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Top Ten Music Colleges and Universities in the United States

Higher Education Articles March 1, 2013

At several United States leading music colleges, skilled instrumentalists, songwriters, and singers can typically pursue a graduate or undergraduate degree in musical arts or music. Majority of music colleges and universities throughout the country offers training in specialized areas, such as guitar, piano, or voice. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best music schools in the United States.

The Juilliard School – New York, New York

The Juilliard School has earned a national reputation for educational excellence in the performing arts, including music since its opening in 1905. Incidentally, this leading music school collaborated with two area colleges, Barnard College and Columbia University, to offer training to those who have successful audition that are not Juilliard students. At Juilliard, students may pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.), Master of Music (M.M.), Bachelor of Music (B.M.), or special combined B.M./M.M., and graduate and undergraduate diplomas programs are available to outstanding music students. At this leading music college, there are several specializations that are offered including voice, organ, guitar, piano, harpsichord, jazz studies, and orchestral instruments.

Manhattan School of Music – New York, New York

The Manhattan School of Music, located in the heart of New York City, opened in 1917, and since that time has been imparting music education and attracts about 800 students annually. Many educational levels are offered at this school, ranging from students aiming for a doctoral degree in music to pre-teens attending courses on weekends. Majors in every instrument ranging from the violin to the bassoon in jazz and classical courses are available for undergraduates to pursue. Coursework includes subject areas such as history, humanities, and music theory. They can also take part in competitions and performances. The college offers an Orchestral Performance Program as a focus area for students enrolled in the Master of Music (M.M.) degree program. Students can also pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.); additionally, Manhattan offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in music, in collaboration with Columbia University’s Teacher’s College.

Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut

U.S. News and World Report rated Yale as the country’s third-best college in 2011 while the Princeton Review rated the university as the top ten best value colleges. The admission process at Yale is extremely selective; music students are expected to showcase their music skills via entry exams, live auditions, and recorded samples. A D.M.A., a Master of Musical Arts (M.M.A.) and a M.M. are among graduate degrees offered at Yale School of Music. A combined Master of Music (M.M.)/Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program is also offered at the school. Students in the school’s music arts programs focus on performance or composition, and those who choose to focus on performance have various specialization options including trumpet, percussion, violin, flute, guitar, harp, piano, and voice, among other choices.

List of Ten Leading Music Schools in the United States

College/University School Distinction Location of School
Berklee College of Music As part of its curriculum, it became the first music school in the United States to teach jazz Boston, Massachusetts
Bucknell University Music majors are offered scholarships Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
DePauw University The DePauw opera program Greencastle, Indiana
Furman University The Maxwell Music Library Greenville, South Carolina
Manhattan School of Music The Center for Music Entrepreneurship’s internships, projects, and programs New York, New York
Oberlin College and Conservatory United States oldest music conservatory Oberlin, Ohio
The Juilliard School The Julliard Manuscript Collection New York, New York
University of Texas at Austin The Center for American Music’s relationship with the city of Austin, considered being the ‘live music capital of the world’ Austin, Texas
Vanderbilt University Every year there are eight concert series available Nashville, Tennessee
Yale University International programs in music, including the Musicathlon New Haven, Connecticut

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