Top 20 Music Schools in the World 2021-2022

Are you a passionate individual who likes music and would want to make it a career and you are looking for the best music schools in the world that would help you achieve this dream?

Kindly read this article carefully to see how we have these things figured out. We will show you the top music schools to attend which are quite affordable.

As a music student or an individual who has an interest in music, it is expected of you to look for good musical schools around the world to help yourself achieve your vision or dream of becoming a top rock artist, or just about any dimension you would want to ply your trade.

On this list of music schools, you’ll find the most recognized music schools in the US and in the world at large, that is open to local and international students from anywhere in the world.

Kindly see the table of contents below for an overview.

What are Music Schools?

If you remove “music” from “school,” what you have left is school. Yes, the music school is a school only it is not any kind of school.

A music school is a specialized educational institution that concentrates on the study, training, and research of music.

Asides “music school,” people also refer to it as music academy, music faculty, college of music, music department, conservatory or conservatoire.

They all mean the same thing, just that schools around the world will choose whichever name they like.

While several artists attend a music school, some countries teach students music compulsorily at different stages of their education. Hence, you can study music at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.

However, for the sake of this post, we will concentrate on music schools at the tertiary level.

Why Attend a Music School?

A career in music is successful through a lot of factors including skills, talent, and education. Music is as old as man and many will argue that ancient men didn’t go to school to study music yet they were adept at it.

That is very true, but the world has progressed and we go to school now for things that needed no school before. Music is not exempted from this and really, music schools will benefit you.

Here’s how:

  • Attending a music school helps you to build relationships early in life that will sustain you throughout your music career.
    You will meet experts in the field who would become your future bandmates, business partners, colleagues, and clients. Some will as well be your mentors, advisors, and friends.
  • Music schools expose you to the music industry. Many excellent music schools in the world will give you access to experts in the industry who will show you things about the art that classroom learning will never reveal to you.
  • Most importantly, music schools will improve your knowledge and skills. You could be born with the innate ability to play delightful music but you may not hone this skill to perfection without attending a good music school.
  • Besides this, music school will help you grow as a person beyond music. It is no new thing to find talented musicians ruin their careers through dangerous lifestyles. Colleges and universities have a way of providing knowledge beyond the one you get from your major. This new knowledge helps your personal development and help shape your life.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Musician?

Basically, life-long training is what you need to become a musician. The music field does not really require formal education, but having one is going to be a big plus to you. In fact, aside from improving your skills as we explained above, formal education in music is necessary to hold certain positions in the music industry. You must possess a bachelor’s degree to become a music director or composer. In the same vein, you need a graduate degree to teach music at the university level.

To this effect, you can either grab an associate’s bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in music depending on the career path you choose in music.

An Associate’s Degree in music will build you with the basic concepts and techniques in songwriting and instrumentation. Many associate’s programs will allow you to focus your studies on one aspect of music, such as string instruments, keyboard, piano, or vocals.

On the other hand, a Bachelor’s Degree in music strengthens your musical abilities just as it will require you to take coursework in music theory, composition, and aural training.

You most likely will take further courses in conducting, performance, orchestration, and instrumental method.

A Master’s Degree in music teaches advanced aspects of music composition, theory, and helps you specialize.

So, depending on your specialization, you’ll focus on jazz, piano, guitar, or orchestral conducting, and complete specialized coursework in your specialization.

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However, a Doctoral Degree in music is not so different. You still have to choose a specialization.

The degree prepares you to lead renowned bands or orchestras, teach college-level courses, or work in music administration.

If you’ll be attending a music school for a bachelor’s degree in Music, then you should consider these 17 Undergraduate Scholarships For Music Students

What is the Salary and Job Outlook of Musicians?

With or without formal education, musicians earn either a decent or rewarding wage by the hour of performance.

The popularity of the musician mostly determines his wage. Nonetheless, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ 2018 data, Musicians and Singers earn an average wage of $28.15 per hour.

There were 187,600 jobs for musicians in that year and with a 0% job growth, the job outlook from 2018 to ’28 has little or no change.

Glassdoor, on the other hand, gives an average yearly estimate pay for musicians. Musicians earn $46,744 annually, but this figure is different when you look at the different jobs for musicians.

Composers earn an average of $38,783 yearly, Market Research Analyst in the Music Industry earn $57,599, Organists earn $34,608, and Music Producers earn $82,109 yearly.

Top Music Schools in the World

Here are the top 20 music schools in the world in different countries of the world, with a good acceptance rate; tuition fees, and a good academic environment that would aid you to achieve your musical dreams.

  • The Juilliard School, New York, United States
  • Berklee College of Music, Boston, United States
  • The New England of Music Conservatory Boston, United States
  • Moscow Imperial Conservatory, Moscow, Russia
  • University of Music & Performing Arts, at Vienna, Austria
  • Royal College of Music, South Kensington, London
  • Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut
  • The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, at Oberlin College in Oberlin, in Ohio USA
  • Conservatoire de Paris (Paris Conservatory), Paris
  • Royal Academy of Music, London
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland
  • The Manhattan School of Music, New York City, USA
  • The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • The Norwegian Music Academy, Oslo
  • Royal College of Music, Stockholm
  • The USC Thornton Music School, in the University of Southern California
  • The Blair School of Music, at the Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
  • Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, OH
  • Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute, Baltimore, MD

Be sure that these institutions have graduated top music artists, including some world-renowned artists you listen to today.

Therefore, you might be on your way to becoming a big thing. EXPLORE!

The Juilliard School, New York, United States

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

Established in 1905, the Juilliard School is considered being the best music schools in the world, as far as a slew of rankings is concerned.

Here, you will find a clear number of options to choose from, with a sophisticated musical environment.

For its status and being a top music school, it works with other acclaimed music schools in and outside the USA.

If you did not know already, it collaborates with one of the best-known hosts of music performances all over the globe – Lincoln Center.

Meanwhile, at the Juilliard School, you can take programs in Music tailored towards Instruments, Vocal Arts, Jazz Studies, Historical Performance, Composition, and Orchestral Conducting.

Acceptance Rate: 6.4%

Tuition: 41,310 USD

The New England of Music Conservatory Boston, United States

Address: 290 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Competing with Berklee College for the second top music schools in the US, the New England Conservatory of Music has become a choice among students.

It is one of the oldest and best music schools in the world, because of its establishment in the year 1867, and has maintained its prestige despite having other top music schools in competition.

You will see Berklee producing and nurturing pop stars and rock bands, but at New England Conservatory, you will see the grooming and good upbringing of the future talented artists in the dimensions of stringed and bass instruments.

The College runs a 5-year course collaboration with the prestigious Harvard University, which can take you and your career through the roof of anything.

Acceptance Rate: 34%

Tuition: $46,930

You should also see these Top Music Conservatories in the U.S.

Moscow Imperial Conservatory, Moscow, Russia

Address: Bol’shaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa, 13/6, Moskva, Russia, 125009.

Moscow Imperial Conservatory is one of the Best Music Schools in the world and most prized possessions of Russia, and there is no reason it should not be appearing as 4th on our list of top music schools.

Founded in 1866, the Conservatory has a rich history, particularly the fact that it is ranking with the oldest conservatories in the country.

Here great artists as Sviatislov Richter, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Kabalevsky Rachmaninoff have studied and made a grand career out of music.

Moscow Imperial Conservatory offers undergraduate and graduate diplomas in musical performance and musical research.

You can as well take a bachelor of Music Performance and a Master of Music and Ph.D. in Research at Moscow Conservatory.

Acceptance Rate:28%

Tuition: 9,672 USD – 11,326.42 USD

University of Music & Performing Arts, at Vienna, Austria

Address: Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Wien, Austria

This institution was established in the year 1817, the university is one of the oldest and, incidentally, the largest and top music schools in the globe.

It has been the center and heart of music and arts ever since its establishment and has seen the graduation of some of the most notable artists in the globe like Mahler and Brahms.

With its 25 departments, you can study any specialty in music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

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These departments include the department of popular music, department of music therapy, department of voice and music theatre, etc.

Acceptance Rate: 5-8%

Tuition: €363.36 (£289.78) per semester

Royal College of Music, South Kensington, London

Address: Prince Consort Rd, Kensington, London SW7 2BS, UK.

The Royal College is one of the best music schools in the world; a conservatoire started by the royal charter in 1882, in the large city of South Kensington, London, UK.

It offers opportunities from the undergraduate in music to a doctoral degree in all dimensions of Western Art and performance, composition, music theory, history.

This public university in the UK emerged as the top university for Performing Arts in both the UK and Europe in QS 2018 World University Ranking and has produced alumni like Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Ireland.

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Tuition: £24,100

Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut

Address: 98 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.

The Yale School of Music is one of the music schools in the US. Offers three degrees in the graduate level: Master of Musical Arts (MMA), Master of Music (MM), and Ph.D. in Musical Arts (DMA), and Bachelor of Arts, Master of Music program in agreement with Yale College, a Performance Certificate, and an Artist Diploma.

Meanwhile, Yale School of Music is a private university and one of the 12 professional schools at Yale University.

It began in 1894 and offers quality degrees and certificates in music through its distinguished faculty.

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Tuition: $34,000

Oberlin Conservatory of Music, at Oberlin College in Oberlin, in Ohio USA

Address: 77 W College St, Oberlin, OH 44074, USA.

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is one of the music schools in the US, on the campus of Oberlin College, it was founded in 1865 and is the 2nd oldest conservatory and oldest constantly operating conservatory in the United States of America.

At the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, you can pursue a degree in both music and traditional liberal arts disciplines.

However, the school has more Undergraduate students than graduate students.

Some of Oberlin’s popular programs include the Bachelor of Music, Performance Diploma, and Master of Music Conducting.

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Tuition: $55,052

Conservatoire de Paris (Paris Conservatory), Paris

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

The Conservatoire de Paris is a prestigious college of music and dance established in the year 1795, which is associated with PSL Research University.

This institution is in the Jean Jaurès avenue in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.

The Conservatoire offers all the nurturing in music, dance, drama, and other related activities drawing on the development of the School.

Acceptance Rate: 28%

Tuition: € 5,000

Royal Academy of Music, London

Address: Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 5HT, UK.

The institution is one of the UK Music schools in London, England, is the oldest in the UK, founded in 1822 by two men, John Fane, and Nicolas-Charles Bochsa.

It received its Royal Charter in the record-breaking year 1830 from King George IV with the help of the first Duke of Wellington.

Royal Academy of Music teaches music at all levels ranging from infancy to professional level.

Thus, its senior academy awards an LRAM diploma, while the main academy awards a Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) as well as Ph.D. degrees in Music.

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Tuition:£11,350 – £25,100

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Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland

Address: 100 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2 3DB, UK.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is a school of dance, drama, film, music, and production in the center of Glasgow, in Scotland.

While this Scottish conservatory began in 1847, it officially began awarding degrees in 1993.

The conservatory is so famous that it has become one of the busiest venues for performing arts in Scotland, holding over 500 public performances yearly.

However, students pursue degrees, certificates, and diploma in any of its schools – School of Music; School of Drama, Dance, Production, and Film; and Junior Conservatoire

Acceptance Rate: 28%

Tuition: £9,000

The Manhattan School of Music, New York City, USA

Address: 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027, USA.

The Manhattan School of Music is one of the private music schools in the US, New York City. The school offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degree programs in the areas of classical and jazz performance.

This Manhattan music school began operating in 1917 as a private music school and has since produced notable alumni including Raymond Beegle, Paul Cohen, and Gabriela Beňačková.

Acceptance Rate: 46.1%

Tuition: $44,000

The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia

Address: 1726 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA.

The School is a conservatory in the US that grants musical courses of study which leads to a performance degree, diploma, Bachelor of Music, even Master of Music in Opera, or a Professional Studies Certificate.

This Institute of Music at Pennsylvania is a small school founded in 1924.

It has 167 students and a very competitive admission.

Acceptance Rate: 4.4%

Tuition: $2,525

Norwegian Music Academy, Oslo

Address: Slemdalsveien 11, 0363 Oslo, Norway.

The first Norwegian school on our list of the best music schools in the world.

The conservatory is in Oslo, Norway, situated at the Majorstuen, Frogner neighborhood, is the most expanded music school in Norway and offers the top level of music education in the country.

As a university college, it presents the opportunity for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

This Norwegian Conservatory trains students to become music performers, composers, and pedagogies in folk music, church music, classical music, and jazz music.

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The school also is Oslo’s biggest concert organizer, organizing around 300 concerts annually.

Acceptance Rate: Undisclosed

Tuition: 1,000 USD/year

Do you know that you can use this Yamaha Music Foundation Scholarship Program to fund your music education in Europe?

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Address: 50 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

The Music world known as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is one of the top music schools in San Francisco.

About 400 undergraduate students, including graduate students, are admitted at the school on a yearly basis which also includes a Pre-College Division for upcoming musicians.

This conservatory in San Francisco began operating in 1917 and offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs in Brass, Conducting, Guitar, Keyboard, Voice, Technology and Applied Composition, etc.

Its learning curriculum integrates history, theory, and the humanities to its study of music.

Acceptance Rate: 46.7%

Tuition: 43,410 USD

Royal College of Music, Stockholm

Address: Valhallavägen 105, 115 51 Stockholm, Sweden.

Royal College of Music, is one of the top music schools and apparently the oldest school of music in Sweden, it was founded in 1771 as the conservatory of Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

The conservatory was now isolated to be on its own in 1971.

UniRank ranks this Swedish university as the 32nd higher education institution in Sweden.

You can take a degree program in this Swedish conservatory to become a composer, conductor, instrumentalist, or vocalist and join its hundred of notable alumni.

Its music department includes Jazz, Classical, Folk Music, Music Education, etc.

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Tuition: 255.000 SEK/academic year.

USC Thornton Music School, in the University of Southern California

Address: 840 W 34th St, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.

The University of the Southern California School of Music is one of the top music schools in the US, this institution was founded in 1884; dedicated in 1999.

Founded four years after the University of Southern California was found itself, the School is the oldest continually operating arts school in Southern California.

USC Thornton Music School is a conservatory in the USA with a long history.

It is one of the few music schools in the USA that offers a degree program in Early Music.

Also, it was the first university to offer a major in popular music performance and songwriting, besides its classical and jazz programs.

Some other USC music programs include Choral music, composition, Keyboard studies, and Pedagogical Technology.

Acceptance Rate: 20%

Tuition: $57,256

If you’ll be studying music at USC, do well to check out this University of Southern California International Undergraduate Scholarships in the USA

Blair School of Music, at the Vanderbilt University, Tennessee

Address: 2400 Blakemore Ave, Nashville, TN 37212, USA.

Blair School of Music is one of the top music schools in the US.

This prestigious institution provides undergraduate studies in music performance, history, theory at Vanderbilt University, a strong research university in Nashville, Tennessee.

Blair School of Music started in 1964 as a small private music school.

It has over 190 undergraduate students and no graduate students because it doesn’t offer graduate programs.

However, this music school in Nashville provides music lessons and classes which gather over 800 pre-college and adult students together to learn music.

Acceptance Rate: 20%

Tuition: $44,900

Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute, Baltimore, MD

Address: 1 E Mt Vernon Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.

This is a conservatory in Maryland, USA, directly opposite the landmark Washington Monument circle at North Charles.

This school has an international recognition as a place where International students passionate about music are welcomed from enrollment.

Meanwhile, the Peabody Institute is Johns Hopkins University’s music school.

It was founded in 1857 but became a part of JHU in 1977. Also, it is the oldest conservatory in the United States and it offers diploma, certificate, undergraduate and graduate degrees in music.

Some of its popular degrees include the Bachelor of Music (BM). Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Graduate Performance Diploma (GPD).

Acceptance Rate: 52%

Tuition: $51,077

Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland

Address: 11021 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.

The Cleveland School of Music is an independent, music conservatory in the University area district of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

It is directed by President Paul Hogle. The Institute was founded in the year 1920, with Ernest Bloch as the director.

Meanwhile, Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) offers some of the best music programs in the United States, especially as it collaborates with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to offer some of its programs.

Thus, at CIM, you also have the option of a CWRU Dual Degree or a Double Majoring.

Furthermore, you can major in over 20 areas of study including Audio Recording, Collaborative Piano, percussion, Voice, Orchestral Conducting, and Guitar (Classical).

Acceptance Rate: 46.8%

Tuition: $35,871

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