16 Best Music Schools in Boston-Tuition & Requirements

Boston is a fantastic destination to learn music. There are about four top-notch music schools in Boston and more than 16 colleges and universities with music programs. 

Apart from music, Boston is home to some of the best universities and colleges in the US.

It serves as a major educational hub and attracts thousands of students every year both from within the US and abroad.

A variety of schools are available, including classical conservatories and institutes that focus on jazz, modern music, and musical theater.

The most popular music majors in Boston are:

  • Music or General Music: a music education that covers a wide range of topics, including performance, theory, history, and pedagogy. This major is frequently the first step toward a graduate degree.

  • Music Performance: broad musical education with a performing focus. enables you to become a soloist, ensemble member, or accompanist in the future.

  • Musical Theater: Helps you prepare for a profession in musical theater with rigorous training in singing and dancing.

  • Music Education: Prepares you for a career in teaching music in primary, and secondary schools.

  • Music Theory and Composition: teaches you how to create and put music in order.

  • Music Therapy: classes here generally include music, psychology, biology, therapy and general studies.

  • Conducting: helps you prepare to become a conductor or a leader of a band.

  • Musicology: studies music history and its expression.

  • World Music: studies musical expression around the world and how it varies.

  • Music Management: grooms you to become a manager of musicians and acquire leadership in music labels and organizations.

The List of Best Music Schools in Boston

There are several music colleges and schools in Boston and in this list, we cover the 16 Best Music Schools in Boston. 

They include ‘the famous music school in Boston’ – Berklee College of Music and others.

Berklee College of Music

The Berklee College of Music is a top destination for aspiring musicians and songwriters, composers, music producers and engineers.

The college is reputed for jazz, popular music, rock and roll and other temporary genres.

They are partnered with Harvard University allowing their students to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in three years and a Master of Music or Arts degree from the school after two years.

It is the largest independent college that teaches contemporary music in the world with outstanding staff and teachers.

The Berklee College of Music’s Acceptance Rate is almost 52 percent making it moderately difficult to get in.

Admission Requirements:

Application fees cost $150. Applying requires an online application form and supporting materials like a resume, transcript, or personal statement followed by an audition or interview.

Tuition Fees:

If you’re interested in a degree, then studying at the college will cost you $46,950 per year.

For a diploma, it will cost $40,450 per year. Of course, there are other fees involved.

You can check out the college’s tuition fees page.

The New England Conservatory of Music

Operating since the mid-19th century, The New England Conservatory of Music is the oldest independent music school in the US.

Programs include brass, collaborative piano, composition, jazz, music theory, percussion, piano, strings, voice and opera, woodwinds, and others.

The conservatory is also the training home for the popular Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Due to the highly competitive live audition, many of the students who apply have been practicing their craft for years.

The school makes little space for students who are just starting out or not yet sure of their abilities.

They are partnered with Harvard University and Tufts University.

A five-year dual degree program gives you the chance to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree from the university and your Master of Music degree from the conservatory.

You must apply to both schools and also be accepted by the two.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition fees at the New England Conservatory of Music cost about $54,210 with other fees adding up to $76,745.

For a more comprehensive report, you can visit the school’s tuition fees page.

Boston University

In terms of general education and variety of programs, there is no better option than Boston University.

Even though the audition process is less competitive than the auditions you have in Berklee or other schools, Boston University remains a great school for people with a vast array of musical tastes.

Along with the regular Bachelor of Arts in Music and Performance degrees, Boston University offers mind-capturing majors like theoretical performance.

With 34,000 students, the university offers a lot of undergraduate and graduate music courses despite not being known for its music program.

As a student at Boston University, you’ll have the option of learning woodwinds, brass and percussion, voice, strings, and piano.

Also, as performance, musicology, ethnomusicology, music education, composition, and music theory.

Tuition Fees

For a comprehensive report on Boston University’s tuition fees, visit the school’s tuition fees page.

NorthEastern University

This is not really a music school in the actual sense but it offers a wealthy technological approach to how music is studied.

Courses you can study include computer science and music bachelor of science, game design, music bachelor of science, and more.

The school is unique in its own way. They expose students to songwriting, recording, production, technology, products, label operations, promotion, marketing, and others.

They also help students understand the entrepreneurial and business side of music and not just music itself.

This is possible since the school features a music program based on the music business and they offer important internship opportunities.

Tuition Fees:

At Northeastern University, tuition fees for a term cost about $29,550. This does not exclude other minor fees that boost the total payments.

All the information about the school’s fees can be found on their tuition fees page.

University of Massachusetts, Boston

The University of Massachusetts, Boston’s music program exposes students to musical genres from around the world including western and non-Western music.

The school’s music education program prepares its students to be future teachers in the music education sector.

They are trained to meet the modern challenges in the classroom and the music industry as a whole.

Students who study music education at the university, end up securing teaching licenses.

They are also given the chance to improve their crafty by participating in chorus, chamber singers, chamber orchestra and jazz ensemble.

Their teaching staff are highly experienced and capable and contribute immensely in a positive way to the student’s time period in the school and beyond.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition Fees cost just over  $15,000 for in-state, $ 36,145 for out-of-state, and $26,000 plus for regional.

Other fees are added as well. You can take a look at their tuition fees page.

Brandeis University

The department of music at Brandeis University is a top destination for aspiring music students.

They boast of teachers who are very accomplished in the music industry themselves.

It’s one of the best options for students who are willing to combine the best of classical music with a sound academic scheme of work.

It’s reputed to be an academic university with a vibrant music department.

Its undergraduate program combines music theory, history, composition, and performance.

It is one of our strongest recommendations on this list of 16 Best Music Schools in Boston.

Many of the graduates progress to pursue Master’s and Doctoral degrees in performance, composition, music production and technology, and more.

Some after graduating become music professors, opera singers, TV and record producers.

Another set even goes on to become doctors, attorneys, and teachers, thanks to the school’s strong academic curriculum.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition fees generally range at $61,724 per year. More information can be gotten from the school’s tuition fees page.

Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music

See it as the conservatory arm of the Berklee College of Music.

The Boston Conservatory, has about 818 students, from over 35 countries studying within its walls.

At the conservatory, students are given more attention, and emphasis is placed on their skill levels and not just theory.

The school holds over 100 significant performances every year and it offers its students a lot of exposure.

So that upon graduation, they would have built significant experience and confidence to perform anywhere.

In the music division, they teach brass, choral conducting, collaborative piano, composition, conducting, contemporary classical music, harp, percussion, piano, strings, vocal pedagogy, voice/opera, and woodwinds.

Tuition Fees:

It will cost $23,960 and for a graduate performance diploma, it will cost $14,510 plus other additional fees – tuition fees page.

The Longy School of Music of Bard College

This school is quite small due to very high competition. In the Longy School of Music of Bard College as of 2015 had just 217 students enrolled in its program.

Despite its high competition, the school is sought after because of its ling benefits to future composers and classical musicians.

To apply, you will have to fill out an online application form, attach your application materials, then go for an audition or interview.

You will also be required to attend a Longy visit day.

The Longy school of music, teaches brass/woodwinds, piano, strings, vocal studies, and chamber music.

Composition, historical performance, jazz, and contemporary music, and teacher education.

Tuition Fees:

To attend the Longy school of music, you should budget $49,500 per year for tuition. Some degrees cost $40,000.

And there are also additional fees. Visit the Longy school of music’s tuition fees page.

Harvard University, Department of Music

Harvard University is not a school to study music performance. They don’t offer performance majors.

Its department of music teaches musical sciences like ethnomusicology and musicology as well as rigorous programs in composition, theory, and others.

But, just to note, Harvard University’s Department of Music has one of the best vocal and choral music programs in the US.

To apply, you will have to visit the school’s main admissions office website and follow the instructions there as the music department does not have a separate process.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition Fees at Harvard University generally cost over $52,000.

A detailed answer pertaining to the fees is available for you on their tuition fees page.

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell

The school features one of the United States’ best music recording and music production programs.

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell provides its students with the experiential and theoretical knowledge they need to become outstanding producers.

The school combines courses in physics, electrical engineering, computer science, and advanced mathematics.

Plus traditional courses in music, and the art and technology of recording.

Courses are taught by experienced industry professionals allowing students to focus on a variety of industry sectors.

Industry sectors like management, marketing, entrepreneurship, etc.

As a student, you’ll enjoy studying performance, music business, sound recording technology, and music studies.

To apply, submit an application at the University’s undergraduate admissions office.

Schedule an audition and submit the required documents as instructed.

Tuition Fees:

Generally, tuition fees range from $15,698 for local students to $33,624 for domestic students. 

You can check the school’s tuition fees page for more information.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I can guess what’s going through your mind, but you should know it.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a very reputable music program. It doesn’t just offer the well-known ‘STEM’.

Of course, there are the scientists and mathematicians but there are also the world-class musicians this great school is making.

One of the beautiful things about MIT is that, apart from students majoring in music, other students can take classes in music as well.

The school has a distinguished music faculty that has won awards. The faculty involves the man, John Harbison, who is an established composer.

John Harbison has won numerous awards for his work and the music program at MIT benefits immensely from it.

Tuition Fees:

Currently, the cost of tuition at MIT is about $79,850. Visit MIT’s tuition fees page for all the information.

Emerson College

Emerson College is not particularly a music school per se, and it does not have any majors to offer in music.

But, the reason it makes our list of 16 Best Music Schools in Boston is due to its Musical Theatre Program.

This Musical Theatre Program is one of the best in the US as it has produced some of the most skillful actors, dancers, and singers.

The college has a strong stance on academics even among its musical theatre students.

We don’t recommend the school for those interested in classical, jazz, or contemporary music.

However, we must say, its musical theatre program is world-class.

Tuition Fees:

Visit the college’s tuition fees page for every information you need.

Brookline Music School

Brookline Music School is a private non-profit community school for the Arts. It has eight locations with its main facility being the Hill-Kennard-Odgen House.

BMS was founded in 1924 by the Brookline Public Schools and is the oldest in the area.

They accept students of any age and experience level. They offer music instruction to students in the following instruments: piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, guitar, percussion, and voice.

Students also perform in recitals, salons, and other major events.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition Fees cost $1752 per year for 30 minutes, $2,480 for 45 minutes, and $3,184 for 60 minutes.

This is the BMS tuition fees page.

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater State University has an excellent department of music with a rich curriculum for students impassioned with music.

They provide a strong foundational base in the theory and practicals of classical music as well as jazz and West African music.

Their teachers have established musicians themselves who often perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, and other world-class ensembles.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition fees for residents is $11,055 while non-residents are $17,195. For other fees involved, visit the school’s tuition fees page.

Tufts University

The Department of Music at Tufts University is a top-notch music school with rich opportunities for anyone who desires to enroll.

They teach courses in performance, performance, composition, theory, musicology, technology and ethnomusicology.

They explore a wide variety of music including western music, African-American, middle eastern, and world music.

Music studies at Tufts University are interdisciplinary, with students also having courses in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and engineering.

The university also preserves a whole number of quality musical instruments from different musical traditions.

Tuition Fees:

Tuition fees for Tufts University hover around the $50,000 to $60,000 mark – tuition fees page.

Musicians Playground

Musicians Playground is a music school based in Boston that helps children and adults satisfy their musical interests.

The teachers offer lessons both in person and online, in both individual and group classes.

You can learn the guitar, voice, and piano with the right hands and the motivation to get you through.

Tuition Fees:

All the information is available on their website’s main page.

In Closing

Boston is a rich environment with numerous colleges and universities named world-class.

In Boston, you won’t just enjoy the city’s rich musical culture, but also get the opportunity to rub minds with geniuses and music industry professionals.

Perhaps, you’re an aspiring musician and you have no clue about the perfect school to apply to.

Our list of 16 Best Music Schools in Boston is a perfect base for you to launch your research.

We sincerely wish you all the best!

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