Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Spynaija
As of today, over 80% of Broadway musicals currently in production will have a cast comprised of graduates of a reputable musical theatre college.
A musical theatre program is a form of dramatic performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through words, music, movement, and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole.
Although music has been a part of theatrical presentations since ancient times, contemporary Western musical theatre was birthed during the 19th century, with many structural components established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America.
In today’s ever-evolving and refined entertainment industry, earning a degree from a reputable musical theatre college is practically essential for personal growth or employment in the top musicals globally.
Examining the credits required for the program you will be pursuing is one method to begin your journey. Some colleges are more focused on acting, while others are more focused on music, while yet others are more focused on dance. A Bachelor of Music, as opposed to a Bachelor of Fine Arts, will often have a higher emphasis on music in terms of total credit hours.
However, we have carefully listed some of the colleges with the best musical theatre programs in the US. Alumni from all of these institutions may be found in award-winning television series, plays, off-Broadway musicals, and more, not only on Broadway.
Top 10 Best Musical Theatre Colleges in The US
Here are some of the top colleges with the best musical theatre programs in the US.
1. Berklee College of Music
Berklee College of Music is a private music college founded by Lawrence Berk in 1945 as “Schillinger House”. The music college is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Berklee College of Music is unarguably the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world, it is one of the institutions with the best musical theatre programs in the US, with Berklee alumni winning a total of 310 Grammy Awards, more than any other musical college, and 108 Latin Grammy Awards.
The Berklee College of Music is widely known for the study of jazz and contemporary American music, the institution offers college-level courses in a wide range of modern and historic musical genres, including rock, hip hop, reggae, salsa, heavy metal, and bluegrass.
2. Wanda L. Bass School of Music
The Wanda L Bass School of Music is a College at Oklahoma City University. The Wanda L Bass School of Music offers various degrees including; a BM, MM, and a BA in several areas of Music.
The Bass School of Music offers two (2) undergraduate tracks, namely: The performance-intensive Bachelor of Music degree and the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music. Bass School of Music offers a Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental performance, music theatre, vocal performance, music education, composition, music business, and piano pedagogy.
The school’s graduate programs integrate performance skills and pedagogy. The Master of Music degrees includes composition, conducting, instrumental performance, opera performance, and music theatre.
3. The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is a public performing and media arts college of the University of Cincinnati, located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
CCM was formed in August 1955 from the merger of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, founded in 1867 as part of a girls’ finishing school, and the College of Music of Cincinnati, which opened in 1878. Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music was incorporated into the University of Cincinnati on August 1, 1962. To date, the college is sometimes still called the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music by various publications.
CCM has the largest single source of performing arts presentations in Ohio, with nearly one thousand performances each academic year. Most performances are free to University of Cincinnati students and CCM now offers both a music minor and a media production minor. CCM also offers a wide variety of art elective courses that are open to all University of Cincinnati students.
4. Manhattan School of Music
Manhattan School of Music is a private music conservatory, founded in 1917–1918, by the pianist and philanthropist Janet D. Schenck. Manhattan School of Music offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in classical and jazz performance and composition, as well as a bachelor’s in musical theatre. Manhattan School of Music is located on Claremont Avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, adjacent to Broadway and West 122nd Street (Seminary Row).
The Manhattan School of Music offers classical, jazz, and musical theatre training. It grants the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. It also offers a Professional Studies Certificate and Artist Diploma. Manhattan School of Music offers one of the best musical theatre programs in the US.
5. University of the Arts (Philadelphia)
The University of the Arts is a private art university located in the Avenue of the Arts cultural district of Center City, Philadelphia, United States. it is one of the oldest schools of art or music in the United States. The University of the Arts was established in 1985 by the merger of the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts and the Philadelphia College of Art, the origin of these two schools can be traced to the 1870s.
Furthermore, the University of the Arts comprises two colleges and two Divisions namely: the College of Art, Media & Design; the College of Performing Arts; the Division of Liberal Arts; and the Division of Continuing Studies. The University of the Arts is duly accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, the School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
The University of the Arts currently boasts an estimated student population of nearly 1,900 students who are enrolled in 41 undergraduate and graduate programs in six schools namely: Art, Design, Film, Dance, Music, and the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts. In addition, the university’s Division of Continuing Studies offers courses through its Continuing Education, Pre-College, Summer Music Studies, and Professional Institute for Educators programs. The University of the Arts offers one of the best musical theatre programs in the US.
6. Ithaca College School of Music
The Ithaca College School of Music is a music school at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, New York. It is one of the five schools of the college. Ithaca College was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory The Ithaca College School of Music got accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music in 1941.
The School of Music offers a graduate program in Music Education (M.M., M.S.) and degree programs in the following musical fields; Composition (B.M.), Jazz Studies (B.M.), Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Music in Combination with an Outside Field (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), Performance and Music Education (B.M.), Sound Recording Technology (B.M.), Theory (B.M.).
7. New York University (NYU)
New York University is a private research university, located in New York City. The New York University was founded by Sir Albert Gallatin on April 21, 1831.
New York University houses two musical theatre programs – one in their Tisch school, and the other one in their Steinhardt school.
Both are excellent choices, but just a few differences between the two which we have analyzed below.
The Steinhardt school awards a BMus, while the Tisch school offers a BFA. This simply implies that Steinhardt’s academic curriculum has more music credits than acting, while Tisch’s academic curriculum offers more acting credits than music.
8. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance is an undergraduate and graduate institution for the performing arts. It is part of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. The school was founded by Calvin Brainerd Cady in 1880 as the Ann Arbor School of Music, and it was later incorporated into the University of Michigan with Cady joining the faculty.
The School currently has an estimated total number of undergraduates of about 6,500 and a total of 155 Academic staff. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance offers one of the best musical theatre programs in the US.
Many alumni of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance are among the most decorated stars on Broadway today. Gavin Creel is one such name, he was amongst the class of 1998 graduates of the University of Michigan and a Tony award winner in the musical HELLO DOLLY!
9. Carnegie Mellon School of Drama
The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama is the first degree-granting drama institution in the United States. Founded in 1914, it is one of five schools within the Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts.
The school’s undergraduate BFA programs in acting, musical theatre, directing, design, dramaturgy, and production technology and management majors are considered to be among the top programs in undergraduate conservatory training. Its MFA offerings in directing, design, production, and technology management are also considered to be top graduate programs. The School of Drama offers 18 events every season on campus, and also presents members of its graduating class in produced showcases in New York City and Los Angeles. Many Carnegie Mellon graduates have also gone on to successful careers in Pittsburgh theatre.
10. Pennsylvania State University School of Theatre
The School of Theatre offers undergraduate and graduate degrees covering a range of areas, including Acting, Musical Theatre, Stage Management, Theatre Design and Technology, and Directing.
At Penn State University School of Theatre, the entire undergraduate musical theatre program has just 48 students or about 12 per class. Only about eleven faculty members are assigned to these 48 students, thereby making the student-to-teacher ratio here just at 4:1.
In this article, we provided some of the best colleges with the top 10 best musical theatre programs in the US. We came up with this list by Examining other existing internet rankings of the top musical theatre colleges. We obtained various published rankings online and evaluated the colleges on each list based on their positions.
We hope the information above helps you in your decision in choosing the right colleges with the best musical theatre programs.
Good Luck And Success!!!
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