10 best music schools

Updated April 17, 2017

For students pursuing a career in the challenging and competitive business of music, the education received at a top music school often gives them a leg up after graduation. Top music schools can be found within many of the country's best universities and specialised degree-granting schools such as Harvard, Julliard and Vanderbilt, according to US News & World Report's 2010 rankings.

Harvard University

Harvard, the top university in the country according to US News & World Report, provides comprehensive music education in for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students pursuing their doctorate in music can specialise in four different areas: historical musicology, music theory, composition, and ethnomusicology, which focuses on cultural and social issues in music.

Harvard University Department of Music Music Building Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-2791

Yale University

Yale University's School of Music, one of the top music schools in the country, provides undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degree programs in music. Students focus their instruction in a number of specialised areas including voice, opera, strings, piano, music theory, music history, music composition, music technology, conducting, and organ.

Yale University School of Music 98 Wall Street New Haven CT 06511 203-432-4155

The Juilliard School

One of the most famous music schools in the world, the Julliard School in New York provides music education for high school students through graduate students. The school rewards Bachelor of Music degrees to students studying composition, piano, jazz, guitar and voice, among other disciplines. The graduate areas of study include conducting, composition, historical performance, piano and voice.

The Juilliard School 60 Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY 10023 212-799-5000

University of Rochester

Named 2008's "hottest music school" by the Kaplan/Newsweek Guide, the University of Rochester's Eastman school of music offers students bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in a variety of music areas including composition, jazz studies, music education, piano and theory. The school also offers a program in accompanying and early music.

University of Rochester Eastman School of Music 26 Gibbs Street Rochester, NY 14604 585-274-1000

Vanderbilt University

The Blair School of Music at the top-20 rated Vanderbilt University emphasises performance within its academic departments including keyboard, brass and percussion, ensembles, strings and voice. Although the school primarily offers bachelor's degrees in music, students enrolled in the five-year program spend their fifth year earning a master's degree in education, perfect for students interested in teaching music.

Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music 2101 W. End Avenue Nashville, TN 37240 615-322-7311

Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music's mission emphasises a strong education in contemporary music and music business, which over the years has produced Oscar- and Grammy-award-winning music professionals. The school houses four music departments where students earn bachelor's and master's degrees: composition, performance, music technology and professional education.

Berklee College of Music 1140 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02215 617-266-1400

Oberlin College

Students studying at Oberlin College earn degrees in areas such as performance, conducting, music teaching and music history. The college offers both graduate and undergraduate studies and students have the opportunity to specialise their education in a number of areas including jazz studies, voice, strings, brass, woodwinds and percussion.

Oberlin College 148 West College Street Oberlin, OH 44074 440-774-7722

Manhattan School of Music

With all the music resources New York City has to offer, the Manhattan School of Music offers degrees in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies within a wide variety of music specialisations including voice, conducting, composition, orchestral instruments, and saxophone. The school emphasises performance opportunities with over 400 student concerts each year.

Manhattan School of Music 120 Claremont Avenue New York, NY 10027 212-749-2802

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

The San Francisco Conservatory is the oldest music school on the nation's west coast. Students study towards a bachelor's or master's degree in a variety of music areas including composition, guitar, orchestral instruments and voice. The school also offers an artistic certificate in chamber music and graduate studies in piano accompanying.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music 50 Oak Street San Francisco, CA 94102 415-864-7326

Bucknell University

Students studying at Bucknell receive music education that emphasises three core areas: music history, music theory and performance. The school offers a state-of-the-art music facility, the Sigfried Weis Music Building, which houses an extensive music library, a recital hall, faculty studios and practice rooms. Students earn undergraduate degrees in music education, performance, composition and music history; the school does not offer graduate studies.

Bucknell University Dent Drive Lewisburg, PA 17837 570-577-2000

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About the Author

John Biles has worked as a freelance reporter for the "North Hills News Record" and a freelance theater critic for the "Cranberry Journal." Biles was a volunteer columnist at and, a professional and independent source of news and information covering the Pittsburgh Steelers. He graduated from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications.