Another phoney list of ‘world’s top music schools’

Another phoney list of ‘world’s top music schools’


norman lebrecht

February 13, 2014

This one can’t even spell ‘Juilliard’. But it won’t stop gullible parents believing the random rankings, or the schools themselves boasting of their ranking.

This one (click) includes Trinity-Laban and the Paris Conservatoire, for heaven’s sake… See also here.

royal academy of music


  • Tony Firshman says:

    Bizarrely the entry actually quotes the correct spelling twice as well! It also says “…members include well-known musicians and top professionals” – mutually exclusive descriptions?

  • Brian says:

    It was good to see the Jacobs School at IU mentioned, but I have to ask: has anyone ever heard of the Eastman School? Yale? Oberlin Conservatory? These lists–a dime a dozen–are worth little more than that.

  • David Pickett says:

    The lack of perspective is hardly surprising if one looks at the same website’s list of “Top 10 Musicians all time” [sic]…

  • 18mebrumaire says:

    Yes, and particularly impressive is the phonetic translation given for ‘Le Conservatoire de Paris’. As if that will help any non-native student with the Monday morning solfege class!

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      That’s not a “phonetic translation”. That’s what the name of the institution is spelled like in French, although the complete name is a little longer.

      And any “non-native” student in Paris should learn French anyway, don’t you think?

  • Beth Sperry says:

    Speaking as a Boston trained musician, I love Berklee for what it is, but what it isn’t is the #4 top music school in the world. It turns out professionals, yes, and it encourages a variety of musical genres, yes, but its graduation rate and the overall level of teaching leave much to be desired. It is essentially a top notch trade school.

  • Will says:

    The lack of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the list shows what a stupid ‘list’ it is!

  • Julie ‘Ard still at Number One but what an arbitrary joke the rest of the list is. Trinity Laban over the Guildhall and the RNCM? I studied at both the RCM and the RNCM and there was no doubt – at least for me – which the better institution was.

  • Michael says:

    As a graduate of Juilliard in the early 80’s, I must take issue with Juilliard being considered the number 1 music school. While there were many fine musicians that attended the school, which made the orchestra and ensembles very good, the level of theory and ear training classes was very low. The teachers were generally poor, and the classes were large. They were given very little importance by the school, as if they really didn’t matter. Maybe things have changed since?

    • Ian Pace says:

      In many ways I think Juilliard’s reputation was built simply upon its reputation, in the sense that the people who went there were going to do well anyhow (at least compared to some other places), and just wanted to list the name of the institution on their CV. Lots of the instrumental and other teaching when I was there did not amount to very much (I was fortunate in having an excellent teacher, but I think that was quite exceptional).

  • Daniel Leeman says:

    Unfortunately, linking to the site (from your very credible site) probably positively affects its ranking in search engine results pages.