Top Music Schools of 2016

2016: Top Music SchoolsAre you looking for a music school to attend, but struggling to choose the right one?

DMN has put together a list of the top music schools to make your selection process easier.  There is no particular order to the ‘best’ music school, as they offer different experiences and have expertise in different areas.

The best school matches your focus, whether that’s musical instrument and performance, music technology, or business-focused areas.  We’ll first start off by going through the top traditional colleges, universities and schools to study musical instruments and performance.

Juilliard School

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The Juilliard School is located in the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City.  The school was established in 1905 and is now one of the most widely known and well-established music schools.

An array of well-known musicians started their music education at this establishment, and a degree from Juilliard is a strong stepping stone into the business (including coveted orchestral slots).

Tuition:

$39,720

Tuition is paid in two installments.  Approximately 70% of full-time undergraduate students will receive financial aid from the school.

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Arts, Masters, PhD.

Majors:

Brass, Collaborative Piano, Composition, Guitar, Harp, Historical Performance, Jazz studies, Orchestral conducting, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Voice/Opera and Woodwinds.

Admittance:

6.7%

This rate is approximate 60% lower than that of other music schools.

Competition to gain a place is fierce and only the most elite gain entry after a rigorous application and audition phase.

Alumni:

Susan Alexander-Max, Helen Armstrong, Lera Auerbach, Jenny Oaks Baker, Huáscar Barradas, Enrique Batiz, Bob Berg, Greg Anderson, Şahan Arzruni, Nathaniel Ayers, Michael Balzary, Jonathan Batiste, Robert Becker, Hahn-Bin, Harold Blair.

Juilliard alumni have collectively won more than 105 Grammy Awards, 62 Tony Awards, 47 Emmy Awards, 26 Bessie Awards, 24 Academy Awards, 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and 12 National Medals for the Arts.

More information on alumni can be found here.

Other useful facts:

The school trains about 850 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music.  There are no part-time classes all degree programs are full-time.

81.1% of people graduate, a very high percentage.  The majority of those move on to very successful careers.

Students cannot major in two different divisions, for example Music and Drama, although a musician may qualify to major in more than one instrument if an application and audition is approved in each area.

All first-time college students are required to live in the residence hall; first-time college students are always assigned to a double room.

Yale School of Music

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Yale School Of Music is located on College Street in New Haven, Connecticut in the United States.  The school of music was established in 1854, with Yale a name associated with academic prestige.

The School of Music is a worldwide leader in educating creative individuals, and is the only school of music to claim a place in the Ivy league.

Tuition:

$30,000

A full tuition scholarship of $30,000 and an additional stipend will be made to all students who are admitted to the Yale School of Music with the exception of those receiving awards from other agencies.

Living expenses (excluding tuition) for 2015–2016 are estimated to be $15,036.  Students may not receive more than four years of scholarship and fellowship awards from the Yale School of Music.

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Arts, Masters, Ph.D.

Majors:

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Percussion, Harp, Guitar, Piano, Organ, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Opera, Early Music, Composition, Conducting.

Admittance:

8%

This rate is significantly lower than the admittance rate of other music schools.

While it is slightly easier to get in over Juilliard, Yale is still considered very difficult and the application and audition process is just as rigorous.

Alumni:

Suzana Bartal, Christine Gangelhoff, Joanna Wu, Vadim Serebryany, Brain Vu, Jonathon Brandani, Dmitry Yablonsky, amongst several others.

Other useful facts:

Yale School of Music has a highly selective admission process only admitting approximately 200 students.

Style of Music is Classical and Contemporary.

Approximately 63% of students are male and 37% female.

Manhattan School of Music

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The Manhattan School of Music is located on the Upper West Side of New York City and was founded in 1917.  It houses a diverse student population, with 75% of students coming from outside the New York State and approximately 30% coming from outside the United States altogether.

Tuition:

$44,100

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), Professional studies certificate, Artist diploma.

Majors:

Voice, Instrumental Performance, Jazz, and Composition, Master of Music:Voice, Instrumental Performance, Jazz, Composition, Accompanying, Orchestral Performance, and Contemporary Performance.

Alumni:

The Manhattan School of Music has a large number of notable alumni across Classical, Jazz and Commercial music, as well as Entrepreneurs and Industry Leaders.

To name a few: Kate Aldrich, David Amram, Gail Archer, Carolyn Banham, Ned Barth, Evangeline Benedetti, Justin Bischof, Michael Abene, Angelo Badalamenti, Judith Blazer, Ron Carter, Harry Connick Jr., Justin DiCioccio, Fred Bronstein, Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz, Michael Dabroski, Howard Herring.

Admittance:

45%

Other useful facts:

The Manhattan School of Music has 22 classrooms, 104 practice rooms and 9 performance spaces.

The school will accept an application for two majors, though the applicant will incur an application fee for both and if a place is secured on both, the prospective student may only choose one in which to enroll.

First and second year undergraduate students are required to live on campus with freshmen sharing double rooms, and sophomores having the option of living in a single room.

Royal College of Music

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The Royal College of Music is located in South Kensington, London, UK and was established in 1882.  The college is one of the four conservatories of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and a member of Conservatoires UK.

The Royal College of Music is conveniently located in central London opposite the Royal Albert Hall where some of the world’s leading artists have performed.

Tuition:

Bachelor of Music: Full Time (EU): £9000; Overseas: £15,500

Masters in Music – Full Time (EU): £9980; Overseas: £15,500

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Music, Masters, PhD

Majors:

Undergraduate: BMus(Hons) degree, BSc in Physics and Musical Performance.

Postgraduate: MPerf or MMus in Performance, MComp or MMus in Composition, MSc in Performance Science.

Alumni:

Notable alumni include: Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Leopold Stokowski, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Roger Norrington, Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Thomas Allen, Sarah Walker, Alfie Boe, Liz Watts, Sarah Connolly, Sophie Bevan, James Galway, John Lill and Natalie Clein.

Admittance:

No published information as of yet.

Other useful facts:

The Royal College of Music has approximately 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The RCM has some great performance spaces:

Britten Theatre – one of London’s best-loved opera venues.  It has an orchestra pit for 80 musicians, a Steinway grand piano, four dressing rooms, a seating capacity of 400, and a recently refurbished bar and foyer.

Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall – with two Steinway grand pianos and a capacity of 400.

Recital Hall – more of an intimate performance space.

RCM Museum of Music – an intimate setting for chamber and solo performances, talks and lectures.

Parry Rooms –  includes a grand piano, a harpsichord and an organ, and has views of the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Academy of Music

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The Royal Academy of Music is located in Marylebone in London, and was founded in 1822.  The Academy is world-renowned and trains approximately 700 students from 50 different countries across a range of degree programs.

Tuition:

Bachelor of Music – UK/EU – £9000, International – £20,700

Masters (except musical theatre) – UK/EU – £10,795, International – £21,475

Masters (musical theatre) – UK/EU – £14,200, International – £18,300

PhD – UK/EU – £6045, International – £13,260

Advanced diploma (Royal Academy Opera) – UK/EU – £17,000, International – £17,000

Advanced diploma (Performance) – UK/EU – £9,885, International – £19,600

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Music, Masters, PhD, Advanced diploma, Professional diploma.

Majors:

Vocal, Opera, Orchestral instrument, Timpani and Percussion, Strings, Woodwind, Brass, Piano, Composition, Jazz, Historical Performance, Musical Theatre, Conducting, Choral Conducting, Harp, Guitar, Organ, Accordion.

Alumni:

John Barborelli, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Dennis Brain, Edward Gardner, Katherine Jenkins, Clifford Curzon, Lesley Garrett, Evelyn Glennie, Elton John, Annie Lenox, Moura Lympany, Michael Nyman, Simon Rattle, Arthur Sullivan, Eva Turner, Henry Wood.

Admittance:

No published information as of yet.

Other useful facts:

Over 90% of recent graduates are actively pursuing a career in the music industry.

The academy of music has over 100 teaching, practice studios, rehearsal and lecture rooms

There is a 100-seat recital hall, a 400-seat concert venue, a theatre and several other large concert rooms.

There are electronic and recording studios.

Oberlin Conservatory

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The Oberlin Conservatory is located on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio in the United States and was founded in 1865.

Tuition:

$49,928

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Music, Performance Diploma, Master of Contemporary Chamber Music, Master of Music in Conducting, Master of Music in Historical Performance, Master of Music in Teaching, Artist Diploma, Artist Diploma in Piano Technology, The Double Degree Program.

Majors:

Performance: piano, organ, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, early instruments.

Composition: Technology in Music and Related Arts

Jazz Studies, Music History, Double Major in Piano Performance and Vocal Accompanying.

Alumni:

The Oberlin has numerous notable alumni, including Benjamin Bagby, MaVynee Betsch, Chris Brokaw, Brain Chase, Claire Chase, James David Christie, Stanley Cowell, Corey Dargel, Dorothy DeLay, Jeremy Denk, R. Nathaniel Dett, Peter Evans, Sullivan Fortner, Denyce Graves, Al Haig, John Kennedy.

Admittance:

25 -30%

Other useful facts:

Oberlin occupies four interconnected buildings, with one of these buildings housing 150 practice rooms.

There is a 501-seat hall auditorium, a 645-seat hall for recitals and recording sessions, 1,200 seat performance space, a 250-seat performance space, a 120-seat performance space, a 144-seat performance space, a 150-seat facility, as well as a student-run performance and meeting space.

New England Conservatory

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The New England Conservatory is based in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States and was established in 1867.

Tuition:

Bachelor of Music, Undergraduate Diploma, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts – Full-time tuition (per year): $44,300

Graduate Diploma – Full-time tuition (per year): $40,510

Dual Degree Programs – Tufts/NEC, portion of full-time tuition billed by NEC (per year): $20,930, Harvard/NEC, portion of full-time tuition billed by NEC (per year): $8,655

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Music (BM), Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), Undergraduate Diploma (UD), Graduate Diploma (GD), Artist Diploma (AD)

Majors:

Strings: Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass, Harp, Guitar, Woodwinds: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone, Brass: Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Percussion, Piano, Vocal Performance, Jazz Studies, Contemporary Improvisation, Composition.

Alumni:

Excelsa Quartet, Monica Germino, Darryl Harper, Warren Jones, Sooyun Kim, Kate Lemmon, Allegra Levy, Luciana Souza, Matthew Szymanski, Stephen Upshaw, Jonathan Vinocour, Linda Watson.

Admittance:

29% (2014)

Other useful facts:

The New England Conservatory has approximately 750 graduate and undergraduate College students from 46 states and 39 countries.

There are 400 musician-teachers at the conservatory.

There is a 1013-seat concert hall acclaimed as one of the world’s most acoustically perfect performance spaces, a 260-seat concert hall, a 180-seat recital hall with proscenium stage and balcony, and two other 100-seat recital halls.

Curtis Institute of Music

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The Curtis Institute of Music is located in Philadelphia in the United States and was founded in 1924.  An abundance of successful musicians have graduated from Curtis and have gone on to have long-standing careers in the music industry. 

The performance-side of music is highly encouraged at Curtis, offering a direct link to life as a professional musician.

Curtis is a highly competitive institute for music with a very low acceptance rate.

Tuition:

Undergraduate – $39,890

Graduate – $51,309.

The Curtis Institute of Music provides merit-based, full-tuition scholarships to all undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of their financial situation.

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Post-baccalaurette program, Professional studies certificate,

Majors:

Brass, Composition, Conducting, Guitar, Harp, Organ, Piano, Strings, String Quartet Program, Timpani and Percussion, Vocal Studies, Woodwinds.

Alumni:

Aaron Apaza, Abraham Feder, Achilles Liarmakapoulos, Adam Iascone, Adedeji Ogunfolo, Adrian Anantawan, Agnes Marchione, Aika Dan, Alexander George, Alice Soria-Cadoret, Allegra Gabriella Smith, Amanda Handley.

Admittance:

4.8% (2014)

Other useful facts:

Curtis limits enrollment to about 175 students.  The school accepts just enough students to maintain a full symphony orchestra and an opera program.

Curtis faculty is extremely selective at auditions with an average acceptance rate around 4 percent. Curtis is among the most selective schools in the United States.

All Curtis students receive merit-based full-tuition scholarships.

There is no minimum or maximum age to audition for Curtis, though the majority of Curtis students are of college age.

All keyboard, conducting and composition students are lent grand pianos for use throughout their studies at Curtis. Curtis currently owns 91 Steinways.

Eastman School of Music

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Eastman School of Music is located in Rochester, New York in the United States, and was founded in 1921.

The University is comprised of five buildings in downtown Rochester with the main hall featuring a 3,094 seat theatre and a 455 seat theatre.

Tuition:

$49,600 – Undergraduate

$34,100 – Graduate

The School makes application possible for all interested prospective students.  Those applicants who are unable to pay the application fee may request a fee waiver on the basis of financial hardship.

Degree Types: 

Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Master of Arts, Doctor of Music Arts, Doctor of Philosophy.

Majors:

Piano accompanying, Chamber music, Composition, Conducting and Ensembles, Jazz studies, Piano, String, Harp, Guitar, Music theory, Voice, Opera, Winds, Brass, Percussion.

Alumni:

Martin Amlin, Chuck Mangione, Gerry Niewood, Michael Coyle, Katia Escalera, Scott Healey, Eric Ewazen, Donals Hunsberger, Todd Wilson, Michael Walsh, Maria Scheider, Eileen Malone, Robert Morris.

Admittance:

13% (2011)

Other useful facts:

The Eastman School of Music has approximately 900 students: 500 undergraduates and 400 graduates.

International students make up 25% of their total student population.

USC Thornton School of Music

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USC Thornton School of Music is located in Southern California, Los Angeles in the United States and was founded in 1884.

Tuition:

$49,464 – Undergraduate

$26,656 – Masters and Doctoral

$13,328 – Graduate certificate

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Arts, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts, Graduate Certificate in Performance, Artist Diploma.

Majors:

Classical performance and composition: choral and sacred music, classical guitar, composition, keyboard collaborative arts, keyboard studies, organ studies, strings, vocal arts (classical voice/opera), winds, percussion.

Contemporary music: jazz studies, music industry, popular music, studio/jazz guitar, scoring for motion pictures and television.

Scholarly and professional studies: arts leadership, early music performance, music teaching and learning, musicology, outreach, polish music centre.

Admittance:

20%

Alumni:

Christian Grases, Sean Friar, Ted Hearne, Susan Feldman, Charles Koster, John Daversa, Sara Gazarek, Antoinette Perry, Anne Farnsworth, Richard Kraft, Paul Ellison, Alex Miller, Tommy Johnson, Deborah Lurie.

Other useful facts:

Thornton was one of the first universities to offer an undergraduate program in Music Industry, and is still regarded as one of the best.

At the 2007 Grammy Awards, four alumni and four faculty members received awards in addition to one faculty member receiving a special honor.  At the 2009 Grammy Awards, faculty and alumni won six awards.

The school of music gives its students 24 hour access to practice rooms.

Beyond these music schools highlighted above, there are music schools that offer a wider range of music topics beyond instruments, i.e. Music Business, Music Education, Music Technology, Music Therapy etc.

These are outlined below.

Berklee College of Music

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Berklee College of Music is Located in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States and was founded in 1945. The college, most commonly referred to as Berklee is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world.

Berklee offered the world’s first baccalaureate studies in Jazz, Rock, Electric Guitar, Film Scoring, Songwriting, Turntables, and Electronic Production, among several other fields of study.

The college is an innovative and contemporary education facility for a wide variety of people wanting to gain a career in the music industry.

Tuition:

$40,220

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Arts, Masters.

Majors:

Composition, Contemporary writing and production, Electronic production and design, Film scoring, Jazz composition, Music Business and Management, Music Education, Music Production and Engineering, Music Therapy, Performance, Professional Music, Songwriting.

Admittance:

32% undergraduate.

37% graduate.

Alumni:

Juhani Aulteonen, Sheryl Bailey, Will Calhoun, Henry Kanowski, Elliot Easton, Donald Fagen, Joe Guese, Keither Harris, Natalie Maines, Chris Opperman, Andrew Palmer, Park Bom, Raghav Sachar, Brad Whitford, Tye Zamora.

266 alumni Grammy awards.

Other useful facts:

There are approximately 4,565 full-time students.

The average class size is 12.

There are 12 majors and 21 minors to choose from.

The college has 302 practice rooms.

Steinhardt School of Music – New York University

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New York University is located in central New York City in the United States and was established in 1831.  The university has a diverse population of students from all different backgrounds, many of whom are international students from all over the world.

The university offers great prospects, with 95% of graduates gaining employment with six months of graduation or in graduate school post commencement.

Tuition:

$47,750

The tuition is higher than most of the other top music schools, but this is expected for a University in a major city.

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Masters, PhD.

Majors:

Brass, Woodwind, String, Percussion, Jazz, Piano, Music Theatre, Classical voice and opera studies, Music composition, Scoring for film and multimedia, Songwriting, Music Business, Music Technology, Music Education, Music Therapy,

Alumni:

Jennifer Goode Cooper, Michael Craig, Natalie Hill, Haviland Stillwell, Douglas Ullman, Elena Shaddow, Katharine Heaton, Kelvin Moon Loh, Nic Rouleau, Kevin Michael Murphy, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kenny Francoeur.

Admittance:

35.5 % (Fall 2014)

Other useful facts:

New York University has the highest number of international students in America.

There are full-time and part-time undergraduate courses available.

77% of student graduate within four years.

Frost School of Music – University of Miami

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The University of Miami is located in Coral Gables, Florida in the United States and was founded in 1926.  The Frost School of Music is the name of the university’s music school and was one of the first schools that the university created.

The Frost School of Music offers a wide range of music subjects to study on both the instrument and performance side as well as the business and technology side.  The school was actually one of the  first in the nation to offer the innovative degree in Music Business and Entertainment Industries, as well as a hands-on music therapy program.

Tuition:

$44,400

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Masters of Music, PhD,

Majors:

Music Business/Industry, Music Education, Music Engineering, Composition, Music Therapy, History & Musicology, Instrumental Music.

Alumni:

John Easterlin, Steve Bailey, Elizabeth Caballero, Sandra Lopez, Michael Kovins, Carmen Lundy, Rosa Vento, Curtis Rayam, Dawnn Lewis, Bruce Ferden, Johanna Meier, Joel McNeely, Lewis Cleale, Bruce Hornsby, John Secada, Lari White, Steve Morse (Dixie Dreggs, Deep Purple), Will Lee (Late Show with David Letterman Band), Danny Gottlieb (Pat Metheny Group), Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen).

Admittance:

38%

Other useful facts:

The Frost School of Music has a 600-seat performance venue which holds about 100 concerts a year.

There is 147-seat recital hall.

There is also a 22,500 square-foot music library housing everything from sound recordings, musical scores, musical manuscripts, musical theatre archives and research collections.

 Jacobs School of Music – Indiana University

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Jacobs School of Music is located in Bloomington, Indiana, in the United States and was founded in 1921.  The School of Music is one of the largest consisting of approximately 1600 students, half of which are undergraduates and the other half are graduates.

Tuition:

Master of Music – $36,884

PhD – $26,785

Artist diploma / Performer diploma – $33,169

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts, Master of Music, PhD.

Majors:

Music Performance: Early music instrumental, Early music vocal, Guitar, Harp, Orchestral instrument, Organ, Piano, Voice, Woodwind.
Music: Ballet, Composition, Jazz studies, Recording Arts.
Music Education: Choral Emphasis, General Emphasis, Instrumental (band), Instrumental (String).
Musical Theatre.

Alumni:

David Baker, Bruce Bransby, David Efron, Josef Gingold, Margaret Harshaw, Howard Klug, Martha Lipton, Elizabeth Mannion, Susann McDonald, Jeff Nelsen, John Rommel, Leonard Slatkin, Violet Verdy, Slyvia McNair, Kathryn Lucas.

Admittance:

25%

Other useful facts:

Jacobs School of Music is made up of five buildings which include offices, studios, rehearsal and practice rooms .

There are 100 offices/studios, and 170 rehearsal/practice rooms.

There is a European style opera theatre with 1460 seats a room for a 100-piece orchestra.

Peabody Institute – John Hopkins University

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The Peabody Institute is located in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States and was founded in 1857.  Peabody was one of America’s first conservatories of music and has become one of the most prestigious over the years.

Tuition:

Degree program – $42,640

Artist Diploma/ Graduate Performance Diploma – $36,540

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Graduate Performance Diploma, Doctor of Musical Arts, Five year Bachelor of Music/Master of Music program, Artist Diploma.

Majors:

Brass: Trumpet, French horn, Trombone, Tuba, Euphonomia.

Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double bass.

Woodwinds: Flute, Picollo, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, Bassoon.

Chamber music, Composition, Computer music, Conducting, Early music, Ensemble arts: vocal accompanying, Guitar, Harp, Humanities, Jazz, Music Education, Music Entrepreneurship, Musicology, Music Theory, Opera, Organ, Pedagogy, Percussion, Piano, Recording Arts & Sciences, Voice

Alumni:

André Watts, James Morris, Richard Cassilly, Dominick Argento.

Admittance:

51%

Other useful facts:

There are four studios that have some of the best microphone equipment.  Equipment includes brands likes: Neumann, Sennheiser, AKG, Audio Technica, amongst several other high-quality brands.

Undergraduate students are required to live in the dorms for their first two years at Peabody.

Peabody students are automatically considered for scholarships as well as need-based financial assistance. Though they are awarded based on the merit, talent, financial need of the student and needs of the school for a balanced ensemble.

Herb Alpert School of Music – California Institute of Arts

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California Institute of Arts, commonly referred to as CalArts, is located in the Valencia neighbourhood of Santa Clarita, California in the United States.   The school was founded and created in the early 1960’s by Walt Disney.

Tuition:

$42,260

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Musical Arts.

Majors:

Performer/Composer program, Composition program, Experimental sound practices, Jazz Studies, Winds, Brass, Percussion, Guitar, Harp, Piano/Keyboard, Collaborative keyboard, Strings, Voice arts, Balinese and Javanese Music and Dance , North Indian Music , World percussion, World music, Music Technology, Music arts.

Alumni:

John Luther Adams, Sharon Cheslow, Julia Holter, Eric Lindley, Salvador Santana, Matthew Setzer, Akira Rabelais, Paul Livingston, Roger Miller, Gail Ann Dorsey, Ravi Coltrane, Francis Awe, Ariel Pink.

Admittance:

27.5% (2015)

Other useful facts:

International students make up approximately 17.6% of the student population at CalArts.

All non-US students must fill out a ‘declaration of finances’ form to verify that they sufficient financial resources to pay all educational and living expenses while attending the California Institute of the Arts.

Financial aid for international students is very limited and highly competitive.

The Los Angeles Recording School

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The Los Angeles Recording School is located in Hollywood, Los Angeles in the United States, and was founded in 1985.  With the location being in Hollywood, the school offers students unparalleled access to the entertainment industry.

Tuition:

$35, 470

Degree Types:

Associate of science degree program.

Majors:

Recording Arts, Music production, Entertainment Business, Transmedia design, Music listening and Identification, Music Theory, Music composition and Programming, Creative writing, Sequencing technologies, Songwriting and development, Psychology of play, Musical arrangement, Advanced Music composition and Programming, Quantitative Principles, Digital recording principles, Mixing concepts and techniques, Music copyright and business, Music Production for Media, Music Business Management, Advanced Production and Industry skills.

Alumni:

Ari Levine.

Admittance:

84%

Other useful facts:

Students are required to purchase a computer and software in addition to tuition.  Technology is configured in accordance with program specifications.  The primary component of the laptop & equipment fee is an Apple MacBook Pro computer.

At the LA Recording School, there is an array of great equipment, studios and labs with the some of the best technology available.

IPR (Institute of Production and Recording)

2016: Top Music Schools(Image via IPR website)

IPR College of Creative Arts is located in Minneapolis in the United States, and was founded in 2002 by a group of professionals who gained experience directly in the music industry across a wide range of sectors such as music production, recording, engineering and entertainment business.

Tuition:

$38,220

Degree Types:

Bachelors degree.

Majors:

Applied marketing and management, Audio production and engineering, Live sound and show production, Music and entertainment business, Sound design for visual media.

Alumni:

Nick Leisenheimer, Bryan Mengy.

Admittance:

Not reported yet.

Other useful facts:

The student population is mainly made up of males.  Approximately 15% of the total student body is female.

IPR has nine recording studios that serve as classrooms and training areas, and has over 120 computer workstations.

IPR’s instructors include Grammy winners/nominees, Gold and Platinum Record recipients, Clio and Cannes award winners, certified expert-level instructors and other nationally recognized/published experts.

Associate degree programs at IPR are two academic years in length. Students can usually complete their programs in 18 to 24 months of full-time enrolment.

Full Sail University

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Full Sail University is located in Winter Park, Florida in the United States and was founded in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio before it got re-located to Florida in 1980.

Tuition:

Music Production/Recording Arts/ Show Production  – $600/credit

Music business – $467/credit

Degree Types:

Bachelors degree.

Majors:

Audio production, Music production, Recording Arts, Show production, Audio production certificate, Music Business, Entertainment Business.

Alumni:

Gary Rizzo, Sebastien Krys, Phil Tan, Darren Lynn Bousman, JD Harmeya.

Admittance:

Not reported yet.

Other useful facts:

The school is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando, 35 minutes from Disney and Universal Studios, one hour from Cape Canaveral and the Atlantic beaches, and less than two hours from the Gulf of Mexico.

The University has approximately 15,000 students enrolled.

Full Sail doesn’t have any on-campus accommodation but they have an office that helps students to organize living arrangements.

SAE Institute

Top Music Schools of 2016

The SAE Institute is comprised of a number of campuses across Australia, Europe, Asia, the United States, and several other locations in the world.

SAE was founded in 1976 in Sydney in Australia.   The University expanded across Australia until 1980 and then started growing campuses in Europe and beyond.

Tuition:

Music Business (Liverpool/Glasgow campus) – £6,000 per year (£12,000 -2 year degree)

Other Music courses – (London/Oxford/Liverpool) – £9,000 per year (£18,000 2 year degree) UK students/ £12,000 (£24,000 2 year degree) International

Other Music Courses (Glasgow) – £7,000 per year (£14,000 2 year degree), £10,000 (£20,000 2 year degree)

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences.

Majors:

Audio Production, Electronic Music Production, Songwriting and Music Production, Live Sound Engineering, Electronic Music Producer, Music Business.

Alumni:

Mark Paterson, David Donaldson, Nigel Godrich, Valgeir Cigurdsson.

Admittance:

Not reported yet.

Other useful facts:

The SAE Institute has 54 branches in 26 countries worldwide.

All centers have professional recording studies and students have access to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

SAE doesn’t have on-campus accommodation but the university helps students find a place to stay.

Drexel University of Philadelphia

Top Music Schools of 2016(Image by Tom Ipri, Creative Commons, Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, cc by-sa 2.0)

The Drexel University is based across three campuses, two of which are in Philadelphia and one in Sacramento, California.  The university was founded in 1891.

Tuition:

$46,386

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences.

Majors:

Music Industry: Business, Recording Arts and Music Production, Engineering, Music.

You can study the following as music minors: Music performance, Music theory and composition.

Alumni:

Howard Benson

Admittance:

75% (2015)

Other useful facts:

There are 300+ clubs and organizations that Drexel University has to offer students.

It is possible to double major at Drexel, however during the application process students can only apply for one major and then students have the option of consulting with an advisor after enrolment to add another major.

There are 90 options of minors for students to choose from.

Accelerated degrees are available so students can graduate in a shorter time period.

All students who apply at Drexel are automatically considered for a scholarship.

Musicians Institute

Top Music Schools of 2016(Image via Musicians Institute site)

The Musicians Institute is located in Los Angeles, California in the United States and was founded in 1977.  The Musicians Institute is conveniently located in Hollywood which is regarded as the entertainment capital of the world.

Tuition:

Associates degree – $47,970

Bachelor of Music – all students – $81,000, with minor – $94,325

Degree Types:

Bachelor of Music, Certificate in Performance, Associate of Arts.

Majors:

Bachelor of Music: Composition – Scoring for visual media

Certificate in Performance: Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals,

Associate of Arts: Performance programs – Bass, Drums, Guitar, Keyboard Technology, Vocals. Entertainment Industry programs – DJ Performance and Production, Audio Engineering, Independent artist program, Guitar craft, Music Business.

Alumni:

Sharon Aguilar, Angela Ammons, Jeff Berlin, Shane Alexander, Greg Edmonson, Eli Kokkinou, Dave Kushner, Juan Alderete, Viktoria Andersson, Jennifer Batten, Jean Marc Belkadi, Brad Bershad, Zhou Bichang, Tanya Chua, Jeff Buckley, Brooke White,

Admittance:

99% (2010)

Other useful facts:

The Musicians Institute offer scholarships to assist with tuition. Students have to apply for a scholarship on the university’s website.

There is no on-site accommodation at Musicians Institute, but the university offers assistance to students who require a place to live. There are lots of apartments in the area.

McNally Smith

Top Music Schools of 2016(Image via Mcnally Smith website)

Mc Nally Smith is a contemporary music college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the United States. The college was founded in 1985.

McNally offers new approaches to teaching music by integrating traditional practices in a contemporary context.

Tuition:

$27, 040/ year

Degree Types:

Majors:

Music Production, Music Business, Songwriting, Music Performance, Live sound, Audio Engineering, Composition, Music, Hip Hop Studies, Ensembles, Liberal Arts.

Alumni:

Kyle Frenette, Justin Bonhiver, Zack Carroll, Ari Herstand, Brian Nagan, Jonathon Gering.

Admittance:

62% (2010)

Other useful facts:

McNally Smith College of Music offers scholarships to all incoming and current students pursing a degree at the college. Scholarships range from $500 to full tuition for full-time students.

The college offers private lessons to students.

McNally offers housing.  After admission is confirmed students receive an apartment list along with a roommate list.

Students planning to major in Recording Technology or Music Production will need to complete a technology evaluation as part of the application process.

Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music

Top Music Schools of 2016(Image by atp_tyreseus, Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic, cc by 2.0)

Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music is located in New York City in the United States.

The institute specializes in Recording, Production and Music Business, and aims to give students the necessary skills to work in the evolving music industry.  Clive Davis encourages students to be innovative; the large majority of students that apply are aspiring record producers, record label managers, music critics or performing artists.

Tuition:

$49,962

Degree Types:

Bachelor degree.

Majors:

Music Production, Musicianship and Performance, Music Business, Sound Engineering.

Alumni:

Frankie Celenza, Jennifer Newman Sharpe, Dan Knobler, Julia Wilde, Erik Braund, Erin Tonkon, Eren Cannata, Emily Warren, Geoff, Strasser, Jon Seale, G.Be.

Admittance:

Not reported as of yet.

Other useful facts:

Each year the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music only admits 60 students.

International students make up 16% of the total student population and Clive Davis.

All admitted students take the ‘Writing the Hit Song’, ‘Music Theory for Producers’, and ‘Audio Ear Training for Producers’ courses.

13 Responses

  1. Robert

    What about California State University, Northridge? #16 on Hollywood Reporters 2015 list and #22 on the 2014.

    Reply
    • Bret

      Great school for pure music, but the Music Industry Studies program teaching the business side of music is even better, ranked as one of the top 5 in the U.S.

      Reply
  2. Rick Shaw

    These numbers are per year. This just proves that a traditional education in music is a losing proposition. Based upon entry level positions and what they pay, the average graduate today would be in debt for at least as long as they went to school. Sad.

    Reply
  3. Tom Ford

    Actually S.A.E NY does not give you 24 hour access and they are not open 7 days a week.

    Reply
  4. Paul Resnikoff

    Howard University has an awesome music program. One of the best French Horn instructors, Bill Penn, taught there before his death and was a major benefactor of young musicians in Washington. Classy guy, classy program, and the alums also speak volumes: Roberta Flack, Eddie Henderson, Angela Winbush, list goes on.

    Reply
  5. Troglite

    Good data points. I guess I’ll have to provide my own editorial. And where is the “DIGITAL” in this story???? Seems like a HUGE opportunity to talk about how digital technology is creating new opportunities for both educators and students (or competitive pressures between these more traditional delivery models). 🙁

    I would never want to discourage someone from learning the craft of music. But, I also want to help future students make smart, informed choices for themselves. I’m afraid that involves acknowledging some harsh realities. I’ll try to include some constructive advice.

    1. Actually do the math before taking on $200k in debt for a bachelors in music. What kind of job are you likely to get when you graduate? Subtract living expenses and 10% for savings. How long will it take for you to repay the debt if you can only afford the minimum payment? How much interest will you end up paying?

    2. If you’re interested in a job in the “music industry”, seriously consider alternative educational paths. In many situations, a marketing or technology degree is going to open more doors than a bachelors of music.

    3. If you want to play in a rock and roll band, a conservatory is almost certainly a poor use of your time and money. I’m not saying you shouldn’t learn your instrument… but a bachelors of music curriculum involves a lot more than that and no one in the audience is impressed by your certificate (except Mom). Focus on your playing, artistry, and business acumen. The real world can be a very effective educator. As Nike famously said, just do it. IMHO, this is often a better investment in capital. Even if you fail… you’ll fail cheap and quick which will give you a better opportunity to recover and try a different path.

    4. A good percentage of these schools are selling pieces of paper (degrees and certificates). If a school is admitting 50 or even 75% of students who apply, the value of that piece of paper should be seriously questioned. The Curtis Institute is a wonderful contrast in this regard. They are so selective and their students are so highly regarded… that upon graduation significant professional opportunities are nearly guaranteed.

    5. Are you headed for an up sell upon graduation? For many students, that piece of paper they bought for $200k is merely a ticket to begin accruing even more debt by
    pursuing a masters degree. This often feels like a bait and switch because when the school recruits for their bachelors programs, the future is described in positive terms. But, as soon as you get close to graduating.. suddenly your career counselors are telling you that the opportunities you’re interested in will require a masters or doctorate if you actually want to get hired and earn a livable wage.

    Oh.. and as far as schools that are missing from this list, where’s Belmont???

    Reply
  6. Professor Philp

    There’s also NJ’s William Paterson University, just 20 miles from New York City. It features one of only two in-house music business MBA programs in the country.

    Also:

    – The music management BM degree (or music management minor) program has a unique ongoing relationship with WMG.
    – LA Reid, Julie Greenwald, Mike Easterlin, among others, have visited recently and spoken to/interacted with students.
    – Its weekly Music Biz 101 & More radio show/podcast has interviewed biz types from Doc McGhee to Michael Simon to Jim Mahoney to Joe Riccitelli. Plus, the show will travel with both grad and undergrad students to the Music Biz convention in Nashville this May. It will be the only radio show/podcast at the event.
    – Faculty include music industry vets, including Dave Matthews/KISS business manager Aaron Van Duyne.
    – Hands on classes have worked with Atlantic Records, The Orchard, and Grammy Award winning artists like Rob Fusari.
    – Alums can be found throughout the industry in publishing, artist management, labels, and agencies.

    While William Paterson University doesn’t carry the name cache of an NYU or Berklee, it’s a gem of a school that takes advantage of its proximity to New York City without charging NYC tuition.

    This was written by Professor David Philp who not only teaches at the program but is a grad of the program. (We move to first person here.) I credit WP’s music management degree with helping me get my first job at PGD (PolyGram Group Distribution), which led to stints at Universal and Greater Media Broadcasting. Ask me about how it continues to evolve with this ever-changing industry we like to call music.

    Reply
  7. jr

    One of the most comprehensive pop programs in the world is at LIPA a school in Liverpool that also houses George Martin’s recording studio and was founded by Paul McCartney.

    Reply
  8. Connor

    One new program that might appeal to post-grads or those looking to accelerate their entry into the music business is the new Segue 61 program offered by Catawba College in Nashville. You can check out the curriculum, mentors and more at Segue61.com/applying

    Reply

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