The Top 10 Schools for Music Lovers

Even the most talented persons still need to learn about music and the arts. They need to learn how to make it, how to sell it and how to work with it thus they will need at a top school for music lovers. This is the list of top 10 schools for music lovers in the USA. This list is not in order which means 5th place can be as good as the 1st. I have also included links to Wikipedia and their homepage so you can check them out by yourself.

1. Peabody Institute – Baltimore, MD

Peabody Institute 
Peabody Institute

The Peabody Institute is called by the guy who established it – George Peabody. There are a lot of people who have graduated Peabody Institue and works at high places, like National Public Radio. A lot of them have joined major symphonies, large audio companies. You name it.  There is a chance to learn “Computer Music”, which is meant for musicians who are interested in electronic music.

Notable Faculty:

  • Diran Alexanian, cello
  • Manuel Barrueco, guitar
  • George Frederick Boyle, piano
  • Garnett Bruce, opera

2. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music – Bloomington, IN

 Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

IUJSM goes back to 1921. when it was established. The school has more than 170 faculty members and more than 1600 students.

This schools music production department also known as Department of Recording Arts is one of the smallest, yet the best programs in the US as it only allows 15 new students per year. It means that each student will have almost an individual attention each day and this is how the best musicians will come out. This school also features the oldest music production programs going back to 1982.  If you are still not convicted then right now you will be – Konrad Strauss are faulty in this school. He is known for winning quite a few Grammy Award for music production.

Notable Faculty:

  • Atar Arad, viola
  • Martina Arroyo, soprano
  • David Baker, jazz cello and educator
  • Edmund Battersby, piano
  • Joshua Bell, violin
  • Bruce Bransby, double bass

3. Full Sail University – Winter Park, FL

Full Sail University
Full Sail University

Full Sail University goes back to 1979 when it was founded by Jon Phelps at Ohio. This University is a private school. In the beginning, it was a recording studio in Ohio. In late 2007 it started to offer online degrees.  There are approximately 8920 students who are attending school as well as 11 000 online students.  The best thing about this school is that you can learn not only to produce music but also to sell it as it’s the biggest problem of new musicians. They all have the talent to make music but only a few know how to sell it and earn money with it. This is why after attending this school you will know how to make and how to sell music.

Notable alumni.

  • Mohammad Alavi, video game developer
  • Marcella Araica, audio and mixing engineer
  • Adam Best, entrepreneur, film producer, political activist, writer
  • Darren Lynn Bousman, film director and screenwriter
  • Collie Buddz, musician and singer
  • Corrin Campbell, musician and singer
  • Demo Castellon, audio engineer

4. California Institute of the Arts – Valencia, CA

California Institute of the Arts
California Institute of the Arts

The California Institute of the Arts, also known as CalArts, is a private university based in California, United States. Mostly targeted at people who are interested in integrated media. A few years ago CalArts was nominated as one of the best schools to learn arts. Especially campus is full with an artistic atmosphere. Students are allowed to use recording rooms whenever they need them and use faculty knowledge when they need it. You can get there a music technology degree which in the market is a really high valued degree.

Schools at CalArts include:

  • School of Art
  • School of Critical Studies
  • School of Film/Video
  • The Herb Alpert School of Music
  • School of Theater
  • The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance

Known alumni:

  • John Cage
  • Vija Celmins
  • Don Cheadle
  • Ornette Coleman
  • Alice Coltrane
  • Ry Cooder

5. Academy of Art University – San Francisco, CA

Academy of Art University – San Francisco
Academy of Art University – San Francisco

AAU was funded in 1929 and right now it’s hosting 282 full-time teachers and more than 1200 part-time teachers. The most interesting thing about Academy of Art University is that it’s not a music school. It’s a private general arts schools with more than 18 000 students and it has a music production program which is one of the most significant and largest in the country thus making this schools one of the top 10 schools to learn music. Many students from this school went straight working to Sony, Dolby, CBC Toronto, and many other corporations. Students here are learning to mix, master, edit, sell and compose music (also video).

Thus said, this is not the right school for electronic music makers as this schools music program is deeply embedded with the visual media program. Also, this school accepts almost 100% of their students.

Well known staff:

  • Diane Baker, actress
  • Tom Bertino, animator
  • Michael Brandt, co-founder of Nootrobox
  • Richard Hart, journalist
  • Kamshad Kooshan, movie writer & director 
  • Tim McGovern, Academy Award-winning visual effects director 
  • Adam Savage, creator of Myth Busters 

Well known Alumni:

  • Mobolade Ajomale, Canadian Olympic sprinter
  • Asencio, figurative painter
  • Margaux Avedisian, comedian and bitcoin entrepreneur
  • Rick Baker, winner of an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and special effects for An American Werewolf in London
  • Lee Cheol-ha, film director

6. Georgia State University – Atlanta, GA

Georgia State University
Georgia State University

If you want to mix, edit and master music then Georgia State University school is for you. You will have access to three recording studios, complete access to Pro Tools to produce music, teacher knowledge which is one of the best in the country as well as access to lab known as a 2CINEM facility. This school was founded in 1913. It also ranks in top 10 institutions in the nation because of the high-quality teaching and 52 000 student count.

Notable alumni:

  • ABRA, musician, actress
  • Amalia Amaki, artist and art historian
  • Keisha Lance Bottoms, the second female, and current Mayor of Atlanta
  • Coy Bowles, musician, Zac Brown Band
  • David Brown, former host of public radio show Marketplace
  • John Burke, Grammy-nominated pianist and composer
  • Max Burns, former Congressman, Georgia 12th District

Notable faculty:

  • Arun Rai, Editor-in-Chief of Management Information Systems Quarterly
  • Raffi Besalyan, pianist
  • David Bottoms, Georgia’s Poet Laureate
  • Virginia Spencer Carr, biographer
  • Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor and current host on CourtTV and CNN (former instructor, no current appointment at GSU)
  • Beth Gylys, poet

7. Drexel University – Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University 
Drexel University

If you want something different then you should attend Drexel University as this school has a program where students are spending two months in the summers gaining hands-on experience at music venues, recording studios as well as record labels and other music businesses. Also, this school helps students to make their business and helps to run them. This is why this school is one of the top schools if you are a career person.

Known alumni:

  • Katherine McNamara – Actress, best known for her role as Clary Fray in Shadowhunters
  • Sarah Stolfa – Photographer, won The New York Times Photography Contest for College Students in 2004
  • Corinne Trang – Award-winning author of several Asian-themed cookbooks
  • Elizabeth McCracken – Author of Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry and professor of creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Chris McKendry – ESPN anchor and journalist
  • Stephen M. Wolownik – Pioneer in the Russian and Eastern European music community in the United States
  • Jack Wall – Video game music composer

8. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance – Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Music Performance, composition, and sound engineering – these are just a few things students can learn at the University of Michigan School of Music. With hard accepting rate and 150 teachers per 1000 students, this school will have individual attention to each student.

Known alumni:

  • Arthur Miller,
  • James Earl Jones,
  • Gavin Creel,
  • Darren Criss,
  • David Alan Grier
  • Lucy Liu,
  • Jessye Norman,
  • Alexander Frey
  • Madonna.


9. New York University  – New York, NY

New York University
New York University

This school has a lot of choices, even the music department have 2 more departments such as:

  1. Tisch –  school of performing, cinematic and media arts
  2. Steinhardt” – this school focuses on music technology.

Quite a few students from these departments are CEOs of large companies and own many record labels. If this still does not convince you that you must attend this school then this will – they have 7,500 square foot recording studio with top-notch equipment and even a chance to work at Google after graduating as many students did that.

Emmy award-winning alumni:

Alec Baldwin Actor Emmy Award (2008), 30 Rock
Alexis Bledel Actress Emmy Award (2017), The Handmaid’s Tale
Rachel Brosnahan Actress Emmy Award (2018), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Billy Crystal Actor, writer Emmy Award (1991, 1992, 1998), Academy Awards
Vince Gilligan Head writer, creator Emmy Award (2013), Breaking Bad
Donald Glover Actor, writer, director, rapper Emmy Award (2017), Atlanta
Felicity Huffman Actress Emmy Award (2005), Desperate Housewives

10. Berklee College of Music – Boston, MA

Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music

Beeing one of the most prestigious and most advanced school to learn music production, Berklee College of Music ranks at the best school to learn music in the entire world. Students have an unlimited amount of time to work at ten recording studios on site and work with many sound engineer faculty. Every year students together need to spend at least 10 000 hours at studios to learn about technique and real music production.

After graduation students are pro’s with Pro Tools, MIDI/Digital workstations and many other audio types of equipment. To date, 120 Berklee alumni have received 283 Grammy Awards, popular music’s highest honor.

Known alumni:

  • Ben McKee (Imagine Dragons)
  • Stephanie McNally
  • Justin Moshkevich
  • Jay Newland
  • Keita Ogawa (Snarky Puppy)
  • Stephen Oremus
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