Do you want to study music? Japan is a great destination to consider! With a rich musical heritage and a thriving contemporary music scene, the country is an ideal place to study music. International students can find a unique blend of tradition and innovation in Japanese music schools.

Its emphasis on discipline, precision, and craftsmanship, coupled with cutting-edge technology, world-class universities, and competent instructors sets it apart as a prime location to pursue a musical education. Whether it’s classical, traditional, or contemporary music, Japan is a heaven for musicians of all genres. There’s no better place to pursue your musical dreams.

Dare to dream and let the harmonious melodies of Japan lead you on a transformative musical and educational journey. Study music at one of the top 5 schools in the country and make your mark on the world.

What Career Opportunities are Open to Graduates with a Music Degree?

A music degree can lead to a world of amazing career possibilities. You could perform on stage, wowing audiences with your musical skills. You could write stunning melodies for movies that mesmerize viewers all over the world. You could also inspire a new generation of musicians as a dedicated music coach or create spellbinding soundscapes as a talented sound engineer.

Don’t forget about the exciting domains of music therapy, where you can use the power of music to heal and uplift others. With a music degree, you can even find yourself working in recording studios, broadcasting companies, or game development studios, crafting immersive sonic experiences. The digital era has opened doors to music licensing, supervision, and content creation. So let your creativity rocket, and turn your love for music into a rewarding and harmonious career that resonates with your artistic dreams.

Top Music Schools in Japan

These top music schools provide a nurturing environment for aspiring musicians, boasting renowned faculty, cutting-edge facilities, and a wealth of performance opportunities. Step into a world where melodies come to life, as we present the cream of music education in Japan.

1. Tokyo University of the Arts

The university that should be your first priority while applying for a music program in Japan is the Tokyo University of the Arts. It offers an array of study programs, including classical, traditional, and contemporary music, providing students with a diverse musical education. Highly selective degree programs include the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music, Master of Music in Composition, and Doctor of Musical Arts in Musicology.

Its unique feature is the Geidai Philharmonic Orchestra, composed of talented students and faculty, known for their exceptional performances. The university also houses the Geidai Concert Hall, a state-of-the-art venue renowned for its acoustics. With its high position in international university rankings, affordable tuition range, and scholarships available for international students, Tokyo University of the Arts remains a coveted destination for aspiring musicians worldwide.

2. Kyoto City University of Arts – Faculty of Music

  • Study Program
  • Location: Kyoto | Degrees Offered: Master’s, Ph.D.

Another university well-reputed for hosting international students for its music programs is the Kyoto City University of Arts. The university offers captivating postgraduate programs such as the Master of Music in Composition, Doctoral of Music in Musicology, or specialized master’s degree in any specific instrument.

With a rigorous admissions process and a strong emphasis on artistic development, Kyoto City University of Arts gets the attention of international students seeking to study in the rich musical heritage of Japan while honing their craft in a nurturing environment. By passing through this admission process, the graduates can also be on its list of notable alumni where Yutaka Sodo, a globally renowned conductor, amplifies the university’s prestige.

3. Osaka College of Music

  • Study Program
  • Location: Osaka | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s

Osaka College of Music is a leading light in the field of jazz and contemporary music education in Japan. Students wishing to study here have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enroll in captivating music programs such as the Bachelor of Music in Jazz, Bachelor of Music in Guitar, and Master of Arts in Composition.

Osaka College of Music is known for its vibrant jazz scene and emphasizes practical training in improvisation and ensemble performance. The college’s unique feature is the Jazz Research Center, which provides specialized resources and partnered collaborations with renowned jazz musicians.

Additionally, Osaka College of Music is in Osaka, a city that’s got a killer music scene. That means students there have tons of chances to see live shows and work with other musicians; hence, Osaka College of Music appeals to international students seeking an energetic and unforgettable musical experience.

4. Nagoya University of the Arts – Music Division

  • Study Program
  • Location: Aichi | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s

Next on our list is Nagoya University of the Arts, a private university located in Nagoya, Japan. This is not your ordinary music school. It is one of the most prestigious Japanese art universities and is considered among the best universities in the world to study music for international students.

The music division here is renowned for its excellent music education and research. It offers a range of music programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Music Theory, Composition, Performance, and Music Education.

NUA’s commitment to internationalization is what sets it apart from other music schools. The university has a large number of international students and offers a variety of programs, services, and scholarships to support them in their academic journey. NUA also has partnerships with universities worldwide that allow students to study abroad and collaborate with international artists and scholars.

5. Kunitachi College of Music

  • Study Program
  • Location: Tokyo | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

If you still have two minds about it, Kunitachi College of Music might make the choice easy for you. Its diverse programs in the field of music such as the Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Master of Music in Musicology, and a PhD in Music make it a superb institution for your music education.

Notable alumni, such as Joe Hisaishi and Masamichi Amano, showcase the college’s ability to produce accomplished musicians across various genres. With a reputation for excellence, a supportive community, and scholarships available for international students, Kunitachi College of Music continues to be a sought-after destination for aspiring musicians looking to further their artistic journey in Japan.

So, there you have it: the five best music schools in Japan, each remarkable in its way. There are many other great schools out there, but these five consistently rank among the best. Of course, no matter which school you choose, you’ll need to put in the hard work and dedication. If you’re willing to do that, then you can achieve anything. So go out there and follow your dreams! The world of music is waiting for you.

We hope this article was helpful. Feel free to explore our open courses page for more program choices available for international students. To gain more practical tips and valuable insights for your next academic endeavor, make sure to check out our Study in Japan page!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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  1. Michi - Reply

    Why is “Toho Gakuen School of Music” not included?

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      We’ve picked the best 5 music schools in Japan based on our research. We will consider “Toho Gakuen School of Music” when we update our articles with new rankings.

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