Which Music School is Right For You?

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in music, it’s important to choose the right school. The best colleges for music majors are those that provide a real-world education and offer networking opportunities for their graduates. They also feature a large number of faculty members who are current or former professional musicians. This helps them keep up with the latest music technology, innovative products, and new teaching methods.

Most schools will offer a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in addition to their masters and PhD programs. Students who are considering a B.A. in music should look for one that focuses on liberal arts, meaning only 1/3 to 1/2 of your course load must be music classes. These degrees are usually less expensive than a B.S. degree but they may not be as prestigious on your resume.

A graduate degree is the most prestigious option for aspiring professional musicians. The Master of Fine Arts is perfect for those interested in musical theater, composing, orchestra conducting, and more. The Juilliard School is the most renowned performing arts college in the world and features an extensive curriculum that covers all areas of performance.

Another popular choice is a Bachelor of Music School or a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in music. These degrees are typically the most specialized and focus on the art of playing music as well as the history of music-making. These are great options for students who want to pursue careers in music education, artist representation, or arts administration.

Many universities will have a slew of internship opportunities for their students as well as an industry network that can be helpful in finding jobs after graduation. They may even have a radio station or recording studio on campus that allows students to learn how the business side of music works.

While Berklee is the clear winner of most rankings for top music schools, it’s worth checking out the New England Conservatory of Music as well. While it doesn’t get as much attention as its rival, the NECM offers an incredible amount of talent in their incoming class and is a great place for students who are serious about music but don’t plan to become professional musicians.

Every college will have its own audition requirements but it’s generally a good idea to take as many lessons as possible and work on any weaknesses in your skill set. For vocal performers, this can include a series of exercises designed to warm up the body and target specific technical skills (think of these like athletic coaches) while instrumentalists can work on things like scales and chord progressions.

Consider the city you wish to attend as well. Is there a thriving music scene that you’d like to be a part of? If not, you might prefer to attend a general university that has an excellent music school. This is a great option for students who want to make connections in the industry but don’t mind leaving campus when they need to for a gig or recording session.

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