The Best Music Schools in California

There are few states in the US with as many incredible music programs as California. From world-renowned faculty musicians at conservatories to jazz improvisation talents at universities, there's something for everyone interested in music.

And it's not just classical performance and composition programs that are thriving in California. More and more of the world's top songwriters and producers are coming out of the state's music schools.

10 incredible music programs located in the state of California are as follows.

UC Irvine

Situated in Southern California, UC Irvine is approximately an hour's drive from both Los Angeles and San Diego. The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine offers an unusual Doctoral program in music, ICIT, which stands for Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology. Jazz performance is one of the undergraduate programs offered at UC Irvine, and it features Kei Akagi on faculty.

UC Irvine is a great place to study music if you're looking for a school that has a little bit of everything. The ICIT program is perfect for students who want to pursue a career in composition or improvisation, while the jazz performance program is ideal for those who want to focus on playing jazz. And with Kei Akagi on faculty, you can be sure that you'll get a top-notch education in jazz performance.

CSULB's Bob Cole Conservatory of Music

The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB provides students with a classical and jazz music education. In 2008, the Conservatory received a $16.4 million gift from Bob Cole. The faculty at the Conservatory are a mix of both academicians and professionals. Many alumni of the Conservatory have gone on to have successful careers in various music ensembles around the world. The tuition at CSULB is extremely competitive when compared to other music schools in the U.S.

The Conservatory provides students with a well-rounded musical education. In addition to taking classes on music theory and history, students can also choose to focus on either classical or jazz performance. Students have the opportunity to perform in various ensembles, including orchestras, choirs, and bands. They also get to work with some of the best faculty members in the business – many of whom are active professionals in the music industry.

As one of the top music schools in California, the Conservatory has produced some truly remarkable alumni. Many of them have gone on to play in major symphony orchestras around the world, or perform as soloists with top opera companies. Others have made careers for themselves as studio musicians, session players, or teachers. No matter what path they choose, graduates of the Conservatory are sure to find success in the world of music.

The University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music

The University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music has been training musicians for nearly a century. Founded in 1928, the Conservatory is now home to 300 students from all over the world.

The Conservatory offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of musical disciplines, including classical and jazz performance, music industry studies, and music therapy. With its strong commitment to excellence in teaching and research, the Conservatory is one of the leading music schools in California.

Over the years, the Conservatory has produced some of the world's finest musicians. Many of its alumni have gone on to successful careers in the music industry, performing with major symphony orchestras, opera companies, and jazz ensembles around the globe. Others have become respected teachers and scholars, making important contributions to the field of music education.

Whether you're a prospective student or a lifelong fan of music, the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music is definitely worth a look!

Azusa Pacific University School of Music

The Azusa Pacific University School of Music has been widely praised by music experts as a hidden gem among music schools. The school is located in Azusa, CA, near Los Angeles, and offers a degree in Music and Worship. The school has a comprehensive music education program that covers everything from performance to composition to music history.

APU’s School of Music is a great choice for students who want to get a well-rounded education in music. The faculty are all highly experienced and passionate about their work, and the facilities are top-notch. If you’re looking for a music school in California that will give you an excellent education and prepare you for a career in music, look no further than the Azusa Pacific University School of Music!

Chapman University's Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music

Chapman University's Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music is one of the premier music schools in California. Conducting undergraduate degree programs are available at this school in Orange, CA. The school has a 88,000 square foot facility called the Musco Center for the Arts, which houses state-of-the-art performance venues and classrooms. Dr. Robert Frelly is a faculty member and conductor at Chapman University, and he is one of the world's leading authorities on music education. The school's commitment to excellence in music education is evidenced by its strong student body, outstanding faculty, and world-class facilities. If you're looking for a top-notch music education, Chapman University's Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music should be at the top of your list!

California Institute of the Arts

A group of innovative artists and educators, including Walt Disney, founded CalArts in 1950. The school offers majors in traditional and experimental disciplines, including African music, dance, and Balinese music. CalArts has a long history of interdisciplinary collaboration between musicians, composers, and performers, which has led to the school's many acclaimed alumni. Today, CalArts is widely recognized as one of the leading music schools in California.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, established over a century ago, is highly respected as one of the best classical music conservatories in America. It only started offering a jazz performance major four years ago. Some of the faculty members for the jazz program are very famous, including saxophonist Joshua Redman.

The Conservatory is located in the heart of San Francisco, close to all of the city's great cultural attractions. The campus is small and intimate, with state-of-the-art facilities. The faculty is outstanding, and the students are very talented.

The Conservatory offers a well-rounded education in both classical and jazz music. In addition to taking private lessons, students participate in ensembles and take courses in music theory, ear training, and musicianship. They also have the opportunity to perform in public concerts throughout the year.

The Conservatory's jazz program is relatively new, but it has already made a big impact on the music scene in San Francisco. The faculty includes some of the world's leading jazz musicians, such as Joshua Redman. The students are incredibly talented and dedicated to their art.

If you're looking for a top-notch musical education, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is definitely worth considering.

UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music

UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music is consistently ranked as one of the top music schools in the country. Located in Los Angeles, CA, the school offers students a unique opportunity to study music in a city with a rich musical history.

The school features a world-class faculty and offers a wide range of degree programs, including bachelor's and master's degrees in performance, composition, and music education. With so many options available, students can tailor their studies to their specific interests and career goals.

Whether you're looking to pursue a career in music or simply want to learn more about your favorite art form, UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music is an excellent choice.

The Colburn School

The Colburn School is a free, independent classical conservatory located in Los Angeles, CA. It only accepts classical instrumentalists, and has a student body of less than 120 students. Some of the busiest faculty members in their instruments are Jim Walker and Robert Lipsett.

The school provides an exceptional education for young musicians. The faculty is comprised of some of the most successful and well-known performers in their respective fields. They provide world-class instruction to help students reach their full potential as classical instrumentalists.

The Colburn School is an excellent choice for those looking for a top-notch music education. It offers a rigorous curriculum taught by experienced professionals. If you're serious about pursuing a career in classical music, this is the place for you.

The Best Music School in the Country: USC Thornton

There's no doubt that USC Thornton is one of the best music schools in the world. The school is incredibly selective, and their programs are second to none. The faculty members are some of Los Angeles's top professionals, and the school has strong affiliations with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and many other renowned organizations.

But what really sets USC Thornton apart from other music schools is their commitment to providing their students with unparalleled opportunities to learn and grow. The music business program at the school provides students with access to internships in Hollywood, and the performance programs allow students to perform for some of the best musicians in the country.

If you're serious about pursuing a career in music, there's no better place to study than USC Thornton.


There is no denying that the music programs in California are among the finest in the globe. Choosing from many great schools, students can find a program tailored to their interests and career goals.

There's a vast array of music schools throughout California, each with their own focus and specialization, so you're sure to find one that matches your specific interests. If you're interested in a career in music, research the fantastic programs available in your state!



About the author
Got kids about to go to college, so making my own research and sharing here!
Follow me: