The Top Music Schools in the United States

A career within the music industry, whether youre a performer, instructor, or a combination of them both, can be exciting, rewarding and very lucrative. One thing you need to keep in mind when considering a career in the music field is where you will obtain your education. Of course if you have a natural talent for music and youre not going to be teaching, you dont necessarily need a degree, however, if you plan on becoming a music instructor or you want to improve your chances of succeeding in the industry, you will want to earn a degree in music. There are many schools in the United States that offer some outstanding music programs, but there are also some that offer programs that are less-than-desirable. You definitely want to ensure that you steer clear of less desirable schools and attend only the absolute best if you hope to achieve your goals in music. Here are some schools that offer the most highly respected music programs in the United States:

New York Schools

Everyone knows that New York has some of the absolute best performing arts programs in the United States, and music is no different.

Julliard School
Julliard School of Music in New York City is considered to be a highly prestigious college and also one of the most competitive, during admissions and after enrollment. The school is located at Lincoln Center and is known for its stringent requirements and incredibly high expectations.

The Manhattan School of Music

Manhattan School of music is another great choice in New York. This renowned school offers a doctorate program in addition to their bachelors and masters programs. The school is located at the heart of New York City’s vibrant Morningside Heights with 900 students, including some 400 undergraduates studying voice, composition or performance.

University of Rochester, Eastern School of Music is another exceptional music program within New York. They too offer bachelors, masters and PhD programs in various areas of music.

Midwestern Schools

Cleveland Institute of Music
Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio boasts a group of talented and very distinguished musical professors. CIM has about 450 undergraduate and grad students. More than half of the members of The Cleveland Orchestra are connected to CIM as faculty members, alumni, or both.

Oberlin College in Oberlin
Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio is the oldest continuously operating Conservatory of Music in the United States. Oberlin offers rigorous programs designed to prepare students for professional lives as performers, composers, scholars, and teachers. It offers undergraduate majors in performance, composition, electronic and computer music, jazz studies, music education, music history, music theory, and a double major in piano performance and vocal accompanying.

The University of Michigans School of Music, Theatre & Dance
The University of Michigans School of Music, Theater and Dance is another remarkable Midwestern school of music For more info see

Other Areas

San Francisco Conservatory of Music
San Francisco Conservatory of Music in California offers both bachelor and masters degrees in several areas in music. The Conservatory has educated many of the worlds gifted music students.

Harvard University Department of Music
Harvard University Department of Music offers various undergraduate and graduate programs and a PhD program in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, or composition.

Curtis Institute of Music
Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA is highly selective, with an enrollment of about 165 and is one of the world’s leading conservatories. Curtis offers undergraduate and graduate programs in musical techniques, harmony, the analysis of music and a great deal more. Curtis has a close relationship with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA was founded in 1945 on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. Berklee College of Music offers a variety of dual major, 5-year programs in composition, contemporary writing and production in addition to 9 other distinctive areas.

There are other highly-respected music schools besides the choices included on this list, and you dont have to necessarily attend one of the top 10 music schools in us in order to receive the best education possible. As long as your program includes all of the important components necessary to be considered a reputable music program and is accredited, you shouldn’t have to worry about the rating of your school.