Deciding between top music schools like Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard can be an agonizing choice for aspiring musicians. Both schools have sterling reputations and famous alumni, but how do you choose between them?

This comprehensive guide will compare Manhattan and Juilliard on tuition, acceptance rates, faculty, majors, and other key factors to help you make the best decision.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: While Juilliard is more selective, Manhattan School of Music offers a wider range of degrees and may be a better fit for those not solely focused on classical performance. However, both schools provide world-class music education.

Brief Overview of Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard

History and Notable Alumni of Each School

The Manhattan School of Music (MSM) and Juilliard School are two prestigious music institutions located in Manhattan, New York City. Both schools have a rich history and have produced numerous distinguished alumni.

Founded in 1917, the Manhattan School of Music has a long-standing tradition of excellence in music education. It offers a wide range of programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees in performance, composition, and music education.

Notable alumni from MSM include jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, opera singer Renée Fleming, and conductor Leonard Slatkin.

The Juilliard School, on the other hand, has an even longer history, dating back to 1905. It is renowned for its rigorous training in the performing arts and is considered one of the world’s leading schools for music, dance, and drama.

Juilliard alumni include violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and composer John Williams.

Both schools have played a significant role in shaping the music industry and have produced countless talented musicians who have made a lasting impact on the world’s stage.

Tuition and Acceptance Rates

When it comes to tuition and acceptance rates, there are some differences between the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard.

The Manhattan School of Music offers a range of financial aid options, including scholarships and grants, to help make education more accessible to students. The tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year is approximately $46,200 for undergraduate programs and $48,100 for graduate programs.

On the other hand, Juilliard is known for its highly competitive admissions process and selective acceptance rates. The acceptance rate for Juilliard’s music programs is around 6%, making it one of the most competitive music schools in the world.

The tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year is approximately $50,250 for undergraduate programs and $51,870 for graduate programs.

It is important to note that both schools offer financial aid opportunities and scholarships to eligible students, helping to make their programs more accessible to those with financial need.

Degree Programs Offered

Majors at Manhattan School of Music

The Manhattan School of Music, located in the heart of New York City, offers a wide range of degree programs for aspiring musicians. Students at MSM can choose from majors such as:

  • Classical Performance
  • Jazz Performance
  • Composition
  • Musical Theater
  • Music Education
  • Orchestral Conducting

These majors provide students with a comprehensive education in their chosen field, allowing them to develop their skills and pursue their passion for music.

Majors at Juilliard

Similarly, Juilliard, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world, offers a diverse range of degree programs to its students. Some of the majors available at Juilliard include:

  • Instrumental Performance
  • Vocal Performance
  • Composition
  • Conducting
  • Collaborative Piano
  • Drama

These majors cover a wide spectrum of musical disciplines, allowing students to specialize in their area of interest and receive world-class training from renowned faculty members.

Both the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard offer a comprehensive range of majors that cater to the diverse interests and talents of aspiring musicians. Whether a student is passionate about classical performance, jazz, composition, or musical theater, they can find a program that aligns with their musical goals at these esteemed institutions.


Full-Time Faculty at Manhattan

The Manhattan School of Music boasts an exceptional full-time faculty that consists of highly accomplished musicians and educators. These dedicated professionals bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the school, nurturing and guiding the next generation of musicians.

From renowned performers to esteemed composers, the faculty at Manhattan School of Music is known for their commitment to excellence in music education.

Part-Time Faculty at Manhattan

In addition to the full-time faculty, Manhattan School of Music also benefits from the expertise of part-time faculty members. These individuals are often active performers and industry professionals who bring real-world experience into the classroom.

Their diverse backgrounds and perspectives enrich the learning environment, providing students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for a successful career in music.

Faculty at Juilliard

Juilliard School, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world, boasts a faculty that is equally impressive. Comprised of accomplished musicians and artists, the faculty at Juilliard is renowned for their exceptional talent and dedication to their craft.

Many faculty members at Juilliard are world-renowned performers and have had illustrious careers in the music industry. Their guidance and mentorship provide students with invaluable insights and opportunities for growth.

Both Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard have faculty members who have performed at esteemed venues and collaborated with renowned artists. The faculty at both schools are committed to providing students with a well-rounded education that combines technical proficiency with artistic expression.

For more information about the faculty at Manhattan School of Music, you can visit their official website: Similarly, you can find more information about the faculty at Juilliard on their official website:

Facilities and Location

Performance Venues and Facilities at Manhattan

At the Manhattan School of Music, students have access to world-class performance venues and state-of-the-art facilities. The school boasts several concert halls, including the renowned Neidorff-Karpati Hall, which is known for its exceptional acoustics.

This venue has hosted performances by some of the greatest musicians of our time. Additionally, the John C. Borden Auditorium provides an intimate setting for chamber music and solo performances. The school also offers practice rooms equipped with pianos and other instruments, recording studios, and a music library with an extensive collection of scores and recordings.

These facilities provide students with the necessary tools to hone their craft and showcase their talent.

Dorms and Campus at Manhattan

Manhattan School of Music provides on-campus housing options for students, ensuring a convenient and immersive living experience. The school offers dormitories that are equipped with modern amenities and designed to provide a comfortable and supportive environment for students.

Living on campus allows students to fully immerse themselves in the vibrant music community and take advantage of the numerous practice and performance spaces available. The campus is situated in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a vibrant neighborhood known for its cultural attractions, including Lincoln Center and Central Park.

This prime location offers students easy access to a wealth of artistic and recreational opportunities.

Performance Spaces and Campus at Juilliard

Juilliard is renowned for its exceptional performance spaces and campus facilities. The school is home to iconic venues such as the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Alice Tully Hall, and the Juilliard School’s own Juilliard Theater.

These venues have been the stage for countless legendary performances and continue to attract top artists from around the world. In addition to these performance spaces, Juilliard offers students access to practice rooms, recording studios, and a vast music library.

The campus itself is located in the vibrant Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, providing students with a truly immersive and inspiring environment. The surrounding area offers a plethora of cultural attractions, including museums, theaters, and renowned concert halls.

Comparing the facilities and locations of both schools, it’s clear that both Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard offer exceptional resources for aspiring musicians. The Manhattan School of Music’s facilities provide students with world-class venues and state-of-the-art practice spaces, while Juilliard boasts iconic performance spaces that have hosted some of the most legendary performances in history.

Both schools also offer on-campus housing options and are located in vibrant neighborhoods that provide students with a wealth of cultural and artistic opportunities. Ultimately, the choice between these two prestigious music schools will depend on individual preferences and goals.

Student Life

Clubs and Activities at Manhattan

At the Manhattan School of Music, students have a wide range of clubs and activities to engage in outside of their academic studies. These extracurricular options allow students to pursue their other interests and foster a sense of community within the school.

Some of the popular clubs include the Jazz Club, Chamber Music Society, and the A Cappella Group. Additionally, students can participate in various ensembles, such as the Symphony Orchestra or the Opera Workshop, which provide valuable performance opportunities.

Furthermore, the Manhattan School of Music offers a diverse range of workshops and masterclasses conducted by renowned guest artists. These events not only expose students to different styles of music but also provide valuable networking opportunities.

Notable Student Groups at Juilliard

Similarly, the Juilliard School offers a rich and vibrant student life experience. With a focus on excellence and artistic growth, Juilliard provides its students with numerous opportunities to engage with the arts community.

One of the notable student groups at Juilliard is the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble, which allows students to explore and perform jazz music at a high level. The Drama Division also hosts various student-run productions, providing a platform for aspiring actors to showcase their talent.

In addition to these performance-based groups, Juilliard offers a range of clubs and organizations catering to various interests. These include the Film Club, Dance Collective, and the Juilliard Orchestra.

These clubs not only provide an outlet for students to pursue their passions but also foster a sense of camaraderie among the student body.

Moreover, Juilliard regularly invites world-renowned artists, composers, and conductors to conduct masterclasses and workshops. This gives students the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry and gain valuable insights into their craft.

With its prestigious reputation and commitment to artistic excellence, Juilliard offers a dynamic and enriching student life experience, nurturing the talents and ambitions of its students.

Career Support and Job Placements

Career Services at Manhattan

Manhattan School of Music (MSM) offers comprehensive career services to its students, ensuring that they are well-prepared for a successful career in music. The school provides guidance and resources to help students explore different career paths, develop their professional skills, and navigate the music industry.

MSM’s career services department offers resume and portfolio building workshops, mock auditions and interviews, networking events, and access to job boards and audition opportunities. They also provide personalized career counseling, helping students identify their strengths and interests, and guiding them towards suitable career options in music.

Additionally, Manhattan School of Music has a strong alumni network, which plays a significant role in career support. Alumni often come back to the school to share their experiences and provide mentorship to current students.

This network can be valuable for job placements and creating connections within the music industry.

Career Outcomes for Juilliard Graduates

As one of the most prestigious music schools in the world, Juilliard School boasts an impressive track record of producing successful musicians and performers. Graduates from Juilliard have gone on to achieve remarkable career outcomes in various areas of the music industry.

Many Juilliard graduates have secured positions with renowned orchestras, opera companies, and chamber ensembles. Others have pursued careers as solo performers, composers, conductors, and music educators.

Some have even ventured into non-traditional music careers, such as film scoring, music production, and arts administration.

According to a survey conducted by Juilliard, a significant percentage of their graduates find employment within a year of completing their degree. The survey also revealed that Juilliard alumni have a high level of job satisfaction, with many feeling fulfilled in their chosen musical careers.

It is important to note that both Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard School have strong reputations in the music industry, and their graduates are highly regarded. Ultimately, the choice between these two schools will depend on individual preferences, career goals, and the specific musical path one wishes to pursue.


In the end, Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard both offer world-class music education. Juilliard is more competitive for admission and focused solely on classical music, while Manhattan provides a wider range of degrees and greater flexibility.

Consider your interests, strengths as a musician, career goals and financial situation to choose the best fit. Rest assured that both schools will provide outstanding training to launch your music career.

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