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Music Performance Colleges

Top Music Performance Colleges

Weekly music lessons, endless practices, nightly rehearsals and juries with faculty are all a part of music performance schools. If singing or playing an instrument is your passion, as a performance major it will be your life. Student musicians spend more time practicing than almost any other activity. This is why being selective and picky with your prospective college is a necessity as a music performance major.

Taking Criticism Is Important

As a music performance major, you'll need to take constructive criticism from professors and fellow students alike. Taking criticism is important to help you grow and develop your talents and improve your skills along the way. In addition to getting feedback in your lessons, you may have to perform in juries. Juries are a final exam in which you'll perform in front of your teacher or a panel of teachers for a grade.

Music Performance Schools Checklist

  • When visiting campuses, consider if there is enough room for everyone to practice and rehearse?
  • What kinds of study opportunities are there? If you have an interest in classical music, make sure there’s a performance group that specializes in your area.
  • What kinds of internships and summer programs are available to students?
  • How many hours of private instruction will you receive?
  • Are there opportunities in the region to perform off-campus?
  • Is the program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music?
  • Is the professor a professional performer or a former professional?

The Top Music Performance Colleges & Universities

Seeking a career on stage?  The following colleges are consistently cited as offering outstanding programs in musical performance.

  • Bard College
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Conservatory
  • Boston University
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Julliard School
  • Lawrence University
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • Oberlin College & Conservatory
  • Peabody Conservatory of Music
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts

*College lists are compiled on the basis of counselor interviews, guide books, exhaustive internet searches (of college and departmental websites), and data provided by The College Board and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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