Choosing the right music program doesn’t have to be a challenge. Sure, you’ve heard of Juilliard, but you’ve probably also heard that it only accepts a handful of students each year. The world of music education is so much wider. Here are some of the best music programs worldwide.
This Midwestern music program in Ohio is the oldest continuously operating Conservatory of Music in the United States. Undergrads can choose from eight majors, ranging from performance to jazz to music theory. With five concert halls and over 150 rooms for practice, students receive plenty of on-campus practice time. Oberlin is a pioneer of electronic music and was one of the first colleges to offer it as a major.
The Moscow Conservatory claims to be one of the finest music programs in the world. Such great talents as the composer Tchaikovsky spent time teaching in this program. Considered a classic program for music theory and history, it has maintained its prestige for decades.
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology claims to be one of the most innovative music programs in the world. It is a part of the University in Hoboken, in New Jersey. A degree in recording or production extends far beyond the basics offered by most music colleges. Along with a strong foundation, the college teaches the physics and engineering of sounds to ensure its students graduate with a well-rounded understanding of music.
The Royal Academy of Music
Based in London, the Royal Academy of Music was granted a Royal Charter by King George IV. Its program specializes in classical performance, including piano, strings and opera. Known for its international student population, the Academy attracts musicians from all over the world to study at all levels, from undergraduate to PhD.
Eastman School of Music
Those seeking work directly out of school often head to upstate New York to study at the Eastman School of Music. Eastman is known for its strong relationships with professionals in the music industry and the opportunities for real-life experience it offers its students. While the program does teach theory courses, the real focus lies in how music fits into the modern world.
The College of Saint Rose
Another New York-based college, the College of Saint Rose specializes in music production. The program walks students through the process of creating, recording and producing an album to show them the business side of music, preparing them for a very practical career in music. The program is especially known for blending the theory and practice of arts with the practical, business side. Internships are required, meaning all students graduate with experience in the music industry.
Franz Liszt Academy
The Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest is famous for its books and manuscripts donated by the renowned composer Franz Liszt. With a long list of well-known composers, including Liszt, Hubay, Popper, Dohnányi, Bartók, Weiner and Kodály, the Academy has left a lasting impact on the music industry worldwide. A strong connection between the Hungarian and Japanese governments also provides an international business approach to music that adds to its educational appeal.
Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University
Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Curb College has a more modern approach to music education. A former president of MGM Records founded the school with the idea that music constantly changes and evolves, and it is important that graduates of the college stay current on those shifts. The program takes advantage of its setting in Nashville, also known as Music City. It tries to replicate the music industry to give students a leg-up after graduation.
Sibelius Academy is one of the biggest music universities in Europe. It teaches about 1,700 students at a time, making it the perfect place for future musicians and music professionals to network. Programs cover everything from church to folk music, and the school boasts famous professors and alumni, including Kalevi Aho, Einojuhani Rautavaara and Leo Funtek.
Full Sail University
Full Sail University focuses primarily on entertainment, media and the arts. As a fully dedicated arts college, the Winter Park, Florida, school offers an extensive staff of experts in the entertainment business. It was originally started as a recording workshop, but later became a full-fledged university with offerings far beyond recording, although that still remains an area of focus for students. Programs at Full Sail offer a more modern approach to the music industry than many other colleges on this list, and the college is ideal for those with a focus on recording or entertainment.
When shopping around for a music program, it’s important to remind yourself that each university specializes in unique areas and offers advantages that others do not. Don’t limit your search, as strong music programs are located around the world. You should never be afraid to travel to find the perfect music program for you.