15 Of The Best Music Schools in the World (2024)

If you want to take your musical career seriously and develop it through classical education, you want to go to the best music school possible. While you may know some, there are other options to consider if you want the best musical education.

When you try to pick and choose the right school for you, you will see that there are a lot of music schools. Many of them are similar but have different preferences in the music styles they teach, where they are located, and how much they cost.

To help you narrow down the search for the right music school, this list is tailored for you and your needs, whether it is located in the US or elsewhere in the world.

1. Berklee College of Music

Boston, USA

Screenshot of college.berklee.edu

Go to website: Berklee College of Music

Starting this list is one of the most famous and well-known music schools in the world. Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA is known for having a more contemporary curriculum than the other big music schools. There, you are more likely to study jazz, contemporary music, movie, and video game soundtracks.

This school has quite a high acceptance rate, as they can house a big number of students and they have a big number of online courses, through which you can get certification and learn something new without having to enroll in the college itself. Check out the Best Online Music Production Courses and Schools for more info.

2. The Royal Academy of Music

London, UK

Go to website: The Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music is one of the oldest and finest music schools the United Kingdom has to offer. Since the 19th century, this college is one of the finest in the world, teaching its students to contemporary and classical music.

The great thing about this college is that the ratio of professors to students is 2:1, meaning you will get a closely monitored education, but also, it has a really low acceptance rate because people from all over the world can apply, and they take that opportunity.

3. The Julliard School

New York, USA

Screenshot of www.juilliard.edu

Go to website: The Julliard School

The most famous and prestigious music school in the world, Julliard is notorious for being hard to get in, but if you do manage to get enrolled there, your chances of making it in the music industry are good.

Great conditions for music students, almost face-to-face teaching, and having the best music teachers in the world guarantee that if you’re willing to put in the work good things will happen. Also, having the Julliard name on your resume certainly opens a lot of doors, especially if you are an instrumentalist looking for a job in an orchestra.

4. Curtis Institute of Music

Philadelphia, USA

Screenshot of www.curtis.edu

Go to website: Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music is another great American music college, this time coming from the city of brotherly love. This college is notoriously hard to get in, as they have an acceptance rate of just 5% and a rather small student and faculty body. However, once you do get in, you can be sure that you will be treated with maximum respect.

Another major thing about this college is that it is free! They have never charged a penny for their courses, which is one of the reasons for the small number of professors and students they can house at the same time.

5. The University of Music and Performing Arts

Vienna, Austria

Screenshot of www.mdw.ac.at

Go to website: The University of Music and Performing Arts

You could expect that the country that gave the world Mozart, Shubert, Strauss, and many other composers and classical music instrumentalists would have a music school on this list.

The University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna is a big school covering everything from all sorts of music degrees to movie and theater degrees, but you do need to be proficient in German to enroll in this school. On the plus side, for natives and German speakers, it doesn’t get better than this.

6. Conservatoire de Paris

Paris, France

Screenshot of www.conservatoiredeparis.fr

Go to website: Conservatoire de Paris

Furthering our stay in Europe, the next school on this list is the famous Conservatoire de Paris. One of the oldest music schools in the world, this college accepts only 30 students each year, from all over the world, so you should really think before applying to this school.

On the plus side, if you do get in, you can be sure that you will learn all the best from the system that gave every big French name in the music world in the last 200 years.

7. Moscow Imperial Conservatory

Moscow, Russia

Go to website: Moscow Imperial Conservatory

One of the two most famous Russian conservatories (another one being in the old capital St. Petersburg), the Moscow Imperial Conservatory outlived the empire that gave it its name and still continues to produce world-class musicians and composers to this day.

They are a big college, with more than 1300 students, but you can expect high-quality education from the best music teachers Russia has to offer, and believe me, they do.

8. New England Conservatory of Music

Boston, USA

Screenshot of necmusic.edu

Go to website: New England Conservatory of Music

Another college from Boston, the New England Conservatory of Music, unlike its competitor Berklee, isn’t that much turned to contemporary music. Here you can study typical classical instruments and the whole school is more turned on classical music. Also, you can get a degree from Harvard on a dual degree study, as these universities have a collaboration.

9. University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

Los Angeles, USA

Go to website: USC Thornton

The west coast representative on this list, USC Thornton school of music is one of the oldest and the best US music schools. Here you can learn anything from classical music to jazz and contemporary music, to the music business and music-related works that are not playing and composing per se.

Additionally, since this college is in the same place as Hollywood, this is a great place to start and maybe work your way in the film music industry.

10. Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute

Baltimore, USA

Screenshot of www.peabody.jhu.edu

Go to website: Peabody Institute

The John Hopkins Peabody institute is a music school most famous for having a great number of alumni in professional orchestras in the world. Even though there are not so many very famous solo performers, the Institute is an institution where you’re guaranteed to get great classical music education which is sure to get you playing anywhere in the world.

11. Yale School of Music

New Haven, USA

Screenshot of music.yale.edu

Go to website: Yale School of Music

The only Ivy League university with a music school, Yale offers high-end, high-quality music education. Even though the acceptance rate is rather low, if you do get enrolled, you can get free tuition and joint studying degrees with other Yale classes.

Additionally, you can also enroll in the School of Music and other Yale classes if you’re accepted there and not in a School of Music.

12. Guildhall School of Music and Drama

London, UK

Screenshot of www.gsmd.ac.uk

Go to website: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Another famous and high-quality English music school, Guildhall is a college famous for its music degrees. Of course, the acceptance rate is rather low, but here you can get perfect tuition in one-on-one classes. You should be checking out this one especially if you’re a singer since they have a great singing class.

13. Sibelius Academy

Helsinki, Finland

Go to website: Sibelius Academy

Another great European college, Sibelius Academy is named after the great Finnish composer Jan Sibelius. They are a great music academy, as they have a big number of alumni playing all around the world and also they have a cooperation with the Peabody Institute.

The Sibelius Academy is merged with the Academy of Fine Arts and Theater Arts under the great big University of the Arts. You can be sure that the environment is there to nourish future artists.

14. Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

Bloomington, USA

Screenshot of music.indiana.edu

Go to website: Jacobs School of Music

Even though Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University isn’t really a household name in the music school business, it is a perfect school to learn and grow as an artist and a musician.

There, you will have everything you need to hone your skills to the max. Over the years, the reputation of this school increased and gradually continues to do so. It is worth considering and you can check out their degrees, programs, and curriculum.

15. Eastman School of Music

New York, USA

Screenshot of www.esm.rochester.edu

Go to website: Eastman School of Music

Another great New York music school, Eastman School of Music is also a competitive environment, with students from all over the world coming here to learn from the best. Alumni of this school are some of the biggest names in classical music today and you are sure to get a top-of-the-line education here.

In addition, you get to study and live in the city that never sleeps and experience the true lifestyle of the growing musician.


Depending on your location and degree goals, there are lots of prestigious music schools in the world worth your attention. Luckily, this list encapsulates all the best schools in know regions that offer amazing degrees, programs, and experiences. Granted, most of them are hard to get in, but, if you do manage to get enrolled, the education is top class!

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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