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What Is The Best Music School In The Usa

Manhattan School Of Music

5 Best music schools in the world

Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Manhattan School of Music is a competitive environment that offers its students a number of valuable opportunities.

Founded in 1917, the conservatory is especially respected for its jazz department, which has produced a long roster of notable alumni, including Harry Connick, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Hugh Masakela, and Herbie Mann.

But the conservatory isn’t just about jazz. In fact, the Manhattan School of Music boasts strong programs all around, all of which are headed by a first-class faculty that includes members of the New York City Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

All students take classes in Music Theory, Music History, and a variety of performance arts. Popular degrees offered include Doctorate of Music Arts and Master of Music in Classical Studies, Jazz Arts, and Orchestra Performance, among others.

The school itself is moderately selective. Forty percent of applicants are admitted to join the undergraduate student body of about 400. First-year students are required to live in student housing, and approximately 55 percent of all students receive some sort of financial aid.

Lawrence University Conservatory Of Music

Fittingly starting our list with liberal arts colleges, Lawrence, like Oberlin, Bard, and Ithaca, are primarily undergraduate colleges.

Founded in 1894, Lawrence Conservatory of Music is among the oldest schools of music in the country. While the school may be over 125 years old, that does not mean they are not continuing to make news today.

Recently, one of their faculty members placed into the top 3 finalists of the hit NBC show The Voice. Vocalist and faculty member John Holiday is a rising star in music whose impressive resume includes appearances not only on television but also in major music festivals, including Spoleto and Glimmerglass music festivals.

Lawrences program excels in the arts and is a perfect fit for a student desiring an excellent music education in a premiere liberal arts setting.

University Of North Texas College Of Music Denton Tx

The University of North Texas is the largest college of music accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, making it one of the largest music conservatories in the world. Noted for outstanding programs all around, the school was the very first in the entire world to offer a degree in jazz performance. In fact, its jazz program is so highly lauded, the schools premiere jazz ensemble, the One OClock Band, has been actually nominated for six Grammy awards! While most top music colleges in the US host between 400-600 performances per academic year, the University of North Texas presents over 1,000. Truly, even considering the incredibly large enrollment of the music college, there is never a shortage of opportunity for music students to find an ensemble or concert to participate in. Students of North Texas can be found in many of the major professional ensembles throughout the world, as well as in coveted teaching positions throughout the globe.

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Royal Academy Of Music London

Address: Marylebone Road, 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 as well as Ph.D. degrees in Music.

Acceptance Rate: 10%

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Do You Want A Degree Or Diploma

10 of the Best Music Schools in the US (2018 Edition ...

This is a question that comes up frequently, especially with students from abroad who arent as familiar with our educational system. Some schools offer degrees, others offer diplomas, and some schools offer both.

The main difference between the two is that a bachelors degree adds a strong component of liberal arts, typically 30 credits of coursework, or about a quarter of all credits completed. A degree is considered more academically rigorous than a diploma and is seen as the more valuable credential.

There are also some jobs requiring a college degree that may not accept a diploma, such as teaching. Some people feel that a degree offers a broader and more well-rounded education.

Students might choose to study for a diploma because they feel unprepared or unwilling to tackle the academic courses. They may feel that the diploma is enough of a credential for what they want to do in their career. They might prefer to focus on studying music and nothing else.

Some choose the diploma because they have already earned a degree from another school. A diploma might also cost less than a degree, since there are fewer courses required. If you think youd like to attend graduate school someday, or be a Teacher, you will need at least a bachelors degree.

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Ready To Find The Perfect College Degree

In this ranking, we profile the top 20 best music schools.

Students with raw talent and a passion for music often have career aspirations of becoming professional performers, whether playing in a symphony or orchestra or composing songs for famous musicians. Depending on your needs as a musician and artist, different music schools offer different programs. There is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing the right conservatory. The schools in this ranking were selected for a variety of reasons, including the strength of faculty, educational excellence, reputation with major publications, and affordability.

Top 20 Best Music Schools Methodology

We looked at over 55 music conservatories and accredited colleges and universities with thriving music schools, as listed by the Center for Educational Statistics College Navigator. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation , rankings with U.S. News and World Report , and affordability. Schools are ranked according to raw affordability.

Below are the results of our top 20 best music schools.

Eastman School Of Music:

The Eastman School of Music, located in Rochester, New York, is one of the top music schools in the United States. Industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman founded it in 1921 to provide musical education for all students regardless of their financial situation. Eastman School offers undergraduate degrees in performance or composition and graduates degrees, including masters and doctoral programs.

The school also has an extensive artist diploma program for talented musicians who are not pursuing a degree but want to further develop their skills through private lessons with world-renowned faculty members. Eastman alumni include composers Charles Ives and Howard Hanson, jazz pianists Bill Evans and Dick Hyman, violinists Michael Rabin.

Location: Rochester, New York, United States


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Jacobs School Of Music At Indiana University

Location: Bloomington, INNotable Alumni: Joshua Bell, Carl Broemel

It may not be quite as impressive as some other schools on this list and it doesnt carry the same reputation to one day help you get noticed by employers simply because of a famous name but the Jacobs School of Music, which is based at Indiana University, offers the greatest chance of acceptance for many up-and-coming artists. Many of the universities Ive already mentioned only admit a small group of new applicants every year, while the Jacobs School has almost 2,000 students at any given time.

As a public university, this option is often offered at a lower price than many private choices, especially for those from the region.

The 30 Best Music Schools & Conservatories In The Us

Music Schools USA vs Europe: Differences in Study Culture, Finance & our Experiences-@Sumina Studer

For most musicians, attending a college or conservatory is the start of a productive career in the arts.

Studying music in college comes with several discernible benefits. Among these benefits include 1-on-1 instruction with a faculty member in music. The opportunity to learn with a faculty member can significantly accelerate a students musical progress.

Additionally, many music schools serve as microcosms of the music industry. This means that students can participate in ensembles, concerts, and intellectual discussions in a way that would be hard to do without any prior established connections.

With over 600 music schools and departments in the US alone, it can be challenging to navigate what schools are worth a familys hard-earned savings.

Treat this as a guide to starting your journey towards finding the best music schools. In this list, we only discuss undergraduate music programs.

Without further ado, here are our picks for the top 30 music schools in the country.

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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, 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.

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Top Universities With Good Music Programs

Aside from Yale, Peabody , USC, and NYU, most of the schools in this article are great for music but not necessarily top-ranked for academics overall.

In this section, however, we wanted to briefly mention four schools that are renowned for their academics with strong undergraduate music programs. These music schools aren’t at the same level as the 15 ranked schools, but they’re great options for students who want to pursue non-music and music majors at a high level.

NorthwesternBienen School of Music

  • Location: Evanston, IL
  • Acceptance rate: around 10%
  • Student body size: around 400 undergraduate students
  • Tuition: $60,276
  • Degree: BM, BA in Music, or BS in Music can do a dual degree with another undergraduate program at Northwestern.
  • Degree: BFA, BS, Music Ed certificate can cross-register for non-music Carnegie Mellon classes.

Statue of Johann Strauss, Vienna.

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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, 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 Oberlins popular programs include the Bachelor of Music, Performance Diploma, and Master of Music Conducting.

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Vanderbilt University Blair School Of Music

USA Symphony Apr. 5

According to the Princeton Review, Vanderbilt University ranks among the top 5 happiest schools in the nation.

With its location in Nashville, students at Blair gain close contact with the music industry itself. Indeed, many of the nations top music companies and venues find themselves headquartered in the aptly named Music Row, a historic district of Nashville complete with record labels and music publishing houses.

One incredibly unique program of Vanderbilt is the BMI Composer-In-Residence program. Sponsored by Broadcast Music Incorporated, successful composers are brought to Vanderbilt every year to work with students. Past composers-in-residence include Pulitzer winners William Bolcom, John Harbison, and Joseph Schwantner.

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Key Takeaways For The Best Music Schools In The Usa

Becoming a professional musician requires dedication, training, and hard work. If you’re sure that the only thing you want to do with the rest of your life is be a musician, then you should apply to music school.

The type of music you want to study, what aspect of music you want to study, and how intensely you want to study it all affect what schools you should apply to.

The schools in this article are a good start if you’re looking for schools that are nationally renowned, but you may find that there are other less well-known music schools that better suit your future plans or have teachers you really want to study with.

Going to one of the best music schools in the country does give you a little bit of a name-recognition edge and a networking edge, but in the end your hard work and talent are what will make you a successful musician, no matter where you end up going to school.

Music! It’s pretty great.

The Absolute #1 Best Music School For You

This is a guest post from Matthew Ardizzone, Eastmans Associate Dean of Admissions & Enrollment Management.

Eastman admissions director on why college rankings get his goat

US News & World Report recently came out with its highly anticipated annual ranking of colleges and universities. Now that music schools are no longer separately ranked by the Report, I tend to view this list with even greater bemusement than I once did. Sure, I look to see how Eastmans parent institution, the University of Rochester, comes out and how the Princeton vs Harvard contest for 1st place played out. But then I cant help but ask myself so what? Whats in a ranking anyway? And how do they help you, the college-bound student, find the best schools for you?

Although there is no single high profile ranking that all music schools aspire to dominate, these other rankings still infect the world of music admissions, unfortunately causing mostly confusion. Two recent examples are USA Todays ranking of music colleges and Musical Americas Guide to Music Schools, which I should hasten to clarify is really a listing of advertisers and not a ranking.

Since no one is going to compile a personalized top-ten list of best schools for you, honing in on your list will require some work on your end. Asking yourself these questions might help get you started:

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Berklee College Of Music:

The Berkeley College of Music provides a unique and prestigious higher education experience for musicians, singers, songwriters, producers, composers, and business students. Founded in 1945 after Lawrence Burke taught guitar to Boston students from his apartment, the colleges goal is to enrich lives through music. The institution has since become one of the worlds leading schools for contemporary music, with more than 4,400 students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries pursuing degrees in music in an incredibly diverse range. There are many opportunities to get involved on campus, both inside and outside the classroom, with the availability.


Mannes School Of Music

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  • Location: New York, NY
  • Tuition: $49,980

The Mannes School of Music is part of The New School, located near Union Square in Manhattan. Smaller and less competitive than the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes is nonetheless a great option if you want to study music in a New York conservatory setting.

Because Mannes is part of The New School, students can also cross-register at other colleges at The New School.

Most of the undergraduate programs at Mannes are performance-focused, but there is one major that stands out as unusual at the undergraduate level: conducting and theory. Most music schools do not allow undergraduates to major in conducting, so if that is your primary area of musical interest, Mannes is a good choice.

Here’s a brief rundown of the undergraduate music majors available at Mannes:


The Herb Alpert School of Music is one of several programs at the California Institute of the Arts . This is distinct from the nearby Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, so make sure you don’t confuse the two schools.

CalArts’ music program is notable because rather than getting a Bachelor of Music degree or Bachelor of Arts of Science in Music, you’ll graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music. This distinction reflects the fact that the music education you get at CalArts will be less what you’d get at a traditional music conservatory and more of an interdisciplinary experience.


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The Top Music Schools & Conservatories In The Us

Ranking Methodology

All of the schools ranked are highly reputable within music education, offering a variety of programs with affiliated successful professors and alumni, making ranking challenging. Nevertheless, this article attempts to take into consideration overall reputation, acceptance rate, diversity of programs offered, and success of alumni in this listing.

The New England Conservatory Of Music

Boston, Massachusetts

Undergraduate Tuition: $48,750

The New England Conservatory of Music is considered to be one of the top music schools in the US. What sets the New England Conservatory school apart from others is its affiliation with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Interestingly, NEC faculty and alumni make up half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. There are approximately 750 graduate and undergraduate college students attending NEC. A wide range of programs help prepare students for careers in music. Some of the programs include composition, jazz and contemporary improvisation, orchestral and wind ensemble conducting, and voice and opera. NEC is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report lists the conservatory as a top art school.

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