A degree in Music Performance is not only a valuable choice, but often a needed first step for students aspiring to enter a career as a concert piano player, a concert cello player, or a concert oboe player. Interestingly, music performance is fairly common ranking as the 93rd most popular major. Last year, there were 4,280 music performance graduates. In-state tuition for music performance at private colleges is, on average, 4.2 times more expensive than their public fellows.
There are 433 colleges which offer music performance. 433 colleges is fairly average in terms of the number of institutions which offer each degree. If you're hoping to surround yourself with other music performance undergrads, look at schools in California which have more students admitted to music performance than any other state. More generally, the top region to pursue music performance is in the Southeast region with George Mason University, James Madison University, and Virginia Commonwealth University best representing the region. Interestingly, our pick for the best conference to study music performance is the Big Ten Conference with Indiana University-Bloomington, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Rutgers University-New Brunswick representing the conference. That being said, our choice for the best school for music performance is Johns Hopkins University. You might also want to check out our list of the best colleges.
The 'best' school does not mean it is the best school for you. There are lots more factors to think about when deciding on university. Features like campus amenities, transportation services, and food would refashion one's decision on where to go to school. At Authority, we have evaluated the pros and cons for you. If, for example, you are intrigued by which music performance school has the top college campus, the winner is New York University. If you are primarily interested in which school is home to the finest campus, we have an entire list dedicated to that. We have carefully pored through government databases, professor reviews, student reviews, and more to compare all U.S. majors in an unbiased and informative way. Here you can find our comprehensive list for the schools with the best student life and, from that list, our choice for the college with the best student life for music performance is University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Curious why? Keep scrolling to learn more about our top selections. Many of our picks will probably shock you.
If cost is a primary factor in your decision on where to go to college, you might consider avoiding University of Southern California. University of Southern California is our most expensive school for music performance, at least regarding out of state attendance. We do have a page for the most expensive schools that might put the cost of University of Southern California into perspective. For more context, you might be interested to know that music performance is the 87th most expensive program in America, with an average bill of $40,600. On a broader scale, the most expensive state for music performance in the nation is South Carolina demonstrated by a tuition of $50,464 at Furman University. Even more broadly, the most costly region of the U.S. for music performance is the New England region which is best demonstrated with Berklee College of Music with a cost of $44,360, Boston University with a cost of $54,720, and University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a cost of $35,112.
Our cheapest region for music performance is the Rocky Mountains region which is represented by Brigham Young University-Idaho with a cost of $4,208, Brigham Young University-Provo with a cost of $5,790, and Utah Valley University with a cost of $15,872. On the bright side, the most affordable university for music performance is Florida State University. Our full list of the most affordable schools can be found here.
In-state students can anticipate paying about $9,700 for a degree in music performance. That price balloons significantly to a median of $23,300 for the out-of-state public-school student. Our choice for the school with the best value for music performance: Johns Hopkins University. On this page you will see our comprehensive list on the colleges we see as being the best value in general. That being said, this idea is based on the assumption that you are an out-of-state student. A discussion of value changes when it comes to in-state tuition, but we do not know where you live (and are not trying to collect that kind of data).
Earnings for music performance students vary widely, but two years after completing the major students will regularly make around $53,800. While there can be a lot of variation in earnings potential; top earners can rake in up to $105,100. Straight out of university, the minimum earning positions within the music performance field make $28,000, which is an alright wage. The highest earning grads from music performance studied at Carnegie Mellon University and if you are looking for schools with all of the highest earning graduates, Authority has that too.
The overall diversity of music performance is on the higher end, falling within the 68th percentile of majors nationally. The college with the most composite diversity for music performance is Carnegie Mellon University and here you can find our comprehensive list for the universities with the most diversity. The financial diversity of Music Performance is only in the 69th percentile compared to all other majors. Racial diversity is even less in the 61st percentile. White students compose the largest share, 57%, of students studying music performance. Additionally, 51% of scholars pursuing a music performance degree are men.
The median ranking of music performance professors is 4.3 stars, a score that is 8% above the average for every major; which is a fairly good score. If you are curious about the most popular music performance instructor nationally, take a look at Joseph Taylor from James Madison University. It may be a shock, but the top ranked music performance instructors according to students come from Berklee College of Music. If we including information beyond simply rankings it becomes clear that the university possessing the best professors for music performance is Johns Hopkins University. You can find an explanation of our evolving ranking methodology of the best overall professors here, along with some of the finest examples of professors nationwide.
Finally, the hardest college to get into for music performance is Northwestern University. While we think of this list more as a novelty, we have a general page of the hardest colleges to get into. With that said, we hope you understand that considering academics from examples primarily derived from superlatives might cause issues. We encourage you to explore our other pages on different schools and explore some of our background articles on essential details to think about as your university search continues.