There are many important reasons for making sure the music school you choose to attend has the proper accreditation.
- Financial aid: You will not be able to receive federal student loans or grants to attend a school that is not accredited. You also will not be able to use any military education benefits for this purpose.
- Transferring credits: Accreditation helps ensure that your credits will transfer if you need to switch programs before graduation because you’ve moved out of the area or changed your future career plans.
- Program quality: To receive accreditation, a music school must have its curriculum, faculty, and facilities reviewed by the accrediting organization. This helps ensure that the program meets minimum standards for a quality education in music theory and music performance.
If you are attending a music school that is a department within a four-year college or university, you will need to investigate the accreditation of the college or university itself. For a specialized music school that is part of a performing arts academy or conservatory, you will want to see if it is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. This organization was founded in 1924 and has over 600 members.
Although the United States Department of Education does not directly accredit postsecondary education programs, this office has the authority to oversee accrediting organizations to make sure they are maintaining acceptable standards for quality. If you have questions about whether a music school’s accreditation is legitimate, you can find more information on the Department of Education website.