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Best Ivy for Music?

SabsterSabster Registered User Posts: 424 Member
edited January 2010 in College Search & Selection
Which Ivy has the best undergrad music program? As in, which has the best most experienced teachers, the best and most performance opportunities, and draws in the most students with musical interests?
Post edited by Sabster on

Replies to: Best Ivy for Music?

  • ColdWindColdWind - Posts: 1,598 Senior Member
    Yale University. Also consider Northwestern University & Oberlin College.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Super Moderator Posts: 24,107 Super Moderator
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Northwestern University
    Oberlin College
    Rice University
    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    University of Rochester
    Yale University
  • SabsterSabster Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    Just to clarify, I'm not looking for all schools with great music programs; in fact, the reason I made this thread was not for my own personal college search.
    I was just curious if there was one or two Ivy League schools that have a reputable music department for undergrads.
    But I appreciate the replies =)
  • ColdWindColdWind - Posts: 1,598 Senior Member
    Many posters respond in a fashion designed to help a large number of CC viewers.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,523 Senior Member
    Gourman ranking for music

    Gourman undergrad music ranking:
    UC Berkeley
    U Chicago
    U Michigan AA
    U Illinois UC
    U Rochester
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Indiana U Bloomington
    U Penn
    U Iowa
    U Texas Austin
    Rutgers NB
    Ohio State
    U North Texas
    U Washington
    Cal State Northridge
    Florida State
    Boston U
    U Cincinnati
  • AlexandreAlexandre Super Moderator Posts: 24,107 Super Moderator
    Most Ivies don't have great Performance-based Music programs. Yale is the only exception as far as I know.
  • violadadvioladad Registered User Posts: 6,645 Senior Member
    ^Alexandre, most Ivy's have NO undergrad performance programs. Their strengths lie in the academic areas, in theory and composition, history and musicology.

    You will find a number of conservatory level and above instrumentalists and vocalists at the Ivys, as well as a number of highly accomplished (student) composers. Some of these "kids" are already performing professionally, or semi-professionally, have recorded, won or placed in significant major competitions. Many are in non-music academic degree programs. A good number will persue Masters and beyond in performance or composition at the best conservatory, conservatory level grad programs after attaining an unrelated academic degree.

    In general, the level of talent is very high, although the instrumental mix may be skewed heavily to stings and piano.

    Yale is arguably the best overall, but do not confuse Yale's undergrad program with Yale SOM, which is a grad only program, and is one of the very best worldwide. Harvards strenghts lie more in the composition area, and Princeton's program is also highly regarded. Columbia is also nicely rounded. The others can be iffy, even marginal, in terms of balance and peer level/quality. Though not an Ivy, MIT's program is superb, on a par with Harvard, and close to Yale in reputation.

    To the OP, you might be a bit more specific info as to how you are defining music. You will find instrumental and vocal ensemble opportunities at all these, and across all levels. Many are audition based, many are open to all. If you wish to play recreationally, avocationally there are myriad opportunities.

    Lessons, study with faculty may be out of pocket, or subsidized, on- site or with a private instructor of your choosing. The policies are school specific and addressed on their respective websites.
  • Phead128Phead128 Registered User Posts: 2,091 Senior Member
    The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins It is among the best music conservatories affiliated with a university anywhere.
    The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University is a conservatory and preparatory school located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland at the corner of Charles and Monument Streets at Mount Vernon Place. The Peabody Conservatory of Music, one of the divisions of the Institute, is one of the leading music conservatories in the USA, boasting a renowned faculty and students from across the globe.


    Peabody Institute - Portals: About Peabody

    The Peabody Institute, along with Yale SOM, Oberlin, Curtis, Indiana, Juillard, Eastman, New England are among the elite of the elites...

    Great thing about Peabody is that "...because of its affiliation with Johns Hopkins, Peabody students are exposed to a liberal arts curriculum that is more extensive than those of other leading conservatories; likewise, Hopkins students have access to a world-class musical education and experience that they normally would not have access to at another university of such stature."
  • hotasicehotasice Registered User Posts: 655 Member
    Shepherd School of Music at Rice is also one of the top and most prestigious music schools in the country.

    Shepherd School of Music - Houston, TX
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,710 Senior Member
    D is a vocalist...none of the ivies offered performance based music degrees on an undergraduate level. Some offered music lessons, but they were not guaranteed even if she majored in music. (And we were told they went to upperclassmen, primarily.) Music lessons would have had to be an out-of -pocket expense, one that we just could not incur after paying full fare for college. She is at NYU on a music talent scholarship, studying vocal performance.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 21,641 Senior Member
    I know an undergrad musician at Yale who is distinctly underwhelmed by level of the concert band--perhaps the orchestra is better--but very happy about the vocal performance opportunities.
  • violadadvioladad Registered User Posts: 6,645 Senior Member
    Rice/Shepherd, Oberlin Conservatory, Peabody/Hopkins , Rochester/Eastman, NEC are indeed among the best but these are audition based admits and are conservatory level programs for the serious pursuit of music as professional career preparation.

    Yale SOM is a grad/doctoral only program. Yale undergrad music disciplines are academic in nature, are BA's, not BM's and ARE NOT under the auspices of Yale SOM.

    Unless I'm mistaken, the OP is not looking for a career development/professional level music collegiate undergrad degree. If they are, then far more detailed and specific background regards discipline, level of training, specialty area is required.

    Naming programs without this info is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. It wastes time, you may end up lucky, but normally, frustrated and empty handed.

    Just my $.02.
  • SabsterSabster Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    Hey everyone, thanks for the replies.
    Sorry for the lack of specifics and such, I realize that makes it hard... but it was more about my friend. He said he was looking at the Ivies because of their excellent music programs, and I had no idea that any of the Ivies had much to offer musically for undergrads. So I figured I'd ask, to see if I had been mistaken.
    He plans on minoring in instrumental jazz performance and pursuing a career unrelated to music, if that's important.
    Once again, thanks everyone =).
  • violadadvioladad Registered User Posts: 6,645 Senior Member
    OP, again, there will be no performance minors, or major performance based programs at the Ivys. He will find a broad range of ability, and ensemble opportunties. I would call none a "hotbed" of jazz, but Yale, Harvard and Columbia would be the best bets just from the active club scenes in Boston and NYC. New Haven's is adequate, and benefits from close proximity to NYC and the spillover of localized incredible talent levels of performing artists.

    If he intends to pursue music as an official minor, there are virtually no "performance" minors offered anywhere. Academically, Rice, Oberlin, Hopkins, others and their stand alone music conservatory level programs offer the best combined approach. At the higher level music programs, even music minors where offered are often audition based, are course/ensemble restricted for non majors, and while the quality is often very high, it is not necessarily in combination with the undergrads in the conservatory level programs. A school's music school/department webpages are the best sources of info. Policies are non standard, and are VERY school specific.
  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter Registered User Posts: 4,271 Senior Member
    violadad wrote:
    Yale is arguably the best overall, but do not confuse Yale's undergrad program with Yale SOM, which is a grad only program, and is one of the very best worldwide. Harvards strenghts lie more in the composition area, and Princeton's program is also highly regarded. Columbia is also nicely rounded. The others can be iffy, even marginal, in terms of balance and peer level/quality.
    Actually, Penn's music department is also one of the most highly regarded academic music programs in the country. In fact, the last National Research Council ranking of music doctoral programs placed Penn's program at #7, just below Yale's (#5) and Princeton's (#6), and above Columbia's (#12):
    1 Harvard 4.59
    2 Chicago 4.53
    3 Cal Berkeley 4.51
    4 CUNY 4.41
    5 Yale 4.40
    6 Princeton 4.39
    7 Penn 4.35
    8 Rochester 4.24
    9 Michigan 4.16
    10 Illinois 4.11
    11 Cornell 4.05
    12 Columbia 4.05
    13 Brandeis 3.85
    14 SUNY Stony Brook 3.80
    15 Stanford 3.79
    16 North Carolina 3.72
    17 Texas 3.69
    18 UCLA 3.56
    19 NYU 3.53
    20 Indiana 3.47

    NRC Rankings in Each of 41 Areas

    Penn's music department has a long history of eminence in composition (with, e.g., Pulitzer Prize winning composers George Crumb and Richard Wernick as long-time faculty members) and musicology (e.g., world-renowned opera expert Carolyn Abbate left Harvard to join Penn's music department earlier this year: Carolyn Abbate Joins University of Pennsylvania Faculty as Professor of Music : University of Pennsylvania ).

    Just to set the record straight. :)
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