Honors Program

About the Honors Program

The Honors Program at Levine is a comprehensive, performance-based program designed for advanced music students who are passionate about music performance and the role of the musician in society. Through solo performances, chamber music, and large ensemble activities designed to enhance students’ musicianship, technique, creativity, and entrepreneurship, students develop the skills to become well-rounded artists and ambassadors for music in their community. Program alumni have gone on to study at elite institutions including Juilliard, Peabody, New England Conservatory, Curtis Institute of Music, Harvard, and Princeton, and are members of numerous professional ensembles, from major symphony orchestras to touring string quartets to contemporary music ensembles.

Scholarship Support

Students who are accepted into the Honors Program will receive a scholarship covering 75% of the tuition for 60-minute weekly private lessons. All musicianship classes, small ensembles, and events will be covered at 100%. Honors students are still eligible to apply for Tuition Assistance if additional funding is needed to cover the cost of private instruction.


The Honors program at Levine is designed to support and train dedicated musicians of all disciplines, and requires a concerted commitment to the program. All students enrolled are expected to prioritize Honors events, the majority of which will be announced at the start of the fall and spring semesters. The group activities detailed below are expected to take place most Saturday afternoons between 1-4 PM, and students must be available during this time from September through May in order to participate in the program.

Music Study

Each Honors student must be enrolled in private lessons, small ensembles, and theory/musicianship classes for the entire year:

  • Individual Private Lessons: In the upcoming school year, accepted Honors students must enroll in at least 60-minute weekly lessons.
  • Small Ensembles: Honors students are assigned to a small ensemble comprised of other Honors Program participants studying in a similar style. Small ensembles will include chamber groups for classical students and contemporary ensembles for jazz, rock, and musical theatre students. Students will rehearse weekly and must be available at the time agreed upon by the group and coach for the entirety of the season, preparing music for master classes and performances.
  • Large Ensemble: Honors students will have access to large ensemble experiences through Levine’s course offerings and will have the opportunity create ensembles within the student cohort. Students will be expected to participate in Honors-only orchestral and other large ensemble experiences scheduled to take place in the spring, after the conclusion of the chamber music recitals. More details of these ensembles will be announced at the start of the program. Participation in the Levine Showcase as part of an orchestra or other large ensemble is also expected. 
  • Musicianship Class: All students are required to enroll for one theory or musicianship class for the entire school year. Students will either be placed in one of Levine’s leveled theory classes or may enroll in a musicianship class designed to connect music theory with performance, repertoire, and composition.
  • Demonstrated progress and commitment: Honors students must attend and demonstrate suitable progress in all lessons and classes. Teacher concerns will be brought to the attention of the Honors Program Directors and students may be placed on probation or potentially dismissed from the Honors Program if there are any concerns.


Honors students are expected to represent Levine in a variety of performances:

  • Monthly Performance Classes/Master Classes: Attendance is required for each of the 6 monthly performance classes scheduled throughout the year, and students are expected to perform on at least two of the classes (either as a soloist or as part of a chamber ensemble). Students will also be expected to participate in master classes conducted by musicians outside of the Levine community, depending on their instrument, which will be announced at the start of each semester.
  • Recitals/Competitions/Events: Each Honors student is required to perform in the fall and spring Honors recitals at Levine, as well as the Honors Chamber Recital. Participation in Levine music competitions throughout the school year (either as a soloist or as part of a chamber ensemble) is strongly encouraged as well.
  • Recording Session: All Honors students will receive a professional video or audio recording session in Levine’s Cafritz Recording Studio. Depending on staff and technology availability, other performances at the NW and Silver Spring locations may also be recorded and/or live-streamed.
  • Performance Week: Honors students are required to participate in all department juries/critiqued recitals and are expected to maintain a minimum grade of “merit” or above. Certificate juries, where offered, are optimal, but not required.


All Honors students will be expected to share their talent with the local community through a variety of activities throughout the year. Some options include:

  • Levine Honor’s Student Leadership Committee: a committee made up of current Honor’s participants will be given the opportunity to plan and execute community-based events using funding provided by the program.
  • Visiting Instrument Day: “Visiting Instrument Day” is held throughout the year in Levine’s First Music department. Honors students introduce their instrument to a classroom of young children.
  • Community Service Projects: Opportunities will be provided for students to work together to provide positive change within our community.
  • Community Performance: Honors students are encouraged to share their talent through performance at local retirement homes, nursing homes, and schools.

Additional Group Events

Attendance is required for the following events, which give students a chance to get to know their fellow Honors colleagues:

  • Summer Retreat (new): Students should be prepared to participate in a two-day off-campus retreat at the end of summer (dates TBA), designed to build camaraderie and jump-start the music-making experience.
  • Season Opener: an informal gathering providing students an opportunity to meet their fellow Honors cohort.
  • Other Group Events: Each Honors student will have access to a series of scheduled Honors Program group events. These may include performances and workshops at Levine, or concerts and field trips in the DC metro area. All events are organized for the Honors students to attend together. 

Applicant Requirements

The Honors Program welcomes applications from current Levine students ages 12-18 (as of September 1, 2024). Applicants are responsible for adhering to and submitting all required materials below.

Lesson Requirement: Merit program students must be enrolled in weekly 60-minute private lessons with a teacher at Levine.

Yearly Audition: Students must audition each year for the Honors and Rising Stars Programs. Participation in the program for one year does not guarantee a place for the upcoming year. Students will not be admitted into the program without an audition and completed application. View video audition requirements and guidelines.

Application Form: All potential Honors and Rising Stars students must submit a completed online application. Please note that a completed application includes the student essay and screening video (NEW students only). The 2024-25 application is due on April 10, 2024.

Teacher Recommendation: All applicants’ private instructors will be required to complete an online Teacher Recommendation Form (a separate form).

Performance Week: Applicants must participate in a Spring Performance Week activity (i.e. jury or certificate recital). Certificate juries are strongly recommended, if available, but not required. Department Chairs will verify applicant participation. If your department is not holding juries this Spring, please provide a copy of the faculty/judges comment forms from your most recent performance (i.e. Levine competition, solo festival, state band/orchestra audition, Levine fall jury).

Age Requirement: By September 1, 2024, Honors students must be at least 12 years old.


For more information about the Honors Program, please contact Program Director Logan Massey at lmassey@levinemusic.org.