Which US music college is getting most Covid $$$s?

Which US music college is getting most Covid $$$s?


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2020

Ronen Segev of Park Avenue Pianos has an interesting breakdown of Covid federal grants to colleges:

Juilliard School: $524,199

American Musical and Dramatic Academy: $2,278,035

Manhattan School of Music: $441,481

The New School (includes Mannes School of Music): $4,996,686

San Francisco Conservatory of Music: $249,016

Cleveland Institute of Music: $186,268

Curtis Institute of Music: $86,460

Berklee College Of Music: $3,573,148

More here.

You may wonder how Berklee did so well. So do we.


  • Bone says:

    Berklee is in Boston; fauxahontas is from MA; so….

    • The View from America says:

      And the biggest recipient — Mannes (The New School) — is located within the 10th CD of New York. That just happens to be the district of Jerrold Nadler, chairperson of the House Judiciary Committee (of impeachment proceedings fame). Nancy P. takes care of her own for sure …

      • Ron says:

        New school is huge. Mannes is only a small part of it. It’s like Peabody and Johns Hopkins for example.

      • D says:

        These are not surprise gifts from the pork barrel. The institutions have all applied for grants, and based on the above figures, the largest grants seem to have gone to the schools with the least capacity, i.e., the ones which presumably were able to demonstrate the greatest need.

  • Alexandra says:

    Interesting that the schools that got the most (signified by millions) are the ones that primarily offer courses on pop, musical-theatre, and jazz, as well as recording/producing.

    • V.Lind says:

      I noticed that, too. And Berklee has about the highest fees of any school around. It ought to be rolling in dough.

  • debuschubertussy says:

    Somewhat misleading, since the Juilliard school has several other schools/divisions besides music (acting, dance, etc.), whereas I believe the others except AMDA are exclusively music schools? Does Juilliard’s figure apply to just their music divsion only?

    • Percussionist says:

      Berklee now includes The Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance and Drama.

    • Dora says:

      I teach at AMDA it is a drama school for music theater performers, classes in acting, dance, and singing.

    • Kolb Slaw says:

      MSM has jazz and musical theater (sad to say). The only advantage Juilliard has is their Lincoln Center location, which they use to claim that they are the “national” conservatory.

  • Byrwec Ellison says:

    The monies granted under the CARES Act are quick tax credit disbursements and presumably based on the institutions’ requests with few questions asked (witness the inappropriate awards to large publicly traded companies that didn’t qualify under the small business Paycheck Protection program).

    The requests are supposed to be based on the wages of furloughed or reduced-hour employees, paid at 100% for institutions smaller than 100 employees and. I think, 50% for larger institutions, subject to some cap.

    The wide disparity in award amounts deserves deeper scrutiny, but it’s probably a reflection of each financial officer’s aggressive approach and ability to justify the request on paper.

    • Ugh says:

      Wrong. This is money allocated to each school based on the number and amount of Pell Grants they receive. The money can only be spent to support students. You people need to learn how to read.

      • Hmus says:

        Why then would an all-scholarship school like Curtis receive anything, even the relative pittance they did get?

  • Just a Member of the Audience says:

    I hate to disabuse all you conspiracy theorists, but of the $14.2 billion for higher education institution, $12.56 billion
    was allocated according to a specific formula – 75% based on the number of full-time Pell grant recipients and 25 % based on total in-person enrollment prior to the shutdown.

    (A Pell Grant is a U.S. federal program for students who need it to pay for college. Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, primarily for those who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree.)

    Of the remaining amount, 992 million was dedicated for historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and 331 million for those small colleges whose needs were unmet under the formula.

    But whether this was the right formula to use, it was a formula, and the allocation had nothing to do with political shenanigans, least of all from Democrats who do not control how the Executive branch of the Federal government distributes the funds

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    It’s quite unfortunate that this was how the money was divided up because everyone knows that Juilliard has the best football team of all the conservatories and beats Curtis and the NEC each year in the playoffs.

    Berklee has a wonderful basketball team but they don’t play by the rules….they tend to improvise and make it up as they go.

  • Kyle A Wiedmeyer says:

    Berklee merged with the Boston Conservatory a few years ago so that might explain it. 50/50 would be $1.75 million, though, which is pretty high.

  • BSc says:

    Berklee is a commercial music trade school (which has now subsumed two ailing conservatories at a bargain price.) It was developed by canny pop musicians who realized a non-profit institution was a good way to make a killing in the expensive Boston real-estate market, and that selling the idea you needed to go to school to be the rock-star that was every adolescent boy’s wet dream would be easy – as it has turned out to be. As with any trade school, business connections come first.

    • Kolb Slaw says:

      They followed the shining example of the University of the Arts, which transformed from an amalgamation of conservatories into a pop-jazz commercial non-profit school. What conservatory did Berklee absorb besides the Boston? The merger, engineered by the late leader, was a cop-out from future fund-raising.

  • Alan F laherty says:

    Berklee has 5200 students, so the grant represents about $700 per student. Not hugely out of line with the others.

  • Kolb Slaw says:

    Very odd numbers. MSM is larger than Juilliard, as far as I know. All the conservatories are more important than Berklee.