Music University vs Conservatory

You might wonder about the differences between a music conservatory and a music university when choosing a destination for higher studies in music. The most decisive point for all music students seeking admissions in professional studies is deciding between the university and the conservatory. For those who are willing to major in music, there are two options; a music university or a music conservatory.

These two options offer a slightly different types of learning so it is significant to know them before enrolling yourself. Today, we will learn the major differences between a music conservatory and a university, the requirements for admission, and the teaching process in both. 


A conservatory concentrates more on the performance of art and music. But it is smaller than a University which offers a wide range of subjects in music. At a conservatory, practical learning is highly focused and you have to practice the music instead of studying it.  However, a conservatory does not offer a diverse genre of degrees in arts or music. But its degrees are more practical and performance-based. 

On the other hand, a University education is more academic. The University courses are focused on the analysis of music, its origin, philosophy, and history of performing music. You learn about music but there is less practice as compared to a conservatory education.


The quality of music education is valuable at both types of institutions. Both institutes make you a music professional with a notable amount of recognition but different career paths. Both university and conservatory programs offer you a degree and it is up to you where you want to study music. If you want academic studies in music and don’t want to become a practitioner you should choose a university but if you prefer an occupational and professional course, a conservatory would be a better place. 

Admission process

University admission is based on the evaluation through academic grades and performance in preceding music school. On the other hand, at a conservatory admission is based on an interview or audition. Moreover, the applicant’s previous experience and practical ability examined in their chosen discipline instead of academic grades.

What do you experience at the Conservatory?

More Creativity

Creativity is an essential ingredient of music courses at a conservatory. You perform the music with professional artists daily. The conservatory offers greater opportunities to team up with associated artists which is a heartening experience. 

You get prepared for a professional music career

At a conservatory, the learning outcomes of your course are designed to make you a professional performer. Countless rehearsals, trials, collaborative performances, and public presentations encourage you to apply for music industry openings.  

What do you experience at University?

Academic Knowledge

University is more concerned with academics. Moreover, the Universities have to accommodate the needs of several students and the course load at the Universities also inclines to be more demanding than at a conservatory. 

Double majors experience

A stimulating thing about university is the dual major experience. Dual majors are an amazing option for those who have a passion for music but want to study academics. Many students also do a second major in other fields like math, business, or enginnering, etc. And if a student is zealous about the two difference courses, it can give him an exceptional learning experience. 

Which One is Better for You?

Finally, we are at the conclusion. Now it’s time to decide which type of music institute is better for you, a music university or a music conservatory. Keep that in mind, before admitting yourself thoroughly look at your goals and then decide what suits you and your aims. 

The Music Conservatory is Better:

  • If you want a course focused on entirely performance-based learning
  • If you want to practice music all day without the stress of academic projects.
  • If you prefer a smaller and more friendly learning atmosphere.

The Music University is Better:

  • If you want a classic music university experience.
  • If you want a dual academic major choice.
  • If you are more interested in learning music in university and do not want to continue it as a major. 
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