How to Find a Good Music School or Conservatory for an Undergraduate Degree

There are lots of factors that come into play when picking a music school. It is so hard to find a good match that many music majors either drop out of their music department or transfer to other schools. Let's prevent that from happening. Hopefully this article will be just one source of information for you.


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    Ask yourself, is being a music major right for you? It is important to ask in any profession, but especially anything in the arts. Remember: Nobody knew who Van Gogh was in his lifetime and Philip Glass drove a taxi until he was 42.
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    Listen to recordings of teachers. The teacher that you pick will most likely play the biggest role in where you want to go to school. It is important to also have a teacher that has had successful students in the past.
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    Choose between a conservatory and a university. In several countries universities offer composition, performance, education and other undergraduate studies. Research must be done on individual schools, but in general universities are going to be much more academic work while the conservatories are going to be much more performance work. Take a look at the course work and class size of any school that you consider.
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    Consider the location. Where do you want to build your future? If you are considering an out-of-state school or even a school out of the country just remember that moving is difficult and expensive. Often students continue graduate studies at the school that they did their undergraduate degree in. Make sure you are picking a place that you think you can build a future. It is a strong possibility you will be there longer than you think.
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    Consider the cost. Music is known to be not so lucrative. Find somewhere that is as close to free as you can get. If you can't get a scholarship to a good school you probably should wait and re-audition the following year. It is not uncommon for students to just take a year of private lessons with a teacher that they like instead of working on a degree directly after high school.
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    Audition. Simple as that. Most schools have auditions in the early spring and some as late as mid-summer. Be prepared and confident!
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    After auditioning, visiting each school and taking everything into consideration, pick a place that is going to work for you. An undergraduate degree is the foundation of a modern classical music career so don't take the decision lightly.


  • Get in contact with current students at the schools you are considering.
  • Get to know the teachers you are considering. Most are open to emailing or talking on the phone. The best is to get a lesson with them.


  • Don't go $200k in debt with a music degree.

Article Info

Categories: College University and Postgraduate