Are you a passionate individual who likes music and would want to make it a career and you are looking for the best music schools in the world that would help you achieve this dream?
Kindly read this article carefully to see how we have these things figured out. We will show you the top music schools to attend which are quite affordable.
As a music student or an individual who has an interest in music, it is expected of you to look for good musical schools around the world to help yourself achieve your vision or dream of becoming a top rock artist, or just about any dimension you would want to ply your trade.
On this list of music schools, you’ll find the most recognized music schools in the US and in the world at large, that is open to local and international students from anywhere in the world.
Kindly see the table of contents below for an overview.
- What are Music Schools?
- Why Attend a Music School?
- Do I Need a Degree to Become a Musician?
- What is the Salary and Job Outlook of Musicians?
- Top Music Schools in the World
- The Juilliard School, New York, United States
- The New England of Music Conservatory Boston, United States
- Moscow Imperial Conservatory, Moscow, Russia
- University of Music & Performing Arts, at Vienna, Austria
- Royal College of Music, South Kensington, London
- Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut
- Oberlin Conservatory of Music, at Oberlin College in Oberlin, in Ohio USA
- Conservatoire de Paris (Paris Conservatory), Paris
- Royal Academy of Music, London
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland
- The Manhattan School of Music, New York City, USA
- The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia
- Norwegian Music Academy, Oslo
- San Francisco Conservatory of Music
- Royal College of Music, Stockholm
- USC Thornton Music School, in the University of Southern California
- Blair School of Music, at the Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
- Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute, Baltimore, MD
- Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland
What are Music Schools?
If you remove “music” from “school,” what you have left is school. Yes, the music school is a school only it is not any kind of school. A music school is a specialized educational institution that concentrates on the study, training, and research of music.
Asides “music school,” people also refer to it as music academy, music faculty, college of music, music department, conservatory or conservatoire.
They all mean the same thing, just that schools around the world will choose whichever name they like.
While several artists attend a music school, some countries teach students music compulsorily at different stages of their education. Hence, you can study music at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.
However, for the sake of this post, we will concentrate on music schools at the tertiary level.
Why Attend a Music School?
A career in music is successful through a lot of factors including skills, talent, and education. Music is as old as man and many will argue that early men didn’t go to school to study music yet they were adept at it. That is very true but the world has progressed and we go to school now for things that needed no school before. Music is not exempt from this and really, music schools will benefit you.
Do I Need a Degree to Become a Musician?
Basically, life-long training is what you need to become a musician. The music field does not really require formal education, but having one is going to be a big plus to you. In fact, aside from improving your skills as we explained above, formal education in music is necessary to hold certain positions in the music industry. You must possess a bachelor’s degree to become a music director or composer. In the same vein, you need a graduate degree to teach music at the university level.
To this effect, you can either grab an associate’s bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in music depending on the career path you choose in the field of music.
An Associate’s Degree in music will build you with the basic concepts and techniques in songwriting and instrumentation. Many associate’s programs will allow you to focus your studies on one aspect of music, such as string instruments, keyboard, piano, or vocals.
On the other hand, a Bachelor’s Degree in music strengthens your musical abilities. A Bachelor of Arts in music will require you to take coursework in music theory, composition, and aural training. You most likely will take further courses in conducting, performance, orchestration, and instrumental methodology.
A Master’s Degree in music teaches advanced aspects of music composition and theory. It helps you specialize, so depending on your specialization, you’ll focus on jazz, piano, guitar, or orchestral conducting, as well as complete specialized coursework in your specialization.
A Doctoral Degree in music is not so different. You still have to choose a specialization. However, the degree prepares you to lead renowned bands or orchestras, teach college-level courses, or work in music administration.
What is the Salary and Job Outlook of Musicians?
With or without formal education, musicians earn either a decent or rewarding wage by the hour of performance. The popularity of the musician mostly determines his wage. Nonetheless, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ 2018 data, Musicians and Singers earn an average wage of $28.15 per hour. There were 187,600 jobs for musicians in that year and with a 0% job growth, the job outlook from 2018-28 has little or no change.
Glassdoor, on the other hand, gives an average yearly estimate pay for musicians. Musicians earn $46,744 annually, but this figure is different when you look at the different jobs for musicians.
Composers earn an average of $38,783 yearly, Market Research Analyst in the Music Industry earn $57,599, Organists earn $34,608, and Music Producers earn $82,109 yearly.
Top Music Schools in the World
Here are the top 20 music schools in the world located in different countries of the world, with a good acceptance rate; tuition fees and a good academic environment that would aid you to achieve your musical dreams.
Be sure that these institutions have graduated top music artists, including some of the world-renowned artists you listen to today. Therefore, you might be on your way to becoming a big thing. EXPLORE!
The Juilliard School, New York, United States
Address: #60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, USA.
Established in 1905, the Juilliard School is considered to be the best music schools in the world, as far as a slew of rankings is concerned. Here, you will find an evident number of options to choose from, with a sophisticated musical environment.
Moreover, due to its status and being a top music school, it works with other acclaimed music schools in and outside the USA. If you did not know already, it collaborates with one of the best-known hosts of music performances all over the globe – Lincoln Center.
Meanwhile, at the Juilliard School, you can take programs in Music tailored towards Instruments, Vocal Arts, Jazz Studies, Historical Performance, Composition, and Orchestral Conducting.
The New England of Music Conservatory Boston, United States
Address: 290 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Competing with Berklee College for the second top music schools in the US, the New England Conservatory of Music has become a choice among students. It is one of the oldest and best music schools in the world, due to its establishment in the year 1867, and has managed to maintain its prestige despite having other top music schools in competition.
You will see Berklee producing and nurturing pop stars and rock bands, but at New England Conservatory, you will see the grooming and good upbringing of the future great artists in the dimensions of stringed and bass instruments. The College runs a 5-year course collaboration with the prestigious Harvard University, which can take you and your career through the roof of anything.
Moscow Imperial Conservatory, Moscow, Russia
Address: Bol’shaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa, 13/6, Moskva, Russia, 125009.
Moscow Imperial Conservatory is one of the Best Music Schools in the world and most prized possessions of Russia, and there is no reason why it should not be appearing as 4th on our list of top music schools. Founded in 1866, the Conservatory has a rich history, particularly the fact that it is ranking with the oldest conservatories in the country. Here great artists as Sviatislov Richter, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Kabalevsky Rachmaninoff have studied and made a grand career out of music.
Moscow Imperial Conservatory offers undergraduate and graduate diplomas in musical performance and musical research. You can as well take a bachelor of MUsic Performance and a Master of Music and Ph.D. in Research at Moscow Conservatory.
University of Music & Performing Arts, at Vienna, Austria
Address: Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Wien, Austria
This institution was established in the year 1817, the university is one of the oldest and, incidentally, the largest and top music schools in the globe. It has been the center and heart of music and arts ever since its establishment and has seen the graduation of some of the most notable artists in the globe like Mahler and Brahms.
With its 25 departments, you can study any specialty in music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. These departments include the department of popular music, department of music therapy, department of voice and music theatre, etc.
Royal College of Music, South Kensington, London
Address: Prince Consort Rd, Kensington, London SW7 2BS, UK.
The Royal College is one of the best music schools in the world; a conservatoire started by the royal charter in 1882, located in the large city of South Kensington, London, UK. It offers opportunities from the undergraduate in music to a doctoral degree in all dimensions of Western Art and performance, composition, music theory, history.
This public university in the UK emerged as the top university for Performing Arts in both the UK and Europe in QS 2018 World University Ranking and has produced alumni like Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Ireland.
Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut
Address: 98 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
The Yale School of Music is one of the music schools in the US. Offers three degrees in the graduate level: Master of Musical Arts (MMA), Master of Music (MM), and Ph.D. in Musical Arts (DMA), as well as Bachelor of Arts, Master of Music program in agreement with Yale College, a Performance Certificate, and an Artist Diploma.
Meanwhile, Yale School of Music is a private university and one of the 12 professional schools at Yale University. It began in 1894 and offers quality degrees and certificates in music through its distinguished faculty.
Oberlin Conservatory of Music, at Oberlin College in Oberlin, in Ohio USA
Address: 77 W College St, Oberlin, OH 44074, USA.
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is one of the music schools in the US, located on the campus of Oberlin College, it was founded in 1865 and is the 2nd oldest conservatory and oldest constantly operating conservatory in the United States of America.
At the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, you can pursue a degree in both music and traditional liberal arts disciplines. However, the school has more Undergraduate students than graduate students. Some of Oberlin’s popular programs include the Bachelor of Music, Performance Diploma, and Master of Music Conducting.
Conservatoire de Paris (Paris Conservatory), Paris
Address: 209 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, France.
The Conservatoire de Paris is a prestigious college of music and dance established in the year 1795, which is associated with PSL Research University. This institution is situated in the Jean Jaurès avenue in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. The Conservatoire offers all the nurturing in music, dance, drama, and other related activities drawing on the development of the School.
Royal Academy of Music, London
Address: Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5HT, UK.
The institution is one of the UK Music schools in London, England, is the oldest in the UK, founded in 1822 by two men, John Fane, and Nicolas-Charles Bochsa. It received its Royal Charter in the record-breaking year 1830 from King George IV with the help of the first Duke of Wellington.
Royal Academy of Music teaches music at all levels ranging from infancy to professional level. Thus, its senior academy awards an LRAM diploma, while the main academy awards a Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) as well as Ph.D. degrees in Music.
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland
Address: 100 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2 3DB, UK.
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is a school of dance, drama, film, music, and production in the center of Glasgow, in Scotland.
While this Scottish conservatory began in 1847, it officially began awarding degrees in 1993. The conservatory is so famous that it has become one of the busiest venues for performing arts in Scotland, holding over 500 public performances yearly.
However, students pursue degrees, certificates, and diploma in any of its schools – School of Music; School of Drama, Dance, Production, and Film; and Junior Conservatoire
The Manhattan School of Music, New York City, USA
Address: 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027, USA.
Manhattan School of Music is one of the private music schools in the US, New York City. The school offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degree programs in the areas of classical and jazz performance.
This Manhattan music school began operating in 1917 as a private music school and has since produced notable alumni including Raymond Beegle, Paul Cohen, and Gabriela Beňačková.
The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia
Address: 1726 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA.
The School is a conservatory in the US that grants musical courses of study which leads to a performance degree, diploma, Bachelor of Music, even Master of Music in Opera, or a Professional Studies Certificate.
This Institute of Music at Pennsylvania is a small school founded in 1924. It has 167 students and a very competitive admission.
Norwegian Music Academy, Oslo
Address: Slemdalsveien 11, 0363 Oslo, Norway.
The first Norwegian school on our list of the best music schools in the world. The conservatory which is in Oslo, Norway, situated at the Majorstuen, Frogner neighborhood, is the most expanded music school in Norway and offers the top level of music education in the country. As a university college, it presents the opportunity for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
This Norwegian Conservatory trains students to become music performers, composers, and pedagogies in the area of folk music, church music, classical music, and jazz music. The school also is Oslo’s biggest concert organizer, organizing around 300 cncerts annually.
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Address: 50 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
The Music world known as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is one of the top music schools in San Francisco. About 400 undergraduate students, including graduate students, are admitted at the school on a yearly basis which also includes a Pre-College Division for upcoming musicians.
This conservatory in San Francisco began operating in 1917 and offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs in Brass, Conducting, Guitar, Keyboard, Voice, Technology and Applied Composition, etc. Its learning curriculum integrates history, theory, and the humanities to its study of music.
Royal College of Music, Stockholm
Address: Valhallavägen 105, 115 51 Stockholm, Sweden.
Royal College of Music, is one of the top music schools. This college is located in Stockholm is apparently the oldest school of music in Sweden, founded in 1771 as the conservatory of Royal Swedish Academy of Music. The conservatory was now isolated to be on its own in 1971.
UniRank ranks this Sweedish university as the 32nd higher education institution in Sweeden. You can take a degree program in this Swedish conservatory to become a composer, conductor, instrumentalist, or vocalist and join its hundred of notable alumni. Its music department includes Jazz, Classical, Folk Music, Music Education, etc.
USC Thornton Music School, in the University of Southern California
Address: 840 W 34th St, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.
The University of Southern California School of Music is one of the top music schools in the US, this institution was founded in 1884; dedicated in 1999. Founded four years after the University of Southern California was found itself, the School is the oldest continually operating arts school in Southern California.
USC Thornton Music School is a conservatory in the USA with a long history. It is one of the few music schools in the USA that offers a degree program in Early Music. Also, it was the first university to offer a major in popular music performance and songwriting, in addition to its classical and jazz programs.
Some other USC music programs include Choral music, composition, Keyboard studies, and Pedagogical Technology.
Blair School of Music, at the Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
Address: 2400 Blakemore Ave, Nashville, TN 37212, USA.
Blair School of Music is one of the top music schools in the US. This prestigious institution provides undergraduate studies in music performance, history, theory at Vanderbilt University, a strong research university situated in Nashville, Tennessee.
Blair School of Music started in 1964 as a small private music school. It has over 190 undergraduate students and no graduate students because it doesn’t offer graduate programs. However, this music school in Nashville provides music lessons and classes which gather over 800 pre-college and adult students together to learn music.
Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute, Baltimore, MD
Address: 1 E Mt Vernon Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
This is a conservatory in Maryland, USA, directly opposite the landmark Washington Monument circle at North Charles. This school is internationally recognized. International students who are passionate about music are welcomed fro enrollment.
Meanwhile, the Peabody Institute is John Hopkins University’s music school. It was founded in 1857 but became a part of JHU in 1977. Nonetheless, it is the oldest conservatory in the United States and it offers diploma, certificate, undergraduate and graduate degrees in music.
Some of its popular degrees include the Bachelor of Music (BM). Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Graduate Performance Diploma (GPD).
Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland
Address: 11021 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
The Cleveland School of Music is an independent, music conservatory located in the University area district of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. It is directed by President Paul Hogle. The Institute was founded in the year 1920, with Ernest Bloch as director.
Meanwhile, Cleaveland Institute of Music (CIM) offers some of the best music programs in the United States, especially as it collaborates with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to offer some of its programs. Thus, at CIM, you also have the option of a CWRU Dual Degree or a Double Majoring.
Furthermore, you can major in over 20 areas of study including Audio Recording, Collaborative Piano, percussion, Voice, Orchestral Conducting, and Guitar (Classical).
What is the best college for music?
The best school for music is Juilliard School, New York. It works with music schools in the USA and other parts of the world as well as collaborate with Lincoln Centre, one of the world’s best music hosts. Juilliard offers programs in Vocal Arts, Jazz Studies, Composition, Historical Performance, and Orchestral Conducting.
Which school should I attend for contemporary music?
You can attend any well-known music school in the USA for contemporary music. Some of the best include Juilliard School, Berklee College, Peabody Institute, and Yale School of Music.
Can I study piano and composition at college?
Yes, you can study piano and composition in a good music school or conservatory. However, ensure to go through the school’s program catalog to be sure they offer a major in Piano. You can also check to see if they have produced any notable alumni in that area before applying.
What Can You Do with a Music Degree?
There is a lot you can do with a music degree. You can become an Adjudicator, Artist Manager, Artistic Director, Music Director, Choral Director, Copyist, Music Educator, Lyricists, Music Consultant, Music Producer, Sound Technician, etc.
Can you major in music with no experience?
No, you can’t major in music without any experience in Music because music schools will arrange an audition for you to check your key competencies in music. Thus, you must have gained some experience in vocals at least if not the use of musical instruments.
How many years does it take to study music?
It takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in Music. However, associate’s or diploma programs will take you a year or two to complete. Also, some music school offers dual major programs that can last up to five years.
What is a music degree called?
The most popular music degree is a bachelor’s degree. It is usually called a Bachelor of Music (BM or B.Mus.) or a Bachelor of Arts in Music, depending on the music school.
Can you get a Ph.D. in Music?
Yes, you can a get a Ph.D. in music. It is referred to the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) when it isn’t called a Ph.D. in Music. The degree prepares you to take take bigger roles in te music industry orteach music at the college-level.
Do music majors make money?
Yes, music majors make money, depending on their fame and type of music profession. According to BLS, musicians and singers make $28.15 by the hour. Additionally, Glassdoor estimates the average annual salary of Music Producers as $82,109.
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