Music Schools?

does anyone know where i can find a listing of the top music schools (universities) in California or the US?

Here’s US News & World Report’s list of all the fine arts/music schools in the country:

It’s not ranked, but you can figure out how “good” a school’s reputation is by looking at how tough it is to get into, i.e. Julliard’s 8% acceptance rate makes it more competitive and prestigious than S.F. Conservatory of Music’s 61%. [Of course, there are hundreds of people who dispute this concept of ranking, so your mileage may vary!]

You might also try contacting the music dept. at your local college/university, asking about their program, and very diplomatically [nudge] asking about other programs around the country [/nudge].

Good luck! What do you play/sing?
Akash J

Here is a page that is ranked, but it’s full of crap:

Also if you poke around a little you’ll find specific rankings for different music types. Note that 1) this is a list of graduate programs, and I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for; 2) they ranked U of Rochester before Julliard, which is a load of tripe. Kind of like how the magazine rates NYU law school better than U of Chicago law school based solely on NYU’s whorish p.r. [rant mode OFF]

Anyway, like I said, call a local school’s music dept. and make friends with a professor or student there. Go out to coffee with them, express friendly interest, and get them talking about the industry. If you get good at schmoozing now, it can only help later. :slight_smile:

Who Should Not Be Up So Early

Try this one from School Band and Orchestra Magazine.
Their website is (logically enough)
Good luck.

Personally, Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos is the school that made me the fine musician I am today! :wink:

Well, I’m currently trying to get into CalArts. Everything I’ve heard and learned about it tells me it’s wondeful, but it would really depend on the particular type of music you play. CalArts seems to cater to the eclectic artist.


I assume you know that U. Rochester is the parent institution of the Eastman School of Music–easily one of, if not the, finest music schools in the nation? Aside from its deficit of location (who could compete with Juilliard’s Lincoln Center perch?), it offers programs and faculty in every way on par with Julliard–in my opinion, of course.


When looking into schools, prioritize by faculty in whatever discipline interests you. If you are a performer, establish contact with potential teachers and schedule trial lessons–nothing is more important than a primary teacher with whom you “click” on both a personal and professional level.

Small schools often offer excellent instruction (my bachelor of music degree is from a liberal arts college, not a conservatory) but often come up short in the areas of performance opportunities and concert offerings.

Bigger or better known schools will usually offer a more intense experience and a better musical infrastructure, but any student has to be wary of getting lost in the crowd, or neglected. Attending a “reputation” school is no guarantee of a good education, or of success. My two graduate degrees are from the University of Michigan, and in my time there I benefitted a great deal from the rich offerings of concerts and experienced faculty, but I also saw many students suffer from neglect, having been judged untalented or of no interest.

What is your area of interest?

My wife went to Indiana University School of Music. At the time,( mid-70’s to 1980) it had a sterling reputation.Check em out. One brother in law went to Julliard, the other one went to Curtis Institute of Music in Philly before going to the Mozarteum in Salzburg…

Me, I don’t play a note. I went to School of Visual Arts in NYC, where our contempt of “NYUies” knew NO bounds. Snotfaced punks with too much equipment and not enough street smarts. ( Thank god I’m no longer bitter. Imagine if I was…)


(Akash slaps his head) For some reason I thought Eastman was in Boston–no, that’s Berklee. Hmph–shows you what I know. :slight_smile: All the same, aschrott, I have to lean towards Julliard. I’m finishing up my undergrad work at a certain low-ranked Ivy League school, and even though some of our facilities and programs are better than the (un)Holy Trinity of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, they have a star power which is undeniable. The distance in terms of quality betw. Eastman and Julliard is indeed slight, but Juliiard has the star power.

Well, um, I’m gonna go to law school, so I’m gonna shut up now and let the people who know what they’re talking about continue the discussion. :smiley: More proof of why you should always take the Teeming Millions’ advice (and mine) with many grains of salt…