Dear friends, readers, aspiring music majors, professional musicians, music teachers, music students, families with musicians, and music education enthusiasts…
Can you imagine being a musician looking into music colleges and careers without having any resource to go to online?
I have been there. Because you are on this site, I bet you have too.
That’s Me, Bill Zuckerman: Photo by Shane Godfrey
There has long been an absence of good information about higher education programs in music, as well as for making money and a great career with a music degree.
That’s exactly why I created Music School Central, to provide a substantially positive and informative remedy to this common issue.
Music School Central, quite simply, is a website highlighting a wide variety of excellent college music programs, proven advice for getting into music college, dozens of the best music careers available to those with a music degree, challenges and potential solutions existing in higher music education, and more.
So where did this website and resource come from?
Well, it was born out of personal experience and feeling, more than anything else…
My name is Bill Zuckerman, and I am the founder and primary author of this website. Probably like you, I am a musician. Maybe like you, I went to college for a degree in music.
Without question, attending college for music was one of the best investments of my professional music career.
That said, you can trust me when I say this: I understand how difficult the college selection and application process can be.
Really, I do – gaining admissions to the right college music program for you is an exceptionally challenging process.
Having been a musically inclined composer in high school from 2003 – 2007, I remember the stress and struggle I felt when applying to college music programs. I remember looking constantly online for information on college music programs, without being able to find much at all, except on a few forums here and there.
Also during this time (and well into college), I had difficulty deciding what to do career-wise with a music degree. I experienced tremendous confusion concerning how to make money in the professional world with a music degree.
Having gone through these challenges myself as a college-educated composer, I saw an opportunity to make a website devoted to all of this information.
And that’s how Music School Central was born.
College Consulting for the Most Dedicated and Passionate Musicians
Me and Steve Lipman. I’m on the left, Steve is on the right. Photo by Shane Godfrey
Choosing the right college music program can be a daunting and confusing task.
Although the articles on my website can be used as a good starting point, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to receive professional, personalized guidance from trusted experts on music colleges.
In collaboration with Steve Lipman, former Dean of Admissions at the Berklee College of Music, I have recently launched a concierge level college counseling service for aspiring music majors and their families.
At Berklee, Steve Lipman reviewed thousands of applications, essays, pre-screening recordings, and more for over 40 years!
Nobody knows more about how to make an outstanding college application than Steve, who has sent letters of acceptance to many of the world’s most famous living musicians. His knowledge about college music programs throughout the world is outstandingly deep.
For the past several years, Steve has been a highly successful music college counselor. He has helped dozens of musicians get into top music colleges, working tirelessly with families to ensure maximal success for students pursuing music degrees and careers.
For more information on our unique, one-of-a-kind college counseling program, check out our page here.
Where to Start on Music School Central
Since I launched Music School Central in September 2014, I have already worked with a number of college music programs, organizations, and professional musicians to provide great information to current and future music students and their families as well as music education enthusiasts.
Here are some good places to start on this website.
- Recently, I interviewed the Dean of the Mannes College of Music, an interview that has been read by well over 40,000 people and been liked/shared on Facebook over 6,000 times. In this interview, Dean Richard Kessler reveals groundbreaking information on how Mannes, an excellent music school in NYC, is positively changing the future of college music education. You can read that interview here.
- In mid-November, I published an article called What Can You Do With a Music Degree? 70+ Careers and Salaries Revealed. This article, which was liked/shared over 27,000 times on Facebook, received a positive review in the Eastman School of Music’s official blog, Polyphonic.org. Additionally, the contents of this article have already been licensed into career classes and “audition days” at a number of schools, including UMass Amherst and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
- Having gone to music school myself, I frequently cite personal experience to address issues and solutions in higher music education. In early January, I published an article called Is Classical Music Dying? No, It Just Has This One Problem, a piece that probes into some of the ethics and values often found in higher music education, perhaps to a fault. In this article, I address real-world examples of professional artists music schools can look to when remedying these issues.
- When I first launched my website, it became well-known, if not perhaps slightly controversial, for publishing music college rankings lists. Here is my most-read list, my personal pick for the top 15 colleges for music in the US. While the intention behind my rankings lists is to provide a valuable starting point for musicians and families looking into music college, they are solely my opinion, and they should never substitute thorough research into college music programs. No rankings list can provide a “one-size-fits-all” solution for every music student – they should be treated as starting guides. Many of my rankings lists have appeared in part or in full on the websites of the colleges being ranked, a great honor for me to see these schools excited about recognition they deserve.
That should give you a start into what the website can offer you and what I have done so far with it. In the near future, I will be publishing a review of a recent event sponsored by the Eastman School of Music, speaking to students in classes at Lawrence University and Kalamazoo College, and more.
The Team at Music School Central
Stephen Chaloner, Web Guy
In addition to Steve and I, the team at Music School Central also consists of accomplished website designer Stephen Chaloner.
Stephen makes everything for everyone much easier. As you can tell by the design of this site, he is super awesome at what he does.
All of our college consulting clients are entitled to deluxe services, one of which is the creation of a personal website for professional usage. Stephen works with me considerably throughout these projects.
I actively and regularly engage with my readers in the comments sections of this website, as well in various email exchanges and occasionally through phone calls.
My goal for this website is to present a sound resource online for those looking into music degrees and careers.
Have any ideas? Feel free to shoot me an email, I would absolutely love to hear from you.
I hope to contribute, in either a small or large way, to your musical and personal success.
Bill Zuckerman’s Music Career
I was an active and professional composer for a long time, and have only recently switched my focus to writing and blogging. I have every intention to getting back into writing music, but for now, you can see what I have done with my own music degree below:
Me talking about music and playing piano like a crazy person on TV
An interview with me on Sequenza21 chatting to my friend and music critic Garrett about my former ensemble Symphony Z
A mini-documentary released on YouTube about my debut album Music In Pluralism
A good review of my music
My favorite bad review of my music
And what do you know, some actual music!