12 Best Performing Arts High Schools

If you have been looking for the best performing arts high schools and haven’t found any, worry no more! Because you just landed on an article that has tons of information to share about them

Before I give this article a head start, let’s learn closely about what performing arts is all about. Now, according to wikipedia, the performing arts are arts that are performed in the presence of an audience, such as music, dance, and drama. Artists who participate in performing arts in front of an audience are called performers. Examples of these include actors, comedians, dancers, magicians, circus artists, musicians, and singers.

This article is coming our way, to tell us that there are high schools where you can enroll and learn every nitty gritty about this performing arts and be able to perform on stage. If you want to be more specific, on the type of performing arts you want to do, there are good dance schools all over the world that you can enroll in, learn all the best dancing steps, and become a professional dancer. There are also good music schools in different countries around the world that you can enroll in if you are a talented singer.

Architecture is also a form of art, for someone good at drawing, there are good architecture schools that you can enroll in and hone your architectural skills. Since we are interested in the best performing arts high schools, let’s talk about them in the next section.

Performing Arts High Schools

Performing Arts High Schools

  • Idyllwild Arts Academy
  • Interlochen Arts Academy
  • Baltimore School for the Arts
  • Professional Performing Arts High School
  • Chicago Academy For the Arts
  • LACHSA (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts)
  • Walnut Hill School For The Arts
  • The BRIT School
  • Burlington Royal Arts Academy
  • The Hammond School
  • UK Theatre School Performing Arts Academy
  • Oakland School For the Arts

1.       Idyllwild Arts Academy

This is the first best performing arts high school on our list. Idyllwild Arts were founded as a respite for creators to come together from around the world. The vision of their founders, in 1946, was that this creative collective would promote intercultural understanding and peace while re-envisioning the artist’s responsibility to society.

The Idyllwild Arts Academy is the country’s premier and internationally-acclaimed residential arts high school which provides pre-professional training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum to a diverse student body of gifted young artists. Idyllwild Arts Academy’s 300 students hail from more than 30 countries and pursue artistic excellence in Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual Art, Creative Writing, Film & Digital Media, InterArts, and Fashion Design. Graduates of Idyllwild Arts Academy currently excel in every professional field of the arts including Broadway theatre, primetime television, classical and jazz music, motion pictures, graphic design, photography, and more.

2.       Interlochen Arts Academy

Since 1928, Interlochen has offered an immersive arts experience that fosters a sense of closeness discovered only through a deep, shared appreciation. Generations of artists and art enthusiasts have experienced the special and intangible magic that transpires on Interlochen’s beautiful campus, nestled between two pristine lakes and surrounded by quiet pines in northwest Michigan.

Their  umbrella organization, Interlochen Center for the Arts, encompasses six distinct program areas, each founded to propel art education and engagement: Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen Online, Interlochen Public Radio, Interlochen Presents, and Interlochen College of Creative Arts

  • Art Areas
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Film & New Media
  • Interdisciplinary Arts
  • Music
  •  Theatre
  • Visual Arts

3.       Baltimore School for the Arts

This is one of the best performing arts high schools that were founded as part of the Baltimore City Public School System in 1979, after a decade of hard work by a task force, the mayor, and Baltimore City’s arts and community leaders. We were established to provide pre-professional arts training to Baltimore’s children, and given a unique structure designed to help us meet their mission.

The founders also established a fundraising foundation to help us raise support for expenses beyond the normal operating costs for a BCPSS school. Baltimore School for the Arts seeks to prepare the next generation of the creative workforce by providing inspiring arts and academic training to high school students as well as opportunities in the arts to younger children and the greater community through its TWIGS and community outreach programs.

They are a public, urban high school that is part of the Baltimore City Public School System. Additionally, 33 percent of their support is raised privately through their fundraising partner, the BSA Foundation.

They are one of the top five public performing arts high schools in the country, and we combine a rigorous college prep program with pre-professional training in the arts. We offer programs in dance, film, music, stage design and production, theatre, and the visual arts.

4.       Professional Performing Arts High School

It is the special mission of this small, personalized public school to develop, refine, and showcase students in dance, drama, musical theater, and vocal and instrumental music while providing them with a comprehensive and rigorous academic curriculum. Admission requires a performance-based audition designed and judged by the individual performing arts departments.

The Professional Performing Arts School partners with outside organizations to provide instruction across all performing arts disciplines such as Dance, Drama, Vocal, and Musical Theatre.

5.       Chicago Academy for the Arts

This is the next best performing arts high school on the list. The Chicago Academy for the Arts is a nationally recognized independent high school for the performing and visual arts.

Designated a National School of Distinction by the John F. Kennedy Center, The Academy offers students the opportunity to engage in a unique co-curricular program: rigorous, college-preparatory academic classes and professional-level arts training in the context of an unparalleled school culture.

 The Academy’s school day consists of a modified block schedule of three 75-minute blocks of academic courses and a 45-minute flex period followed by a three-plus hour immersion in a student’s chosen arts department: Dance, Media Arts (filmmaking, animation, creative writing), Music, Musical Theatre, Theatre, and Visual Arts. At The Chicago Academy for the Arts, young artists master the skills necessary for academic success, critical thought, and creative expression.

6.       LACHSA (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts)

This is the next best performing arts high school on the list. The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) offers a specialized program combining college-preparatory academic instruction and conservatory-style training in the visual and performing arts. Founded in 1985, the tuition-free public school is run by the Los Angeles County Office of Education in partnership with, and on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). Their programs are as follows;

  • Cinematic Arts
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • Interdisciplinary Arts

7.       Walnut Hill School For The Arts

This is the next best performing arts high school on the list. Walnut Hill was founded in 1893 by Wellesley College graduates Florence Bigelow and Charlotte Conant and remained at the forefront of education for young women for more than 80 years. Walnut Hill School for the Arts is an independent boarding and day high school offering an immersive and intensive educational experience designed for student artists in grades 9–12, with a PG year also available.

They offer world-class training in dance; music; theater; visual art; and writing, film & media arts, complemented by an innovative college-prep academic curriculum. Located on a safe and classic New England campus, we are situated right outside the cultural hub of Boston. This year, we celebrate 50 years as a global arts leader.

8.       The BRIT School

This is the next best performing arts high school on the list. The BRIT School is the leading Performing and Creative Arts School in the UK and is completely FREE to attend. Their mission is to train and educate young people for future careers in Performance and Creative Arts and related industries.

 They provide a unique education for over 1,400 pupils aged between 14 and 19 in Music, Film, Digital Design, Community Arts, Visual Arts and Design, Production and Performing Arts, and a full academic program of GCSEs and A Levels. Their mission is to prepare young people for careers in the creative and performing arts. They believe in creativity and that young people of all backgrounds should be able to develop their creative talent and craft and make a powerful contribution to society.

9.       Burlington Royal Arts Academy

This is the next best performing arts high school on the list. It is the philosophy and purpose of the Burlington Royal Arts Academy to provide an education for students with strong potential and diverse backgrounds who may be expected to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in a rapidly changing world. Through their small classes, creative teaching, and an approach that emphasizes the process of learning, they seek to discover unique aptitudes and awaken the intellectual curiosity of every student at our school.

The Arts Programme at the Burlington Royal Arts Academy offers students opportunities to stretch their creativity while showcasing and developing their talents. Their programming provides academic instruction in Dance, Drama, Media, Musical Theatre, Music (Instrumental, Jazz, Rock, and Vocal), and Visual Arts.

The Burlington Royal Arts Academy class sizes are small by design. With a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, they believe quality education is best accomplished in a small environment where students can engage in thoughtful conversations with their peers and develop meaningful relationships with their teachers.

The programs they offer are;

  • Visual Arts – Student Artwork
  • Media Arts – Instrumental Music
  • Dramatic Art – Dance
  • Community Arts Programs

10.   The Hammond School

This is the next best performing arts high school on the list. The renowned vocational training is complemented by a rigorous academic curriculum, integrated into the daily timetable. Academic expectations are high and students flourish within small, dedicated classes.

Every student who trains at The Hammond continues to build upon its prestigious history whilst reaping the rewards of rigorous education and the industry-focused syllabus of each course.

The Hammond offers specialist, full-time performing arts training to students across school, college, and degree courses.

11.   UK Theatre School Performing Arts Academy

This is the next best performing arts high school on the list. UKTheatreSchool provides its students with a structured, comprehensive performing arts syllabus within the finest environment of bespoke studios and lecture facilities in the heart of Glasgow City Centre.

The syllabus, along with the training provided, has been commended by industry professionals and has led students to progress to many leading performing arts establishments in London, France, Germany, and Italy, and the Juilliard School in New York.

UKTheatreSchool students enjoy special elements exclusive to this particular academy.  Students have continued success in the theatre, film, radio, and TV industries due to working with qualified, experienced tutors from the performing arts industry and the network of people connected with UKTheatreSchool.  12.   Oakland School For the Arts

This is the last best performing arts high school on the list. Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) is a nonprofit public charter school founded by Governor Jerry Brown – then Oakland’s Mayor – in 2002. Now in its 20th year, OSA serves over 800 students in grades 6-12 tuition-free. OSA is housed in Uptown Oakland’s historic Fox Theater and Newberry Building.


These schools that I have talked about are amongst the best-performing high schools all over the world. You can enroll in any one of them and give your art career a head start!