March 15, 2023

Admission Blog: 5 Things to Know About Living in NYC When You Attend Manhattan School of Music

Moving to NYC can feel both exciting and overwhelming, but we know you will feel right at home once you arrive!

Manhattan School of Music’s Office of Admission has put together a guide for living in the city with the help of our student workers. View our insider tips below!

Manhattan School of Music is in a beautiful, relaxing, and safe section of the city. Unlike the busy tourist attractions that New York City is known for, our neighborhood is actually quite calm.

(BM '22, Musical Theatre)


Thanks to NYC’s public transit system, you’re just minutes away from the city’s biggest attractions including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Broadway. MSM is located near the 1 line’s 125th Street or 116th Street stops and within walking distance of the A-B-C-D lines. Buses, taxis, and ride-shares are all easily accessible from campus as well. Explore the tri-state area by using the Metro-North and Long Island Railroads.

Prefer to explore closer to campus? Though Manhattan School of Music is situated in one of the world’s cultural capitals, our immediate backdrop is a friendly “college town” neighborhood with everything you need nearby. You can visit beautiful parks, delicious restaurants, and fun activities without taking public transit! Learn more about MSM’s neighborhood in this video.

Take the 1 Line, just steps away from MSM, to visit to the city's biggest destinations.


Experience all four seasons in the sub-tropical climate of New York City! You can watch Sakura Park’s trees evolve from spring cherry blossoms to autumn leaves from your dorm room in Andersen Hall. With summer temperatures averaging in the 80s and winter temperatures in the 30s, you will need to be pack clothing for all types of weather. Here are a few of our essentials:

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Winter coat and gloves
  • Umbrella or raincoat
  • Waterproof boots
  • Bag or backpack

Don't forget to bring your winter coat to NYC!


One of the best places to grab a quick bite is the MSM Cafeteria, conveniently located on campus next to the student lounge (currently under renovation) and included in your student meal plan. The cafeteria offers both made-to-order and grab & go options.

If you are ready to venture off campus, there are many great dining options in the Morningside Heights neighborhood—check out our Neighborhood Map for our recommendations. You can also take public transportation to incredible eats all over the city, from the classic New York slice of pizza to authentic dumplings in Chinatown.

As an international student, I truly appreciate MSM’s efforts in bringing together students from all over the world. I was worried about coming into an unknown environment with an unfamiliar language, but I’ve become so comfortable here!

(MM '20, PS '21, PPD '23 Classical Voice)

Job Opportunities

If you plan to work during your time at MSM, there are a wide variety of opportunities to choose from. You can apply for the limited number of on-campus jobs available, which are listed on our website at the beginning of each semester. Additionally, our Center for Music Entrepreneurship curates an online database featuring over 1,000 off-campus opportunities. You can also find off-campus jobs like babysitting and dog walking, which offer plenty of flexibility with your class schedule.

Take a walk or have a picnic in Sakura Park, located across the street from MSM.

Free & Discounted Things to Do

There are many free and discounted activities for students living in New York City. You can purchase heavily discounted tickets to watch performances at the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and more. You can also head down to Broadway to try your luck at the ticket lottery for inexpensive seats to that day’s performance. Be sure to bring your MSM ID card (given to you at Orientation) wherever you go to take advantage of these benefits.

Here’s a short list of our favorites:

  • Walk through NYC Parks—Central Park, Riverside Park, Prospect Park, etc.
  • Take in views of the city from The Highline and The Vessel
  • Enjoy a free concert, movie, or yoga in the park
  • Visit museums such as The Met, American Museum of Natural History, MoMA, and Guggenheim, which all offer student pricing

MSM students live in one of the best places for aspiring young artists. You can jump on the train and take a short ride down to The Met Opera, Broadway, Carnegie Hall, etc. There are so many opportunities to see professional performances and, as a student, you can purchase tickets at a deeply discounted rate!

(BM '23, Classical Voice)

Learn more about MSM's neighborhood, Morningside Heights!

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