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Articles / Majors & Careers / 2021 Best Music Colleges for Singers

2021 Best Music Colleges for Singers

Written by Sam Jaquez | Aug. 17, 2021

10 Best Music Colleges for Vocalists

If you are interested in studying music in college, there are many great schools for you to choose from. Students interested in going to a music school for singing have a variety of options depending on the type of style they are interested, school size, and even performance opportunities. Below are a few of the top music schools in the US with great programs.

Top Music Schools for Singing Majors

  1. Berklee College of Music
  2. Cleveland Institute of Music
  3. Manhattan School of Music
  4. University of Michigan
  5. Oberlin College
  6. University of Southern California
  7. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
  8. Temple University
  9. Curtis Institute of Music
  10. The Julliard School

Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music is a premier institute of music and performing arts in Boston, Massachusetts with additional campuses on New York City and Valencia, Spain.

The college offers 12 music majors including a performance voice program. Students can earn a Bachelor of Music in Performance: Voice during which they will receive intensive training. For students interested in teaching, the voice department also offers a minor in teaching contemporary voice.

Students in the voice major gain experience in a variety of styles including jazz, R&B, rock, country, and more. Students will complete a performance portfolio, participate in concert performances, receive ear training, and more experiences to help develop theoretical and conceptual vocal training.

Cleveland Institute of Music

Cleveland Institute of Music is a four-year private music conservatory in Cleveland, OH. The university is devoted exclusively to classical music performance.

The college offers a Bachelor of Music in voice. As a classical music school, the voice program focuses on individual performance in opera. Students will gain performance experience through learning in studio classes, master classes, chamber music, large ensembles, and workshops.

Students from CIM frequently choose to participate in community performance opportunities. The school schedules over 200 community concerts every year.

Manhattan School of Music

Manhattan School of Music is a premier music conservatory of classical music, jazz, and musical theatre. The school’s faculty come from New York’s best classical music organizations including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and Broadway.

Manhattan School of Music offers a Bachelor of Music in voice. Students can study voice in two areas of study: classical and opera theatre. In the program, voice students will study different vocal techniques and approaches.

Performance opportunities are abundant at MSM. Students can participate in performances with National Sawdust, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Philharmonic, and more.

University of Michigan

University of Michigan is a public university in Ann Arbor, MI known for being the top-ranking public university in the US and top 15 in world rankings.

The university offers a Bachelor of Music in voice performance through the School of Music, Theatre, & Dance. The program is designed for students interested in a career in concert stage, solo work, radio, television, and teaching.

Coursework includes private voice lessons, music theory, piano, conducting, and workshops. Performance opportunities at UMich include student performances, small chamber groups, and more.

Oberlin College

Oberlin College in Ohio is a top ranked liberal arts college known for its creative energy. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music has 540 students, 150 practice rooms, and a 6:1 student/faculty ratio.

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music offers a Bachelor of Music in voice where students gain skills across a broad repertoire. Voice students participate in vocal coaching, diction and language, pedagogy classes, operatic song and chamber music study, and more.

Performance opportunities at Oberlin include opera productions, choral ensembles, and solo performances. The conservatory houses nine performance spaces including seven that are steam live events to a global audience.

University of Southern California

University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music is the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles, CA and ranks among the top music schools and conservatories in the US.

At USC’s School of Music there are several program options for singing majors including choral & sacred music, musical theatre, and vocal arts & opera.

The vocal arts & opera program is internationally recognized and is a great option for students interested in a comprehensive study of vocal performance. The Bachelor of Music in a four-year program that consists of a wide variety of learning opportunities including individual lessons, acting for singers, word and music in opera, theory studies, and more.

Students of USC’s opera program become singers, coaches, pianists, conductors, and directors.

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music is a top ranked performing arts institution in Bloomington, IN. With more than 16,000 alumni, Jacobs has educated award winning performers, educators, scholars, and artists from all over the world.

Undergrad voice students can earn a Bachelor of Music in performance, a Bachelor of Music in education, or a Bachelor of Science in music and an outside field. The performance degree is a comprehensive program that introduces students to musical theory, history, skills, diction, and more. All voice students are required to pass a keyboard proficiency exam.

Students have opportunities to perform with the university’s opera and ballet theater in operas, musicals, and other performances. The school of music is also home to ensembles, bands, and choirs.

Temple University

Temple University is a top-ranked public university with a highly ranked college for music in Philadelphia, PA. For singing students, the Boyer College of Music and Dance offers a degree in voice & opera.

Voice and opera student receive training emphasized in vocal technique through private lessons and ensemble performances. In addition to the Bachelor of Music in performance, the university also offers undergraduate certificates in classical voice and performing arts.

In addition to private lessons, students will also attend rehearsals, master classes, and studio classes. Students interested in opera will perform in fully staged operas, students interested in choral activities can perform with one of the university’s many choirs.

Curtis Institute of Music

Curtis Institute of Music is a private conservatory in Philadelphia, PA. The school is known for its small class sizes and “learn by doing” philosophy.

Students can earn a Bachelor of Music in voice from the vocal studies department at Curtis. With small class sizes, each student is given specialized instruction and mentorship. Students are given many opportunities to learn through performing in lessons, studio classes, chamber coaching, recitals, and more.

A big bonus for attending Curtis is that the tuition is free. You heard that right – Curtis invests in its students by not charging for classes and offering additional financial aid to help cover any other non-tuition expenses such as housing and dining.

The Julliard School

Julliard is a world leader in performing arts education located in New York, NY. Their mission is to “provide the highest caliber of artistic education.” The music division offers degrees in six programs including instruments, vocal arts, jazz studies, historical performance, composition, and orchestral conducting.

Julliard offers a Bachelor of Music in vocal arts The comprehensive program is designed to prepare students for a variety of roles for 21st-century vocal artists. Students will study not only singing but acting, dance, text analysis, and other artistic roles as part of the program.

Students are encouraged to progress at their own pace with the help of coaching sessions, residencies with industry leaders, and performance opportunities. Students can perform in opera and stage performances at the school, at Lincoln Center, and in other performances throughout New York City.

Written by


Sam Jaquez

Sam is a freelance writer. She studied at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she earned a degree in English.

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