As a high school student, planning for college is one of the most challenging things to do. You have to find out first what field you are passionate about, and from that, choose a good school that offers the program you want to study. The first step that most high school students do, especially graduating ones, is looking up universities on the internet.

If you are interested in making a career in the field of music and want to study in Europe, then this article may be of great help to you. Europe is home to some of the best music schools in the world, with seven schools belonging in the top 10 of the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Performing Arts. Here is a guide to some of the best music schools in Europe you may want to consider:

Top Music Schools in Europe

1. Royal College of Music

Founded in 1882, this institution has become one of the world’s greatest conservatoires. The Royal College of Music, being one of the best music schools in Europe, ranked as the top institution for performing arts in the continent for two consecutive years based on the recent QS World University Rankings for Performing Arts. It is located in London, United Kingdom, which is a perfect city to live in if you’re moving to the country for college.

This school lives up to its character as one of the world’s greatest with its top-notch facilities. From its historic library with over 400,000 scores, books and recordings, professional-grade studios, and state-of-the-art performance spaces, and its museum that holds more than 15,000 instruments, portraits, images, and engravings way back 15th century, it shows that they are prioritizing a world-leading experience for students and visitors.

2. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Formerly called the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is located in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. It is known for being a cultural powerhouse of music, creative arts, and theatre. The city itself is already a rich learning place for students, and with RCS hosting over 500 public performances each year, it will surely provide students with a wonderful experience in the field of performing arts.

3. Royal Academy of Music

Renowned people in the field of music like Elton John, Annie Lennox, and Simon Rattle are some of the notable alumni of this leading music institution in Europe. The Royal Academy of Music, founded in 1822, is known for being the oldest conservatoire in the UK. The one great edge of this school is the nearly 200 years of history, making room for innovation alongside tradition in delivering world-class teachings to students. This institution is also admitted as a full member of the University of London, which is great if you’re interested in studying other programs together with music.

4. National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris

  • Study Program
  • Location: France | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

Another one of the best music schools in Europe is the National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris, more locally known as Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. It was established in 1795 and is the first French public institution to deliver musical and choreographic arts to passionate and interested individuals. They welcome almost 1,400 students and they are open to admitting students from other countries as well. This school is located in the beautiful city of Paris, France, which is also a place of growing art and creativity. With their numerous international partnerships and the nearly 400 artists as professors and mentors, this can surely provide students with world-class education.

5. University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is included among the world’s largest and most renowned universities focusing on performing arts of music, theatre, and film. This school is located in Vienna, Austria, a place that is known today as the “capital of classical music”, where Mozart, Beethoven, and Sigmund Freud molded its artistic and intellectual legacy. Imagine studying music in a place where famous artists and composers have developed their craft.

One of the great edges of this school is the uniquely favorable student-instructor ratio, having 4.7 students per instructor, making it one of the leading music institutions in Europe.

6. Norwegian Academy of Music

The Norwegian Academy of Music is located in Oslo, Norway and it is the largest music academy in the country offering the highest level of music education. They offer degree programs from Bachelor to Ph.D. encompassing a wide range of specializations in performing arts. The campus also houses Norway’s largest academic music library and a vast collection of historical and musical instruments. Their well-equipped teaching and practice studios, concert halls, and research laboratories provide students with enough growth for creativity and learning.

7. Sibelius Academy

  • Study Program
  • Location: Finland | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

The Sibelius Academy is considered one of the largest music academies in Europe and is one of the three prestigious academies of the University of Arts Helsinki. This school is located in Helsinki, Finland, and has been the cornerstone of the Finnish music culture because of its high quality of teaching, involvement in research, and lots of artistic activities for the students. This school houses over 1,400 creative and talented students and offers a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Licentiate degree, and a Doctoral degree as well.

8. University of Hull

The University of Hull is a vibrant one-campus institution with a proud heritage of academic excellence. With a firm belief in its motto, “carrying the light of learning,” this university has shared the light with thousands of graduates and researchers in the last ninety years. This distinguished establishment aspires to a fairer, brighter, and carbon-free future.

The University of Hull offers a music course that allows its students to thrive in today’s fast-moving and ever-evolving music industry. This is one of Europe’s best music institutions as they offer a program that enables students to pursue their endeavors as performers, composers, and songwriters. The curriculum covers a range of essential technical skills, such as music theory analysis and festival programming.

9. University of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln is a public university distinguished for its local and international success. This institution is well-known for its inspirational teaching, world-class research, and its close ties with the industry. “We Collaborate, We Challenge, We Transform” is a slogan this university has adopted to bring about change and build a modern society on the solid foundations of diversity, equality, and inclusion.

The Music Program at the University of Lincoln offers a flexible curriculum mainly focused on classical, rock, pop, and non-Western music genres. This program aims to help talented students underpin and enrich their practical skills. The curriculum takes the graduates on a journey from the most basic musical skills to the final destination of curating an entire music festival in their final year.

10. Zuyd University of Applied Sciences

Zuyd University of Applied Sciences is an ambitious Dutch institution located in the heart of Europe. As a relatively small university, Zuyd devotes personal attention to each and every one of its students, creating an environment of collaboration and inclusion. 14,600 students have access to 34 bachelor’s and 9 master’s programs. Despite its size, this institution is a major contributor to its region’s economic and social development.

The Conservatory Maastricht at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences is the most international conservatorium in Europe; 75% of the students are international, and most projects are without borders. The Music Program challenges the students to get out of their comfort zone in order to see beyond their boundaries, unleash their creativity, and develop their own sound.

11. University College Cork

University College Cork (UCC) is a high-ranked comprehensive institution situated in the southern part of Ireland. It aims to be a leading institution of independent thinkers. The students at this renowned establishment share the mission of creating, sharing, and understanding knowledge and applying it for the good of society. As of 2020, UCC ranks 33rd in Europe in the European Research Ranking.

The Department of Music at UCC is committed to cultivating a community dedicated to a cross-cultural understanding of music. This department offers a three-year bachelor’s degree. By the end of their training, students will have gained considerable academic and professional experience and a profound understanding of music.

12. SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences

  • Study Program
  • Location: Germany | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s

SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences is a private institution distinguished by a firm belief in decentralization. This university operates in different cities and across several locations. SRH helps students translate their passion and curiosity into a professional career. This institution aspires to instigate a change of perspective through inspiration, interaction, and internationality.

Every instrument player, songwriter, and music producer has a home at the Berlin School of Popular Arts. Situated in one of the most culturally diverse locations in the country and with a music program equally as diverse, this school is a producer of some of the most internationally sought artists, providing a space for creative thinking in the form of workshops, concerts, and events.

13. Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is an innovative global and public institution residing in the United Kingdom. ARU is home to many research institutes devoted to the areas of sustainability, clinical and medical innovation, and music therapy. This institution has an undying belief in the healing power of music. ARU maintains that music helps people connect with others and cope with the challenging phases they inevitably go through.

Anglia Ruskin University sets the path for its prospective students to become versatile musicians with extensive knowledge of the intricacies of the industry. Learners will gain the necessary skills to be able to analyze, challenge, and deconstruct existing concepts and performance modes. Music students at ARU are able to create a diverse portfolio that will allow them to move forward, be prepared for the future, and make a name for themselves in the creative industry of music.

14. Falmouth University

Falmouth University is a specialist public institution recognized as one of the United Kingdom’s top creative universities. With more than 120 years of experience under its wing, the university is not afraid of doing things differently. This institution challenges the status quo and the current shape of higher education in Europe and the world. At Falmouth, there is an undying belief in the students’ ability to shape the world through out-of-the-box thinking.

The Music program at Falmouth University offers an insight into the modern music industry. This top music program in Europe helps students discover their musical identity by providing a friendly environment where they can practice their skills and develop their innate talent strengths. Upon graduating, the students will have learned how to play various musical instruments and gained work experience through working with a professional orchestra.

15. Emmanuel College

  • Study Program
  • Location: England | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s

Emmanuel College is a constituent institution of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the late sixteenth century. Within its walls, a total of about 650 students receive their education in various disciplines; it has one of the most close-knit communities in Europe. Over the last four decades, Emmanuel College has been a center of research, learning, and excellence.

The Music Program at Emmanuel College is exhaustive in its approach to the discipline. Within this program, students are educated about the history of music, the analysis of Western genres, and the connection between composition, music, and science. The program is designed to pace the curriculum in a manner that allows students to develop their interests throughout the duration of the course.

16. Corpus Christi College

  • Study Program
  • Location: England | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, is yet another constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Corpus believes in the beauty of simplicity. As a small humble college, Corpus helps new students settle quickly in the city and makes them feel at home during their time there. The facilities at Corpus are incredible; the students at this establishment have access to a 24-hour library, a tennis court, a football pitch, and an outdoor swimming pool.

The Music program at Corpus does not only introduce students to the theories and concepts of music but also new ways to think about and understand it. The first few years of the program are dedicated to building a good foundation in music. Later on, students will be allotted the freedom to explore their interests and take specialized courses.

17. Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent government-recognized conservatoire. This school is one of the most prestigious establishments in London and Europe. With a big appetite for creativity and innovation, Guildhall provides top-quality education to students of all ages and backgrounds. The school aspires to make an impact by attracting under-represented students and offering them an opportunity that is nothing short of life-changing.

The Music Program at Guildhall School is flexible and robust, tailored to meet the individual needs of every student enrolling in the course. Students are guaranteed to receive a minimum of 30 individual one-on-one lessons with professionals in the field. The students are offered the opportunity to work with successful musicians and forward-thinking teachers and are allowed the chance to get the exposure and recognition they need to launch their careers.

FAQs about Studying Music

Which is the Best Country to Study Music?

Some of the most renowned countries for music education are Austria, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom. These countries are top destinations for music students due to their wide range of music courses, top-caliber music conservatories, and professional music ensembles. Moreover, these countries are known for introducing diverse music genres, from classical to contemporary. Finally, these countries offer international students unique opportunities to enjoy a high standard of living and employment rates. If you’re considering pursuing education abroad, be sure to check out our Open Courses Page for a list of available popular courses around the world!


We hope that you found this article on the best music schools in Europe informative and helpful. If you are interested in knowing more about information like this, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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