Best California College Music Programs

Music may not be the most popular major to study, but it is a very lucrative one. Approximately 1,112 students graduate each year with a degree in music.

Some music lovers may want to attend small schools where their life as a student is immersed entirely in music. Other students want to enroll in a school which features academic and cultural variety. The most crucial challenge when searching for a music school is finding a music program that fits your talent and level of passion.

What are the Best Music Programs in California?

Azusa Pacific University               

A music major at Azusa Pacific University is offered through the school of music, which is located in the College of Music and the Arts. Azusa Pacific University offers undergraduate music degrees in:

  • Commercial music
  • Music education (pre-teacher certification)
  • Music and worship
  • Composition
  • Performance
  • Music theory

As for graduate programs, Azusa Pacific University offers degrees in:

  • Composition
  • Music education
  • Conducting
  • Performance

The university also awards a Master of Arts in music entrepreneurial studies. The university features a number of music ensembles, such as:

  • Choral ensembles
  • Vocal groups
  • Large ensembles
  • Commercial ensembles
  • Athletic bands

Notable alumni of Azusa Pacific university school of music include:

  • Robert De Long – An international electronic music sensation
  • Marcel Dodd – an accomplished Broadway musician
  • Colleen Evans – an accomplished musician (YouTube personality)
  • Malynda Hale – singer/songwriter actress
  • Garrett Russel – lead vocalist and hardcore band ‘Silent Planet’

Biola University

Biola University’s Conservatory of Music has a long-standing tradition of academic and performance excellence. The faculty includes acclaimed Los Angeles musicians who are active in film, television and the recording industry. Music majors offered at Biola University include:

  • General music performance
  • Music pedagogy
  • Music theory and composition

Fact: Biola University is ranked number 32 in California in the category of ‘Best Music Colleges’. Concentrations offered at the school include instrumental, organ, piano, and voice.

Ensembles at Biola University include:

  • Biola chorale
  • Chamber of music ensemble
  • Jazz ensemble
  • Symphonic winds
  • Vocal jazz ensemble
  • Worship and popular music ensemble
  • Men’s chorus
  • Women’s chorus

Notable alumni of Biola University’s Conservatory of Music include:

  • Katie Von Kooten – Songwriter/singer
  • Judith Hill – Songwriter
  • Hannah Parrot – Musician
  • Corinne Penner – musician

Chapman University

Chapman University offers an outstanding music program. The universities curriculum prepares students for employment in diverse professional fields. The school features a Bachelor of music in vocal or instrumental performance, Bachelor of Arts in composition, a Bachelor of Arts in music education (pre-certificate), and a minor in music.

The university offers the following ensembles:

  • Choir
  • Symphonic orchestra
  • Jazz ensemble
  • Opera theater
  • Vocal ensembles
  • Early music ensemble
  • Percussion ensemble

Chapman University’s Conservatory of Music boasts three modern halls that are used for classes, performances, and other music-related events at: Oliphant Hall, Bertea Hall, and Salmon Recital Hall.

Notable alumni of Chapman university conservatory of music include:

  • Sabrina Bryan – Choreographer/songwriter

California Institute for the Arts

California Institute of the Arts offers its music program through Herb Alpert School of Music. The school offer its students rigorous training in a variety of music styles. Music students at Cal Arts are empowered to expand their artistic horizons and develop a global vision. The music majors offered include:

  • General music performance
  • Jazz studies
  • Music technology
  • Voice and opera

The University also offers post baccalaureate certificate in general music performance, jazz studies music theory, and composition and voice and opera.

Also, Herb Alpert School of Music features master’s degrees in:

  • General music performance
  • Jazz studies
  • Music theory and composition
  • Voice and opera

California Institute of the Arts also offers a doctoral degree in music theory and compositions as well as features the following types of ensembles:

  • Symphonic orchestra
  • Jazz ensemble
  • Percussion ensemble
  • Opera theater
  • Brass ensemble
  • Woodwind ensemble

The Herb Alpert School of music ranks 6th amongst music schools in California.

Notable alumni of Herb Alpert School of music include:

  • John Luther Adams: composer, Pulitzer Prize in music
  • Ralph Alessi – Jazz trumpeter
  • Matt Barbier – Trombonist
  • Michael Cain –Jazz pianist
  • James Carney – Jazz pianist and composer

California schools offer a wide variety of music programs: from musical performance to theory, composition to education, California has something for every music lover.  Join California College Bound and visit these and many more music programs throughout the state of California.

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