What Is The Best Music College? Here's My Top 3...

Some people think that going to music college can ruin your creativity, while others (obviously there are others) have the perspective that a formal education in a creative art can be incredibly beneficial.

If you're the latter, then this article is for you.

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Pictured: A library from not-any-of-the-schools-in-this-article.

Best Music College - #3: Juillard

Located in New York, Juilliard School was founded in 1905, and has an approximate 6% acceptance rate.

It is a wildly world-famous school that has music, drama, and dance programs. It has the type of knowability that it's even often featured on movies and TV.

Remember Charlie Sheen's character on "Two and a Half Men"? He made his way through the world by writing jingles, and his fictional character on the show got his training through Juillard.

That's the type of reputation this school has.

Although Julliard has a great Academic program, it is often said that the teachers are fairly inaccessible, and getting support can be difficult.

Finding practice space can also be troubling as most students are forced to share practice rooms with others, making "practice time" into "wear noise reduction headphones while practicing your instrument" time.

You can find information about their Academic Programs Here

Best Music College - #2: Mannes College: The New School For Music

Now if you walk 20 blocks down from Juillard, you can find yourself at Mannes college.

Mannes College puts a massive focus on classical music. They have been open for over 90+ years...making them...about half as old as Gandalf...

They offer courses to obtain the following undergraduate degrees:

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Undergraduate Diploma

As well as the following Graduate Degrees:

  • Master of Music
  • Professional Studies Diploma

Mannes has been known to be a bit of a smaller campus, which has allowed it to provide a really intimate atmosphere, exactly the type of thing you need for accelerated learning!

Students of Mannes often talk about "not being just a number", but being valued and integrated into the school.

If I were to be hitting up a music college today, I feel like Mannes would be really suitable for my learning style. I really enjoy 1-on-1 personal training; it suits me best.

You can visit the Mannes college website here.

Most students that go there feel that it's an underrated school as it often gets overshadowed by Juillard which is located just down the road...

Best Music College - #1: Berklee

Although Berklee has support for many styles of Music, it has a reputation for imparting the most value to Jazz Musicians.

The school was attended by famous musicians like John Mayer, but don't fool yourself; going to Berklee will not make you famous.

Being a hard-working, talented, and creative musician, as well as knowing how the Music industry works, is what will make you a successful musician.

Berklee is what you put into it. If you aren't really that great now, and you expect going to college will make you all-of-a-sudden talented, you will be sorely disappointed (and a whole lot poorer).

But if you go with the expectation that it will amplify your already existing skill, then you would be making a good decision in going.

I don't deny that going to any of these colleges will definitely make you a better musician than if you hadn't gone at all, I'm just saying that it won't make a star out of you.

I recently interviewed the band "Art Decade" (I'll have the interview up here soon), and the entire band attended Berklee.

During the interview I was able to pick their brains about their experience there.

They talked about having some amazing resources for their own music, such as being able to use a very expensive (free for students) music studio to record some of their music.

The band was able to borrow an entire orchestra section (made up of other highly talented students) to help record their album.

Of course, any of the music they recorded there is not allowed to be sold, but I'm sure giving it away for free is no big pickle (and still very useful considering you can play concerts, sell merch, etc)!

They also described some really wonderful instructors who knew their stuff a bunch.

Overall, Berklee is a highly reputable school, and seems to have some of the personality that Juilenne lacks. Of course, the type of musician that you are, and what degree you are training for, would probably have a big impact on the decision you make.

Personally, I won't be going to a best music college any time soon. For me, I really do feel that it is not the road that my life is going down at the moment, but I am open to it in the future.

The reason I feel this way is because I believe that the way you approach music has a massive impact on the music you write, and taking a road that you don't feel "is you" (at least for the moment) could be hurtful to the music you write in the future.

On several occasions, I have attempted to try writing music through the use of music theory; it has never worked for me. I even took a course at a local college (not the best music college, but I really was taking music theory seriously) but just couldn't make it click.

I find that I'm most creative, and most expressive when I just let the music flow from me. Finding ways to make it flow though, is a completely different article altogether.

People that aren't me (maybe you!) may find that the structured school setting is best for them, and if that's you, that is a completely valid perspective.

I think it's so valid in fact, that I invested my time and wrote this entire article to honor how valid I think your perspective is; so that you could be benefitted from it, and can get closer to deciding on where you want to go in the future.

If that is the road you want to take, I recommend a big wallet; these educations ain't cheap.

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About The Writer

My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.