The idea for MAP was developed in 1991 by Joseph W. Polisi, the president of The Juilliard School, in the wake of massive cuts in music education at New York City public schools. Part of his goal was to help those students most affected by those cuts, whose communities are underrepresented in the classical music world.
In 1991, 40 young people from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx were chosen from a competitive pool to take part in the initial program. Each student selected had at least six months of prior experience with an orchestral instrument, showed musical aptitude and a commitment to pursuing musical studies, and demonstrated strong parental support.
Today, MAP offers a curriculum for students at intermediate and advanced levels who demonstrate a strong desire and potential for serious musical study. Through rigorous coursework and intense practice, these students strive with their MAP teachers towards the goal of successfully auditioning for advanced music preparatory programs. As it did 25 years ago, MAP continues to target children from backgrounds underrepresented in American performing arts. By serving these students, MAP contributes to the diversity, range, and excellence of the future performing arts community.