Here we train music professionals. We are a family of artists, educators, music professionals, building on 35 years of experience at the forefront of contemporary music education, and who all together successfully created a common place for one to meet their artistic dreams and ambitions.

To date, MAI proudly claims a total of more than 9000 alumni.


Welcome to a place where you can live your passion to the fullest, immerse in music, quench your knowledge thirst, explore all musical worlds, develop your artistic potential, be around confirmed musicians from all over Europe and the US, build unwavering confidence and meet your music idols!


The only school of its type offering both continuing and compact curriculums managed with effective apprenticeship education pedagogy, fully focused on career opportunities and music professional market realities. The high employability rate of the school speaks for itself.


It is no secret that the music professional market is much more about networks of relations rather than classical paths. For aspiring artists, the challenge is then to build relationships, maintain them and get familiar at strategic meeting places. The MAI vows to be such a lively, sharing and appealing place. Students from all over France and beyond, concert organizers, conductors, managers, stage technicians, stage actors, music lovers, music equipment manufacturers, distributers, mix engineers, agents, producers, journalists, key cultural actors… they all come across each other here, whether walking in our hallways, chatting in our cafeterias or working on mutual projects!


The stage is a privileged opportunity for all musicians. MAI facilities offer 3 public show venues. In partnership with the city of Nancy, the “Nancy Jazz Pulsations” festival and various record labels. MAI regularly hosts masterclasses, auditions, meetings, exhibitions and concerts.


Effective art pedagogy, in all forms or scopes, has an obligation of privileged relationship with creation. MAI goes beyond establishing an environment nurturing creative action, encouraging imagination, composition, improvisation, album cover design or multimedia projects… What is more, at the MAI creation is implemented as a cornerstone test in all final exams. The multi-style creative potential of our students can easily be assessed through the numerous albums regularly published.


With its multi-vocational vision, the MAI is consistent with promoting production-related vocations. A specially dedicated funding has thus allowed multiple productions, ranging from the designing, recording, editing or manufacturing to the promotion and distribution of artistic products. This includes pedagogical material, albums, shows as well as online training programs, and so on.


MAI is built to welcome everyone. Two buildings and a total of about 21529 ft2 (2000 m2) of facilities dedicated to music and fully accessible to reduced mobility persons – MAI is a winner of “Victoires APF sur le handicap”, the French award for achievements favoring the integration of disabled people. Fully equipped classrooms, cubicles, rehearsal rooms, theater, video library, recording studio, sound booth, cafeteria and private parking.


What is the MAI selecting process?

Email us a personal statement along with a video link (YouTube or others) of a 10-minute (or more) demo of you playing or singing one or more songs.

Upon assessment of these materials, you will receive a notice regarding your admission. You may be invited to meet us in person for a second audition, in a personal interview intended to identify more accurately your level and pedagogical needs.


No specific degree or educational level is required. Authentic motivation, solid skills and a good musical background are the only requested and recommended prerequisites for your success.


After your application has been accepted and your financing method validated, send back the completed online registration form. To secure your registration, a bank deposit payment within 10 days is required.


The credentials issued on completion of MAI programs (Music, Jazz, Film…) are not state diplomas. Nevertheless, as a member of FNEIJMA (France federation of jazz influence and contemporary music schools), MAI is accredited to administer, upon prior approval or our pedagogy director, the coveted MIMA certificate test (contemporary music professional performers national certification, registered at level IV with RNCP, the National Register of Professional Certificates).

First day at school

The first day of class every student receives a welcome file with all the necessary information and documents.


Registration is limited and subject to a minimum number of participants. MAI thus reserves the right to cancel any term and enrolment if the minimum of course participants is not reached.


More than 120 instructors, including musicians, technicians, educators, authors, composers, producers and managers.

The MAI teaching staff is such a unique and subtle mosaic of teachers, national and international well-known active artists, and major actors in contemporary music professions industry.

The teachers, on their part, provide that though-out, solid, well-researched, structured basis to our education, consistently confronted with experience realities, refreshed and adapted accordingly. As for the artists, they add on our field expertise, always delivering first-hand information that will help students draw all secrets of music right from the source.

Contemporary music is so demanding in its own way; at the MAI no room is therefore left for “eunuch teachers”, knowing everything yet unable to practice anything. Teaching, say, improvisation while having never achieved any career in it – does such an education possess adequate tools to properly train, advance, encourage, guide and help students in their professionalism quest? Our position is clear.

Concerts, professional encounters, masterclasses, exhibitions, weekly visits are all integrated in MAI’s pedagogy. This gives our students the opportunity to be around world-class artists and learn from their advice, experience and artistic dynamism.

This pedagogy also integrates, in the form of conferences, the hosting of experts, record and production professions, civil society or music press and all those other actors equally essential to the music industry. The meetings may also take place as videoconferences, especially when we host experts from around the world, such as LA based sound professionals.


The credentials issued after completion of the MAI programs (Music, Jazz, Film…) are not state diplomas – although this has been our constant striving that with FNEIJMA (France federation of jazz influence and contemporary music schools). In fact, France still does not offer musician state diplomas, except for music teaching professions (CA, DE, DUMI…).

Music Production is a certifying training offering “Technicien Son et Lumière” (Sound and Light Engineer) credentials – registered with the RNCP (France National Register of Professional Certificates).

Diplomas offered at the MAI are not a guarantee of employment either. However, neither Johnny Hallyday, Steve Vai, Soilwork or Herbie Hancock, would ever hire you just because you hold a diploma, but rather because of your unique talent, your reliable social skills, your positive attitude, your creativity and your professional, artistic ability to return the favor…

What is the benefit of this diploma?

First of all, it is proof to all that you are able to complete a project.

The MAI curriculum is tough: we compact the equivalent of a 4-year training in a 1-year term. Instructors are demanding, artistic goals set very high and work pace tiresome. You will learn that musicianship is far closer to a marathon than a 100-meter sprint.

Artists are judged on the length, endurance of their journey. Diplomas will certainly prove you are a good student, but not necessarily a good musician. Confirmed musicianship comes with time – and consistent practice. Some of our alumni have successful careers, despite quite failing their diploma; few others, despite getting their diploma, ended up doing small jobs. Yet, statistics strongly sustain that our alumni who get their diplomas with honors have successfully entered the industry. A glance at our website last news, and you will admire the outstanding career paths many have taken.

Our diplomas have proved crucial to secure admissions to higher music degrees, a position in MJCs (France youth centers), Maison de la Culture (France houses of culture) and many other contexts, where institutions require a mandatory certificate or diploma.

Many more alumni have been hired as (often part-time) contemporary music instructors.

Beware of some musicians who claim to be MAI alumni, top of their class, or even instructors, even though they never stepped a foot in our school, or maybe just a few days. Watch out for those fakers! Soon we will be published on our website a list of all MAI alumni with their final grades, going all the way back to professional programs implemented in 1989 (as CMCN) and 1996

(as MAI).


While fully abiding by the MAI pedagogy masterplan, all instructors must formulate a syllabus in the specific subject(s) of which their career sustains expertise. Every syllabus must include as many lessons as sessions, plus a recapitulation sheet.

MAI has 120 syllabuses developed in the majority by world-known musicians/educators. None of these syllabuses are simple additions of different courses, but rather a compilation of cross-displinarity studies that are complementary for a variety of programs.

Many of the syllabuses come with a CD, CR-ROM or DVD materials, all elaborated at the MAI. All pedagogical materials are free of charge for MAI students. Therefore, no photocopy of methods or any illegal copy material are present in our facilities.

Among our numerous course modules, we offer: playing techniques, style techniques, improvisation, accompaniment, analysis & styles, arranging & orchestration, composing & songwriting, harmony & theory, solfège & ear training, rhythmic theory, transcription & input, score deciphering, multimedia, business, computer music, studio, acoustics, production & post-production, film editing, stage expression, music culture, diction, job search techniques, sound recording, film scoring, daily common courses on 25 distinct styles.


True contemporary music training centers cannot afford elitism, since talent is never about just accumulating theoretical or even practical knowledge and know-how. Thelonious Monk, Kurt Cobain, James Brown and so many of the greats, could have likely been rejected by any traditional vocational school or conservatory, however they still succeeded in creating styles that are now taught in schools.

It is therefore highly important for us to determine if and how you master your instrument (even with a very personal approach), if you are comfortable with rhythm, if you demonstrate unwavering motivation, if you show basic theory knowledge (not mandatory, but recommended), if you show artistic personality, if you show a social behavior that is fitting for our school environment and if your artistic goals align with our pedagogical goals.

The application procedure is for you to submit a CD, CR-Rom, DVD, MP3 file on USB key or through email, or to provide your Facebook address, if you possess one, that will allow us to hear and see you in a 10-minute (or more) demo. The technical quality of the recording is not important.

If your material demonstrates an artistic approach aligned with the MAI philosophy, you will be invited to spend a minimum of 4 hours in our facilities for various interviews (technical, pedagogical and administrative).

This is also an opportunity for you to visit our school, discuss with our instructors and students, and even attend a class.

About 84-85% of applicants pass the second round of the audition, which means only 15-16% fail.

Important! In particular cases where the auditioned reveals a very low technical level, MAI strongly recommends a strategic remedial program that will give the future student a second chance a few months later.


Choosing the right school is no easy task.

In this digital era, getting valuable information on each school should be easy, thanks to the numerous forums and other resources. That is absolutely not the case! Misinformation is so overwhelming on the Internet. It has been shown that certain schools have built efficient strategies, such as mass emailing, while angry students who failed their diplomas tend to take vengeance on the Internet. In fact, those who succeed their training spend so much of their time practicing their instrument, creating artistic projects, that little time is left for them to wander on the web. So, beware!

Visiting the school remains the best way to get complete information

If you managed to narrow your list to a few schools, take time to go visit them, discuss with students, instructors. Ask for syllabuses to know how many instructors are involved, to make sure how many times a year you may really learn with the advertised big artists or how many masterclasses are offered (with or without additional charges) in the year. Ask about alumni and their faring in the industry, current careers of instructors, national and international networks of the school (critical to employability chances), direct collaborations with music professional circles, relations with media (TV, radio, music press) … Though touring all around to visit as many schools as possible is certainly demanding (in energy and budget), that one school year is crucial for your professional future. It is therefore imperative for you to make the right choice.

Your artistic and professional future depend on it!


When you’re planning to become a musician, artist or sound engineer you mostly focus on stage appearances and classes. But in today’s industry, live performances have evolved. First of all, numerous activities have developed and broadened the spectrum of live performances. For instance, leisure parks are the first fields that hire performing artists.

Additionally, cultural activity organizations are major actors for producing or spreading shows in the framework of local missions and music creation on demand (films, theater, ads, gaming, business videos). There are so many sectors with multiple similarities but also key differences.

To summarize,

The performing arts industry is a maze. Professionals all agree: vocation is the key factor in this business. The term may sound mythical or rather squandered, but professional recognition only comes through it. Motivation, courage, perseverance, all allows advancement. But only commitment will make you believe this is your only path. That is the strength of these artists and engineers. The performing arts industry is all about passion!

The profession of artist is rarely limited to a single occupation, but is mainly characterized by multiple “small jobs” that fall into the 5 main music career opportunity sectors: STAGE, TEACHING, ORGANIZING, PRODUCTION, CREATION.

We’ve noticed that professional musicians or sound engineers must do a combination of 3 to 5 different activites if they wish to survive, make a living or be well off in their respective forms of art.

Whether corporates like it or not, musicians/artists are not worried about being framed in a single line of work. Moreover they usually are very versatile and can easily go from musician, to technician to teacher within the same week.This is a reality that has been in existence for over a decade.

Depending on the time of the year and the season, musicians focus on these different activities. Being able to adapt to different opportunities helps them succeed financially but requires many skills. It goes without saying that technical levels have increasingly risen. Being able to apply different skills with accuracy across these different sectors or job opportunities has become a necessity for artists to remain on the job market and maintain a durable career. This encourages the need of training students along these guidelines: The MAI equips its students for all 5-career opportunities.


Here are a few examples of the artists who have hired MAI alumni:

Pop & Variety

Johnny Hallyday, Michel Sardou, Whitney Houston, Anggun, Christina Aguilera, Michel Jonas, Patricia Kaas, Jennifer, Patty LaBelle, Rumbanana, The Reddings, Papa Wemba, Zouk Machine, Cirque du Soleil, Dave, Rachid Taha, Florent Pagny, Jonathan , Fred Blondin, Grand Orchestre du Splendid, Claude Nougaro, Francis Lalanne, Félix Lalanne, Dany Brillant, Nicole Croisille, Rachid Bahri, Touré Touré, Jean-Jacques Milteau, Guy Marchand, L5, Compagnie Créole, Prémix, David Hallyday, Star Academy 3 à 8, Kad & Olivier, Canal+, Cheb Kader, Charlélie Couture, Laurent Voulzy, Raphaël, M Pokora, Noah, Olivia Ruiz, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Catherine, Marina Kaye, Lilian Renaud, Angunn, Kimberose and many others.

TV Shows

The Voice, Star Academy, Nouvelle Star, Qui veut signer chez AZ, Eurovisio.

Music Shows

Dracula, Joe Dassin, 1789 Les amants de la Bastille, Timéo, Adam et Eve, Jesus.


Orchestre National du Jazz, Bireli Lagrene, Sylvain Luc, Flavio Boltro, Olivier Ker Ourio, Stephano di Battista, Sylvain Beuf, Archie Shepp, Pierre de Bethmann , Eric Legnini, Bob Mintzer, Ted Curson,
éphane Belmondo, Mike Richmond, Harvie Swartz, André Ceccarelli, Daniel Humair, Riccardo Del Fra, Louis Sclavis, Bernard Lubat, Michel Portal, François Jeanneau, Philippe Deschepper, Nelson Veras, Fred Frith, Gérard Marais, Richard Galliano, Eddie Louis, Rhoda Scott, Bernard Maury, Claude Barthélémy, Archie Sheep, Tom Cora, Glenn Ferris, Steve Lacy, Lew Soloff, Marc Ribot, Jamaladeen Tacuma, and so on.

Rock & Electronic Music

Skip The Use, Megadeath, Patrick Rondat, Autour de Lucy, Rhapsody, Lofofora, Snooze, Ron Thal, Artsonic, Scarve, Captain Mercier, Misanthrope, Bad Brains (USA), Headline, Sabbtail (Suède), Mateo & Matos, Kalk, Félix Da Housecat, Colin Dale, Mandel Turner, Les amis d’ta femme, DJ BNX, Blackstone, Hector Zazou, Ange, Teri Moise, Ollano, Charlie McCoy, Wanda Jackson, The Dogs, Ana Popovic, Jimmy Oihid, Sergent Garcia, Adagio, Tété, Lyzanxia, Plug-in, Booster, Arkol, Headline, Boost, Quo Vadis (Canada), Dr Knock, Soilwork (Suède), Pigalle, Moby, Mnemic (Danemark), Vegastar, Watcha, Tony Allen, Eths, No One Is Innocent, etc.

Schools & Conservatories

IMFP Salon-de-Provence, CIAM Bordeaux, CIM Paris, Musicians Institute (Los Angeles), CFMI Sélestat, Conservatoire de Nancy, Conservatoire de Metz, Cité de la Musique Paris CMA Valenciennes, Centre Musical Didier Lockwood Paris, CMI de Pekin (8 MAI alumni) , Ecoles Ibanez de Saintes, Rennes, Bourg de Péage, Annemasse, Bass Passion Toulouse, Ecole Tama St. Dié, Progressive Drum School Lyon, many other conservatories and over 150 associative music schools.

Studio, Production & Sound Engineering

Son-art Postproduction Metz, Track Star Entertainment Inc. Los Angeles, ISR Studio Sarre-Union, Orient Communication Nancy, Indigo Production Louvain Belgique, France 2 Paris, Sony Playstation San Diego, Mab-X-Music Paris, Cybele Production Paris, TSC Stras-bourg, MPM Lorraine, Riff International Productions Paris, and mix engineers from all municipalities of Eastern France.

Brand demonstrators

Viguier guitars and basses, Elixir strings, Roland keyboards, Warwick basses, Ibanez guitars and basses, Tama drums, Line 6 and Ernie Ball/Music Man amplifiers and multi-effect units, Mapex drums, Vater drumsticks, Ashdown amplifiers, and many more.


Music Academy – Jazz Academy – Vocal Academy – Music Production – Film Scoring

Depending on your current status, different organisms offer tuition grants or training compensation possibilities. We advise you to take contact with your local mission (for students under 26 years of age) or the local employment office (Agence Locale pour l’Emploi) for more information on existing funding arrangements and required procedures. Below is a list of French competent organisations:

CFI Jeunes

Personal Training Credit for young people (official agreement to be approved soon)


Insurance Fund for the Training of Entertainment Activities, for occasional entertainment workers registered for 2 years or more.
AFDAS – 3, rue Au Maire 75156 PARIS – Tel : +33 (0)1 44 78 39 39


Regional Individual Access Training Fund (Lorraine ANPE Agreement /Regional Council of Lorraine). If you are a job seeker living in Lorraine for 6 months or more and possess professional music experience, feel free to contact ANPE local office for more information.


Association for Employment in Industry and Trade, the social fund aid complementing S.I.F.E., F.F.A.I.R. and Regional Councils.


Individual Training Leave, for employees with a length of service of 2 years or more (at least one year in same company). Consult with your employer or the organism they are affiliated to (FONGECIF, AGECIF, FAFTT, ANFM, FAFIL…)

Regional Councils

Specific to each region of France

Consult with the Regional Council continuing education service or with ANPE local office.

All prior procedures with different competent organisms are to be initiated by the applicant.

This list is non-exhaustive and subject to revision.

This information is provided freely.

MAI reserves the right to assess, based on its TO (Training Organization) accreditation, the funding possibilities in collaboration with local Vocational Training partners.


The following students are compensated by the ASSEDIC:

1) AFR For all AUD beneficiaries who applied for AFR prior to entry to MAI program, after assessment/orientation with ANPE.

2) RSP – For all beneficiaries of ASSEDIC compensation other than AUD and whose training is funded by National Employment Fund (+additional files to collect from MAI office).


Intended for trainees not compensated by ASSEDIC and whose training is funded with CFI or a SIFE.
(+additional files to collect from MAI office).

MAI reserves the right to change its programs syllabuses, based on possible pedagogical constraints.


Housing during study term periods for Music Academy, Jazz Academy, Vocal Academy, Vocal or Music Production

Housing in Nancy is relatively easy and affordable, with comfortable studio apartments estimated between 228 and 305 euros. Meals are also relatively low. MAI student have access to reserved university dinners, where meals cost only 2.30 euros.

Though MAI does not directly offer housing, we have the possibility to provide you all necessary rental agency information, available studios address and all useful contacts, upon confirmation of your registration.

Useful contacts

Les Estudines – student housing

48, avenue du XXe Corps 54000 Nancy

Tel:  +33(0)3 83 35 84 55 – Fax: +33(0)3 83 35 80 87

Les Estudines Saint Dizier 

11 rue Saint Jean – 54000 NANCY

Tél. : 03 83 39 67 67



Develop a talent already existing in you.
Accelerate your learning period.
Teach you the codes of music.
Create social and artistic encounters for you.
Sharpen your listening abilities.
Encourage creative action within you.
Arm you with confident certitudes.
Suggest critical culture questioning.
Offer you a flawless technical education.
Place you in an environment that nurtures your advancement with awakened discernment.
Advise you on working methods.
Open your mind towards others music genres.
Prepare you to realities of the professional world; encourage vocations.
Support your career.
Provide you structured musical insight.
Help you achieve your goals.
Enhance your social skills.
Make you independent.
Contribute to your musical emancipation.
Build your confidence..
Give you opportunities to be around major actors in the music profession.
Ensure you opportunities to meet and learn from world-known artists.


Give you talent.

Cure your acne.

Guarantee you that three rickety riffs and a junk attitude will help you find love, fame and beauty.

Make you succeed your training with no effort, perseverance, seriousness, sweat or stress.

Let you daydreaming inside an imaginary and juvenile world, without gently but certainly waking you up.

Change your social life.

Bring your girlfriend back.

Change the world.

Fix your personal issues.

Force French people to listen to good music only.

Copyright © MAI 2020

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