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Education and Career

The Best Places To Learn Music In New York

For most types of studies, joining a pursue studies from a reputed university would be enough to set you up for a successful career. Even if there’s nothing extraordinary about the program. But it works differently for making it big in the music industry. Those serious about a music career want to join a conservatory or university with exceptional music programs. Getting into these institutions involves a different application process that may include auditions and performance resumes.

The best places to learn music in New York are:

  1. The Manhattan School of Music
    130 Claremont Avenue, New York, NY 10027
    The Manhattan School of Music is a large conservatory with 900 students. Out of these, about 400 undergraduates study composition, performance, or voice. Students are required to submit essays, do auditions, and attempt music theory exams.
    Notable Alumni:
    Angelo Badalamenti – Grammy Award-winning composer
    John Corigliano – Oscar, Grammy Award, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
    Steve Gadd – Grammy Award-winning drummer
    Aaron Jay Kernis – Grammy Award, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
    Charlie Puth – Popular singer, songwriter, and record producer
    Dawn Upshaw – Grammy Award-winning opera singer
  2. Mannes College and the New School for Music
    66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011
    This conservatory offers undergraduates’ and graduates’ degrees in classical music composition, performance, and voice. About 300 undergraduates and grad students pursue the classical music program. You can also pursue a bachelor’s degree at The New School for jazz and contemporary music.
    Notable Alumni:
    Greg Kurstin – Grammy Award-winning record producer
    Robert Glasper – Emmy Award and Grammy Award-winning pianist
    Alex Skolnick – Lead Guitarist, Testament
    Marcus Strickland – Saxophonist
    Loren Stillman – Saxophonist
  3. The Juilliard School
    60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
    This conservatory is regarded highly all over the world for its dance, drama, and music lessons. It is quite difficult to get in. While Harvard University’s acceptance rate is 7.2%, the acceptance rate of Juilliard School is only 6.4%! No wonder students come from 40 countries to study here.
    Notable Alumni:
    David Bryan – Keyboardist, Bon Jovi
    Paul Waggoner – Lead guitarist for Between the Buried and Me
    Ralph Farris – Composer, conductor, violist, violinist, co-founder of Ethel string quartet
    Jennifer Choi – Composer, violinist, and member of Ethel string quartet
    Mary Rowell – Violinist, co-founder of Ethel string quartet
    Cosmo Buono – Pianist, founder of The Alexander and Buono Competitions
    Jordan Rudess – Pianist, Dream Theater
  4. Steinhardt School’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions – New York University
    35 W. 4th Street, Suite 1077, New York, NY 10012
    This is an excellent option if you seek proper music academics. Students have admired the non-conservatory college experience here. Many have joined to learn jazz because of the numerous gig opportunities for NYU jazz students.
    Notable Alumni:
    Wayne Shorter – Composer and saxophonist
    Cy Coleman – Emmy Award and Grammy-award winning music theatre composer
    Betty Comden – Lyricist
    Elmer Bernstein – Film composer
    Tania Leon – Composer and conductor
  5. Department of Music – University of Rochester
    1-315 Dewey Hall, P.O. Box 270052, Rochester, NY 14627
    University of Rochester’s Department of Music has close ties with the Eastman School of Music in downtown Rochester. The faculty includes some of the most famed experts in composing, music, and theater. Students can audition within days to become part of ensembles.
    Notable Alumni:
    Steve Gadd – Grammy Award-winning drummer
    Renée Fleming – Soprano opera singer
    Frederick Fennell – Conductor and promoter of the Eastman Wind Ensemble
    Doug Besterman – Grammy Award-nominated orchestrator and arranger
    Ron Carter – Grammy Award-winning jazz double-bassist
  6. School of Music – Ithaca College
    953 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY 14850
    Ithaca College’s School of Music has brilliant infrastructure and programs. The professional staff and faculty often go beyond their responsibilities to help students succeed. The teachers are creative and give personal attention to students.
    Notable Alumni:
    Kate Aldrich – internationally renowned mezzo-soprano
    Gavin DeGraw – Grammy Award-nominated musician
    Scott LaFaro – Jazz bassist popular for his work with the Bill Evans Trio
    New York Voices – Vocal music group that won the Grammy Award
    Maureen Tucker – Drummer, The Velvet Underground
  7. Setnor School of Music – Syracuse University
    200 Crouse College, Syracuse, NY 13244
    You can pursue professional training through any of Setnor School of Music’s six undergraduate and four graduate degree programs. All these courses allow competent musicians and future industry leaders to stand out as individuals or in groups. The Setnor School of Music is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
    Notable Alumni:
    Nilo Alcala – Composer
    Carlisle Floyd – Opera composer
    Donald Martino – Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
    Howard Wyeth – Drummer famous for having worked with Bob Dylan

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Education and Career - The Best Places To Learn Music in New York
Alexandra Dimitropoulou

Alexandra Dimitropoulou

VP and News Editor
Alexandra Dimitropoulou is a VP and News Editor at CEOWORLD magazine, working to build and strengthen the brand’s popular, consumer-friendly content. In addition to running the company’s website, CEOWORLD magazine, which aims to help CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and other C-level executives get smarter about how they earn, save and spend their money, she also sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Business Policy Institute. She can be reached on email You can follow her on Twitter at @ceoworld.