A music school is an educational institution specialized in the study, training, and research of music. Such an institution can also be known as a school of music, music academy, music faculty, college of music, music department (of a larger institution), conservatory or conservatoire. Instruction consists of training in the performance of musical instruments, singing, musical composition, conducting, musicianship, as well as academic and research fields such as musicology, music history and music theory.
Music instruction can be provided within the compulsory general education system, or within specialized children's music schools such as the Purcell School. Elementary-school children can access music instruction also in after-school institutions such as music academies or music schools. In Venezuela El Sistema of youth orchestras provides free after-school instrumental instruction through music schools called núcleos. The term “music school” can also be applied to institutions of higher education under names such as school of music, such as the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University; music academy, like the Sibelius Academy or the Royal Academy of Music, London; music faculty as the Don Wright Faculty of Music of the University of Western Ontario; college of music, characterized by the Royal College of Music and the Berklee College of Music; music department, like the Department of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz; or the term conservatory, exemplified by the Conservatoire de Paris. In other parts of Europe, the equivalents of higher school of music or university of music may be used, such as the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (Cologne University of Music).
Although music and music education may have been in existence for thousands of years, the earliest history is speculative. Even when history starts to be recorded, music is mentioned more frequently than music education. Within the biblical tradition, Hebrew litany was accompanied with rich music, but the Torah or Pentateuch was silent on the practice and instruction of music in the early life of Israel. However, by I Samuel 10, Alfred Sendrey suggests that we find “a sudden and unexplained upsurge of large choirs and orchestras, consisting of thoroughly organized and trained musical groups, which would be virtually inconceivable without lengthy, methodical preparation.” This has led some scholars to believe that the prophet Samuel was the patriarch of a school which taught not only prophets and holy men, but also sacred-rite musicians.
The schola cantorum (papal choir) in Rome may be the first recorded music school in history, when Gregory the Great (540–604) made permanent an existing guild dating from the 4th century (schola originally referred more to a guild rather than school). The school consisted of monks, secular clergy, and boys. Wells Cathedral School, England founded as a Cathedral School in 909 a.d. to educate choristers, continues today to educate choristers and teaches instrumentalists. However the school appears to have been refounded at least once.
Saint Martial school, 10th to 12th century, was an important school of composition at the Abbey of Saint Martial, Limoges. It is known for the composition of tropes, sequences, and early organum. In this respect, it was an important precursor to the Notre Dame School. It was the Notre Dame school (late 12th and early 13th century) which was the earliest repertory of polyphonic (multipart) music to gain international prestige and circulation. The school was a group of composers and singers working under the patronage of the great Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. First records on Escolania de Montserrat, boys' choir linked to a music school, back to 1307 and still continues the musical education.
The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (National Academy of St Cecilia) is one of the oldest musical institutions in the world, based in Italy. It is based at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, and was founded by the papal bull, Ratione congruit, issued by Sixtus V in 1585, which invoked two saints prominent in Western musical history: Gregory the Great, for whom the Gregorian chant is named, and Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music. It was founded as a "congregation" or "confraternity" – a religious guild, so to speak – and over the centuries, has grown from a forum for local musicians and composers to an internationally acclaimed academy active in music scholarship (with 100 prominent music scholars forming the body of the Accademia) to music education (in its role as a conservatory) to performance (with an active choir and symphony orchestra).
The term conservatory has its origin in 16th-century Renaissance Italy, where orphanages (conservatori) were attached to hospitals. The orphans (conservati ‘saved’) were given a musical education there, and the term gradually applied to music schools. These hospitals-conservatories were among the first secular institutions equipped for practical training in music. By the 18th century, Italian conservatories were already playing a major role in the training of artists and composers.
In the city of Naples, a conservatorio was strictly a secular place for teaching and learning specializing in music education. There were already four conservatories in Naples active in the 17th and 18th century:
It is in these very institutions that the so-called Scuola Musicale Napoletana was developed, thanks to the work of musicians and educators like Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725) and Francesco Durante (1684–1755), who was also Pergolesi’s and Paisiello’s teacher.
It was the example set in Naples, where admission was by competitive examination and tuition was free, that was then copied, with modifications, in many European cities, including Paris (1795), Bologna (1804), Milan (1807), Florence and Prague (1811), Warsaw and Vienna (1821), London (1822), the Hague (1826), and Liege (1827). The second half of the 19th century saw the network expanding to the Americas, Rio de Janeiro (1847), Boston (1853), Baltimore and Chicago (1868), Havana (1885), and Buenos Aires (1893). Establishments for advanced training in music were organized in the 1940s in several Asian and African countries, including Iraq, Lebanon, and Kenya.
To this extent, projects like El Sistema are more in line with the tradition set in Italy (where tuition at conservatories remains still free) than in an English-speaking country, where students have a very selective access to bursaries (see the Royal Academy of Music or the Royal College of Music in the UK).
Specialist music schools exist in many countries and whose purpose is to identify, and assist, children with exceptional potential, to benefit from world-class specialist training as part of a broad and balanced education, which will enable them, if they choose, to proceed towards self-sustaining careers in music. These schools may be formally or informally attached to a conservatory. Entry is typically between the ages of ages 8 and 18 and admission is through competitive audition. Schools may be public or independent; where schools are independent, pupils may be in receipt of governmental or private scholarships. Typically as students progress through the school the time spent on music increases and on academic subjects decrease. These schools usually teach only instrumentalists but may also include choristers.
Many music schools are located within existing schools. The pattern is quite diverse and may include:
Specialist music units in Scotland, where students are drawn from an area wider than the host schools catchment. Students will receive specialist music tuition within the music school but are fully integrated within the host school for other lessons. Entry to the specialist music unit or school is by competitive audition, which also effectively gives entry to the host school.
Many public or independent schools contain music departments, some of which achieve high standards. These are sometimes referred to as Music schools. Music Colleges in England are schools that get additional private and governmental money to specialise in music. Entry is to the host school and musical ability is not an admission requirement. Schools which perform highly may specialise in an additional area for example sports or technology.
Music schools also frequently operate from church facilities.
Many conservatories or other tertiary-level institutions have pre-college divisions or junior departments for children of school age. Typically the curriculum includes individual lesson(s), orchestra, chamber music, theory, musicianship, composition and music technology. Classes are usually held on a Saturday and children attend normal schools during the week.
Non-governmental or private schools of music offer music education outside the general education system for students aged 4 to 20+ years. In general, students attend these schools weekend or evening. These schools are typically provided by individuals, charitable or commercial organizations.
A conservatory of music may also be known in English as conservatoire (chiefly in the UK), conservatorium (in Australia), academy or college. Some schools or conservatories are exclusively focused on music. Others have a wider focus, for example covering music, drama and dance. Conservatories are suitable for students who wish to develop their performance, conducting, or composition to a professional standard. Typically, they offer a high percentage of practical training combined with academic study and professional development for those considering a career in the creative arts. Individual teaching is the strength of most components.
Students have the opportunity to perform, conduct or have their music played on a regular basis, both informally and in public. This may be solo or as part of an orchestra, ensemble or band. Typically, conservatories focus on Western classical music. However, some schools focus on traditional instruments for example Chinese instruments. Others may have departments for traditional music which includes both traditional and classical instruments, for example bagpipes alongside the fiddle. Alternatively, students can focus on jazz, world music or pop music.
The time required to complete music degrees is generally not much different from degrees in other fields, i.e. 3–4 years for a Bachelor of Music degree, 1–2 years for a Master of Music degree, and 3–5 years for a Doctor of Musical Arts or Doctor of Music Degree. A PhD degree can be gained for areas such as musicology, music theory, music composition, music education, or music therapy. Some schools may offer a non-academic degree that is solely performance based, such as the (United States) A.D. or Artist Diploma; this may be offered at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.
University music departments originally placed more emphasis on academic study of music, rather than performance. However, today, the division may not be so rigid, with many often placing greater emphasis on performance now than they did in the past. The specific balance of vocational training and academic study varies from one institution to another, and from one country to another. Some countries separately define their institutions between university status and vocational university status, whilst other countries do not define such a rigid division. In addition to offering degrees similar to those offered at conservatories, some universities offer non-professional music-related degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts in Music or a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. A number of previously independent conservatories have become affiliated to universities 
National and international organisations:
Baku Musical College – is a state college of professional secondary education in Baku and one of the leading secondary musical schools of Azerbaijan.Aspen Music Festival and School
The Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) is a classical music festival held annually in Aspen, Colorado. It is noted both for its concert programming and the musical training it offers to mostly young-adult music students. Founded in 1949, the typical eight-week summer season includes more than 400 classical music events—including concerts by five orchestras, solo and chamber music performances, fully staged opera productions, master classes, lectures, and children’s programming—and brings in 70,000 audience members. In the winter, the AMFS presents a small series of recitals and Metropolitan Opera Live in HD screenings.As a training ground for young-adult classical musicians, the AMFS draws more than 650 students from 40 states and 34 countries, with an average age of 22. While in Aspen, students participate in lessons, coaching, and public performances in orchestras, operas, and chamber music, often playing side-by-side with AMFS artist-faculty.The organization is currently led by President and CEO Alan Fletcher and Music Director Robert Spano.British and Irish Modern Music Institute
The British and Irish Modern Music (BIMM) Institute is a group of eight independent colleges with over 6,000 students that specialise in the provision of BIMM education in Brighton, Bristol, Dublin, Birmingham, Manchester, Berlin, Hamburg and London. All Colleges focus on full-time Further and Higher Education courses in guitar, drums, bass, songwriting, vocals, music production, music business, event management, music journalism, live sound & tour management and music teacher training (PGCert).
BIMM was founded in Brighton in 2001 as the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. BIMM Bristol opened in 2008. According to their website in 2010, BIMM Group acquired Tech Music School London (TMS) and in 2011 BIMM Dublin opened and in 2013, the group opened BIMM Manchester in 2014 followed by BIMM Berlin in 2015 and BIMM Birmingham in 2017. A campus will be opening in Hamburg in 2018.In October 2014 the organisation was renamed the BIMM Institute, British and Irish Modern Music Institute. Tech Music School is now incorporated into BIMM London, based in Fulham.
In 2012 the Group became a full member of UCAS and the UK Colleges, Brighton, Bristol and London were successfully reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). In 2016 BIMM Limited, Brighton, Bristol and Manchester were successfully reviewed for educational oversight by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and were commended for the quality of student learning opportunities.
According to BIMM's website BIMM Degree programmes in London, Berlin, Hamburg, Brighton, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham are validated by the University of Sussex Additionally, all level 3 Diploma provision is validated by Edexcel or Rockschool. BIMM Dublin courses are validated by Dublin Institute of Technology.The groups majority shareholder is Sovereign Capital, a mid-market private equity investor specialising in education, healthcare and support services.Bryanston School
Bryanston School is a co-educational independent school for both day and boarding pupils, located next to the village of Bryanston, and near the town of Blandford Forum, in Dorset in South West England. It was founded in 1928. It occupies a palatial country house designed and built in 1889–94 by Richard Norman Shaw, the champion of a renewed academic tradition, for Viscount Portman, the owner of large tracts in the West End of London, in the early version of neo-Georgian style that Sir Edwin Lutyens called "Wrenaissance", to replace an earlier house, and is set in 400 acres (1.6 km2).
Bryanston is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Eton Group. It has a reputation as a liberal and artistic school using some ideas of the Dalton Plan.Christ's Hospital
Christ's Hospital, also known colloquially as CH, is an English coeducational independent day and boarding school with Royal Charter located in the south of Horsham in West Sussex. Founded in 1552 and received its first Royal Charter in 1553, Christ's Hospital follows much of the public schools tradition. Since its establishment, Christ's Hospital has been a charity school, with a core aim to offer children from humble backgrounds the chance to have a better education.Gnessin State Musical College
The Gnessin State Musical College (Russian: Государственный музыкальный колледж имени Гнесиных) and Gnessin Russian Academy of Music (Russian: Российская академия музыки имени Гнесиных) is a prominent music school in Moscow, Russia.Guildhall School of Music and Drama
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in music, opera, drama and technical theatre arts.The modern Guildhall School is a major European conservatoire which is both a music school and a drama school, and one which is involved in technical theatre, professional development and music therapy.The school currently numbers almost 900 students, approximately 700 of whom are undergraduate and postgraduate music students and 175 on the acting and technical theatre programmes. In any given year, about 40% of the students are from outside the UK, typically representing over 50 nationalities.The chairman of Guildhall is David Andrew Graves (Alderman), elected a governor in 2009 he became deputy of the board and then chairman in 2012. Guildhall’s principal is Lynne Williams. A previous principal, Barry Ife, made the Guildhall School the UK's largest provider of music education to under 18s by incorporating the Centre for Young Musicians (CYM) and creating new music "hubs" in Norfolk and Somerset; he has achieved recognition for Guildhall's music outreach and opera programmes through two Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (2005 and 2007); and he has realised the school's long-held ambition to build additional facilities at Milton Court (opened September 2013), including performance venues, rehearsal and teaching spaces designed by Aedas. Ife led the Guildhall School’s application for taught-degree awarding powers, which were granted by the Privy Council in April 2014.London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) is a drama school located in Hammersmith, London. It is the oldest drama school in the UK.
It was announced on 16 January 2018 that Benedict Cumberbatch has succeeded Timothy West as LAMDA's President. LAMDA's Principal is Joanna Read (who succeeded Peter James in 2010). In recent years, over 98% of LAMDA's stage management and technical theatre graduates have found work in their chosen field within weeks of graduation and the Academy's graduates work regularly at the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe, London's West End and Hollywood as well as on the BBC, HBO and Broadway. It is registered as a company under the name LAMDA Ltd and as a charity under its trading name London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. There is an associate organisation in America under the name LAMDA in America, Inc., previously known as The American Friends of LAMDA.LAMDA examinations in the fields of speech, drama, communication and performance taken by external students are recognised by Ofqual, the regulator in England and its counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland. LAMDA accredited examinations at Level 3 or above are recognised within the UCAS Tariff system.
As an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, LAMDA receives funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This means that eligible UK/EU students are able to access loans to assist with their tuition fees and maintenance costs. In addition, LAMDA and the Conservatoire have a range of scholarships and bursaries available.Mannes School of Music
Mannes School of Music is a music conservatory in The New School. In the fall of 2015, Mannes moved from its previous location on Manhattan's Upper West Side to join the rest of the New School campus in Arnhold Hall at 55 W. 13th Street.Marlboro Music School and Festival
The Marlboro Music School and Festival is a retreat for advanced classical training and musicianship held for seven weeks each summer in Marlboro, Vermont, in the United States. Public performances are held each weekend while the school is in session, with the programs chosen only a week or so in advance from the sixty to eighty works being currently rehearsed. Marlboro Music was conceived as a retreat where young musicians could collaborate and learn alongside master artists in an environment removed from the pressures of performance deadlines or recording. It combines several functions; Alex Ross describes it as functioning "variously as a chamber-music festival, a sort of finishing school for gifted young performers, and a summit for the musical intelligentsia".Royal Northern College of Music
The Royal Northern College of Music is one of the leading conservatoires in the world, located in Manchester, England. It is one of four conservatoires associated with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. In addition to being a centre of music education, RNCM is one of the UK's busiest and most diverse public performance venues.Sree Rama Varma Music School
Sree Rama Varma Music School is a music school situated in Thrissur city in Kerala, India and it is the first music school in Kerala state. The school is also known as S.R.V. Music School. In 2016, the institution was upgraded as a music college with the name of S.R.V. (Sreerama Varma) Govt. College Of Music And Performing Arts.Tanglewood Music Center
The Tanglewood Music Center is an annual summer music academy in Lenox, Massachusetts, United States, in which emerging professional musicians participate in performances, master classes and workshops. The Center operates as a part of the Tanglewood Music Festival, an outdoor concert series and the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO).The Purcell School for Young Musicians
The Purcell School for Young Musicians is a specialist music school for children, located in the town of Bushey, south Hertfordshire, England, and is the oldest specialist music school in the UK. The school was awarded the UNESCO Mozart Medal in 2003, which was received on behalf of the school by Prince Charles, who is a patron of the school. Sir Simon Rattle is honorary president of the school. Many of the pupils subsequently study at the Royal College of Music or Royal Academy of Music. In 2015, the School became the very first Fazioli Pianoforti Centre of Excellence.
The School‘s pupils are funded largely by the Government's Music and Dance Scheme, along with the School’s own scholarship funds. It has a consistent success in national and international competitions and has an extensive programme of outreach and community work. The majority of pupils progress to music conservatoires although a small number each year elect to go to University to study both music and non-musical subjects.Tokyo University of the Arts
Tokyo University of the Arts (東京藝術大学, Tōkyō Geijutsu Daigaku) or Geidai (芸大) is an art school in Japan. Located in Ueno Park, it also has facilities in Toride, Ibaraki, Yokohama, Kanagawa, and Kitasenju and Adachi, Tokyo. The university owns two halls of residence: one (for both Japanese and international students) in Adachi, Tokyo, and the other (for mainly international students) in Matsudo, Chiba.Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is a music and dance conservatoire based in London, England. It was formed in 2005 as a merger of two older institutions – Trinity College of Music and Laban Dance Centre. Today the conservatoire has 1,015 undergraduate and postgraduate students based at three campuses in Greenwich (Trinity) and Deptford and New Cross (Laban).University of Music and Performing Arts Munich
The University of Music and Performing Arts Munich (German: Hochschule für Musik und Theater München), also sometimes called the Academy of Music and Performing Arts, is one of the most respected traditional vocational universities in Germany, specialising in music and the performing arts. The main building it currently occupies is the former Führerbau of the NSDAP, located at Arcisstraße 12, on the eastern side of the Königsplatz, Munich. Teaching and other events also take place at Luisenstraße 37a, Gasteig, the Prinzregententheater (theatre studies), and in Wilhelmstraße (ballet). Since 2008, the Richard Strauss Conservatory (de), until then independent, has formed part of the University.Université de Montréal
The Université de Montréal (UdeM; French pronunciation: [ynivɛʁsite də mɔ̃ʁeal]) is a French-language public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university's main campus is located on the northern slope of Mount Royal in the Outremont and Côte-des-Neiges boroughs. The institution comprises thirteen faculties, more than sixty departments and two affiliated schools: the Polytechnique Montréal (School of Engineering; formerly the École Polytechnique de Montréal) and HEC Montréal (School of Business). It offers more than 650 undergraduate programmes and graduate programmes, including 71 doctoral programmes.
The university was founded as a satellite campus of the Université Laval in 1878. It became a independent institution after it was issued a papal charter in 1919, and a provincial charter in 1920. Université de Montréal moved from Montreal's Quartier Latin to its present location at Mount Royal in 1942. It was made a secular institution with the passing of another provincial charter in 1967.
The school is co-educational, and has over 34,335 undergraduate and over 11,925 post-graduate students (excluding affiliated schools). Alumni and former students reside across Canada and around the world, with notable alumni serving as government officials, academics, and business leaders. The university has been recognized by a number of publications that rank university performance, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and the U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking.Wells Cathedral School
Wells Cathedral School is a co-educational independent school located in Wells, Somerset, England. The school is one of the five specialist musical schools for school-age children in the United Kingdom, along with Chetham's School of Music, the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Purcell School and St. Mary's Music School, Edinburgh. The Head Master, Alastair Tighe, is a member of the Headmasters' Conference.