From New York to Massachusetts, America has some great schools to study classical music. Below are some top schools for music performance and composition in the U.S. They each offer great music courses, have an accomplished faculty and numerous performance opportunities.
Curtis Institute of Music — Philadelphia, PA
Having among its alumni international piano sensations like Yuja Wang and Lang Lang, the Curtis Institute of Music is a top choice school to study classical music in the U.S. Just like its competitors, many of its graduates have gone on to principal positions in the major orchestras of throughout the country. Apart from its impeccable faculty and exceptional alumni history, the best part of schooling at Curtis is that the institution has since 4 years after its establishment in 1924, offered a full scholarship to its students. Only three other schools offer a similar opportunity. It is, indeed, the most selective music college in the entire world, with acceptance rates typically below 5%.
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music — Bloomington, IN
Classed among the best schools in the U.S for music composition, vocal and percussion performance, orchestral conducting, and music librarianship, the IU Jacobs School of Music offers unmatched quality of instruction to its large student body of approximately 1,600 music students. It has an impressive diversity of faculty, 13 choirs, 8 wind bands, 7 symphonies, a contemporary music ensemble with 600 performances and six operatic productions each school year. Although it is not free to attend like Yale, Curtis, and Colburn, the Jacobs School of Music doles out an unbelievable $5 million dollars per year in merit-based funds. Additionally, students can access over $280 million in loans and federal funding each year.
Juilliard School — New York, NY
With an acceptance rate of 8%, Juilliard is one of the most selective classical music schools in the U.S. From actor Robin Williams to cellist Yo-Yo Ma and trumpeter Miles Davis, Juilliard, it goes without saying, has an exceptional alumni list. It also boasts a great faculty with the likes of Alan Gilbert, John Corigliano, Itzhak Perlman, Emmanuel Ax, and Erik Ralske to name a few. Juilliard students are regularly named prizewinners in top competitions, including the ASCAP and BMI student composer awards, Van Cliburn piano competition, and Fischoff chamber music competition. Located in New York City, the students also have the benefit of living in a cultural epicenter of America.
Yale School of Music — New Haven, CT
In addition to its highly lauded music courses, Yale School of Music is another school that offers its program free of charge. This is great as the school got an anonymous endowment of $100,000,000 in the last decade. It boasts a distinguished faculty with the likes of Martin Bresnick, David Shifrin, and Aldo Parisot as members. Students at Yale are in practically every professional music position around the world. The school’s location affords students the opportunity to network with top talents in New York City while studying.
Berklee College of Music — Boston, MA
Established 1945 in Boston, Berklee College is prestigious both for its unmistakable philosophy of music and its striking achievement. It is a particularly contemporary music school. Its approach to teaching music has led to its alumni winning over 250 Grammy Awards and several Oscars. Despite its over 4000 students and higher acceptance rate, Berklee is one of the prestigious schools in the U.S to study classical music. They also offer distance learning online programs through which students can earn a certificate or a degree in music.