10 Best Music Schools in New York in 2024 | Requirements & How to Apply


You have many educational alternatives if you wish to pursue any art. Excellent programs are offered by institutions worldwide and in the United States, giving you a wide range of educational options.

But if you’re interested in music, you presumably already know that New York is home to the best music schools in the world. 


These programs make the most of the local cultural scene by recruiting some of the greatest jazz players, composers, and music producers to teach in their programs. 

Also, similar to schools that want the brightest students set up shop in New York, the area’s music students are embarrassed by riches.


There is, of course, the issue of cost. Everyone knows that living in New York is among the most expensive things you can do.

However, there is also good news there! Although there are a lot of superb music schools in the city, the state is home to some top-notch programs as well. Each of New York City’s five boroughs and every county in the state has top-notch music schools.

Music students may become disoriented due to the abundance of possibilities. This list will provide you with all the information you need to choose the best school in the Empire States, ranking the institutions according to the faculty, placement of students into the industry, and selectivity.


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Are there Music Schools in New York?

Whether you are a singer, an instrumentalist, or a music engineer is irrelevant. The prospect of attending a renowned music school might be extremely alluring. Since many artists and musicians are naturally gifted people from birth, having that skill supported by professional education is the icing on the cake. As a result, we present a list of the top music schools in New York City.

Many schools in New York offer music as a course and award degrees for the course. Some of them are listed below:

  • Juilliard School
  • Eastman School of Music
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Mannes School of Music
  • New York University
  • Ithaca College School of Music
  • The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music 
  • SUNY Potsdam Crane School of Music
  • Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music
  • Bard College-Conservatory of Music
  • Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
  • Brooklyn Music School
  • Piero’s School of Music
  • Brooklyn Guitar School

Texas is a great place to study. Check Out; Best Music Schools in Texas| All You Need to Know

How Long does it take to get a Degree in Music in New York?

Music is studied in depth by undergraduates. The four-year bachelor’s degree program offers graduates professional prospects as musicians, music teachers, etc.

By curriculum and degree, it varies. A Bachelor in Music Education frequently needs an additional semester to accommodate student teaching. While most Master’s programs require two to three years to complete, more online options are available.

Sometimes, a music education program listed in the catalog as requiring four years to complete requires five years to complete.

There are a few one-hour programs offered by Music Ed, including techniques lessons for the instruments you won’t be playing but will be teaching, large and small ensembles, and more.

It may take longer to complete three of these one-hour classes than a single three-hour course for a different major.

Pennsylvania is another place to study. Check Out; Best Music Schools in Pennsylvania in| All You Need to Know

How Much Do Music Schools in New York Cost?

On average, students pay as much as $53,637 to attend a music school in New York.

This tuition covers all the school costs, including board, feeding, and other necessities.

Meanwhile, when you apply, schools consider the quality of your audition/portfolio when deciding whether to provide you with merit-based awards.

Your ACT score may qualify you for academic merit prizes, which colleges may also consider when you apply.

When they consider you for these prizes, they could also consider your extracurricular activities and leadership experience.

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What are the Requirements of Music Schools in New York?

A renowned music school, a private university, and a public college all offer degree and/or certificate programs for aspiring composers and musicians in New York City. 

The requirements of music schools in New York are:

  • An unofficial transcript and proof of degree need to be uploaded during the online application process.
  •  Official transcripts submitted to the MSM in English with attestation from your institution.
  • Original official transcripts are also required to be submitted, which must be sent by your past school to MSM by August 1
  • TOEFL and IELTS are highly recommended.
  • A 3.0 GPA is required.
  • Recommendation letter
  • Artistic resume
  • Personal photo
  • Essay and essay prompt
  • Repertoire studied (all programs except musical theater and contemporary)
  • Audition

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What are the Best Music Schools in New York?

There are numerous music colleges in New York, but these 10 are considered the best. 

1. Juilliard School

Although Eastman is undoubtedly selective, getting into the Juilliard School is more difficult. A minuscule 8 percent of applicants were accepted in 2020.

The exclusivity of Julliard is for a good reason. Simply put, it’s one of the world’s top music schools.

Also, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, John Williams, Philip Glass, Leontyne Price, and countless other prominent classical musicians are Juilliard graduates.

Julliard is constantly adding to its expertise and resources rather than letting its success and reputation rest on its laurels. The school recently introduced a concentration on Black composers, whose works better reflect the status of the classical world today.

In addition, Juilliard has undoubtedly earned its status as the top music school in New York and one of the best in the world by fusing the traditional and the contemporary.

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2. Eastman School of Music 

The graduates from every school on this list are well-regarded. However, it isn’t easy to top the alumni of the Eastman School of Music, which includes musicians Renée Fleming, Chuck Mangione, Steve Gadd, and Maria Schneider, as well as composers Cardon V. Burnham and Robert deMaine on the cello and trumpeter Allen Vizzutti on the trumpet.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Eastman School is extremely selective, given its remarkable list of alumni.

Also, one of the most difficult colleges to get into extends offers of admission to only 13% of applicants. The low acceptance rate makes it difficult for students to enroll at Eastman, but those who benefit from faculty attention are tailored to their needs.

Students appreciate the chances to play with top orchestras and ensembles. The Musica Nova Orchestra performs the best compositions from the last 100 years, focusing on new music.

The Collegium Musicum Orchestra specializes in music from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. In addition, Eastman has an opera theater, four choral organizations, and numerous jazz ensembles.

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3. Manhattan School of Music

The New England Conservatory and Juilliard come to mind when one thinks of top music universities. 

However, the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) also merits attention alongside these illustrious organizations. Since 1917, MSM, close to the Columbia University campus, has been educating musicians of all ages.

MSM collaborates with Barnard College at Columbia to offer cross-registration courses and jazz performance and composition, classical performance and composition, and musical theater degrees.

Consequently, the MSM Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chamber Sinfonia are just a few performing groups that MSM students have access to. Students can join ensembles that play everything from jazz to chamber music.

One of MSM’s many performance venues, such as the recently rebuilt Neidorff-Karpati Hall, is available for use by these ensembles. In the Ades Performance Space, operas and contemporary chamber music are performed, and in the Carla Bossi-Comelli Studio, numerous performances and recordings are made.

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4. Mannes School of Music

In addition to studying the skills necessary for your profession, Mannes School of Music students follow in the footsteps of legends like former students Burt Bacharach, Bill Evans, and conductor JoAnn Falletta.

In Mannes, The New School’s second music program keeps expanding and has added outstanding faculty members, including composer Missy Mazzoli and pianist Simone Dinnerstein.

Along with performing and theory courses, Mannes students also take classes in music technology, improvisation ensembles, teaching artistry, arts journalism, cinema music composition, creative entrepreneurship, and other topics.

Also, Mannes has a music venue on the Greenwich Village campus of The New School, which likewise works to make music available to the general public through frequent, inexpensive performances. This program highlights how Mannes students are taught to view music as an integral component of daily life.

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5. New York University

Music majors at New York University can learn every facet of the industry, from performing to business.

The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music (CDIRM) educates students on both music production and the music industry. The curriculum equips students with all the knowledge and abilities necessary to excel in the workplace, advance their intellectual and artistic capacities, and hone their commercial acumen.

However, faculty members with expertise in all facets of the industry—from research scientists to game designers, from musicians to engineers—teach classes to students. 

On the other hand, NYU Steinhardt strongly emphasizes technical proficiency, traditional performance, and music production.

Also, the new James Dolan Music Recording Studio within the institution serves as the program’s focal point. The studio has a 40-channel SSL console, a control room with class space, and the first Dangerous Music 10.2 surround installation in New York City.

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6. Bard College-Conservatory of Music

Bard College is highly regarded for having high standards, which is also true of its Conservatory of Music. Students must have a second major outside the program besides their music major. The standards are so stringent that it typically takes five years for students to graduate.

While some students might find those demands intimidating, Bard College will generously reward those who accept the challenge. The Conservatory elevates the craft and practice of music by fostering intellectual curiosity and an analytical approach to performance.

Consequently, Bard’s outstanding facilities help students polish their abilities. The László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building was built thanks to a $9.2 million gift from a Bard alumnus and includes a 100-seat performance hall, classrooms and teaching studios, two percussion studios, a student lounge, instrument lockers for students, and the main Conservatory office.

Also, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, built by renowned architect Frank Gehry, has seating for about 800 people and a proscenium stage that can accommodate opera, music, dance, and drama. Orchestral and chamber concerts can be accommodated using a concert-shell insert.

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7. Ithaca College School of Music

The Ithaca College School of Music, which was established in 1892, has developed into one of the country’s most well-known music education initiatives. 

The school’s world-class staff, which includes musicians recognized for their teaching and performance skills, is responsible for its fame.

Furthermore, working alongside professors in groups like the Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble allows students to enhance their abilities. The Ensemble gives two concerts a year that emphasize music by contemporary composers. 

Students can also participate in ensembles for any instrument, from vocal jazz to classical chamber music. 

Students get plenty of opportunities to perform, regardless of the ensemble they choose to join. 

Also, Ithaca regularly sends its ensembles on tours to instruct students on performing in front of a live audience and while traveling. In the past five years, Ithaca students have performed at venues like Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Strathmore, and ACDA.

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8. The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music 

The New School is one of the most prestigious and cutting-edge liberal arts colleges in the country, as evidenced by the fact that it appears twice on this list (once for its jazz program and another for its classical program). 

This fact is further demonstrated by the numerous legends who teach there, such as NEA Jazz Master Reggie Workman and MacArthur’s fellow Mary Halvorson.

The New School’s belief that artists should serve as mentors explains why it has amassed such an extraordinary faculty of performers. 

However, the school’s main curriculum emphasizes composition, music history, performance, analysis, and liberal arts. Students can attend private sessions with one or more teachers to learn their instruments.

Additionally, the New School’s good location is one advantage of attending. Students have easy access to events, nightclubs, and many of Manhattan’s top artistic institutions’ thanks to their location in the downtown district of New York City.

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9. SUNY Potsdam Crane School of Music

They established one of the first music schools in the United States at SUNY Potsdam in 1886. Nevertheless, despite its unique origins, Crane is not mired in the past. 

The institution keeps pushing the envelope, as seen by its most recent $3.8 million acquisition of 141 Steinway pianos, three of which are brand-new concert grand pianos.

However, the pianos are merely the most recent addition to Crane’s impressive collection of materials. The institution already has a fully equipped music library with a MIDI Computer Lab and the 1290-seat Hosmer Concert Hall.

Crane students can use these resources in one of the numerous ensembles the school offers. The second-oldest college orchestra in the US is the Crane Symphony Orchestra. 

Consequently, students can also join the Crane Wind Ensemble, which has won awards, the Crane Chorus, and the Crane Opera Ensemble, each of which has a history dating back over a century.

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10. Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music

Most people believe that high-quality music education must be costly. That is generally true. However, the Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM) is an exception. 

The cost of a full year of study at Queens ACSM, one of the school’s oldest departments, is $5,130 plus fees. It offers majors in general music, performance, and music education.

As regards the curriculum they enroll in, all students take theory, history, ear training, sight-singing, performance, and private lessons in addition to academic classes.

The highlight of ACSM is its recently refurbished music building, which boasts Steinway pianos in every practice room, a music library with more than 35,000 scores, 30,000 books, and 20,000 recordings, as well as other amenities. 

Also, LeFrak Concert Hall, with its acoustics and Maynard-Walker Memorial organ, serves as the venue for performances. Over 300 concerts are produced by ACSM each year, including recitals, orchestra, choir, ensemble, new music, early music, and opera performances.

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What are the Music Schools in Queens, New York?

Queens is one of the popular cities in New York. It is also home to some of the music schools found in the State. Some of them include the following:

  • Brooklyn Music School
  • Piero’s School of Music
  • Brooklyn Guitar School

What are the Music High Schools in New York?

The music high school where music is taught as a subject in the State of New York Include:

  • Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
  • Wadleigh Secondary School For The Performing & Visual Arts
  • Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts

What are the Music Therapy Schools in New York?

Music therapy schools help troubled people to feel less troubled. Some of them can be found in New York, and they include:

  • Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy

What are the Music Production Schools in New York?

The best city in America for art exhibitions is probably New York. Whether it be through drama, dancing, or music. The fact that the state is overrun with some of the top art schools in the world makes sense. There are a ton of music production schools in New York. They Include:

  • The Juilliard School
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • School of Jazz and Contemporary Music | The New School

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What are the Music Education Schools in New York?

Some colleges offer music education, which, after studying, qualifies the individual to be a music teacher in a school. Some of these colleges are also located in New York, and they include:

  • New York University
  • Brooklyn College
  • Queens College, City University of New York
  • Hofstra University


Private, non-profit schools, performing arts universities, public universities affiliated with the New York City or state university systems, and 2-year colleges all offer music degree programs in New York. Along with certificate programs, degree options include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Therefore, these schools mentioned above are just the best among many others you can choose from as an aspirant.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does GPA matter for music school?

They do care about the students having a competitive GPA.

Should I go to college for music?

Yes, a music degree is worth it for most aspiring musicians.

Is NYU good for music?

NYU is in the top 10% of the country for music. 

Do music schools care about SAT?

Most schools need the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests. 


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