Top 8 Music Schools in New York

If you want to major in music and want to study in just the right place, the music schools in New York are a good place to look at since some of the world’s best music schools are there. In this article, I have extensively discussed the best music schools in the region that can be a good fit for you.

In almost every American musical I have watched, the main character or main group of singers wants to go to New York, specifically Broadway. Turns out that this “Broadway” is a real place in New York and one of the most popular places in the US where dreams come alive. If you make it to the Broadway Theatre, as an artist and performer, your career has automatically gone next level.

New York is a place where every budding artist and aspiring musician wants to go. The best of everything that will develop your talents as a musician is there. The best music schools, the greatest performers, jazz musicians, music producers, composers, etc. are there, opportunities that will take your career to the next level are there, and the state on its own offers the perfect environment for music students.

Music students are not the only ones that can enjoy what New York has to offer. You can find other disciplines offered as degree programs by the universities and colleges there. If you want to get the best medical education, the medical schools in New York can serve you well and if you want to gain exceptional culinary skills, the state houses some of the best culinary institutions. For those interested in getting a nursing education, get it faster via one of the accelerated nursing programs in New York.

Now back to the topic, the Empire State has one of the most diverse music cultures in the world where you can find popular varieties of music genres such as jazz, rock, soul music, disco, classical, EDM, funk, and R&B. And even some popular music genres were born in New York such as salsa, hip hop, punk rock, new wave, boogaloo, bebop, and many more. The city is rich in various music cultures and contributes immensely to the music industry.

Its rich musical culture has made many institutions set up shop in the city and trained some of the greatest musicians ever who have, in turn, contributed to the further development of other students and music in the nation and the globe as a whole. By studying music in an environment like this, you will never run out of inspiration or creativity.

Its rich artistic environment is one of the reasons why aspiring art students apply for the art schools in New York and here, you are about to see the best schools for music in the Empire State.

There are also other published posts that you might find useful like the one on the best schools in Norway for business and top Singapore music schools. We have also published a guide on how to get a forensic science degree for those whose interest lies in forensic science. And if you have some spare time, you can spend it taking some free online courses from MIT and get a certification when you are done.

If you are aspiring to study music in New York then also get ready for the high expenses. The best things are the most expensive and the music schools in New York are no exception, the state is also among the most expensive places in the world.

Requirements for Music Schools in New York

If you are looking to pursue a music degree in New York, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have completed high school if you are applying for a bachelor’s degree or completed a bachelor’s degree if it is a master’s degree you are going for.
  2. ACT/SAT scores may or may not be required depending on the school
  3. High school transcripts and from previously attended institutions
  4. Experience in music or playing instruments
  5. Complete application form
  6. An essay or personal statement
  7. Reference letter(s)
  8. Passport-sized photo
  9. Audition

Cost of Music Schools in New York

The average cost of a music school in New York is $37,537 after aid which includes grants and scholarships. Without aid, the average tuition is $71,780. Before you get discouraged by the cost, know that you can find scholarships in New York that you can apply towards the cost of your music education and reduce the cost.

music schools in New York

Best Music Schools in New York

If you are keen on getting a music degree then you probably know that the best of the best is in New York, although expensive in tuition and cost of living, they offer you the best music education and a platform to grow your career.

There are over 60 music schools in New York and sieving through them looking for the right one for you can be a daunting task, thankfully, you do not need to do that. I have carried out extensive research on each of the schools and presented you with the best ones and their details so you can easily know which is a better option for you.

The best music schools in New York discussed here are ranked based on faculty, alumni, placement of students into the industry, and selectivity. Keep reading to find the right music school for you in the Empire State.

  • The Juilliard School
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Mannes School of Music
  • Eastman School of Music
  • The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts
  • Columbia University Department of Music
  • Steinhardt School’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Profession
  • Bard College, Conservatory of Music

1.     The Juilliard School

You possibly cannot talk about the best music school in New York, in the US, or the world as a whole without mentioning Juilliard. It is a private performing arts conservatory established in 1905 and trains about 850 undergraduate and graduate students annually in dance, drama, and music.

It has a widely recognized reputation for being among the best music schools in the world which trained popular artists like Keith David, Viola Davis, Philip Glass, Itzhak Perlman, and many others.

The Juilliard School is also highly selective and hard to get into. In 2020, it accepted only 8% of the applicants. The mission of the school is to offer the highest caliber of artistic education for talented musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world. Music degrees include a bachelor of music, master of music, a graduate diploma in music, doctor of musical arts, and artist diploma.

Visit Juilliard

2.     Manhattan School of Music

Training generations of musicians since 1918, the Manhattan School of Music is widely recognized among the best music schools in New York with a global reputation. It offers programs in the areas of orchestral performance, vocal arts, jazz arts, composition, musical theatre, and many more leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

There are also programs for students aged 5-18 to help develop their talents and have fun.

The school hosts more than 600 live concerts annually on campus and around New York. Exposure like this offers a great platform for aspiring music students to explore and grow their talents.

MSM accepts about 960 talented students annually into its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. It is also a place for international students with a good number of students from over 50 countries.

Visit MSM

3.     Mannes School of Music

Right there in the center of the world’s most creative community is the Mannes School of Music offering aspiring musicians a world-class music education and a platform to showcase their abilities to the world. The school provides her students with opportunities to perform across the city and engage with premier artists.

It offers undergraduate, graduate, and preparatory programs with a rigorous curriculum that will bring nothing but the best out in you.

There are more than 10 areas of study including strings, theory, voice, woodwinds, conduction, brass, percussion, guitar, and composition. There are also over 50 minors to enable you to explore other areas and become a more dynamic and multi-faceted artist.

Visit Mannes

4.     Eastman School of Music

Eastman School of Music is the music school of the University of Rochester and one of the leading music colleges in New York. It offers programs to students leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate study levels. The acceptance rate is low here accepting about 950 students annually.

About 800 performances are conducted yearly giving students the opportunity and a platform for to develop their abilities to the fullest and prepare them for successful careers in the industry.

Programs for undergraduates are bachelor of music, bachelor of arts/science, and a couple of dual degree and special programs. Programs for graduates are master of arts, master of music, doctor of musical arts, doctor of philosophy, advanced diploma in performance, and other special programs.

Visit Eastman

5.     The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts has trained some of the famous actors today like Jacob Batalon of Spiderman: Homecoming, David Del Rio of Pitch Perfect, Ser’Darius Blain of Jumanji, and many more. Although the school seems like the best place for aspiring actors the associate degree programs in musical theater performance also make it a good place for budding music artists.

This program is an acting-focused musical theater program that trains students in voice, dance, acting, and business. It is like the total package and it just takes 2 years to complete, well, all other programs are in an associate degree. To apply, you will audition in person or by Zoom call, send official high school transcripts, submit an essay, provide 2 letters of recommendation, and pay the $50 application fee.


6.     Columbia University Department of Music

The Department of Music at Columbia University is one of the leading music schools in New York. It is organized into four academic areas: composition, ethnomusicology, historical musicology, and music theory. Through these areas, undergraduate and graduate degree programs are provided.

The department also has a library, computer music center, center for jazz studies, and other facilities where you can gain hands-on skills and explore varieties of musical documents and practices.

Visit School

7.     Steinhardt School’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Profession

This is the professional music school of New York University that offers a high level of professional training in the performing arts. Graduate and undergraduate programs are offered and taught as specialized academic training inclusive of lessons, performance, and master classes designed to develop students to meet their artistic goals.

Programs are categorized according to instrumental performance, music composition, business, tech, administration, education, creative art therapies, and vocal performance. These categories altogether offer more than 15 programs. You will find courses like brass studies, songwriting, music technology, educational theatre, music therapy, and many others.

Visit Steinhardt

8.     Bard College-Conservatory of Music

Bard Conservatory is a leading musical institution in New York City dedicated to fostering musical and academic excellence in students who are underrepresented in the field of classical music. If you are just coming in for the first time, you will be eligible to receive a fully-funded scholarship that will cover tuition, room, and board at the college.

Programs are offered at undergraduate and graduate levels with top-notch facilities where you can develop your artistic skills to the fullest.

Visit Bard

These are the best music schools in New York and I hope, from here, you can be able to find a college that fits your needs. These music schools are expensive but most of them offer scholarship opportunities to high-performing applicants, so, ensure to meet the graded requirements when applying for admission to get considered for any available scholarship opportunity.

Music Schools in New York – FAQs

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Do music schools in New York accept international students?” answer-0=” Yes, the music schools in NY accept international students.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”Is NYC a good place for music?” answer-1=” Yes, New York is one the leading places in the world to study music and pursue a music career due to its rich concentration of musical schools and artists.” image-1=”” count=”2″ html=”true” css_class=””]