for FSA after being accepted into a diploma program must have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent in order to be eligible for financial aid. For information regarding financial aid at The Collective, please contact Financial Aid Coordinator, Yahya Alkhansa at or call at 212-741-0091 x104.

Merit Scholarships

All full time applicants may apply for partial merit scholarships as part of the normal application process.


11. General Information and History

The Collective has been in existence since 1977. During that time we have graduated thousands of young professional musicians who have been able to go on to create a career in music on the highest professional levels. We offer programs for drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, and vocals in plans of study that range in length from ten weeks to two years. Our course offerings can accommodate students from advanced beginner to pre-professional levels. We are located near one of the city’s transportation hubs – at 14th Street and Avenue of the Americas, in the famous Chelsea area, just north of Greenwich Village and within walking distance of numerous world-class music venues. We have an international student body, with students from all over the world. The typical student demographic is from 18 to 25 years of age. We are a small school with an enrollment capacity of 60 students for fulltime programs. Teacher to student ratios are typically five to one, or four to one, in the more advanced programs. Our faculty are among the finest professional New York musicians, each of whom bring their own expertise and performance experience to bear in their teaching.


12. Health Insurance

The Collective does not offer health insurance coverage for full-time students. We recommend that students make arrangements to extend any coverage they currently have in order to cover them while they are studying at The Collective.


13. Housing

Although The Collective does not offer housingwe do maintain a list of non-school affiliated housing sites that we can give you to follow up on. These sites are privately run and have been used, in the past, by Collective students. Please click this link to see recommended housing sites.


14. Housing Short-Term

For short stays of three weeks or less, we recommend the Seafarer’s & International House, which is close by the school.

This is their contact information:

Seafarer’s & International House, 123 east 15th street (3 blocks from the school), New York, NY 10003

Tel.: 212-677-4800, E-mail:, Fax: 212-505-6034

For more information about housing, please email


15. International Students I-20 Application

International students are required to apply for I-20 M1 visa, which the Collective will supply upon request. This form will ask the biographical and financial information that is required by the United States Government for all student and exchange visitors coming to the United States. An I-20 processing fee of $75 must be included when returning the I-20 application form.

These are the steps that must be taken to obtain an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for an M1 student visa:


1.  You must have applied and been accepted to The Collective.


2.  Once you have been accepted to The Collective, you must pay the deposit for the program you will be taking. Deposits may be wired, or paid by credit card or check. (Please contact Admissions Director John Castellano for wire transfer information at:


3.  When we receive your program deposit, we will send you an I-20 application form for you to fill out and return to us.


4.  When returning your I-20 application, you must also remit a $75 I-20 processing fee to cover processing and express mail costs. This payment may be done through the following I-20 payment fee link: Please click here to pay the I-20 Processing Fee.


5.  When we receive your completed I-20 application form and the processing fee has been paid, we will send you a completed I-20.


6.  You must pay an I-901 fee of $200 to the USCIS. This may be done online. The I-901 fee may be paid online using Visa, Master Card, or American Express. Please click this link to make your online payment, or go to You will need your SEVIS number, which can be found in the upper right hand corner of your I-20 form. It is a an eleven-digit alphanumerical number starting with the letter N.


7.  Finally, you should make an appointment to go to your regional US Consulate to get a student visa and the approval to come to the United States on an M1 student visa. Make sure that you are assigned an M1 Visa, NOT an F1 Visa.


16. Job Placement

The music business makes it difficult to establish a “job placement” process. However, requests for recommendations, and audition notices come in at a regular basis, and are posted, or emailed to current fulltime students. Studying at The Collective will give you the opportunity to maximize your potential and become the best musician you can be, assuming that you do your part in terms of consistent effort. There can be no guarantees as far as future work, but without good preparation and a solid foundation, there can be little chance of success in any endeavor.


17. Language Skills

A rudimentary level of English proficiency is all that is required to study at The Collective. However, it is recommended that students record all classes to ensure that everything that is presented is retained. Some teachers may prefer not to have their classes recorded, please ask the teacher before you start recording a class.


18. Material Fees

Most courses require specific books that will need to be purchased for the course. The Collective Contemporary Styles Series books can be purchased directly from The Collective. Please click this link to purchase The Collective Contemporary Styles Series books from our online Proshop.


20. Payment Options

Payment may be made by credit card, wire transfer, international money order, or with a check drawn on a US bank. No other method of payment, such as PayPal, is accepted by The Collective for tuition payments. Any fees charged by processors will be passed along to the payer.


1. Wire Transfer: Information available upon request.


2. Credit Card: You may pay by Visa or MasterCard. We will need the credit card number, expiration date, and the name of the card owner as it appears on the card. You can call The Collective and give us this information over the telephone, or you can e-mail the information to A Collective representative will be available to take credit card payments Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm – EST, and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays.


3. International Check or Money Order

You may pay by international check or money order payable in U.S. dollars. The check must be drawn on an international bank with a New York branch affiliation. All checks should be made payable to The Collective School of Music, 541 Avenue of The Americas, New York, NY 10011.


21. Payment Plans

Payment plans are available for all multi-semester plans of study. Payment plan inquiries for specific programs should be directed to the Admissions Director, John Castellano by email at:, or by calling (212) 741-0091 x103. Normally, a deposit equal to approximately 1/4 of the tuition is required. The balance of the tuition is paid in monthly installments by automatic credit card deductions over the term of the program.


22. Practice Time (Individual)

The Collective includes individual practice time as part of every full-time program. Practice time is usually scheduled in two-hour blocks in one of the school’s fully equipped practice rooms from 8:00 am to 1:00 am during the week, and 10:00 am to 12:00 am on week ends. Full-time students may also, upon request, use any open studio on an hour by hour basis. Students wishing to play together can schedule an ensemble practice time at the front desk.


23. Program Extensions

Students opting to extend their program must do so prior to four weeks before the start of the next semester. For international students, the deadline is 60 days prior to the start of the next semester. “Add-on” programs, although billed at the individual program rate, will apply towards a diploma or certificate award, as required by the over-all plan of study.


24. Private Lessons

Elective private lessons are those lessons which the student can use to study with any Collective faculty member, including those who teach other instruments other than the students primary instrument. In some cases, such as with the Elective Intensive Program, students are assigned private lessons (called anchor lessons) with a particular teacher as part of the course program of study. In some cases students, who have specific weaknesses, or who are falling behind in their studies, may be assigned a particular teacher for the purpose of special tutoring. All private lessons are 55 minutes in length.


25. Reading Proficiency

Incoming students are first evaluated as part of the live audition process, or submit a reading self-evaluation as part of the taped recorded process. A second evaluation takes place on the first day of class of each semester. Generally speaking, reading levels do not impact the program decision, which is based on technical skill, and performance experience. However, minimum reading proficiency levels are required to receive a diploma from The Collective.


26. Refund Policy for Full-Time Programs

  • Full refund of tuition up to two weeks before the start of the program (usually a Monday).
  • 65% refund of tuition up to the 1st day of classes.
  • 40% refund of tuition up to the start of the 2nd week of classes.
  • No refund after the start of the second week of classes.


Please note: The Certificate program is a single twenty-week program. Therefore, no refund will be given after the second week of the twenty-week schedule.




  1. Refunds are paid by check only.  Allow 3-4 weeks.
  2. Registration and application fees are non-refundable.
  3. Account credits are non-refundable after a period of one year.
  4. Students dropping out of multiple-semester programs will be billed the individual program rate for programs already taken and the balance will be refunded according to the individual program refund policy.
  5. Unused private lessons that are part of a full-time program must be taken before the end of the program and are non-refundable.
  6. Unused private lessons not a part of a full-time program, must be taken within one year, or lost.
  7. If a private lesson, or ongoing class workshop block is cancelled before all lessons are used, the balance of the unused lessons will be refunded at the individual lesson rate.
  8. Refunds are made by check only. Allow three to four weeks for payment.


27. Schedules

Regular Weekly Schedule

Programs at The Collective usually run from either 10 to 4, or 9 to 5 – Monday through Friday, depending on the specific program. In addition, there may by special events, jam sessions, or other events scheduled in the evening at the school. Most classes are two hours in length but may vary according to the size of the class and the program.


28. Quarter Schedule

The Collective is on a quarterly system, with each semester lasting ten weeks. Start dates are usually; Winter – 2nd week in January, Spring – last week in March, Summer-2nd week in June, and Fall-2nd week in September. There is usually a five to six week break between the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the winter semester. The school remains open for most of this period and active full time students are given access to practice rooms for individual practice time.


29. School Calendar


Fall 2015

September 14th – November 20th: 10-Week Quarter for Full-time Programs

November 30th – December 18th3-Week Intensive


Winter 2016

January 11th – March 18th10-Week Semester for Full-time Programs

March 21st – 25th: 5-day Intensive


Spring 2016

March 28th – June 3rd:  10-Week Semester for Full-time Programs

June 6th – 10th:  5-Day Intensive


Summer 2016

June 13th – August 19th:  10-Week Semester for Full-time Programs

June 20th – July 8th:  3-Week Intensive Summer Session

July 18th – August 12th4-Week Intensive Summer Session

August 22nd – September 2nd:  2-Week Intensive


Fall 2016

September 12th – November 18th: 10-Week Semester for Full-time Programs

November 28th – December 16th3-Week Intensive




30. Scholarships

Partial tuition merit scholarships are awarded to students based on technical proficiency and performance skills and are considered based on the enrollment levels of each instrumental division and for each semester.


31. School Tours

Prospective students and their families are welcome to visit The Collective and tour the facility. Tours must be scheduled in advance through The Collective main office by calling (212) 741 – 0091 X100, or by emailing


32. Transferring Credits

As an accredited school, you should be able to transfer at least some of the credits earned at The Collective to another institution. However, it is always up to the receiving institution to decide how many, if any credits, they will accept as transfer credits.


33. Tuition

The following is a summary of the current tuition rates in place. No-interest payment plans are available for all multi-semester programs.


Program Abbreviations

1. Preparatory A/B = Prep A/B

2. Certificate A/B = CPA/CPB

3. Performance Musicianship Program = PMP

4. Elective Intensive Program = EIP

5. Advanced Performance Program = APP

6. Vocal Studies Programs = VSP

7. Advanced Vocal Studies = AVS


Full-Time Programs

  1. Two Year Diploma – $60,500 (or $30,250 per year) Includes: Prep A&B, Certificate A&B, PMP, EIP, EIP, APP
  2. Year and a Half Diploma – $48,000 Includes: Certificate A&B, PMP, EIP, EIP, APP
  3. Year and a Half Certificate – $45,000 Includes: Prep A&B, Certificate A&B, PMP, EIP
  4. Year-Long Program A – $32,000 Includes:  Prep A&B, Certificate A&B
  5. Year-Long Program B – $33,000 Includes: Certificate A&B, PMP, EIP,
  6. Year-Long Program C – $32,000 Includes: PMP, EIP, EIP, APP
  7. Two-Quarter Certificate Program – $18,700 (Must be taken as one program) Includes: Certificate A&B
  8. Two-Quarter Prep Program – $14,300 Includes: Prep A&B
  9. Two-Quarter PMP, EIP Program – $15,100 Includes: PMP, EIP
  10. Two-Quarter EIP Program – $15,800 Includes: EIP, EIP


Programs Available on a Space Available Basis

  1. Single Quarter Prep program (by permission) – $7,500
  2. Single Quarter section of the two-semester Certificate program – $9,800 (By special permission only)
  3. Performance Musicianship Program – $7,500
  4. Elective Intensive Program – $8,300
  5. Advanced Performance Program – $10,000


Vocal Programs

  1. Six-Semester Vocal Diploma Program – $47,500 Includes: VSP 1-4, plus AVS 1 & 2
  2. Year-Long Vocal Certificate Program – $32,000 Includes: VSP 1-4
  3. Two-Semester Advanced Vocal Studies Program – $18,000 Includes: AVS 1 & 2


Extension Division Evening Programs

  1. Six-Quarter Year 1 Program – $30,000 Includes: Prep A&B, Certificate A&B
  2. Four-Quarter Certificate Program – $20,500 Includes: Certificate A&B
  3. Two-Quarter Prep Program – $10,800 Includes: Prep A & Prep B



34. Vocational Status

The Collective is in the category of non-academic, non-degree conferring vocational school. Therefore, the Collective Diploma is separate and apart from a music degree offered at an academic institution.


35. What Do I Need To Bring?

You will need to bring your own personal recording device, metronome, and headphones. Drummers will also need sticks. No personal drum equipment is allowed. If you are a guitarist, or bassist, you will need your personal instrument. We will supply everything else.


36. Work Study Opportunities

Work-study jobs are available from time to time on a limited basis. Payment for this work is given as tuition credit towards open account balances.