2019-20 Guide to Music Schools
COVER PHOTO CREDIT: San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) students at Cupid’s Span on the Embarcadero, 2017. PHOTO: Carlin Ma (Carlin Ma Photography)
Download the Guide or scroll down to view information for each school
Musical America's latest and largest Guide to Music Schools
For our largest Music Schools Guide, we culled about 60 institutions from our data base of nearly 1,200 schools. We focused on quality and reputation, and paid little attention to school size.
The result: the 2019-20 Guide runs the gamut from the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia (23 students) to the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (1,600 students).
While a school’s size doesn’t necessarily impact its quality, it can impact the breadth of options. Large university music programs will more likely offer, say, a double degree in trombone performance and business. However, some of the smallest schools are tuition-free, and most schools in the Guide offers some training in the music business.
For the student of the arts, it seems the field is rich in options.



Tempe, Arizona
Located in the culturally rich Southwest desert in one of the country's most vibrant, expanding urban centers, the ASU School of Music affords its students not only access to this diverse environment but also engagement in Phoenix's diverse, flourishing arts community.

Chicago, Illinois
The DePaul University School of Music offers conservatory style, performance-based study within a large university in Chicago, a destination city for world-class arts. Students benefit from individualized study and rehearsal at the highest level among a supportive community of individuals striving to be their best.

Rochester, New York
Eastman is dedicated to the highest levels of artistry and scholarship and to the broad education of young musicians within the context of a university. Our students enjoy a challenging but nurturing environment that focuses on artistic excellence while encouraging the pursuit of individual paths and interests.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The success of our graduates, many of whom now have successful careers as concert and recording artists, is a testament to our focus on performance training. Committed to mentoring, our purposefully small school offers exceptional practice and performance spaces, and 50 percent more private lesson time with inspiring, well known faculty.

Orange, California
We specialize in undergraduate education for musicians, promoting their artistic, professional, and intellectual development. Our students enjoy exceptional performance opportunities in state-of-the-art facilities with internationally renowned faculty who know them by name. Come here to hone your craft and turn your passion into profession. Become ANYTHING IMAGINABLE.

West Hartford, Connecticut
The Hartt School is a truly collaborative environment where faculty embrace that success takes on endless forms. They get to know each student and guide them toward the future meant just for them. Hartt students engage with the professional world in meaningful ways to enhance their education and professional network.

Bloomington, Indiana
The more than 1,600 students who study at the Jacobs School of Music benefit from the intensity and focus of a conservatory combined with the broad academic offerings of a major university. The breadth and number of performance opportunities are unparalleled in college music study.

New York, New York
Since 1905 Juilliard educated the world's foremost musicians, then dancers & actors; it's Lincoln Center campus a launching ground for artistic achievement, with an equally world-renowned faculty.

Boca Raton, Florida
Lynn offers world-class faculty and full-tuition scholarships to all enrolled conservatory students. Room and board scholarships also available.

New York, New York
Manhattan School of Music takes full advantage of New York's abundant learning and performance opportunities, preparing highly talented students for careers as passionate performers and composers and to be imaginative, effective leaders in the arts. Our students thrive in a supportive atmosphere that encourages excellence, values individuals, and welcomes innovation.

Evanston, Illinois
With its proximity to the cultural hub of Chicago, conservatory-level musical training and engaging academic environment, Northwestern's Bienen School of Music provides students an educational atmosphere unlike any other. Undergraduates may pursue dual degrees or double majors or an ad hoc (self-designed) major. Bienen graduates enjoy successful careers in a variety of music-related fields.

Balitmore, Maryland
Excellence in professional training is at the center of a Peabody education. Your studio experience will form the core of your Peabody education, and the supportive academic program which has long been a hallmark of Peabody's curriculum will equip you with a strong, holistic foundation in music and the humanities.

New York, New York
Teachers College, Columbia University is the first and largest graduate school of education in the United States and is also perennially ranked among the nation's best. We serve current and aspiring educators who want to truly make a difference in the world.

Tianjin, China
The Tianjin Juilliard School uniquely focuses on collaborative musicianship, emphasizing a commitment to ensemble playing of the highest artistic level. Our programs reflect the best of educational standards, preparing students for a lifetime of creative expression, of engagement and growth as an individual and as a musician.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Declared one of the nation's leading conservatories by the New York Times, CCM offers nine degree types (BA, BM, BFA, MFA, MM, MA, AD, DMA, PhD) in more than 100 possible majors.

Gainsville, Florida
The student body of the UF School of Music is an exceptional group of regional, national, and international artists and scholars. UF's extraordinary academic reputation, highly accomplished faculty, rigor of professional training, and notable success of our alumni attracts many of the best and brightest students each year.

Los Angeles, California
At the USC Thornton School of Music, we celebrate our location in Los Angeles, the nation's center for creativity and innovation. As the music profession changes, we offer a forward-thinking education that prepares students for careers at the highest levels as performers, composers, educators, and industry leaders. Our three exceptional divisions offer cross-genre experiences unique among the country's top music schools.

New Haven, Connecticut
The Yale School of Music is a graduate professional school for students of exceptional ability. In addition to receiving professional training in music, students are encouraged to participate in the rich intellectual life of Yale University and to develop and pursue interests in areas outside of their majors.

Academy of Vocal Arts
Blair School of Music
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Academy of the Vocal Arts is the only nationally accredited conservatory in the United States exclusively devoted to the training of young opera singers tuition-free. Artists from throughout the States and all over the world audition to study and perform in AVA's four-year program.
Nashville, Tennessee
Blair is a conservatory-level music program alongside a top 15 academic institution. It is one of the few exclusively undergraduate music schools in the country.
Boston University School of Music
The Crane School of Music
Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston University School of Music is a community of academically and artistically extraordinary musicians within a major research university located in one of the great music capitals of America. We are committed to the highest artistic and professional standards in performance, composition, music education, and musicology.
Postsdam, New York
Crane is an undergraduate-focused music school with attentive full-time faculty. We are part of SUNY Potsdam, an arts-centric school, with 550 music majors and where about 25 percent of students major in the arts. At Crane, students can choose from a wide variety of programs and majors.
Curtis Institute of Music
iClassical Academy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
One of the most selective schools in the United States, Curtis accepts four percent of applicants each year on average. A tuition-free policy ensures that talent and artistic promise are the only considerations for admission. Curtis's celebrated faculty includes a high proportion of actively performing musicians whose experience provides students with a direct link to life as a professional musician today.
Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Online learning makes a difference! Our platform offers the latest technology to meet the standards of eLearning. The focus of musical training is entirely on educating the student. Technical options include split-screen video and variable speed options. Besides, we created the ecosystem musiXange that offers musicians free resources and promotion.
Longy School of Music
Mason Gross School of the Arts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Longy prepares musicians to make a difference in the world with a social imperative that is at the core of the School's curriculum. Breaking down traditional conservatory constraints, Longy students learn to lead meaningful lives in music through project-based courses and performances alongside professional partners.
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Mason Gross School of the Arts allows you to gain high level conservatory training while enjoying the traditional college experience that a public university provides. Our students also benefit from our close proximity to the vibrant arts culture in New York City and Philadelphia.
Pepperdine University
Royal College of Music
Malibu, California
Pepperdine University has emerged as one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in beautiful Malibu, California, the Music Department offers high-quality instruction and an exceptional, personal learning experience for each individual. This nurturing environment allows our students to refine their talents for successful lives as musicians. Ample scholarships are available.
London, United Kingdom
The Royal College of Music (RCM) is one of the world's greatest conservatories. Ranked the top institution for performing arts in the UK for four consecutive years (QS World University Rankings 2016-2019), we welcome staff and students from all over the world bringing exceptional talent, creativity, and inspiration.
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
The Shepherd School of Music
San Francisco, California
With a faculty that includes nearly 30 members of the San Francisco Symphony, as well as collaborative partnerships with the Bay Area's major performing arts institutions and tech and entertainment companies, SFCM provides its students with an unparalleled opportunity to study in the heart of San Francisco's performing arts district.
Houston, Texas
The Shepherd School of Music provides a dedicated faculty of artist-teachers, extraordinary performance opportunities, beautiful facilities, and an unparalleled education at one of America's premiere universities.
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colorado
Founded in 1920, the college offers a wide range of programs uniquely combining advanced musical training with professionally oriented experiences and the rich resources of a leading research university. Active as award-winning professional performers, composers, and scholars, faculty members are committed to helping students develop their talents.

Additional Schools
Bard College Conservatory of Music
Bard College
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Conservatorio di Musica "Arrigo Boito"
Parma, Italy
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Boston, Massachusetts
Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas
Carnegie Mellon University School of Music
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Cleveland Institute of Music
Cleveland, Ohio
Colburn School
Los Angeles, California
DePauw University
Greencastle, Indiana
Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin
Berlin, Germany
College of Music
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida
Frost School of Music
University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida
Hugh A. Glauser School of Music
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
London, United Kingdom
Mannes School of Music
The New School
New York, New York
Robert McDuffie Center for Strings
Mercer University
Macon, Georgia
New England Conservatory
Boston, Massachusetts
New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy
Miami Beach, Florida
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Oberlin College
Oberlin, Ohio
Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA)
Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
Peck School of the Arts
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Purchase College Conservatory of Music
State University of New York
Purchase, New York
School of Jazz and Contemporary Music
The New School
New York, New York
Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA)
Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Shanghai, China
Shenandoah Conservatory
Shenandoah University
Winchester, Virginia
UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Los Angeles, California
University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Music & Dance
Amherst, Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Lowell Department of Music
Lowell, Massachusetts
School of Music, Theatre & Dance
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
School of Music
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
University of North Texas
Denton, Texas
Westminster Choir College
Rider University
Princeton, New Jersey