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If you wish to study music, you are both fortunate and limited in terms of universities and schools, depending on how promising you want to be. There are many schools offering music programs, but only a handful have gained a reputation as outstanding educational pioneers, and those are the ones you should seek out.
So, If you’re just starting your quest for a place to study music, this list of the top 5 music schools and institutions should give you enough to get started.
University of Southern California Thornton School of Music
The Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California has regularly ranked in the top 1% of music schools since its founding in 1884. It is the city’s oldest cultural institution that is still operational. This school is the most important cultural resource in Los Angeles and is located in the USC University Park Campus.
The school has a repute for blending traditional conservatory-style education with a modern approach to teaching and learning music. Classical performance and composition, contemporary research, academic studies, and other programs are available at the institution.
Tuition Fee: $59, 260
Acceptance Rate – 20%
Notable Alumni: Herb Alpert, James Newton Howard, James Horner, etc.
New England Conservatory of Music (NEC)
The New England Conservatory of Music was founded in 1903 and is one of the oldest private institutions. It is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and is among the most prestigious musical institutions in the world. NEC offers bachelor’s degrees in classical performance, contemporary improvisation, jazz, composition, musicology, and theory. It also has graduate programs in accompaniment, vocal pedagogy, and conducting. Brass, strings, woodwinds, vocal performance, composition, and other instruments are also taught here.
Tuition Fee: $51, 440
Acceptance rate – 40%
Notable Alumni: Neal E. Boyd, Aoife O’Donovan, Vic Firth, etc.
The Juilliard School
Juilliard School was established in 1905 and is a private performing arts conservatory in New York. It provides graduate and undergraduate programs for various Instruments, vocal arts, jazz studies, historical performance, composition, and orchestral conducting, among other course subjects.
According to the school’s website, over 800 artists come from over 42 different nations and regions to study music at Julliard. The school’s faculty includes some of the best musicians in the world. Each faculty teaches a much smaller number of students, allowing pupils to get more customized attention. Students are encouraged to perform regularly in front of a live audience, and the school hosts more than 700 activities that students can attend and participate in.
Tuition Fee: $49, 260
Acceptance Rate – 8%
Notable Alumni: Barry Manilow, Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams, Itzhak Perlman, etc.
Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music is one of the largest and most prestigious colleges globally for contemporary music. It was founded in 1945 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The college offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs and is particularly known for jazz and modern American music.
Berklee offers courses in various modern and contemporary styles, including rock, hip-hop, salsa, reggae, heavy metal, bluegrass, and pop. Moreover, there are 12-week online courses in various subjects available on the Berklee Online website.
The faculty at Berklee consists of experts and award-winners, and the college frequently conducts seminars and workshops with leaders in the industry. The institution further boasts modern performance spaces, a high-tech recording studio, and other cutting-edge technologies. The campus environment is also quite diverse, with students coming in from over 95 nations.
Tuition Fee: $47, 230
Acceptance Rate – 51%
Notable Alumni: Melissa Etheridge, Quincy Jones, John Mayer, etc.
Yale School of Music (YSM)
Founded in 1894, Yale School of Music is another excellent musical school. It offers degrees like Master of Music, Master of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Musical Arts and joint Bachelor of Arts – Master of Music program. Moreover, the school also offers short-term programs like a Certificate in Performance and an Artist Diploma. Yale offers studies in instruments, including brass, guitar, harp, harpsichord, organ, etc. You can also study conducting and composition here.
The faculty at the institution are famous worldwide for their compositions, performances, and studies. Furthermore, the school provides various opportunities for students to showcase their work, including ensembles, orchestras, recitals, etc.
Tuition Fee: $34, 000
Acceptance Rate – 8%
Notable Alumni: Marco Beltrami, Michael Daugherty, Matt Brubeck, etc.
Studying music at a reputed school can help you hone your craft. While practicing and having your unique self-expression are key to making it as a musician, professional guidance does help you take the right steps. You also get to collaborate with many different people and even your professors, which will get those creative juices flowing. If you intend to become a trained musician, attending a music school will give you the knowledge and a platform and teach you the skills you need to succeed in the industry.
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Q1. What is the purpose of studying music in school?
Answer – Musical education improves learning abilities, communication skills, creativity, teamwork, discipline, cultural awareness, respect for others, and self-esteem.
Q2. Is it tough to get a music degree?
Answer – Earning a music degree is challenging and time-consuming, but it can be extremely rewarding. It takes years of training and practice with a reputed school, institution, or teacher.
Q3. Should I pursue music education in college?
Answer – You will almost probably require a degree if you want to work as a musician in an orchestra, university, opera, or even Broadway. The majority of musicians are working in a large professional orchestra, opera company, or tenured professorship hold degrees in music. However, if you wish to be a performing musician, not having formal education can also work for you.