The life of a professional musician is a tough one, and to make your job easier, you'll need to study with the right teachers at the right music schools. Many professional musicians also find that teaching at such schools greatly smooths their professional path, offering a steady income, prestige and performance connections. Although you may be anxious to move on to other avenues of your chosen profession, you'll never regret the time you spent at a music training school, either as a student or a teacher.
But which music school is right for you? That depends on your musical interests and where in the world you wish to work. However, while comparing music academies, you'll find there are three main types of music training schools:
1. Top music schools, which are usually universities of some type,
2. Community music training schools,
3. And summer music schools, usually geared toward precollege students.
Find the perfect university music schoolsIn the United States, there are many excellent university programs for serious music students and accomplished teachers, focusing mostly on classical music or jazz. Professional musicians should look for schools of music offering many performance opportunities. Potential teachers should have plenty of "real world" experience, as well as an advanced degree.
The Julliard School in New York, although perhaps best known as the finest college for actors, also has a renowned music program for vocalists and musicians. Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University has an acclaimed music program, boasting many fine graduates. Northwestern University School of Music of Illinois offers jazz, voice, conducting and more. The Manhattan School of Music in New York offers both jazz and classical majors, including precollege studies, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
Discover community schools for musicIf you aren't quite in the position to study or teach at a university, turn to a community school for music. There are many fine organizations in the United States offering solid music educations for little or nothing--to professional musicians and amateurs alike. They frequently seek excellent musicians at the beginning of their teaching careers.
Neighborhood Music School of Connecticut is a nonprofit organization offering quality music education to people of all ages and financial backgrounds. Community School of Music and Arts of California offers private music lessons, classes and performance opportunities to people of all ages. Claremont Community School of Music of California is a nonprofit school offering 600 students each year a music education. Community Music School of Pennsylvania provides education in most instruments, including voice.
Grow in great summer music schoolsJust as you likely began in less prestigious venues while becoming a professional musician, you may need to begin with less prestigious schools to become a music teacher. Summer music schools offer excellent opportunities not only for precollege musicians, but for teachers as well. Sharpen your teaching skills in the summer months, and you may make excellent contacts at colleges, which can lead to full-time teaching opportunities.
Community Music School of Michigan offers summer camps for children's choir, jazz and chamber music. Webster University of Missouri provides summer camps for toddlers, grade-schoolers and teens, including a musical theatre, composition and strings camp. College of Music at Florida State University also offers honors piano, double reed and double bass, honors jazz ensemble, string orchestra and more. Luzerne Music Center has summer camp for symphony orchestra, chamber music, jazz, theory and composition and more.
- An excellent stepping stone to teaching at the college level is to teach privately first. Building a good stock of private students--and encouraging the best of them to perform publicly--is a great way to show off your teaching skills and attract the interest of music schools.