Best Music Schools in Chicago (Top 7 Results)

Best Music Schools in Chicago
Best Music Schools in Chicago

Just as we have made a compiled list of the best and most outstanding music schools in Europe, we also have a well researched list of the top 7 best music schools in Chicago, and other handy information you might love to know about those great institutions. 

Everyone who has passion for music, really needs to enroll into an institution, so he or she can gain the best knowledge in music and also get trained by top professionals in that field, which will help elevate you greatly, and also offer you opportunity to work or perform in bigger platforms. 

Studying music doesn’t mean only singing, but rather all about music and musical instruments. You might be a lover of the keyboard, you will also be taught how to play the keyboard (piano) perfectly, even the drums, guitar, and many others. 

Why Study Music in Chicago? 

Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the world, with the best educational system and institutions that rank among the best in the world. Chicago has also recorded a good number of graduated students who are doing great in the society. 

Studying music in Chicago offers you a higher opportunity to meet new people, and also associate with new people. You will also gain the opportunity to be taught under great professionals as well as a conducive environment, with good structure and facilities. 

Top 7 Best Music Schools In Chicago 

1. University of Chicago

First on our list of best music schools in Chicago, is the popular university of Chicago, and this great school has successfully established itself for over a century, and also acknowledged among the bes universities in the world. 

The institution is devoted to respectable research and academic excellence, and it has made great achievements for itself and has an impressive music department, with a very successful doctoral program, and has also graduated a good number of students from the music department, which got the institution a spot in this list of best music schools in Chicago. 

You might love to know that the music department of the University of Chicago, focuses on the study and creation of historical and contemporary music, with quality teaching and music facilities to help educate students greatly. 

Furthermore, the teachers brought to the school a focus on every part of music, including philosophy, ethnography, and more, and this has given the school a name and their academic performance is top notch. 


If you want to achieve the best and most outstanding music education, then the university of Chicago has the Chicago Integrated Media Experimental Studio (CHIME), a well built studio that features cutting-edge equipment, including a Mac complete with industry-standard programs, such as Reaper, Pro Tools, and Ableton Live, to help students greatly in the practical aspect of music. 

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2. Saint Xavier University

Ranking second on my list of best and most outstanding music institutions in Chicago, is the Saint Xavier University, having a great music department that emphasizes on the cultural context of music, connecting the study of an instrument to the school’s larger community. 

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Furthermore, all admitted students in this institution not only perform their music throughout Chicago, but also find areas of outreach involving children and local music enthusiasts, and this institution has one of the best music facilities that help in the proper education of their students. 

You might love to know that the Saint Xavier offers three degree programs in music, which offers you a large choice to make. The music programs offered in this institution includes, a bachelor’s of arts in music, and a performance degree emphasizing jazz, piano, organ, voice, guitar, and orchestral instruments. 


The music education degree offered in this great institution, helps to prepare all admitted students to teach music, with emphasis on instrumental music or vocal performance, and this made the institution to rank greatly among the best music schools in Chicago. 

Additionally, graduate programs in music education in Saint Xavier institution, helps to launch students in advanced research and study of the field, and the school has a proud history of graduating notable people from its music program that are doing great. 

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3. Columbia College Chicago

Another great music institution in Chicago, is the Columbia College Chicago, one of the best School of Fine and Performance Arts at Columbia College Chicago that takes a unique approach to the subject. 

This great institution offers degrees in music production and music technology, and Columbia students can also earn a popular music performance degree called contemporary, urban, and popular music, which made the school rank among our top 7 best music schools in Chicago with outstanding building structures and well equipped labs.  


Furthermore, all admitted Students in the music technology degree program are taught on how modern computers and equipment allow practitioners to shape soundscapes to engage with audiences, which is another unique part of music that is taught in this institution. 

Another unique aspect about this institution is that the music department teaches students on how to set up experimental live performances, design music for video games, or set up equipment for art installations, which is one of the best sciences and aesthetics of sound that every student needs. 

Additionally the music composition for the screen master’s degree, in which students learn how to integrate sound into modern media, is another unique program that is offered in the institution as well, and the two-year program offered in this school, gives admitted students hands-on experience, collaborating with those in the film and production programs, as well as industry connections. 

The degree offered in this school also teaches students how to compose for film, tv, video games, and other forms of media, which got this school a spot in our list of top music colleges in Chicago.

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4. University of Illinois at Chicago School of Theatre and Music

The School of Theatre and Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago is another great music institution that emphasizes the experience students bring to their studies. 

This great institution offers four degrees in music, including bachelor of arts degrees in music or music business and bachelor of music degrees in performance or jazz studies, which offers admitted students with wide choice of study to make, and as well got the school a spot in this list of best music institutions in Chicago. 

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However, no matter which track admitted students choose, students must take two years of music theory and aural skills, five semesters of music history and literature, and several courses in analysis and ethnomusicology, which is part of the best training the institution offers it admitted students to make them perform well. 

Furthermore, admitted students can take classes in arranging, literature, history, and more, and one of the unique learning opportunities for all admitted students in this institution is the Bella Voce vocal ensemble, known as a professional group currently in residence at the school. 

The UIC is another great choice, if you want to study music in Chicago, and all students in this institution have unprecedented access to Bella Voce, including the opportunity to attend all of their rehearsals and sometimes even perform with the group.

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5. Northwestern University Bienen School of Music

With so many outstanding performances and academic recognitions, the Bienen school of music is truly a remarkable school to enroll if you want to do great in music. 

This school has one of the best facilities, including a main music school building with classrooms, teaching labs and studios, practice rooms, rehearsal rooms for chorus and opera, a black box theater, and a recital hall with 400 seats, all built in a modern and standard way to help students greatly. 

You may love to know that the Bienen features several performance spaces, including the Galvin Recital Hall, a 400-seat theater that features a 40-foot glass wall and opposing walls made of African moabi wood, and this is one of the outstanding features about the institution, and this design offers the hall outstanding acoustics, which is why the Chicago Tribune called it the “most impressive new Chicago concert facility.” 

All admitted students in this great institution learn from some of the most respected performers, composers, and educators in the industry, which helps them excel greatly after education. 

You can also look into this institution and make it an option to study music because the school has a good academic record over the years, and also got a spot in this list of best music schools in Chicago. 

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6. DePaul University School of Music

Our list will be incomplete without the DePaul University school of Music, known to be one of the outstanding music colleges in Chicago with good building structures and learning facilities. 

In my opinion, there are numerous good and unique things that DePaul University’s School of Music could point to as evidence of their program’s quality, which includes the school’s  department’s faculty, which consists of 110 professional musicians. 

Furthermore, the professional teachers at the institution spend quality time not only mentoring the next generation of great musicians, but also working as performers, recording artists, composers, and conductors, which is another unique aspect of the school. 

The school’s faculty members are also members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and many local chamber and jazz ensembles. 

You might love to know that the school has a Holtschneider Performance Center, a 185,000 square foot building devoted to music education, practice, and performance, and this building features the newly redesigned Jarvis Opera Hall and a historically notable chapel, complete with a restored steeple, and the center of this building also houses the 505-seat Gannon Concert Hall, the 140-seat Allen Recital Hall, the 80-seat Brennan Family Recital Hall, and the 75-seat Dempsey and Corboy Jazz Hall.

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A good amount of graduates from the music program of this great institution go on to work with orchestras and ensembles across the world, and some also become teachers in universities and public schools.

This institution is a great choice to make if you want to study music in Chicago, as it got a spot among the most outstanding music colleges in Chicago. 

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7. Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University

Last on our list of best music colleges in Chicago is the popular known Chicago College of performing arts, which is located at Roosevelt University. 

You might love to know that the music conservatory in the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University is one of the best music schools in Chicago, and the institution has no intention of separating itself in an ivory tower. Instead, the school integrates itself into the local art scene, participating in an equal exchange of culture, interests, and experience.

One interesting fact about this school is that it regularly puts on Jazz showcases and concerts as part of its International Music Institute program, to also help it’s students in various ways, and also make them bold to face real life audience, and also allow students to perform for a live audience as part of their training in ensembles. 

I personally love the Ensembles offered by Chicago College because it help run the gamut of musical styles, from brass chamber music to a wind ensemble, from the university singers to multiple Jazz and contemporary music combos, and a great percentage of graduates of the institution have gone on to join the Beijing Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera, the Seattle Opera, and more. 

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FAQs on the Best Music Schools in Chicago

What Music School Has The Highest Acceptance Rate?

Although we have numerous top music schools in the world with high acceptance rate, but the below listed institutions has over 50% Acceptance Rate:
1. University of Denver Lamont School of Music has 58% Acceptance Rate
2. Temple University has 59% Acceptance Rate
3. State University of New York at Potsdam Crane School of Music has 60% Acceptance Rate
4. Lawrence University has 62% Acceptance Rate
5. DePauw University has 67% Acceptance Rate
6. Ithaca University has 69% Acceptance Rate
7. The Hartt School at the University of Hartford has 75% Acceptance Rate

Is the University of Chicago Good for Music?

Yes, the University of Chicago is indeed a great and most established music school, which also ranks high among the best music schools in the world, and also got a spot in our list of best music schools in Chicago, with great academic performance over the years because the University of Chicago has devoted itself to be a respectable research and academic excellence, and the school has an impressive music department, with a very successful doctoral program.

Do Grades Matter for Music School?

Every university cares about the student’s grade from the previous institution, and every music school also cares about the students having a competitive GPA, to have higher admission chances. 

What is a Good GPA for Music?

3.0 GPA is a good GPA for music. Therefore, if you have above 3.0 GPA, you have a higher chance of getting admitted into any music school of your choice. 

How Many Years Does it Take to Study Music?

It take a total of 4years to get a Bachelor degree in music, although it depends on the institution you applied.


Although we have numerous great music schools in Chicago, the above listed are our top 7 best with unique differences. You can visit the schools through their official link portal, and read more about those institutions before application. 

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