Best Music Schools in Illinois | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

This article explores the best music schools in Illinois.

Music is the 40th most popular degree program in the US, so you’re not alone if you’re considering obtaining one.

It is challenging to choose a school because a wide range of educational institutions may grant the diploma as a result. 

There are many music schools in Illinois and this makes it even more difficult to pick one.

A list of numerous music schools in Illinois has been compiled in this article to aid you in your search for the best music school there. 

You can contrast two universities depending on the characteristics that are most important to you by using the information provided about each university.

Music schools in Illinois are the main focus of this article.

See Also: Best Music Schools In Colorado | Cost, Requirements, & How To Apply

Are there Music Schools in Illinois?

There are a large number of music schools in Illinois that grant a variety of music degrees. Listed below are some of them:

  • The University of Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois
  • Wheaton College, Illinois
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois, Urbana
  • Wesleyan University of Illinois
  • Illinois State University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Western Illinois University
  • North Park University
  • Bradley University
  • DePaul University

How Much Do Music Schools Cost in Illinois?

In California, the average cost of music education is $31,000. 

Accommodations, food, literature, and other basics are included.

What are the Requirements for Music Schools in Illinois?

The typical steps for applying to an undergraduate music school in Illinois are as follows: 

  • the University Application in its entirety. 
  • The Music Supplement must be finished. You will receive an email with a link to your Supplement 24 to 48 hours after submitting your university application. 
  • The requirements for the program that will grant the degree you want must be completed

What are the Best Music Schools in Illinois?

Although there are lots of music schools in Illinois, some of them are regarded as the best. Below is a list of the top music schools in Illinois along with additional details;

1. The University of Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois

Students can pursue a fruitful career in music with a degree from Northwestern University, one of the most prestigious and well-known non-profit educational organizations. 

According to the Best Schools ranking, Northwestern University is the 14th best university in the United States. 

More than 160 Northwestern music students received this degree in the most recent year.

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Additionally, Music majors at Northwestern University earn $5,587 a year, which is more than the national average for music graduates.

This is why it is one of the top music schools in Illinois.

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2. Wheaton College, Illinois

It is commonly known that Illinois’ Wheaton College is one of the best colleges for students who are interested in music. Wheaton College Illinois, a private, nonprofit university, is located in the Wheaton area. 

According to the Best Schools rating system, Wheaton College, which is located in Illinois, has risen to position #182 on the list of the best institutions in the US. 

In the most recent year, about 26 music students attended Wheaton College in Illinois and met the requirements for this degree.

However, while starting their professions, those with music degrees might anticipate earning roughly $21,000 annually. 

In Wheaton, Illinois, there is a graduate program and a Christian liberal arts and music institution called Wheaton Institution. 

The U.S. News & World Report classified Wheaton College’s “Best Undergraduate Teaching” program as the sixth best among the top liberal arts universities. 

The company currently holds the 57th-best national ranking in the country for liberal arts colleges according to the U.S. News 2016 rankings. 

In 2015, Wheaton University was ranked among the top 100 colleges and institutions in the nation by Forbes magazine.

These are the reasons why it is one of the best music schools in Illinois.

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3. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago consistently has one of the top music programs in the nation. 

In the center of Chicago, there is a private, non-profit university called the University of Chicago. It has a sizable student body and is not for profit. 

Additionally, the University of Chicago is ranked seventh on the list of Top schools out of 2,576 schools and institutions in the US. 

The current data shows that 17 University of Chicago music majors graduated with a music degree. 

This is a good reason to choose this school because it is one of the best music schools in Illinois.

See Also: Best Music Schools In Ohio | Cost, Requirements, & How To Apply

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4. University of Illinois, Urbana

The UIUC Champaign should be visited by every music-loving student at least once during their academic career. 

UIUC is ranked as the 68th top college or university in the nation out of 2,576 institutions. 

In the most recent year, 141 music students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received this degree. 

In their early careers, those with music degrees might anticipate earning between $15,000 and $16,000 annually. 

The university with the highest level of research activity is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is rated as an R1 doctoral research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 

Additionally, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign oversees a research park. 

This academic year, the university has generated 30 Nobel laureates from its staff and student body, along with two Turing Award winners and a Fields Medalist.

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5. Wesleyan University of Illinois

The non-profit private university Illinois Wesleyan University is situated in Bloomington. 

In addition, Illinois Wesleyan University was ranked #149 in the nation out of 2,576 colleges and universities in the Best School ranking in the USA.

This is a great ranking and this is also why it is one of the best music schools in Illinois. 

Additionally, roughly 15 Illinois Wesleyan graduates got a bachelor’s degree in music in the most recent year. 

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6. Illinois State University

The public institution known as ISU, or Illinois State University, is situated in Normal, a city with a substantial student population.

 Among the top universities in the country, Illinois State University is ranked 230th out of 2,576 colleges and universities in the country. 

Furthermore, in the most recent year, Illinois State University conferred degrees to 67 music majors. Evidence points to this on the school’s website.

Graduates of Illinois State University’s music school earn, on average, $9,603 more than their peers in the industry after only a few short years of getting their degrees.

This is why it is one of the best music schools in Illinois

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7. Eastern Illinois University

The average-sized public university in Charleston is called EIU. This Illinois institution scores 33rd overall out of 102 colleges that were evaluated for excellence. 

Also, recent data shows that about twenty EIU music students graduated with this degree.

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8. Western Illinois University

It is a somewhat sized public university located in the city of Macomb. Out of 102 institutions, this one in Illinois is placed 37th overall based on the evaluation of its quality. 

The most recent academic year for which data are available shows that 51 WIU music majors graduated with this degree. 

Alumni of the music program at Western Illinois University make $9,553 more on average per year than other graduates in this field. 

In 2017, the institution accepted 3,755 undergraduates out of a total applicant pool of 37,255. This means that the acceptance rate of the music department is quite low.

This is one of the best music schools in Illinois.

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9. North Park University

There aren’t many students enrolled at North Park University, which is located in the heart of Chicago. This prestigious university loses money every year.

North Park University, which is situated in the center of Chicago, doesn’t have a large student body. Annual losses occur at this esteemed university.

Regardless of this, it is still ranked as one of the best music schools in Illinois because of its small size of classes and quality of music education.

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10. Bradley University

In Peoria, Illinois, there is a large private, non-profit university called Bradley University. 

Bradley University, however, has distinguished itself as one of the best colleges in the country, obtaining a Best Schools ranking of 407 out of 2,576. 

This is why it is one of the best music schools in Illinois.

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Also, in the most recent academic year for which information exists, eight Bradley University music students earned the music degree.

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How Much Do Musicians Make in Illinois?

In Chicago, Illinois, musicians make an average of $50,084 every year. Most people earn between $23,643 and $76585 annually.

How do I Become a Musician in Illinois?

To become a musician in Illinois, you have to have musical talent. This is the core foundation of your music career. 

You also have to practice regularly and master a musical instrument.

You may also join a music band and develop your music skills with concert experiences.

Finally, enroll yourself in one of the music schools in Illinois.

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Best paying Music Jobs in Illinois with Salary?

The typical annual salary for musicians is $50,084. This is approximately $24.08 per hour.

Gospel Music roles get paid an annual $75,668 and an hourly wage of $36.38.

Music Together Teacher in Illinois earns $75,043 per year.

A music theory teacher earns $72,940 every year.

A music  Consulting role is another good-paying job in Illinois with a salary of $67,123 annually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the University of Illinois a good music school?

UIUC Music Rankings
UIUC was ranked #71 on College Factual’s most recent list of the best schools for music majors. This puts the bachelor’s program at the school solidly in the top 15% of all colleges and universities in the country. It is also ranked #4 in Illinois.

What is the hardest music school to get into?

The Curtis Institute of Music
As of 2019, the Curtis Institute of Music was the hardest music school to get into. Curtis has a tiny 4.5% acceptance rate.

Should I go to college for music?

Yes, a music degree is worth it for most aspiring musicians. Music degrees are essential for employment in the music industry as well as for building well-rounded musicians.

How many music schools should I apply to?

The standard advice that you will hear from many sources (such as here) is that seniors should be applying to between 6 and 8 schools.

What rank is Illinois in education?

Illinois also ranked 23rd in health care, 11th in education, 39th for the economy, 26th for infrastructure, 12th for an opportunity, 50th for fiscal stability, 16th for crime and corrections, and 43rd for the natural environment. In 2019 and 2018, Illinois ranked No. 35.

What is the biggest music school in the world?

The University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna is the largest institution of music, theatre, and film in Austria and one of the largest in the world.

Is music a hard major?

Between classes, rehearsals, and performances, music majors are often quite busy and rarely have downtime for themselves. Therefore, it is not the easiest major for any student.


Therefore, pick one of the aforementioned institutions, learn more about it, and then submit an application. 

You must approach cautiously because college applications for various institutions vary. The correct degree will help your musical career take off.

Good luck!!


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