university or conservatory?

June 29, 2006 at 01:29 AM · What are the differences between conservatory and university? Which is good for student's future?but anyhow after university or conservatiry.. we could get BM degree.. so I still do not understand between that.does anyone explains that?

Replies (8)

June 29, 2006 at 02:20 AM · The difference between a conservatory and a university can be minimal or substantial depending on the institution. Most conservatories will offer a BM performance degree as standard. With this you can go on to another institution and major in music, or for that matter do graduate study in another area. At a university you may have a greater selection in academic course work. For instance at the university I teach at, Baylor University, You can be a music major, but also be in a pre-med, pre-business, or pre-law program.

Juilliaird, San Francisco, Manhattan School, and Curtis for instance are known as conservatories, whearas, for instance Eastman, Peabody (associated with Johns Hopkins), and Indiana University are notable academically and also musically. You will need to look into academic requirements to see which institution will suit you best. For instance, I would consider Rice University to be have fine "conservatory" atmosphere, but you must have a high SAT score to be considered for undergraduate education.

If you are at this point a sensational player and music is your only passion and you are destined towards a performance career, then try the conservatory route which will mean you will have fewer academic requirements giving you more time to practice. If you want more options, which is the case for most, then go the universtiy route. You will also have the option of acquiring a music education degree which will give you an assured livelihood in music.

June 29, 2006 at 03:16 PM · Well put Bruce. Having been through two conservatories and one year at a university, I have found that for me, there was little difference in the atmosphere. Nonetheless, I am also lucky, as many universities actually don't have music programs as "serious" as the one at Boston University (where I am doing a DMA).


June 29, 2006 at 03:55 PM · The difference is most significant, probably, for undergrads. The non-music general education courses at conservatory are almost always at very low levels of rigor, whereas at universities, music students must take electives alongside students from all other disciplines, resulting in a much more versatile and usually more rigorous academic experience.

June 30, 2006 at 11:55 AM · I know that my "academic" courses at New England Conservatory were intentionally "dumbed down". They were somewhat of a joke. Even solfege, which was taught very well, was taken at a snail's pace. The music theory classes, on the other hand, were excellent.

Hi Jude!


June 30, 2006 at 02:29 PM · It may have been different before, but I think now there's a realization that great players and great teachers can be found anywhere, at any school. That said, if you'd like to play or even teach music for a living it's to your advantage to surround yourself with the highest level players and teachers that you can. This concentration is often found at conservatories, but not exclusively.

There are also people who would die if they didn't have the intellectual stimulation of great college courses. Some would die if they had to deal with it! Only you know where you are on that spectrum.

June 30, 2006 at 03:06 PM · I like being at a university. Honestly, there isn't much time in my schedule for general education classes, so there's only one or two a semester. For example, last semester I only had to leave the music building during the day once every week, to go to an Astronomy lab. However, I like it! I like learning about biology, astronomy, and history and things like that. I want to have a better understanding of the world, and being exposed to these classes is an easy way to do it. I even liked Finite Math! Before college I always hated math.

So, if you want a broader spectrum of classes then I think you'd be better off at a university. If it's a good school, you still get very intensive musical training.

June 30, 2006 at 03:17 PM · I was actually very surprized to hear that our violin professor at University of Washington studied under Jasha Heifitz himself. I just have to hear him play now...

July 1, 2006 at 02:45 AM · Hi Daniel! Hope you're having a good summer.

Amanda, I agree about not having schedule space for many non-music courses-- I'd love to take more, personally, but I don't get much sleep as it is...

However, I think it is good to be in a place where the liberal arts courses are worthwhile and demanding.

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