10 Best Music Schools in the World

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When it comes to music schools, based on one’s fervor, those who want to study the subject or merely love music are inhibited and privileged simultaneously. They would need to identify the best music schools in the world, with a good reputation, to help them reach their vision or desire of becoming the top artist in whichever music type they choose to ply their craft.

Those who are fervent about their talent are primarily drawn to a career in music. It may be a very fulfilling job for those who rigorously pursue their interests. Enrolling in one of the best music conservatories in the world may open doors to many positions and jobs in the music business.

There is an abundance of schools with music curricula, though only a few have gained well-deserved recognition. These are the ones that one should attend. Although they are similar in many ways, they have distinct music preferences in their teachings, costs, and location.

On this list of top music schools in the world, listed in no particular order, one notices the most well-known music schools in the United States and globally, which are open to both local and international students from all over the world.

#1: The Juilliard School

Founded: By Dr.Frank Damrosch in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art

Location: #60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, USA

Notable Alumni: John Williams, David Bryan, Bernard Herrmann, and Barry Manilow

Acceptance Rate: 6.9%

Student-Faculty Ration: 3:1

Juilliard is widely seen as the top of the best music schools in the world for performing arts. It provides undergraduate and graduates music, theatre, and dance programs. Orchestral Conducting, Vocal Arts, Historical Performance, Composition, and Jazz Studies are some of the top programs available at the music school.

Its faculty is made up of world-class musicians and allies with Lincoln Centre, one of the most well-known presenters of musical events across the world. Every year, approximately 700 Julliard-funded opportunities of live performances in music are provided for its students, which is considered one of the school’s most notable elements.

More than 105 Grammy Awards, 24 Academy Awards, 12 National Medals of Arts, 47 Emmy Awards, 16 Pulitzer Prizes, 26 Bessie Awards, and 62 Tony Awards have been bestowed upon Juilliard alumni.

#2: Berklee College of Music

Founded: By Lawrence Berk in 1945

Location: #1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Notable Alumni: John Mayer, Quincy Jones, Wayne Sermon, and Melissa Etheridge.

Acceptance Rate: 51.4%

Student-Faculty Ration: 7:1

Berklee, distinctly a contemporary music college, is the world’s most prominent independent college and is one of the best music conservatories in the world. There isn’t another music college dedicated to modern music engineering, music synthesis, and writing principles like Berklee.

It provides graduate degrees, diplomas, undergraduate degrees, summer programs, online degrees, and certifications. Students can specialize in Music Production, Music Therapy, Music Business, Jazz Composition, Design, Film Scoring, and Electronic Production.

Berklee generates more hitmakers than most music schools globally. Graduates have received several Latin Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, over 250 Grammy Awards, multiple Oscars, and plenty of other honors.

#3: Royal Academy of Music

Founded: By John Fane assisted by Nicolas-Charles Bochsa in 1822

Location: Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5HT, UK

Notable Alumni: Annie Lennox, John Dankworth, and Elton John

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Student-Faculty Ration: 2:1

This is one of the top music schools in the world and the oldest music conservatoire in Britain. Its teachings vary between infancy level to professional. The school has several programs: post-Master, Ph.D. undergraduate, graduate, and even advanced diploma, for Jazz, Musical Theatre, Creative Music Leadership, and more. The programs are categorized as follows: Research, Composition, Performance, and Conduction.

The academy encourages active research to augment all aspects of education. It is affiliated with the University of London. This may be useful if one wants to pursue something else besides music. The school has one of the world’s most impressive collections of musical artifacts and instruments, like manuscripts by Vaughn Williams and instruments by Stradivari.

#4: Curtis Institute of Music

Founded: By Mary Louise Curtis Bok Zimbalist in 1924

Location: #1726 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

Notable Alumni: Gary Graffman, Leonard Bernstein, Lang Lang, and David Brooks

Acceptance Rate: 3.9%

Student-Faculty Ration: 2:1

The school’s forte is opera, making it the dream for every Opera musician aspirant. Curtis produces some of the most accomplished in the field. It is one of the best music schools in the world and is popular for its tuition-free aspect.

It offers a diverse curriculum, including the Professional Studies Certificate, Bachelor of Music, and Post-Baccalaureate Diploma. Secondary school graduates can study to achieve a Diploma.

Specializations in several areas including Organ, Vocal Studies, Strings, Brass, and more are available. Students have access to a unique ‘career studies’ program to educate them with entrepreneurship, pedagogy, trends, community-based initiatives, hands-on technology, and industry skills.

#5: Yale School of Music

Founded: By Irene Battell Larned in 1894

Location: #98 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

Notable Alumni: Reena Esmail, David Lang, Michael Daugherty, and Marco Beltrami

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Student-Faculty Ration: 3:1

This is the only Ivy League Educational Institute with a music school. Yale School of Music is one of the best music schools in the world. It is one of Yale University’s 12 professional schools. Thanks to a gift of $100 million in 2005, the school extends a tuition-free facility.

The graduate degrees available are Ph.D. in Musical Arts, Master of Musical Arts, Master of Music, and Certificate in Performance and Artist Diploma programs. Numerous film composers and accomplished musicians are graduates of this institution.

#6: University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

Founded: By Robert M. Widney in 1884

Location: #840 W 34th St, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA

Notable Alumni: Michael Tilson Thomas, James Newton Howard, and James Horner

Acceptance Rate: 20%

Student-Faculty Ration: 6:1

USC features in the top music schools in the world. It is one of the oldest continuously running music schools in Los Angeles, making it one of the West Coast’s and Los Angeles’ most vibrant cultural hubs. The school provides degrees in erudite training, Contemporary music, research, Classical performance, and composition.

In addition to jazz and classical studies, it was the first music school to train for common songwriting and music performance degrees. To date, USC produces some of the world’s most renowned composers, conductors, and performers.

#7: Moscow Conservatory

Founded: By Anton Rubenstein and Nikolai Rubenstein in 1866

Location: Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa, 13/6, Moskva, Russia, 125009

Notable Alumni: Sviatislov Richter, Dmitry Kabalevsky, and Vladimir Ashkenazy

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Student-Faculty Ration: 2:1

The school is one of Russia’s most prized possessions and oldest conservatories. It is one of the best music conservatories in the world with Bachelor, undergraduate, graduate, Specialist, and Master’s degree curricula.

The Moscow Conservatory is mainly accredited for its famous International Tchaikovsky Competition, held every four years, and awards prizes to the best pianist, vocalist, cellist, and violinist. It has produced a number of world-renowned composers, pianists, violinists, and other musicians. However, fluency in Russian is a prerequisite.

#8: University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW)

Founded: By Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in 1817

Location: Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Wien, Vienna Austria

Notable Alumni: Zubin Mehta and Gustav Mahler

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Student-Faculty Ration: 5:1

It is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious colleges for the performing arts, including theatre, cinema, and music, and is one of the top music schools in the world. The school is Austria’s most notable cultural affairs planner, holding over 1300 cultural and artistic events each year.

With its 25 departments, one can train in almost any of musical specilaty. The school has departments of voice and music theatre, music therapy, popular music, and so on. However, to enroll at this school, fluency in German is necessary.

This school produced Strauss, Mozart, Shubert, and a slew of other composers and classical musicians. Many international contests have been won by its students in different music fields, including Film and Media Composition, Organ, Conducting, and Voice.

#9: Conservatoire de Paris (Paris Conservatory)

Founded: By Bernard Sarrette in 1795

Location: 209 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, France.

Notable Alumni: Pierre Boulez, Maurice Ravel, and Nadia Boulanger

Acceptance Rate: 3%

Student-Faculty Ration: 3:1

This is the oldest music school on this list. In graduate, undergraduate, Doctorate, and Master’s programs, the Conservatoire provides nurturing in theatre, dance, music, and other related activities.

One can learn Early Music, Jazz, Composition, Conduction, Instruments, and Vocals. The Conservatoire’s major fields of study include Pedagogy, Music, Dance, and Sound Engineering. The institute often hosts open-to-the-public performances, lectures, and conferences. In the last 200 years in the music industry, the school has produced every prominent French name.

#10: Eastman School of Music

Founded: By George Eastman in 1921

Location: #26 Gibbs St, Rochester, NY 14604, USA

Notable Alumni: Alexander Courage, Renée Fleming, and Ron Carter

Acceptance Rate: 13%

Student-Faculty Ration: 6:1

The school has a Bachelor of Music program for undergraduates, and a Ph.D., Master of Arts, or Master of Music for graduates. Depsite a reputation of being in the top music schools in the world, Eastman school has fairly priced tuition. However, one can get notable monetary assistance – nearly all students gain merit-based scholarships.


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