Tip : Only Apply To Conservatories If You Only Want To Study Music
Our second tip is to not apply to conservatories unless you’re sure that the only thing you want to study is music .
For most high school students, music is an elective. The bulk of your school schedule is centered around academic subjects like math, history, science, and literature/language arts.
Being thrown into an environment where suddenly all you do in class is music and the bulk of your learning comes from self-study can be disorienting, even if you love music and know it’s all you want to do. And for students with academic interests outside of music, attending a conservatory may feel so limiting that it ultimately ends up causing them to transfer or even driving them away from music for a time.
As an anecdotal example of the perils of going to a conservatory as an undergraduate, I always think about a high school friend of mine who sang, played the guitar and piano, and was extremely passionate about songwriting and performing. She got a guitar scholarship to Berklee College of Music and decided to go there…only to discover during her first year there that she wanted to be doing things besides music. After her freshman year, she transferred to a small liberal arts college where she could pursue both music and environmental studies. Currently, she is a singer/songwriter who regularly performs her own music at live shows.
All of this is to say that just because you don’t go to a conservatory doesn’t mean that you can’t later pursue a career as a musician.
The Best Of Music And Teaching
The best educators recognize that academic excellence lies between a balance of core learning and creative expression, with the inclusion of art and music in Western curriculum since the ancient Greeks. In the spirit of this legacy, Houghtons Bachelor of Music Education stands to bring out the best in your passion for both music and teaching by fostering your skills in leadership through a strong, production-oriented program.
Bachelors In Music Programs: Curriculum
Regardless of which type of bachelors in music degree program you elect to pursue, you can expect to be required to fulfill approximately 120 credit hours of coursework. Though the bulk of this coursework will be directly related to your major, you will likely be required to take some general education courses in academic areas such as the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, and more.
The major-specific classes youre required to take as part of your undergraduate music degree plan will depend on the precise type of bachelors degree in music youre pursuing as well as any concentrations or areas of emphasis you elect. To give you a rough idea of the types of classes you may encounter, weve listed some sample course titles below. These are taken from actual bachelors of music degree offerings.
Sample Bachelor of Music Degree Course Titles
- Composition, Orchestration and Arranging
- The Classical Canon
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Top Universities With Good Music Programs
Aside from Yale, Peabody , USC, and NYU, most of the schools in this article are great for music but not necessarily top-ranked for academics overall.
In this section, however, we wanted to briefly mention four schools that are renowned for their academics with strong undergraduate music programs. These music schools aren’t at the same level as the 15 ranked schools, but they’re great options for students who want to pursue non-music and music majors at a high level.
NorthwesternBienen School of Music
- Location: Evanston, IL
- Acceptance rate: around 10%
- Student body size: around 400 undergraduate students
- Tuition: $60,276
- Degree: BM, BA in Music, or BS in Music can do a dual degree with another undergraduate program at Northwestern.
- Degree: BFA, BS, Music Ed certificate can cross-register for non-music Carnegie Mellon classes.
Statue of Johann Strauss, Vienna.
Best Colleges For Music In 2022
Using key data factors and statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, this is a list of the best colleges for music. This list compares and ranks the top 20 colleges in music in the U.S., and provides a guide to each ranked program.
For more programs check out our bachelor of music degree page.
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Graduation Rate: 77%
Combining world-class faculty and instruction, along with state-of-the-art facilities and many ensemble opportunities and experiences, the UNC Greensboro School of Music has been one of the top music institutions in the U.S. for years. It has also without surprise, not failed to make our list either. Offering students comprehensive degrees in areas like music education and performance, admission into the UNC Greensboro School of Music is a highly sought after prize for many students. Adding to its lure and putting the UNC Greensboro School of Music at the head of the class are tuition and acceptance rates that rank nearly as good as any other comparable program in the country, and better than most.
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Graduation Rate: 70%
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The Royal Academy Of Music
Location: London, UKFounded: 1822Notable Alumni: Elton John, Annie LennoxIf youre looking to travel overseas when you take up your musical studies, the Royal Academy of Music may be exactly what you need. The school accepts students from dozens of countries so you certainly have a chance of going but youre going to need to be really, really great to be included in the incoming class – this is one institution that can afford to be picky.
The college is also connected to the University of London which can come in handy if youre looking to study something other than music .
Other Top Music Education Schools:
- Boston University Boston, MA
- Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
- University of North Texas Denton, TX
- University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
- Berklee College of Music Boston, MA
- VanderCook College of Music Chicago, IL
- Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
- Oberlin College Conservatory of Music Oberlin, OH
- Lawrence University Conservatory of Music Appleton, WI
- The Hartt School West Hartford, CT
What Are The Career Possibilities After Graduating From A Bachelors Degree In Music
A degree in Music is a valuable credential. The demand for graduates with Bachelors degrees in Music is endless. Among the many careers one can have with a degree are, music producers, sound technicians, music therapists, arts and music instructors, musicians, and sound engineers, among many others.
Southwest Minnesota State University
Points: 7Program Website
A top choice among undergraduates seeking a best-value music education degree, Southwest Minnesota State University is a public institution of higher learning and a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Established in 1964, SMSU offers a low-priced B.S. in Music Education degree that provides two paths to licensure as a music teacher: K-12 licensure in instrumental/general music or vocal/general music. The curriculum focuses on building a strong foundation in general knowledge, historical/cultural contexts, theory, adaptability, technique, and musicianship. The inexpensive Music Education degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music .
Degree Options:Bachelor of Science: Music EducationIn-State Tuition: $8,908
Points: 7Program Website
Points: 7Program Website
Degree Options:Bachelor of Music in Music Education Program In-State Tuition: $8,472
Points: 7Program Website
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What Will You Learn About In A Bachelors In Music Education Degree Program
Specifically, a bachelors degree in music education trains students to serve as music teachers for both music classes and private lessons. This degree is typically offered as either a straightforward Bachelor of Music Education or a concentration within a broader Bachelor of Music program. The field explores the intersection of pedagogy and music performance, and students develop an understanding of music history and theory, the challenges facing music education, and the tools and skills needed to inspire musicians of all ages. While most Bachelors in Music degrees are offered as on-campus, four-year programs that allow for participation in in-studio lessons and music ensembles, some schools offer the music education concentration as an online option.
Contrary to what some may believe, earning a bachelors degree in music education does not prevent graduates from earning a livable wage. In reality, the interdisciplinary skills students develop can be applied to many career options at both the elementary and secondary levels. If you are looking to educate and inspire the next generation of music lovers, we hope that our list of the 50 best affordable bachelors degrees in music education serves as a helpful starting point.
This concludes our ranking of the top 50 best affordable bachelors in music education degrees.
Other Rankings of Interest:
University Of Michigan School Of Music Theatre And Dance
Over its sixty years of existence, the University of Michigans Department of Music Education has trained music educators at every instructional level.
With its faculty and resources, the department equips future music teachers with the knowledge, skills, and insights they need to spread a love and appreciation of music in children.
With a 100% placement rate, U of Michigan sends its graduates to teaching positions in New York, Chicago, and in major music markets throughout the nation. Graduates find work as teachers, youth orchestra directors, and more.
There are several options for students at Michigan pursuing music education. Students can choose to concentrate in choral music education, instrumental music education, or even participate in the recently added minor in popular music.
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Indiana University Jacobs School Of Music
Future teachers studying at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music can pick from four areas of emphasis: choral, general, band, or orchestra.
Whichever focus they decide upon, students will have many opportunities to play in front of audiences in IUs many performance halls. Every student participates in at least one ensemble each semester, joining any of the schools two dozen bands, choirs, orchestras, and more.
Students learn under a faculty of experienced teachers and performers, each an expert at their craft. In addition to chairing the music education department, professor Brent Gault has taught early childhood music courses across the country. Additionally, professor Gault has presented at numerous conferences in the field and has published in various early education journals.
Associate professor Brenda Brenner performs chamber music in groups across the United States. She also directs the Fairview Project, which gives first and second graders in underserved school lessons in violin.
Why Is A Bachelors In Music A Viable Degree
A Bachelors degree in Music may seem unpromising some might even think that they are useless arts and humanities courses. However, that could not be further from the truth. In this very competitive and rapidly evolving economy, knowledge and skill in music cannot entirely be disregarded. Music plays a significant role in the creation of movies, ads, video games, and even psychological treatment.
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Florida Agricultural And Mechanical University
Points: 9Program Website
Established in 1909, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is a public historically black university and a member of the State University System of Florida. FAMU is a top choice among undergraduates seeking a low-cost music education degree, providing an affordable Bachelor of Science in Music Education with a concentration in wind, piano, and percussion. Areas of focus within the high-value, 134-hour, music education program include teaching diverse populations, instrumental techniques and methods, conducting, and the history of music. All students participate in student recitals and a large ensemble. The final semester of the program is reserved for the required student teaching component.
Degree Options:Bachelor of Science in Music Education With Concentration in Wind, Piano, and PercussionIn-State Tuition: $5,785
Music Education Rankings By Degree Level
Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we’ve developed the Best Music Education Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.You can also filter this list to find schools closer to you.
In addition to College Factual’s rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you.When you have some time, check it out – you may want to bookmark the link so you don’t forget it.
More information on how we come up with our rankings can be found here: College Factual’s Data Methodology.
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Best Music Schools In The World
Hugh McIntyre is an NYC based freelance music journalist. He mostly writes for Forbes, where he publishes several stories per day, on average. He has also written for Noisey, Billboard, MTV, Noisey, Mashable, Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, Mic, Hypebot, Sonicbids, Fuse, Tunecore, Symphonic Distribution, and many more.
Pretty much every aspect of applying to college can be an intimidating experience. There is so much to do, so many places to look for information and advice , and it doesnt help when most incoming students are already keenly aware of how important it is to get into a program with a well-known name that will one day be a very crucial factor in securing a job in this competitive field.
One of the first things you should be doing as a student still in high school is decide which establishments you will even attempt to get into in the coming months and years. Depending on what you want to study, there could be literally hundreds of options, and all of them will claim to be the perfect fit for you.
In no particular order, our picks for the best music schools in the world are:
Best Online Schools For Bachelors In Music
METHODOLOGY: Our Best Online Schools for Bachelors in Music is a reliable source of information on the many factors to consider before enrolling in the program. It is aimed at helping prospective students find the best place to enrich their academic knowledge on the discipline and use that knowledge to pursue the job of their dreams.
- The institutions on this list offer the web-based programs that tout rigorous coursework and comprehensive curricula that develop in each Music major the skills necessary for their future careers,
- Because Music is art and academics combined, we emphasize the schools seasoned instructors whose experience in the field help shape their students into being the best at any music-related work they choose,
- The Best Online Schools for Bachelors in Music emphasize the stringent requirements for program admission and degree completion to emphasize the quality of graduates they produce,
- Also making it to this list are institutions that have been fully accredited.
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Oberlin College & Conservatory
Oberlin is a small liberal arts college based in Ohio. With less than 3,000 total students, the population at Oberlin is best described as left-leaning. The genres available for study at Oberlin are predominantly classical as well as jazz.
One thing that makes Oberlin interesting is its almost entirely undergraduate student population. This means nearly all the resources and funding are reserved for said undergrads.
Several notable classical musicians have called Oberlin their alma mater. Perhaps the most prominent one in recent years is the ensemble Eighth Blackbird, a new music tour de force who received their undergraduate educations at Oberlin College and Conservatory.
Oberlin is a decorated liberal arts college in and out of their conservatory, having graduated seven Pulitzer winners, 16 Rhodes Scholars, and three Nobel Laureates.
Indiana University Jacobs School Of Music Bloomington In
JacobsSchoolofMusic. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Long considered one of the foremost colleges for music education in the entire US, Indiana Universitys music education graduates frequently enjoy a near 100% employment rate at various Indiana K-12 schools. The program not only provides an exceptionally well-rounded curriculum to its music education majors, but also allows students to choose a music education focus in one of four major areas: choral, general, band, and orchestra. No matter what your goals as a student are at this major music education hub, you will find a program that fits your interests well.
An exceptionally well-rounded institution we recently qualified as the best overall music school in the US, music education majors at IU never run out of opportunities to perform in music ensembles at the school. There is never an orchestra spot, choir seat, or other specialty ensemble that cant be filled with an aspiring music teacher. IU is an excellent choice for those who wish to double major in both an elite performance and education program.
Additionally, the schools provides students with the opportunity to work with major music education associations as well as with public music teachers who already have years of experience under their belt. Student apprentice teaching, of course, is a requirement of all music education majors as well.
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Bachelor Of Music Degrees: Admission
For most undergraduate degree programs, the admissions process is fairly standard. Gaining entry into a bachelors in music degree program is different, though. In addition to submitting basic documentation such as your high school academic transcript and college entrance exam scores, you will most likely be required to audition for a seat in your chosen undergraduate music program. This audition process can be intense and competitive, depending on the school youre applying to. In addition to a successful audition, other common admissions criteria for undergraduate music programs include:
- Minimum high school GPA
- SAT/ACT scores
- Personal essays/statements