It’s very possible that music is in your blood. If it is, the best thing you can do for yourself is to attend a college where you not only can get the best training in music but also network with people profoundly connected to the music industry.
School isn’t just about learning how to play music or write songs. It’s also about offering you practical ways to connect with the industry. Whether you’re a classical musician, a songwriter, or an audio engineer, there’s a school out there that will give you all the tools and the connections you need to take your music from dream to reality.
Let’s take a look at some of the best music schools around.
The ultimate in music schools, Julliard is an art school with a long creative history. It consistently ranks as one of the best music and art schools in the world. It teaches a variety of music, dance, and art disciplines, plus it’s attached to the Lincoln Center.
It has some of the most prestigious live music in the world with a focus on opera and classical music. If you’re looking for contemporary music instruction, this might not be the choice for you, but if you’re a classical or orchestral music player or composer, there’s really no better school.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Berklee is more focused on contemporary music than classical and orchestral. It is home to more hitmakers than any other music school and is located in a trendy part of Boston.
Rock, pop, and other modern genres of music take center stage here. Although it does offer a foundation of music theory and composition, it won’t be the ideal place for someone looking to compose in the classical arena.
If you want to make strides in modern, radio music, this is going to be the school that offers you networking opportunities to get there.
3. New England Conservatory
Another staple of the Boston college scene, New England Conservatory is another classical music giant. Its faculty is some of the most accomplished classical musicians in the world, many of them holding positions both at the school and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Although it focuses on solid theory in classical music, it does boast a unique curriculum designed to help musicians take charge of their careers. Musical Entrepreneurship means not only do you get a world-class foundation in music, but you also leave equipped to make a living with that music and not just be a starving artist.
4. Curtis Institute of Music
Located in Philadelphia, this classical music school rivals Julliard as one of the top schools in the country. Even if you’ve never heard of it, as soon as you get into the world of classical and orchestral music, the name is bound to come up.
Many of the school’s alumni go on to hold top positions in major cities’ orchestras, and it’s one of the most competitive music schools in the entire country with less than five percent ever reaching its doors.
One benefit Curtis has that others don’t is that it offers free tuition, a tradition that’s been in existence for the past 85 years. Students who graduate here, graduate without any tuition debts or loans.
5. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
Indiana might not be a place you think of when you think music, but the Jacobs School offers one of the best vocal performance programs, percussion programs, music composition, and music conducting programs in the world.
It stages at least six operatic performances every school year when most schools only do one or two. It offers hundreds of other opportunities for students to perform in their chosen discipline each year, and the faculty is some of the best in the world.
It isn’t tuition-free, but it does offer very affordable tuition for both undergraduate and graduate students because it’s a state school. In addition, it provides well over five million dollars each year to help students subsidize their tuition costs.
It has a diverse faculty, many of them world-renowned composers, pianists, singers, and composers. It’s a more affordable option without sacrificing the prestige of the degree.
6. University of Southern California Thornton School of Music
Thornton is known for its relationship with the film industry and students wishing to pursue a career in film composition should definitely attend here. It also produces some of the most competitive studios in the nation for classical majors.
It really shines in the world of composition and performance. Its notable performance programs include classical guitar, cello, and clarinet. The proximity to Los Angeles makes this a powerhouse for students who want to end up in the film industry at some point, so don’t miss the chance to blend the two interests.
7. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance
The University of Michigan has not only a well-rounded music program but musical theater as well. It consistently produces alumni that head to Broadway and professional symphonies all over the world.
It has a state of the art music production facility for students looking to get into the technical side of things, and the school has a strong tradition of music but also liberal arts programs. It isn’t as insular as some of the other conservatories on the list, but it will offer music student a chance to get a well-rounded education not only in music but also in other areas.