Teaching yourself guitar is easy, but have you ever thought of specializing in music until you make a professional and timeless career out of it? Music is a field that treasures tradition and welcomes innovation. What better way to study music and the different musical styles, than studying abroad?

We list down the top countries to study music by selecting those that are the best in bringing out the artistic side of aspiring students. Are you ready to go on a trip with us? Let’s go!

Can International Students Study Music Abroad?

The answer is an absolute yes. Since many universities are looking for a diverse pool of applicants, international students are encouraged to apply to institutions abroad if they want to study music at an institution with top-class faculty and training programs. To help you out, we have recommended an institution from the seven countries that we have listed down below.

Discover: Free Music Schools with No Tuition

Which Is the Best Country to Study Music Abroad?

Among the countries in Europe, Austria will probably be the best country to study music due to its surrounding environment. Because of its high emphasis on music, Austria is filled with various musical venues where you can go to enjoy music. If you are looking for somewhere cheaper, Germany might be your next best pick due to its free tuition policy for international students.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Best Countries to Study Music Abroad

1. Austria

  • Reasons: Capital of Classical Music, Many Museums, Opera Houses, Concert Halls

It is no secret that students choose Austria to study music. Austria is home to classical musicians like Beethoven and Mozart. Centuries may have passed, but classical music remains to be the backbone of the world of music and performing arts. Filled to the brim with museums, flea markets, opera houses, and concert halls, Austria is a perfect choice for music students.

Vienna, nicknamed the “City of Music”, happens to be the country’s capital and a university city highly favored by international students. It is in Vienna where music students can truly appreciate the history of classical music and the roots of musicians whose compositions remain to be celebrated masterpieces all over the world.

The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is the country’s leading performing arts school and among the world’s renowned schools specializing in theater, film, and music. It is also a research institution interlinking art with humanities, natural, and applied sciences.

Austria is one of the best countries to study music because of its excellent schools. The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna proudly caters to over 3,000 students coming from 70 countries and holds over 1,300 artistic and scientific events every year. They offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in composition and music theory, contemporary music, and various instrumental studies. Depending on the course and program level, tuition fees for international students are around 400 Euros (USD 430).

2. United States

  • Reasons: Diverse Genres of Music, International Connections in the World of Performing Arts

Music in the United States has the power of establishing an identity for people from all walks of life. American music is a combination of musical styles from Europe, Latin America, and many more places. Music students can expand their knowledge and experience with the different genres widely known in the country like pop, punk, blues, rock, and rock n roll.

The Juilliard School remains to be on the top of the list of performing arts schools in the world. Founded as the Institute of Musical Art by Dr. Frank Damrosch, godson of Frank Liszt, this prestigious conservatory is situated in New York City. Small in size and student population, over 800 students from 42 countries are registered.

Admissions at Juilliard are competitive, with their acceptance rate sitting only at 7%. Juilliard specializes in dance, drama, and music, students are required to study liberal arts aside from the major they chose. Some program offerings for music students include musical instruments, vocal arts, composition, and jazz studies. Currently, tuition fees at Juilliard start at $51,230.

3. Japan

  • Reasons: Varied Styles of Japanese Music, Unique Takes on Western-Style Classical Music

Did you know that Japan is the world’s largest market for digital media for music? Music in Japan is highly varied and distinct from the music of other countries, making Japan one of the top countries to study music. Music plays a significant role in the history of Japanese culture and so traditional Japanese music is well-preserved through traditional Japanese theater.

Traditional music is often incorporated into modern Japanese music, and Japanese theater also hears of combinations with Western compositions. Today, various genres make up Japan’s selection of popular music, such as visual kei, idol music, Japanese pop or J-Pop, rock, techno-pop, anime, and game music.

The Tokyo College of Music is Japan’s oldest private educational institute for music. Specializing in bringing home Western-style classical music, Tokyo College of Music has revolutionized orchestra in Japan. They established the first-ever symphonic orchestra in Japan in 1912, performing in Pacific steamers. The Tokyo College Symphony Orchestra, Music Chorus, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble have all gained international recognition and performed on world-class stages.

Aspiring to study in one of Asia’s leading music institutes? They offer undergraduate and graduate programs on courses like composition, vocal performance, and film scoring. The admissions process includes auditions, examinations, and an interview. Good proficiency in the Japanese language is also needed for applications.

4. Germany

  • Reasons: Free Tuition, High Standard of Living, High Employment Rate for Music Graduates

Germany is an attractive study destination because of the affordable living expenses and a wide variety of internationally regarded study programs offered at low or no tuition costs at all. Aside from being in the homeland of Brahms, music enthusiasts can advance their music studies here in Germany and graduate with the certainty of making a career in an orchestra or academe. These things are some of the reasons why Germany is on our list of best countries to study music.

Berlin University of the Arts College of Music is one of the largest music institutes in Europe. For 200 years, it provides quality musical training and education in the country. Students can choose among a range of courses like chamber music, music education, piano, and sound engineering for either bachelor’s or master’s programs.

International students are more than welcome at Berlin University of the Arts, but German proficiency is required. The best part for hopeful students? There are no tuition fees to pay! Students are only required to pay $370 worth of social contribution for student representation, enrolment, re-enrolment, and public transportation.

Check Also: The Cost of Studying and Living in Germany

5. United Kingdom

  • Reasons: Multicultural Society, Affordable Quality Education, Home of Prolific Musician (Elton John)

The United Kingdom is the gateway to the remainder of Europe; international students can step foot in other neighboring countries thanks to easy access to public transport and cheaper airline costs. World-class education could not be more affordable with the availability of scholarships and loans. Not to forget, the UK is brimming with diversity and embraces new traditions and cultures with open arms- that’s one way to ease the homesickness, hmm?

International students hoping to thrive in the world of music are welcome at the Royal Academy of Music, the oldest conservatoire in the UK and the sole conservatoire to become a constituent college of the University of London. The Royal Academy of Music trains and educates from preschool to postgraduate studies, offering a range of courses such as guitar, historical performance, conducting, and opera.

The academy’s public museum houses collections of precious artifacts like musical instruments dating back to the 1600s and original manuscripts from Liszt, Brahms, and Sullivan. Notable alumni of the Royal Academy include Elton John, Annie Lenox, and Vannesa-Mae. Tuition for international students ranges from €18,000 ~ €30,000 (USD 19,000 ~ $32,200).

6. Hungary

  • Reasons: Beautiful Architecture, Growing Foreign Student Community, EU Work Connections, Concert Palace

Europe is highly sought after by foreign students who wish to further their education. Hungary is establishing itself as a staple in the list of choices for study abroad programs. The Hungarian education system adheres to international standards, producing globally competent graduates. The field of music is no exception from Hungary’s delivery of quality education and training.

Liszt Academy for Music in Budapest is the only music university founded by Liszt. Outside of academics, it is also a Concert Centre with impressive acoustics and architecture. The Academy’s Concert Palace is a highly regarded example of Central European Art Nouveau architecture. The university offers preparatory to postgraduate classes for courses like keyboards, vocal, opera studies, orchestral, and choral conducting. Tuition fees cost around €6,000 ~ €7,000 ($6,500 ~ $7,500) for bachelor’s and around €6,500 ~ €9,000 ($7,000 ~ $9,700) for master’s programs.

7. South Korea

  • Reasons: Strong Representative of Music for Asia, High Standard of Living, Beautiful Scenery

South Korea concludes this list of the best countries to study music abroad and for very good reason. South Korea incorporates a balance between traditional and modern elements of society. The mouth-watering food and delicacies of the country keep you satisfied without breaking much of your budget. Let’s not forget about the brightly lit and exciting nightlife South Korea has to offer us!

The Korean government abundantly funds the cultural sector of the country, thus the arts are highly regarded. Korea National University of Arts, popularly known as K-Arts is the embodiment of South Korea’s artistic endeavors. Its School of Music is the only educational institute of music in the country.

It continues to strive to be on the level of Juilliard and other schools and conservatories. K-Arts School of Music offers intensive training in musicology, vocal and instrumental music, and composition and conducting. International students are welcome for admission. Tuition fees average $2,200 per semester for undergraduate degrees.

See Also: The Best Music Production Schools in the World

These are some of the best countries for music enthusiasts who want to pursue higher education and get a universally recognized degree. If the country you plan on studying music in is not on this list, it does not mean that it’s not viable. Countries like France, Australia, and Switzerland also have some of the best music schools in Europe and the world. You check out the 7 Best Music Schools in the World and find out more about some of the other countries you can pursue your degree.

I hope this article on the best countries to study music was informative and insightful.  If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!

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