6 of the Best Schools for Music in the Philippines

by Maxine Nava Valdez   |  Feb 10, 2023
Image: Facebook/UP Diliman, Facebook/PWU
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It’s an undeniable fact that music is a big part of our world. Every day we hear melodies and hymns, even in nature. We see from the continuous rise of new local and international artists that music enthusiasts are all around. We even anticipate prestigious award shows for music every year!

So if you also have the desire to be involved in the music industry and pursue music for your college education, consider these institutions to help you maximize your talents and musical skills: 

  • Philippine Women’s University Manila

PWU is the first private university to grant the Doctor of Philosophy degree in music at the highest academic level, with two majors available: ethnomusicology (introduced in 2011) and music performance (introduced in 2013). The PWU School of Music mainly centers on utilizing local music resources. It is also an authorized higher education institution for the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) in three undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Music major in Music Performance, the Bachelor of Music major in Music Education, and Bachelor of Music major in Popular Music. The university is named a Center of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education for its music programs too. Singer Jason Dy took up a Bachelor’s degree in Popular Music here.

UP offers two kinds of undergraduate music programs. First is the Associate in Arts, a two-year course of study. Second is the Bachelor of Music (BM), a four-year course of study that makes the scope of the field wider for a well-rounded education as it includes general music courses.


UP offers the College of Music Extension Program (Music X) as well. It is a non-degree study of music courses that intends to deliver extensive musicianship for those not officially enrolled in a degree in their College of Music. There’s also a Ph.D. program designed for students to do intensive research to create new pioneering knowledge concerning music in the Asia Pacific region. Two National Artists in the Philippines, Antonio Buenaventura, and Ryan Cayabyab studied music at UP. 

St. Scholastica’s College is the first university in the country to establish a School of Music, making it the pioneer of formal music education. It is one of the Centers of Excellence for music recognized by CHED. They even have a concert hall where students present their performances and hold events. Ben&Ben’s Pat Lasaten and Agnes Reoma both studied music here.

  • St. Paul University

The College of Music and the Performing Arts of St. Paul University is a CHED Center of Excellence for music. SPU Manila is the pioneer of Music Therapy programs in the Philippines as it offers a Bachelor's Degree of Music in Music Therapy and a Master of Arts Degree in Music majoring in Music Therapy. Its Music Therapy Center is also the very first provider of music therapy services for children and youth with disabilities in the country. It seeks to promote awareness of music therapy’s benefits and strengthen its accessibility through the program’s degree holders.

Aside from Music Therapy, other programs available are degrees in Bachelor of Music in Composition, and different areas of concentration for Bachelor of Music in Performance and Bachelor of Music Major in Music Education, as well as Bachelor of Arts in Music Production and Technology.

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UST’s Conservatory of Music is the biggest in the country and is regarded as a Center of Excellence by the Commission on Higher education. Students under the conservatory win multiple awards annually at the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA).

Bachelor of Music in Composition, Jazz, Musicology, Music Education, Music Literature, Music Theatre, and Music Technology are offered under UST’s Conservatory of Music. Bachelor of Music Performance degrees majoring in Bassoon, Choral Conducting, Clarinet, Double Bass, Flute, French Horn, Guitar, Oboe, Orchestral Conducting, Percussion, Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola, Violin, Violoncello, and in Voice are also offered. UST has produced Ernani Cuenco, one of the National Artists in the Philippines who accomplished a music degree in the university.

The Conservatory of Music at Centro Escolar is one of the oldest conservatories in the Philippines. Its longest-running dean is Antonio J. Molina, a National Artist for Music. Other National Artists, Felipe De Leon, and Lucio San Pedro were also faculty members at the conservatory. In addition, former vocalist and songwriter of 6cyclemind, Rhoneil "Ney" M. Dimaculangan pursued a degree in music at CEU.

CEU offers a Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Music Education, majoring in Brasswind (French Horn, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba), Choral Conducting, Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass), Voice, and Woodwind (Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Saxophone). Students can also take a Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Music Performance, majoring in Brasswind (French Horn, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba), Choral Conducting, Guitar, Musical Theater, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass), Voice, and Woodwind (Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Saxophone). A Bachelor of Music in Music Composition (Specialization in Music Production and Engineering) is a degree also available at the university. 



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