20 Best Music Degree Programs in the World

There are several institutions out there that offer music degree programs, but we are looking at the best schools in the world where you can obtain a degree in music.

Having a good voice and talent might not be enough to get you to the position where you want to be. If you are passionate about music and have the talent for it, you need adequate instruction from experts at music conservatories.

People have studied music and perfected the craft so well and now, they are currently at institutions to guide young talents.

Some of the biggest artists in the music industry attended the best institutions. An example of the best institution is the Julliard School in New York.

Other institutions are located in several countries around the world and we will be showing them to you. So if you are interested in pursuing a career in music, check out the best music degree programs and institutions that offer these programs across different conservatories around the world.

Best Music Degree Programs

What Is a Bachelor’s In Music?

Generally, Bachelor’s in music degree may be a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music program.

Bachelor of Arts in music degrees are specifically for students who do not want to focus on a particular topic. The majority of Bachelor of Arts in music programs offer second majors or minors. Expect majors like business or education.

Bachelor’s in music immerse students in an intensive music learning format. The program is designed to teach students more about music.

However, to gain entry into a bachelor program, applicants are often required to be in auditions or submit supplementary materials.

Also Read: 10 Best Acting Schools in New York City in 2023

Careers for Music Majors

Studying music and obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the perfect way to start your music career. The music industry is vast and has a great opportunity for young talent. 

Learning more and perfecting your craft is a promising approach to taking your music career to the next level. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in music is a progressive step toward your dream career in music.

With your bachelor’s degree in music, you get to decide what you want to become. Here are some of the music professions you can choose.

  • Musician/singer
  • Music Director 
  • Composer
  • Production Engineer
  • Music Teacher
  • Music Programmer

The most popular among these professions is musician/singer. Each profession is crucial when it comes to learning and making music.

The Best Music Degree Programs in the World

Now, if you want to attend the best institutions in the world offering music degree programs, check out this list.

#1. The Julliard School

It will be inappropriate to make this list without talking about the Julliard School.

Julliard School is one of the finest private performing arts conservatories in the United States. Established in the early 20th century and located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, Julliard School is a highly recognized institution globally.

Julliard is considered the best music school in the United States. It’s one of the institutions in the world that offer the best music degree programs. 

At Julliard, they offer various music degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels. Julliard offers a bachelor of music or Diploma programs at the undergraduate level.

Graduate degrees offered at Julliard include a Master of Music, Artist Diploma, Graduate Diploma, and Doctor of music.

Although Julliard remains one of the best music schools in the world with a student-faculty ratio of 3 to 1, the acceptance rate at the institution is quite selective.

Julliard School has an acceptance rate of 7% and that is a major concern for intending applicants. Yet, the school remains one of the best worldwide.

Julliard boasts high-profile alumni, which include Grammy Award winners, Emmy Award winners and Academy Award winners.

#2. Curtis Institute of Music

Curtis Institute of Music is one of the music schools in the United States. The institution was established in 1924 and is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Graduates of this Philadelphia-based music school include Leonard Bernstein and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

Currently, the student enrolment at Curtis Institute of Music is just 153. The institution is one of the most selective in the United State, with an acceptance rate of 2%.

Curtis Institute of Music offers a variety of degree programs such as a Bachelor in Music and a Diploma. Programs offered at Curtis can be completed in three to five years. They also offer Diploma and Master of Music programs which can be completed within two to three years.

#3. Berklee College of Music 

Here is a music school with an acceptance rate above 50%. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Berklee College of Music is a private music college and one of the best in the United States.

Currently, Berklee College of Music has about 6,000 students and 522 academic staff. Berklee alumni include Grammy Award winners, Academy Award winners, Emmy Award winners, etc.

Berklee College of Music offers undergraduate and graduate programs. The school offers college-level courses in a wide range of historical styles, including hip-hop, reggae, heavy metal, and salsa.

#4. The Royal Academy of Music

Here we the oldest conservatoire in the United Kingdom. The Royal Academy of Music in London is Britain’s oldest music conservatoire. It’s one of the best places to study music in the world and they offer the best degree programs.

The Royal Academy of Music was established in 1822 and is currently a constituent college of the University of London.

As of 2020, over 800 students were enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music. The Royal Academy of Music has one of the best student-faculty ratios. The student-faculty ratio at RAM is almost 2 to 1.

RAM remains Britain’s finest music school. Graduates of the Royal Academy of Music include Sir Elton John, Annie Lennox, and Simon Rattle.

The Royal Academy of Music has a very selective acceptance rate. RAM only accepts about 10% of applicants.

#5. Conservatoire de Paris

Established in the late 18th century and officially known as the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. The Conservatoire de Paris was founded in 1795 and remains one of the oldest schools of music in the world.

This school of music is not only the oldest on our list but one of the most selective. The acceptance rate at the Conservatoire de Paris is around 3%. Getting into this music school is very challenging for young talents with the aspiration to excel in music.

Although the Conservatoire de Paris is one of the best schools that offer music degree programs in the world, they only accept about 30 students each year.

The Paris-based Conservatoire is a large music school with a student enrolment of over 1,200 and about 410 qualified music instructors.

To get more information about undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered at the Conservatoire de Paris, visit their official website.

#6. Eastman School of Music  

The Eastman School of Music is a part of the University of Rochester. It’s the music school of the University of Rochester, New York.

In 1921, the Eastman School of Music was established by George Eastman. The music school is dedicated to training young talents and offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The University of Rochester Eastman School of Music is very selective when it comes to admission. However, the school attracts students from the 50 states of the United States and other countries.

The Eastman School of Music has a very selective acceptance rate of 13%. It only accepts about 2,000 students during each admission cycle.

Those who are accepted into the school of music go on to obtain a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music.

#7. Yale School of Music

I believe you are already familiar with the Ivy elites and Yale University. The Ivy League Schools are prestigious universities in the United States and we should not expect less from Yale School of Music.

Yale School of Music is one of the best places that offer the best music degree programs in the world. In 1889, the Yale Department of Music was established and would later become the Yale School of Music.

Yale School of Music offers Master of Music Arts and Doctor of Music Arts programs. Watch out, the acceptance at Yale School of Music only accepts 8-10% of applicants.

Also Read: Get Paid to Listen to Music in 2023

#8. USC Thornton School of Music

The USC Thornton School of Music makes it to our list of best music degree programs in the world. Established in the late 19th century, the University of South California School of Music is one of the oldest institutions in the United States.

USC Thornton School of Music is the best option for students who are interested in television and film scoring.

#9. The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Established in 1817, the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is one of the largest and oldest music schools. This music school is located in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

The Vienna-based music school alumni include performing artists like Mahler and Brahms. 

Students at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna are over 2,000. This music school has one of the best student-faculty ratios and its students have won several international competitions in different areas of music.

#10. New England Conservatory

Here is another conservatory located in Boston, Massachusetts. The New England Conservatory (NEC) is the oldest independent conservatory in the United States.

It was established in 1867, the New England Conservatory has one of the best student-faculty ratios in the United States. NEC also has a selective acceptance rate of 28%.

#11. Jacob School of Music

Next on our list is the Jacob School of Music. The Jacob School is a well-recognized institution in Bloomington, Indiana.

This music school offers one of the best music degree programs in the world. The acceptance rate at Jacobs School of Music is around 25%. Graduates of this music school include Joshua Bell, Andre Watts, and Richard Cowan.

#12. Oberlin Conservatory of Music

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music was established in 1833, one of the oldest in the United States. The music school is located in Oberlin, Ohio.

As one of the oldest conservatories in the country, the Oberlin Conservatory was awarded the National Media Arts. This music school offers a Bachelor of Music, Master and Artist Diploma.

Oberlin has a perfect student-faculty ratio which allows students to get the best experiences in music.

#13. Moscow Conservatory

Founded in 1866, the Moscow Conservatory is one of the oldest conservatories in Russia. The Moscow Conservatory was co-founded by Anton Rubenstein and Price Troubetzkov.

The musical educational institution is also officially known as the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Every four years, the Moscow Conservatory host the International Tchaikovsky Competition. It’s an international competition that awards titles to the best singer, pianist, cellist, and violinist.

#14. Manhattan School of Music

The Manhattan School of Music is a conservatory located in New York. The music school initially began as a community school in New York. It provided an opportunity for immigrants in New York to get first-hand experience in music.

The acceptance rate at the Manhattan School of Music is around 40%.

#15. Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler

Established in 1950, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler is a conservatory in Berlin, Germany. The institution has about 600 students and a competitive acceptance rate.

The Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler is highly recognized worldwide, attracting students from different countries. The acceptance rate at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler is around 8%.

#16. Sibelius Academy

The Sibelius Academy is one of the best and most well-recognized music academies in Europe. Sibelius Academy is located in central Helsinki, Finland.

The music school is also one of the largest on the European continent. The acceptance rate at Sibelius Academy is highly competitive. Sibelius only accepts about 8% of applicants each year.

Sibelius Academy offers one of the best music degree programs in the world.

#17. Guildhall School of Music and Drama

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is one of Britain’s finest conservatories. Located in London, England and established in 1800, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama offers the best degree programs.

The school of music and drama has made a name for itself as one of the best in the UK. It’s one of the nice places for students to study music. The school has one of the best student-faculty ratios, but applicants must look out for the acceptance rate for their programs.

#18. Mannes School of Music

Founded in 1916, the Mannes School of Music is a music conservatory in the New School. It’s located in New York and remains one of the best music schools in the United States.

The Mannes School of Music has an acceptance rate of 33% which is a bit challenging for intending applicants.

Also Read: 12 Free Online Sound Engineering Courses with Certificates

#19. Peabody Institute

Established in 1866, the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University is the oldest conservatory in the United States. It became afflicted with John Hopkins University in the mid-1980s.

The school is located in Baltimore, Maryland and it offers Bachelor of Music and Doctoral degrees. The student-faculty ratio at the Peabody Institute is perfect for students to receive instruction in a world-class learning environment.

#20. Cleveland Institute of Music

This private music conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio completes our list. 

The Cleveland Institute of Music was established by Ernest Bloch in 1920. It enrols over 300 students in the conservatory and those in the preparatory and education program are about 1,500 students.

With an acceptance rate of 40%, the Cleveland Institute of Music is a bit selective when it comes to admission. The institution offers Bachelor of Music, Artist Diploma and Certificate, and Doctorate degrees.

Conclusion

Music conservatories are institutions where you can learn about music and understand how to perfect your craft. Obtaining a bachelor of music gives you an opportunity and a career choice.

Now that you are familiar with the best music schools in the world and the degree programs they offer, you can apply to your preferred music conservatory.

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