For Parents and Students

Every year, NJPAC’s live performances, school residency programs, and after-school arts training classes reach thousands. Whether you’re an educator, a parent or a student, explore our programs and find out what NJPAC Arts Education can do for YOU!

Arts Training

At NJPAC, we know that being an artist involves more than talent. It also demands dedication. Our classes provide a supportive space to build a strong foundation. Surrounded by others who share your passion for creativity, you will be individually mentored by our professional artist-instructors, who will not only prepare you for auditions and performance but also encourage your confidence — in both art and life.

Auditions take place on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 10am to 1pm. Auditions will be held at NJPAC's Center for Arts Education, 24 Rector Street, Newark, NJ.


Saturday Programs

Study alongside other young artists, and share the joy of individual and group artistic expression in class and in performance. At the Young Artist Institute, all of our classes are taught by leading professional artists who nurture your talents, inspire you to find your own creative voice, and showcase your accomplishments in an end of semester performance project.


Contemporary Modern Dance: Turning Dancers into Artists

Culminating in a final performance, classes with Justin Dominic, principle dancer with Carolyn Dorfman Dance, will expand your technical skills while nurturing your individual voice in both performance and creation. Emphasis on powerful center-driven movement, musicality, intention, focus and athletic movement, combine to develop the body, mind and spirit. With passion and joy, learn professional choreography, create, an train for the road to professional dance, with this premiere national and international touring company.

Ages: 12-18

Carolyn Dorfman Dance: Come Dance with Us!

Immerse yourself in the making and doing of dance with Carolyn Dorfman Dance. Culminating in a final performance, these weekly contemporary modern dance classes will train our bodies, minds and develop our unique creative voices. Dancing individually and as an ensemble, dancers will expand their technical and dramatic skills, learn professional choreography, and through guided exploration, create their own dance. Come experience the joy of dance and find your voice! Note: No prior experience required.)

Ages: 10-18

Once on This Island JR.

Celebrate storytelling with this rousing Calypso-flavored tale of one small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice. From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Seussical, Ragtime). Note: Audition is required. Auditions take place on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 10am to 1pm. Auditions will be held at NJPAC's Center for Arts Education, 24 Rector Street, Newark, NJ.

Ages: 10-18

Write and Perform In Your Own Musical!

Musical Theater students will focus on the process of creating a musical and will examine the many elements of the form including: musical theater wrtiers, choreography, acting and the creative writing structure. Students will create an original piece of theater - writing the script and score. The final presentation will include a sample of each original student piece.

Ages: 10-18


In collaboration with Downtown Community TV, the NJPAC Filmmakers is a intensive filmmaking arts training program. Through weekly classes, students will learn the fundamentals of filmmaking with an emphasis on creating their own original films. While creating films, students will attain artistic and technical skills in camera, audio, and editing programs; practice the art of storytelling using design, lighting, sound and image; create documentaries, music videos, and/or public service announcements. The program also helps students attain skills in media literacy and analysis; view and deconstruct films in round table discussions with media professionals. The program will host an end-of-the-semester film sharing where students will showcase their work.

Ages: 14-18 (High school students only)


Young people learn the four major elements of Hip-Hop: SPOKEN WORD (MCing), DANCE (Breaking, Popping and Locking), MUSIC (DJing and Beat Boxing) and VISUAL ART (Graffiti). Students will explore issues that are important to them and their community. Students enhance their performance and writing skills as they share their original work with confidence and style.

Ages: 10-18 


2017 Fall Semester Dates:  September 23 - December 9, 2017

2018 Spring Semester Dates: January 21 - May 12, 2018

Contemporary Modern Dance: Turning Dancers into Artists (12:30 to 2pm)
Carolyn Dorfman Dance: Come Dance with Us! (10am to 12pm)
Hip Hop Intensive (Open Level: 10am to 12pm / Deep Dive: 12pm to 2pm)
NJPAC Filmmakers (10am to 5pm)
Once on This Island Jr. (10am to 5pm)
Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens (10am to 6pm)
James Moody Jazz Orchestra (10am to 6pm)
M.A.N.Y. (12pm to 3pm)


Financial aid available for all who qualify.

Hip Hop Intensive: $300 per semester
Contemporary Modern Dance: Turning Dancers into Artists: $300 per semester
Carolyn Dorfman Dance: Come Dance with Us!: $300 per semester
Write and Perform In Your Own Musical! : $350 per semester
Once on This Island Jr. $500 per year
NJPAC Filmmakers: $500 per semester;  $1,000 per year
M.A.N.Y. $50 per year

Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens:
Prep Division $450 per semester; $650 per year
Performance Division $650 per semester; $1,000 per year

James Moody Jazz Orchestra: $1,000 per year

M.A.N.Y. Program

MANY (Music Advancement for Newark Area Youth) is a partnership designed to provide students in the Newark area with high-quality instrumental music instruction.

Initiated by two of New Jersey’s premier performing arts organizations—New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO)—MANY offers programs for beginning and experienced students. Participants can study string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments with the goal of developing musical and instrumental proficiency while building leadership skills. 

MANY also claims to groom young instrumentalists for acceptance into performance-based educational programs within the community, including Arts High School Orchestra and Concert Band, Newark School of the Arts, NJPAC's Brick City Jazz Orchestra, NJSO Youth Orchestras and NJPAC's Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program. 

The MANY consists of two programs:

NJPAC Symphonic Band Program
• Grades 5-10
• The program is designed for students with little or no prior instrumental experience and provides a musical foundation in woodwind, brass and percussion instruments
• Assistance in procuring an instrument 

NJSO Training Ensemble
• Grades 5-10
• The program provides intensive musical instruction and leadership development to beginner and intermediate students of all orchestral instruments

To apply for the MANY program, please click here.

Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens

NJPAC's Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens (JFT) brings together 7th-12th grade instrumental and vocal students from diverse comunities in the tri-state region (NJ/NY/PA) for multi-faceted, intensive instruction in jazz. The Music Director and faculty are professional touring musicians and teaching artists who mentor students in the time-honored oral tradition of the genre. The Saturday program places special importance on small ensembles, developing skills including technical ability, improvisation, leadership, and knowledge of the music industry. Those students who plan future careers in jazz or music education gain a more competitive edge for college admissions.


Ages: 13-18
Fall Semester: September 26 - December 9

Class Times:
Preparatory Division - Saturdays, 10am to 6pm 
Performance Division - Saturdays, 10am to 6pm

Fall 2017 Season Tuition:
Preparatory Division - $450.00 per semester or $650/year
Performance Division - $650.00 per semester or $1,000/year

Spring Semester: January 27 - April 28

Class Times:
Preparatory Division - Saturdays, 10am to 6pm 
Performance Division - Saturdays, 10am to 6pm

Spring 2018 Season Tuition:

Preparatory Division - $450.00 per semester or $650/year
Performance Division - $650.00 per semester or $1,000/year


Performance Division
During full-day, Saturday classes, performance division students concentrate on small ensemble work. They grow their music theory skills and increase their jazz knowledge and repertoire through listening/history sessions, and a series of master classes each semester. Performance division students also record a professional CD at the end of the fall semester and perform in a full scale final concert in the NJPAC Victoria Theater each spring. Members of the advanced ensembles often participate in special events and gigs in and around NJPAC.

Preparatory Division
The preparatory division offers all the benefits of performance division studies without the pressure to perform while students enhance their jazz skills.



Students are taken on a journey as jazz masters lead them through periods of jazz history through listening sessions.

Music Theory
All students must complete Jazz Theory. Offered from beginner to advanced level, this class provides the foundations of jazz harmony and theory in a step-by-step format, including scales, modes, melodic construction, chord voicings, and voice leading.

Master Classes
All students must develop fluency on their chosen instrument. Each student participates in weekly instrument specific master classes to enhance their skills.

Jazz for Teens fosters individual musical creativity, within small-group instrumental and vocal improvisation ensembles. Ensemble placement is audition based through our semester jam session.

Special Ensemble(s)
These ensembles vary based on the semester.

  • Composition Ensemble: This group focuses on arrangement and orchestration techniques of original and standard works.
  • Latin/Caribbean Percussion Ensemble


Auditions take place on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 10am to 1pm. Auditions will be held at NJPAC's Center for Arts Education, 24 Rector Street, Newark, NJ.

Note: Applicants are not required to have previous jazz experience in order to audition.

Note: All instrumental required tunes can be found in the Jamey Aebersold series of books and CDs. All vocal selections can be found in The Real Little Ultimate Jazz Fake Book, published by Hal Leonard, available in the Keys of C, Bb and Eb editions. These books are recommended, not required.


Scales Required:

Chromatic Scale (full range of instrument)
Dorian Minor Scale (Keys: D-, G-, C-, F-, A-, E-)
Major Scale(Keys: C, F, Bb, Eb, G, D)
Dominant 7th Scale (Keys: G7, C7, F7, Bb7, D7, A7)
Note: Each student will be asked to play one of each type of scale, chosen at random. Pianists must play with both hands together.

All students should prepare the following two required tunes:

Tune # 1. Perdido by Duke Ellington (Jamey Aebersold Vol. 54 or 12)
Tune # 2. Now is the Time by Charlie Parker (Jamey Aebersold Vol. 6)


Drummers will be asked to demonstrate jazz drum-set styles including:

Straight-ahead swing feel in any ballad (with brushes) at a tempo of 60 bpm
Medium tempo bossa-nova
Up-tempo samba feel
Medium tempo two-feel swing
Shuffle groove

Scales Required:

Each student will be asked to play one of each type of scale, chosen at random.  Pianists must play with both hands together.

Chromatic Scale (full range of instrument)Dorian Minor Scale (Keys: D-, G-, C-, F-, A-, E-)
Major Scale (Keys: C, F. Bb, Eb, G, D)
Dominant 7th Scale (Keys: G7, C7, F7, Bb7, D7, A7)

Drummers are expected to know the 26 rudiments and will be asked to demonstrate 2-3 rudiments at random. 


Choose one of the following required tunes:  

"All of Me" (Marks/Simons)
"God Bless the Child" (Holiday/Herzog)
"Satin Doll" (Ellington/Strayhorn/Mercer)

Other Requirements: Singers with previous jazz experience should also be prepared to scat a bebop head in any key.

Scales Required:

Major Scale (any key)
Dorian Minor Scale (any key)

James Moody Jazz Orchestra

NJPAC's James Moody Jazz Orchestra is the hallmark ensemble comprised of aspiring teenage jazz players from the Greater Newark area. The program offers master classes with jazz legends and opportunities throughout the tri-state region. Note: Students who are in Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens do not need to pay an additional fee if chosen to participate in the James Moody Jazz Orchestra as well.


  • Ages: 13-18
  • Program Dates: January - May 2017
  • Class Times: Saturdays, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Spring 2017 Season Tuition: $650 per semester or $1,000/year

Financial aid is available. Applications for financial aid are made available to students who are admitted into the program.


Q.  What is the NJPAC James Moody Jazz Orchestra?

The James Moody Jazz Orchestra is an 20-piece ensemble that meets on Saturdays at NJ PAC’s Center for Arts Education. Conducted by James Burton, this ensemble is comprised of very talented teenage jazz players in the Greater Newark area.

Q.  Who is James Burton?

James Burton is a sought after performer and educator in the Jazz community. He is currently the conductor of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra was the trombonist/Associate Conductor for the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Star Orchestra for Wynton Marsalis’ new Broadway show After Midnight 

Q.  Who is Stefon Harris?

Stefon Harris is a four time GRAMMY nominee, seven-time Best Mallet player by the Jazz Journalist Association and recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award. He teaches at New York University and is Artist- in-Residence at The Brubeck Institute (CA) Rutgers University (NJ) and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).

Q. When does JMJO rehearse?

JMJO meets Saturdays regularly from September through May.  The ensemble rehearses from 9 AM -11:00 AM. Students have the opportunity to participate in the Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program, and take additional classes in jazz theory, ear training and improvisation until 5:00 PM.

Q. What are the age requirements?

High School students from grades 9 through 12 are eligible to participate.

Q. How do I get nominated to audition?

High School Jazz band directors from participating district and charter schools and community organizations will recommend their most dedicated, top-level students to audition.

Q. What is the JMJO audition process?

Auditions are scheduled annually.  Students are assessed in jazz theory, scales, and performance of select repertoire.  As part of the audition process, students are interviewed by program administrators.

Q. Where do JMJO activities take place?

Rehearsals and classes take place at NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education, 24 Rector Street, Newark, 07102, unless otherwise specified.

Q.  Are there performance opportunities?
Throughout the season, JMJO performs at various venues throughout the tri-state area.

Q. What is the tuition?

Tuition is $1,000 per year. 

Q. I need financial aid. What are the proper procedures?

Financial aid is available upon request. Once candidates complete the Financial Aid Application, tuition will be assessed on a sliding scale and will be billed accordingly.  


Auditions take place on Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 10am to 2pm and Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 10am to 2pm

Tunes Required:

All students should prepare two tunes. Students are required to prepare one of the following tunes:

Tune # 1. "Billy’s Bounce" by Charlie Parker in the key of F
Tune # 2. "Now is the Time" by Charlie Parker in the key of F
The second tune should be a ballad of the student’s choice.

Students should be able to play:
Major, Dorian minor, and Dominant 7th scales in all 12 keys

Percussionists should be able to play a Latin groove and swing. 

Jeffrey Carollo Music Scholarship

The NJPAC Jeffrey Carollo Music Scholarship provides financial assistance to advanced students who study classical vocal and instrumental music.  The program includes individual classical music lessons in voice and piano, strings, woodwinds, brass and more!  Students also take classes in music theory and participate in ensembles.

If you are a student of classical vocal or instrumental music, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the NJPAC Jeffrey Carollo Music Scholarship at The Newark School of the Arts.  Take private lessons twice per week, learn music theory, take part in ensembles, and have opportunities to perform at Newark School of the Arts and NJPAC!

For more information visit Newark School of the Arts.



Connect with us:

“I am in love with NJPAC. The Arts Education department is truly special and inspiring. I’ve done most of my growing as an artist at the PAC and through the PAC, and I am honored and grateful that they welcomed me with open arms.”
– Okieriete Onaodowan, former student and teaching artist. Okieriete is now performing in the hit musical "Hamilton."