Top 10 traditional music colleges in the USA6 min read

Music Sep 17, 2021
Top 10 traditional music colleges in the US



Top 10 traditional music colleges in the USA6 min read

Focusing all your attention and choosing the desired music college is a big decision to make! At such a time, the decision that you make will either create your career progressively or let you keep struggling. In this modern era of technology, we have every possible facility available to let us explore new versions of music.

Nevertheless; the traditional ethics, values, teaching methodologies and cultural knowledge about music can only be achieved in a traditional institute to learn music. Undoubtedly, such institutions are hard to find and even harder to get into! But with the desired passion and skill, nothing seems impossible.

List of 10 traditional music colleges

Below we have a list of 10 traditional music colleges offering top notch music programs and courses in the US. Getting into one of these colleges is still a dream for many musicians. Almost all of these institutions require auditions, performance resumes and a detailed college application process differs from the usual colleges.

The Berkeley College of music

Located in upscale, this college offers a total of 12 major courses which would ultimately lead you to either a baccalaureate degree or a professional diploma. Not only this, but it has more than 30 types of certificates and degree programs. The college focuses on getting its students to the top 40 list and this is the reason why many of their alumni work in pop, jazz, rock and other similar genres. Some of their alumni include Melissa Etheridge, Esperanza Spalding, Quincy Jones and John Mayer.

Yale school of music

While the normal Yale branch of the university may not come to your mind immediately but talking about the Yale school of music, it is considered to be a global leader in teacher musicians. As the music school stands out in every prospect for teaching music, it is highly selective and chances of getting in are quite low. Every year, they are known to admit not more than 200 students into their music programs. Some of their alumni include world famous musicians like Triple Grammy winner Michael Daugherty, Marco Beltrami, Matt Brubeck and many more!

Curtis Institute of Music

This music school is believed to be 100 years old. The major area of specialization provided by them is in opera, but it also offers programs in composition, conducting, vocal studies, strings, brass, guitar, harp, piano, organ and more. This college is very selective and strict with its selection process. Allowing no more than 175 students each year, the tuition-free offered by this college is extraordinarily selective. Some of their notable alumni include Leonard Bernstein, David Brooks, and Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang.

Mannes School of Music

The special thing about this school is that they infuse real-world experience and cross-disciplinary learning into their rigorous traditional classical training program. The city is based in New York City. They offer more than 50 minors and a five-year dual degree program in Orchestral Instruments and Arts Management and Entrepreneurship.
Some famous alumni who graduated from their school include widely successful composer, songwriter, record producer, pianist, and singer Burt Bacharach.

Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

This music school is located at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. It admits more than 1,600 students each year. A total number of 80 faculty members included in this university are famous performers, scholars, and internationally renowned teachers. The facilities provided here are amazing. They include a sum of five buildings with recital halls, more than 170 practice rooms, rehearsal rooms, and more than 100 studios and offices. Some of their renowned Alumni include Grammy award-winning violinist and conductor Joshua Bell and rock musician Carl Broemel.

Cleveland Institute of Music

This school promises to provide classical training to modern musicians. If you have the right passion and fulfill their eligibility requirements then getting into this college will not be that difficult. You can earn dual degrees, including an education degree so that you can opt for earning double majors in theory, composition, eurhythmics, or audio recording. The wide variety of programs they provide is beyond imagination. Some of these programs include various instruments, audio recording, music theory, composition, and voice (opera). Getting to know about their Alumni, we have classical guitarist and Grammy winner, Jason Vieaux, and Martin Leung, also known as Video Game Pianist. If you want to know more about their programs and workshops, feel free to contact their respective admissions offices.

Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University

This school is located in Nashville, TN and is exclusively designed for undergraduates.The bachelor’s degree that they provide focuses heavily on individual performance instruction in the classical tradition. Here students tend to gain rich practical experience through solo recitals, master class participation, and performance while they also earn their academic credits. Some of their brilliant Alumni include violinist Dana Kelley and pianist/composer Evan Mack.

The New England Conservatory of Music

This school trains as well as prepare musicians of all ages from nearly 40 countries. The school believes that the study of music builds human capacity, purifies their soul, and prepares the students to live their lives and share their joyful memories with others. They offer various courses of the major’s program, including chamber music, collaborative piano, composition, conducting, brass, music theory, contemporary improvisation, and more. Some of their remarkable alumni include the pop opera singer (winner of America’s Got Talent in 2008), Neal E. Boyd, Aoife O’Donovan, and percussionist Vic Firth.

Bienen School of Music

This school got its recognition long back in 1873 when the Northwestern Female College and the Evanston College for Ladies merged into the Northwestern University Women’s College. Bienen School of music is located in Evanston, IL, Chicago. Being recognized as a nationally ranked top music academy, it offers a total of five dual degrees programs. Many students try their luck every year to get admitted to this institute. But each year’s class has only 200 undergraduate and graduate students. The list of their successful alumni is quite long. Some of them include Grammy Award-winning music director and principal conductor for Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, Arnie Roth, and Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist and album producer, Steve Rodby.

The Juilliard School

Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, this college is considered to be one of the most prestigious and recognized colleges in the US. It offers dance and acting in addition to music. There are various programs in which you can enroll like vocal arts, instruments, jazz studies, historical performances, composition, conducting and many more! Juilliard focuses more on classical and opera. Some of their brilliant alumni include Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Nina Simone and Pat Benatar.


No doubt that the journey is going to be tough and arguably one of the most challenging things that you’ll ever experience. But just remember that every music college has a pool of applicants that has thousands of students worldwide. You just need to have that unique perspective, caliber and skill to make yourself distinguishable from others.
Happy exploring!


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