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Choosing a good academy of music will give you the credentials and training necessary to thrive in the music industry, and finding the best fit for you will start with a bit of research and self-reflection. Deciding on your music goals before beginning your search for an academy of music is essential to find programs that will suit your goals and needs as best as possible. Be sure to consider the cost of different programs, as well as the staff teaching classes at the programs. Find instructors you want to work with, and look for reputable instructors with a wealth of experience and expertise in your specific field.
The best academy of music for you will be an accredited institution. Accreditation ensures the academy of music is offering a high-quality education that is respected and recognized by potential employers as well as other schools. If possible, eliminate non-accredited institutions from consideration, as attending these institutions can limit what types of financial aid you can receive, and it can affect your qualifications for certain jobs. Transferring credits if you choose to change academic institutions throughout the course of your academic career can be difficult or impossible if you attend a non-accredited institution.
Whenever possible, visit the academy of music you are considering to see the campus and meet instructors and staff. Pay close attention to the facilities offered to students, and if you have an opportunity to sit in on a class, take note of the quality of teaching as well as the overall mood of the students attending class. Ask the students questions about their daily lives on campus, and if an instructor has time to speak with you, ask questions about curriculum, grading, performance requirements, and so on.
Sometimes an academy of music is not the best choice for a musician; a student who intends to teach music, for example, may choose a college or university with a strong music program instead. This route may be less expensive overall and may offer more skills geared toward music education rather than performance. Colleges and universities may also offer a performance major, and the student may be eligible for more scholarships, grants, and loans by attending a college or university instead of an academy of music. Acceptance to such programs may also be less difficult, though in general, music programs can be difficult to apply for and be accepted to.