5 Best Music Schools in Cincinnati-Tuition & Requirements

You won’t only find some top music schools in Cincinnati, Cincinnati is a great place to live, with many opportunities for students to perform with professional ensembles. The city offers a wide variety of cultural events and campus life, including:

  • The Cincinnati Opera Company performs operas throughout the city at Music Hall.
  • Cincinnati Ballet (which offers classes in its own studio)
  • The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) has several other performance spaces for dance companies as well as theatre productions

Cincinnati is a great place to study music, and there are many great programs to choose from.

The students at the College-Conservatory of Music will get their education in an intimate environment with high-quality teachers and a supportive community, while Northern Kentucky University offers a wide range of classes led by experienced professionals who understand the needs of music students.

Students will enjoy the great student life in Cincinnati and can take advantage of the numerous opportunities to perform with professional ensembles in the area. Read on to music schools in Cincinnati

Areas of Specialization

The Music Studies Specialization takes advantage of the types of courses central to a liberal arts education.

Although the degree is not tied to any specific career aspiration, students often use the degree as preparation for careers in musicology, music librarianship, music leadership, and private studio teaching.

The area of specialization in music is specifically broad to know more click here.

Why Study Cincinnati

Cincinnati is a great college town. With nearly 50,000 students and millions of music fans, the city is a perfect spot for aspiring musicians to hone their skills and network with other professionals.

Here’s what you need to know about Cincinnati’s best music schools:

The List of Music Schools in Cincinnati  

Here is a list of top institutions where you can study music in Cincinnati;

  • University of Cincinnati 
  • Wright State University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • Cincinnati Music Academy, LLC
  • Xavier University 

College-Conservatory of Music

The College-Conservatory of Music is a music school with a rich history and an impressive alumni roster.

Established in 1876, it’s been around for more than 150 years to offer students the opportunity to study music at its highest level.

The school offers bachelor’s degrees in performance and recording technology as well as master’s degrees in performance and education through both part-time and full-time options.

Students can also pursue certificates or specializations through either program, depending on their interests or career goals after graduation.

As with many other music schools across America, CCOF maintains an active student life program that includes trips abroad during breaks between semesters (this year included tours through Germany), concerts held on campus every few months at which faculty members perform alongside students who’ve earned their own performances credits throughout their studies at CCOF itself—earning accolades like “best soloist” awards!

Diverse students from all over the world work with international faculty staff in the following areas of specialization:

Areas of Study


  • Composition
  • Musicology
  • Music Theory

Ensembles and Conducting

  • Choral Studies
  • Commercial Music Production
  • Jazz Studies
  • Orchestral Studies
  • Wind Studies

General Studies

Keyboard Studies

  • Harpsichord
  • Organ
  • Piano

Media Production

Music Education

Performance Studies

  • Strings
  • Voice
  • Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion

Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration

  • Acting
  • Arts Administration
  • Dance
  • Musical Theatre
  • Opera
  • Theatre Design and Production

Admission Requirements

For full details on the necessary requirements, click here.


 To see a detailed breakdown of the tuition fee, click here.

Wright State University Program

Wright State University is a public university in Dayton, Ohio. WSU is a part of the Ohio state university system and has more than 25,000 students enrolled.

The university’s School of Music offers bachelor’s degrees in music performance and composition as well as graduate degrees for those who want to pursue careers in music education or industry management.

Students can study under some of the best professors at any time during their studies at WSU: Dr. Michael Booth, who teaches instrumental performance; Dr. Scott Davis, who teaches jazz piano; and Drs. James van der Geest and Keith Packard (who also holds joint appointments at Eastman School) teach music theory/composition classes respectively.

For more details about the various music programs, visit the school website

Admission Requirements:

For home-schooled students; 

Application for Undergraduate Admission.

 Submit your FREE application using the Wright State University application or the Common Application. 

 Official home school transcript, including any work in progress 

  • A partial transcript is due at the time of application. Final transcript, with graduation date, posted, due upon completion of your senior year.

 Copy of written verification from the district superintendent that the student has been excused from compulsory attendance for the student’s final year of home education 

  • Other documents upon request (which may include course content descriptions, book lists, or other related documentation).
  • A minimum of 2.0 CGPA in high school.

For international students;

  • A 2.5 CGPA on a 4.0 scale
  • TOEFL: 61
  • IELTS: 5.5 with no sub score lower than 5.0
  • Pearson PTE: 51

 Cambridge test: Minimum scaled score of 162, with no sub-score below 154, on the Cambridge English Qualifications. 

 SAT combined score of 510 on the evidence-based reading and writing portion. 

 Students who show proof of successful completion of an Intensive English Program from an accredited Institution or program accepted by international admissions are exempt from the requirement to take an approved English Proficiency exam. 

 Graduation from a United States high school 

 If you have graduated from a school in a country where English is the official language for higher education, you will not be required to demonstrate English proficiency.  A list of countries can be found on the website.


  • For home-schooled students living off campus, an annual fee of $12,214 and an annual fee of $22,008 for students living on campus.

  • For out-of-state students living off campus, an annual fee of $21,632 and an annual fee of $31,426 for students living on campus.

  • For international students living off campus, an annual fee of $30,846 and an annual fee of $32,750 for students living on campus.

Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University is a public university located in Highland Heights, Kentucky, United States. The university is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and the NCAA Division I.

The school’s athletic teams compete as the Northern Kentucky Norse, who compete at the NCAA Division I level in 19 varsity sports including men’s and women’s basketball (the only team from outside of Conference USA), cross country running, football (Northwest Conference) ice hockey (Hockey East), soccer (Mid-American Conference) track & field/cross country volleyball (Atlantic Sun Conference).

For more information regarding their programs, click here.

Admission Requirements

  • Four years of English
  • Three years of math including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry or three integrative math courses
  • Three years of science
  • Three years of social studies
  • ACT sub scores of 18 in English, math and reading
  •  -OR-
  • SAT(Prior to 3/2016) math and writing sub scores of 430, a critical reading score of 450
  •   -OR-
  • SAT(After 3/2016) Evidence-based reading and writing score of 480, math score of 470

For more information about NKU admission policy click here.


2022-23 UndergraduatePer credit hour rateFull-Time rate per semester
(12-16 hours)
KY Resident$425$5,104
Metro (1)$643$7,724
Indiana Residents (2)$425$5,104
Ohio Reciprocity (3)$425$5,104
Online Major$461N/A
PACE Major$425N/A
Dual Credit/School-Based Scholars$91N/A

Cincinnati Music Academy, LLC Program

In 1997, three Cincinnati teachers started the Cincinnati Music Academy, LLC. With the aim of providing a learning experience for students and business-friendly environment on the other hand for independent Cincinnati teachers, the school was incorporated into existence. 

CMA is located at 7420 Montgomery Road in Silverton, one mile west of the Kenwood Towne Center. Go here for a map and driving directions.

CMA is said to be spectacular among other music schools regarding the fact that its faculty as a whole operates independently. 

  • They specialize in the following discipline: Acting

Private Lessons;

For information regarding lessons click here.


Training costs $65.00/hour and may continue for a few months to several years depending on the goals of the student.

If you have questions that aren’t answered here, or would like to inquire about acting lessons for your children or yourself, please email acting@cinicnnatimusicacademy.com or call (513) 891-7714.

Xavier University Program

Xavier is one of the top music schools in Cincinnati where a one-to-one learning process is achieved.

The school prepares you to take a path to become a meaningful, useful, and fulfilled person in society. 

With over 40+ world-class graduate programs that covers varieties of discipline, Xavier University has bagged lots of awards worldwide. 

Xavier University offers over 90+ undergraduate majors and 60+ minors. The programs are available both online and in person making it more comfortable for students. 

Admission process 

  • Application step for undergraduate programs;

Submit Your Applications

Submit Test Scores – Optional 

Submit Official High School Transcript

Submit Counsellor Recommendations

Forward Previous College Credits

Apply For Honors Program and Competitive Scholarships

Fill the FAFSA


Applications for admission to Xavier are considered on a rolling basis and decisions are typically shared with students within a month of completion of the application file. However, the dates below are important to consider.

Admission Deadlines
Application TypeDeadlineNotification by
Application DeadlineRollingWithin 1 month of application completion
Competitive ScholarshipsDecember 1Varies
FAFSA Early Filers DeadlineDecember 1December 20
Merit Scholarship ConsiderationFebruary 1*Rolling

*Applications received after the December 1 priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Selective Admission Programs

Some academic programs have additional requirements. Examples include Music, which has an audition requirement, and Nursing, which has more strict admission requirements. Visit our Selective Admission Programs page for a complete list.

Additional Considerations

Some applicants have an admission process that requires additional steps. 

All graduate programs require an application and most require a graduate exam. Learn more about the unique requirements for each graduate program on their page: Graduate Program Information Sessions


Student Fee, per semester

  • Graduate Student Association Fee
    (degree seeking full-time)$8
  • Graduate Student Association Fee
    (degree seeking part-time)$4
Xavier University Undergraduate Tuition and Fees Summary
Tuition & Fees$22,500$45,000
Room & Board$6,910$13,820
Total Charges$29,410$58,820

1. Is the University of Cincinnati a good music school?

Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, CCM is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts.

Declared “one of this country’s leading conservatories” by the New York Times, CCM provides life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment.

2. How hard is it to get into CCM?

Getting accepted to CCM isn’t easy. Of the 901 Broadway wannabes who applied this year to the musical theater program – the nation’s first – 18 were accepted.

Playbill magazine has ranked CCM’s musical theater program second in its Top 10 list for three years straight.

3. Is Cincinnati a safe city?

Crime data says that Cincinnati has an above-average level of crime. This means that the violent crime and property crime rates are higher than both the national average and that of other cities in Ohio.

However, these crimes are generally concentrated in certain neighborhoods within Cincinnati.

4. Is Cincinnati a cheap place to live?

Cincinnati is one of the most affordable cities to live in the U.S. In the Cincinnati Region you can buy a great house for an affordable price, as well as pay for groceries, healthcare, transportation, and utilities without busting your budget.

5. What is a good salary in Cincinnati?

A good salary in Cincinnati, OH is anything over $46,000. That’s because the median income in Cincinnati is $46,000, which means if you earn more than that you’re earning more than 50% of the people living in Cincinnati.

The average salary in Cincinnati is $54,125. A good hourly wage in Cincinnati is $22.12 per hour.

6. What time is rush hour in Cincinnati?

7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Rush hour in Cincinnati starts hot and heavy around 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Then, the afternoon rush lasts from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you can, avoid hitting the highway during these times of major congestion.

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