Choosing a music school is, without a doubt, a daunting and overwhelming task. Over 500 accredited music programs are available in the United States alone, and the number of options is skyrocketing by the day. Having consulted over 50 music students and tutors, we can tell you there’s one inevitable thing in the music world — change.
There are certain music schools that were shining five years ago but are now undergoing a roller coaster of events. Things are constantly changing in these institutions, making it difficult to accurately discern which ones are good and which ones are less so. To simplify your decision-making process, we’ve put together a list of the top five music schools in the world.
The Juilliard School
Simply known as Juilliard, the Juilliard School is currently the world’s most prestigious music institution with a stingy 8.4% acceptance rate. The college is best known for teaching students in several specialties including acting, dance, and music.
This performing arts educational institution is closely associated with the prestigious Lincoln Center, which serves as a host to a number of live music performances centering on classical and opera. The school has produced legendary musicians and composers including Marvin Hamlisch, Bernard Herrmann, Wynton Marsalis, Barry Manilow, and Philip Glass.
University Of Southern California Thornton School of Music
Located in Los Angeles, California, the University Of Southern California Thornton School of Music has consistently delivered amazing output. USC has risen to become the second best music school in the world, as it epitomizes a diversity of major interests that other music institutions haven’t dared to embrace. There are two key programs that actually give this institution an edge over the competition — the film scoring program and the popular music program.
Furthermore, USC has a cutting-edge jazz program that has helped shape several legendary jazz musicians like Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, and Vince Mendoza. Generally speaking, USC is a diverse, forward-seeking music institution with a taste for popular and traditional.
Berklee College of Music
Berklee is slightly different from other music programs because it aims to churn out artists who can own the pop culture conversation as well as top the charts. You won’t find many of its successful alumni in orchestras or creating classical compositions. Instead, they’ve concentrated their musical energy on rock and pop, as well as other modern genres.
Berklee unleashes more hitmakers compared to any other music institution in the world. Notable alumni include Quincy Jones, Melissa Etheridge, and John Mayer.
Curtis Institute of Music
Whereas Philadelphia isn’t usually listed among the best music cities in the US, it does have one hidden gem every aspiring musician will love – The Curtis Institute of Music. This music institution has been around for the past century and is quietly churning out the most accomplished musicians each year.
Perhaps you haven’t heard about it, but your musical friends know all too well how hard it is to get accepted. Rumor has it the institution’s acceptance rate is less than 5%. You need to go the extra mile and show them something special about you to get admission.
New England Conservatory
The New England Conservatory is considered Boston’s historical and cultural epicenter. The music school takes advantage of the city’s far-reaching music community, which includes the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra.
This Conservatory is fairly competitive, with a 30% acceptance rate. The good thing is that the institution is not exclusive. Students can study jazz, classical, world and early music, as well as contemporary improvisation. Notable alumni include Cecil Taylor and Sean Callery.