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A Rundown of Several North American Conservatories

Aug 17, 2007
A conservatory is an educational institution with special facilities for the fine arts. Nowadays, a conservatory can be found in most continents. In the United States alone, there are several fine options that a prospective student can choose from, several of which shall be discussed briefly below.

The Oberlin College Conservatory of Music

Is one of North America's oldest conservatories, having been founded in 1865.

This institution also holds a few firsts: it established America's first four-year college degree music program in 1921; it pioneered a program in electronic music in 1969; and it incorporated a vocal arts laboratory into a vocal instruction program in 1989.

It currently offers majors in composition, music education, jazz studies and music history, among others.

The Boston Conservatory

Has been training exceptional performing artists since 1867 when it was founded by Julius Eichberg, a gifted violinist and composer.

As with the previous school of learning, the conservatory is also credited for several firsts, among them being among the first to open its doors to women and African Americans at a time when it was unheard of to do so. It began to offer training in dance and theater after it merged with the National Associated Studios of Music at the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, it prides itself on remaining small and choosy so as to nurture opportunities afforded by such a cozy environment.

The UMKC Conservatory of Music

Prides itself for being the most inclusive music and dance educational center in the Midwest since 1906. Currently, there are around 80 faculty widely renowned in their musical fields mentoring more than 600 student musicians and dancers.

Their students have been recognized for their talents in prominent competitions like the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs.

The six divisions of this institution are the Academic Studies and Composition, Dance, Instrumental Studies, Keyboard Studies, Music Education/ Music Therapy and Vocal Studies.

The Friends of the Conservatory contributes over $ 250,000 in scholarship money every year. It is a testament to how the Conservatory has become a leader of cultural growth in Kansas City and how it has encouraged Midwesterners to support cultural efforts over the years.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Has recently been relocated to the city's cultural heart, making it just a few beats away from the Ballet, the Opera and the Libraries. This move has been seen as a reflection of the passion that has guided the institution since it was founded almost ninety years ago.

This institution is accredited by both the National Association of Schools of Music and the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.

Lawrence University

Is an undergraduate college with a conservatory of music. It has been ranked one of the finest among North America's small and private colleges.

Its conservatory was initially founded in 1874 and came to its own as a separate part of the university during the administration of Dr. Samuel Platz in 1894. It was also during his watch that the college added six faculty members and acquired a building devoted exclusively to music instruction.

Today, it now blends professional music training with a liberal education which results in the creation of top rate composers and performers in the music world.
About the Author
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
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