Jacobs School of Music (Indiana University) (Bloomington, IN)
The Jacobs School of Music is widely regarded as one of the top music schools in the country, often being ranked as high as number one.
In fact, according to the Jacobs School of Music Wikipedia article, the school was previously ranked number one by the Chronicle of Higher Education as well as Change Magazine.
Long regarded as one of the foremost schools for opera, the school stages six operas a year, which is three more than any other competitor school in the country.
Historically, the school was the very first non-professional opera company to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Indeed, musical life at Indiana is thriving – with nearly 1,600 students and 1,100 performance opportunities each year, the Jacobs School of Music finds itself unable to go a whole school day without some kind of performance recital!
The jazz program at Indiana consistently produces some of the most successful jazz musicians in the world. Alumni of the jazz program include influential jazz educator Jamey Aebersold, jazz composer David Baker, and jazz pianist Michael Weiss.
The facilities at Indiana are top of the line. The William and Gayle Cook Music Library is easily one of the largest music libraries in any school throughout the world. In fact, because of this, the school has a well-recognized Master’s of Library Science in Music degree, one of the few of its kind throughout the US.
Additionally, the school’s Musical Arts Center houses a theatre that can hold a 100-piece orchestra playing for 1,460 people.
Overall, the Jacobs School of Music – one of the largest music schools in the world – is one of the most exciting and accomplished institutions for music in the US.
Juilliard School (New York, NY)
What can you say about Juilliard that is not already known?
Easily the most famous and well-known institution of music throughout the world, many of the greatest classical soloists of our time attended Juilliard.
The history of Juilliard is one of virtuosic tradition in music, theatre, and dance. Time and time again, we see many of the best musicians in the world graduate from the halls of Juilliard.
In fact, just perusing the list of famous alumni from Juilliard almost seems like a who’s-who rolodex of the most celebrated talent of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The acceptance rate at Juilliard is miniscule – between 5% and 8% of all applicants are accepted into the program in any given year. The only music school more selective would be Curtis, also mentioned in this list.
The faculty at Juilliard are among the most celebrated throughout the world.
They include luminaries such as Joseph Alessi, perhaps the world’s greatest trombone player, Ithzak Perlman, perhaps the world’s greatest violin player, and Richard Aaron, perhaps the world’s top cello teacher (he also teaches at Michigan).
The location of Juilliard is admittedly one of the most desirable of any music school in the world.
Not only is it located in New York City, the most important city for the arts in the US, it is also located in Lincoln Center, a melting pot of classical music activity that houses the New York Philharmonic as well as the Metropolitan Opera.
Additionally, the jazz program at Juilliard is perhaps the most selective of its kind, taking just a small studio of the very finest musicians. Faculty at Juilliard’s jazz program include Wynton Marsalis, Pulitzer winning trumpet virtuoso.
Manhattan School of Music (New York, NY)
Few can dispute the legendary status of the Manhattan School of Music.
Founded over one century ago in 1917, the Manhattan School of Music has become one of the world’s premiere training centers for tomorrow’s top musicians.
MSM’s reputation originally laid on the shoulders of its classical performance faculty, many of which became among the most outstanding musicians worldwide.
Today, some of those faculty include the most noted names in classical music, including David Krakauer, classical clarinetist extraordinaire, Linda Chesis, one of the most important flute teachers in the country, and Yefim Bronfman, a legend in the world of classical piano performance.
An argument can be made that the jazz performance program at Manhattan School of Music is even more prestigious than that of any other jazz program in the US.
50 faculty musicians head the jazz performance program, all of which are active, in-demand artists in the New York City and international music scenes.
These figureheads include Dave Liebman, one of the great jazz saxophonists of our time, Stefon Harris, an in-demand jazz vibraphonist, and Ron Carter, the most recorded jazz bassist in history who has appeared on a staggering 2,200+ recordings!
Recently, the school has instituted a musical theatre program. Due to its close proximity and close association with top Broadway artists, this musical theatre program has already risen to one of the top of its kind.