cheapest music school
Music is one of the most expensive fields of study to pursue. Rebecca Sapp / AFP

Whether you want to become a professional musician or teach music, equipping yourself with an education from music school is one of the best ways to enter the industry.

A music degree can help students to develop interdisciplinary, useful skills that can be applied to several occupations, including performers, sound technicians, music directors, and composers.

The cheapest music schools offer something extra: affordable fees.

An education in music can be expensive. In the US alone, some of the top universities like Berklee or Juilliard can cost around US$50,000 a year.

And if these music schools are in certain US cities, rent, food and transport can blow your budget as well.

Plus, we’ve not factored in the high cost of buying new instruments or servicing them either.

Thankfully, there are a number of music schools that offer top-tier programmes that are significantly less expensive than most private music schools.

Here is a list of the four best cheapest music schools for international students.

Four best cheapest music schools around the world:

University of West Georgia 

One of the cheapest music schools around, the University of West Georgia (UWG) is a favourite for its   US$21,432  tuition fees for an exceptional programme.

From undergraduate to master’s level, the school offers programmes for aspiring musicians to sharpen their knowledge and skills.

The Bachelor of Music in Music Education was designed to prepare students to teach music at all levels, from elementary to high school.

In this course, students will study different areas of music, including music theory, aural skills, and music history.

The programme is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and offers a teaching internship upon completion. 

UWG also offers a Master in Music Education programme that will open the doors for graduates to enter the professional industry or continue to the doctorate level.

This 30-credit programme is unique as it is entirely online, allowing students to gain knowledge from anywhere worldwide. 

Focused on adding depth and practical application to one’s understanding of music teaching, the curriculum covers subjects like history, literature, composition and music technology.

Famous graduates include big names like Grammy-winning musician Zac Brown. 

Florida State University 

Established in 1851, Florida State University is home to the College of Music – which offers the third largest music programme in US higher education.

Here, students can learn music from the baccalaureate to the doctoral level in areas such as classical performance, jazz, musical theatre, and even contemporary commercial music.

Programmes offered include Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, Bachelor of Music in Music Theory and Bachelor of Music in Composition.

These focus on general and elementary music education and middle and high school band, orchestra, and chorus.

At one of the cheapest music schools in the nation, you’ll be taught by the best in the industry, from Grammy to Pulitzer Prize winners.

This includes Jeff Keesecker, one of the top few bassoon teachers in the US, Andre Thomas, one of the most important choral conductors in the US, and Ellen Zwilich, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in music.

The school’s curriculum offers classes in teaching and learning methods, classroom organisation and management, score preparation, music history and theory, ear training, conducting, and music literature.

The fees? US$15,570 for international students

University of Music Würzburg

Germany is home to over 69 higher education institutions in the field of music.

Among them is one of the cheapest music schools in the world: the University of Music Würzburg.

Programmes are taught by acclaimed instructors and internationally known music talents from around the world.

On top of that, the university is completely free, with no tuition fee charges for both domestic and international students. 

The bachelor programmes offered include Voice Performance, Church Music, Orchestral Instruments, Jazz, Guitar, and Conducting.

As for master’s programmes, students can choose from a Master in Music in Performance, Performance and Pedagogy, or Theory and Composition.

For those who wish to pursue a career in the academic side of the music industry, the school offers the School Music Teaching programme.

All courses are taught in German, and students must attain a C2 proficiency level to enrol in the degree programme.

The institution offers free language courses for students to improve their German.

Norwegian Academy of Music

One of the cheapest music schools in Europe is the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Renowned as the most prestigious music academy in the country, this is where the best instructors and internationally acclaimed musicians teach.

The school offers programmes at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.

These include Conducting, Church Music, Composition, Music Education, Music Performance, Music Performance, Music Therapy, Music Theory and many more. 

Although it’s affordable, it isn’t easy to get in. The academic has one of the toughest degree programmes to enter in the country.

Applicants must have a remarkable portfolio and audition at least three times to be considered.