California College of Music

California College of Music (CCM) is a forward-thinking institute for popular music located in sunny Pasadena, California, just minutes from Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. CCM offers 6-month and 12-month Certificate Programs in voice, guitar, bass, drums, and piano, as well as a 12-month Artist Development Program for established performers, recording artists, producers and engineers who wish to develop their unique artistic vision within our state-of-the-art facilities, which are home to a world-class recording studio. Optional practical training (OPT) is available to all eligible students who complete a 12-month program at CCM, enabling international students to gain valuable work experience in the American music industry. 

  • Average Tuition USD 22,800
  • Acceptance Rate 80%
  • Campus Setting City

School Description

The mission of the California College of Music is to empower aspiring musicians with the skills and confidence to thrive in the modern popular music industry. Founded in 1999, CCM is located in the heart of the global music business. This provides a unique advantage for students seeking to create valuable industry connections while simultaneously achieving their academic and musical goals.

California College of Music is home to a vibrant musical community spearheaded by an experienced faculty with extensive scholarly and professional backgrounds. For the benefit of students and the public, CCM hosts frequent artist clinics, workshops, masterclasses, music movie screenings, and the Summer Shock youth music camp. The CCM Contemporary Ensemble performs frequently in public, as does the CCM Community Pop Choir, which has a free and open membership. CCM's Alumni Network is a close-knit group of graduates who help each other build careers in the music business.

California College of Music's excellent facilities include a world-class recording studio with control room mixing console and isolation booths, an impressive music library, a music technology center with digital audio workstations, a live ensemble performance space, a piano lab with grand piano and electronic keyboards, and personal practice rooms equipped with mics, amplifiers, drumsets, and keyboards. 

  • 01Professional Faculty & Rigorous Program: Our faculty members all have extensive professional experience in the modern popular music industry as performers, songwriters, and/or producers, and are also academically pedigreed -- most hold master's or doctorate degrees in music. Our challenging programs are carefully designed to quickly develop musical skills to enable powerful artistic expression and prepare students for work in the music industry.
  • 02Tuition & Talent-Based Scholarships: In order to help alleviate student cost and create a society which includes more musicians who are economically empowered, California College of Music has set tuition costs that are the lowest among comparable schools, by far. We also offer an extensive talent-based scholarship program which more than half of our students benefit from, which can lower tuition costs by 10 to 50%.
  • 03Location: California College of Music is located in beautiful and sunny Pasadena, CA with easy access to downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood (where much of the music industry is based), Disneyland, the Pacific Ocean, museums, shops, and local culture.

Bachelor Programs

  • 42 S Catalina Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA

    Apprentice Program in Popular Music Performance

    USD 11,400 Tuition Fee
    • Scholarships USD 5700
    • Cost of living 6,000

    The Apprentice Program (2 quarters, 30 credits) equips talented, ambitious music students with a basic toolbox full of practical musical skills, establishing an immutable foundation for future musical study. Technical development, ear training, private lessons, and live concert performances give students valuable hands-on experience in the craft of music, under the apprenticeship of highly-skilled instructors who possess both strong academic qualifications as well as impressive professional resumes. The Apprentice Program is the right choice for students who wish to quickly establish strong musicianship and gain performance experience on voice, guitar, piano, bass, or drums. The Apprentice Program curriculum for vocalists and instrumentalists mirrors the first two quarters of the Certificate and Associate Degree programs, so students who complete the Apprentice Program may elect to proceed immediately into further study at CCM.

  • 42 S Catalina Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA

    Artist Development Program

    USD 22,800 Tuition Fee
    • Scholarships USD 11400
    • Cost of living 12,000

    The Artist Development Program (4 quarters, 60 credits) is designed with talented recording artists, singer-songwriters, and engineer-producers in mind. Musicians who already possess a clear artistic vision, and wish to spend time developing their work in our world-class recording studio and taking electives customized to their personal interests will find the Artist Development Program perfectly suited to their needs. CCM faculty members act as mentors to help students develop their own unique style, giving guidance and production tips throughout the writing and recording process. By the end of the Artist Development Program, students will have completed a professionally recorded demo and an effective press kit, enabling them to successfully promote their music in the modern industry.

  • 42 S Catalina Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA

    Certificate Program in Music Performance

    USD 22,800 Tuition Fee
    • Scholarships USD 11400
    • Cost of living 12,000

    The Certificate Program in popular music performance (4 quarters, 60 credits) is a rigorous and challenging one-year curriculum in which talented, driven musicians establish impeccable musicianship and powerful performance technique, making them prime candidates for successful careers in music. Designed to empower musicians with masterful knowledge of their instrument (voice, guitar, bass, drums, or piano) and its role within modern styles of popular music such as rock, pop, jazz, blues, R&B, funk, and fusion, the Certificate Program also establishes the business acumen and technological savvy necessary to navigate the modern music industry successfully. Instrumental technique, music theory, ear training, modern band performance, sight-reading, improvisation, music production, and music business are some areas of study emphasized within the Certificate Program. The 4-quarter Certificate Program for vocalists and instrumentalists mirrors the first four quarters of the Associate Degree Program, so that after completing the Certificate Program, some students may elect to continue working towards their Associate of Science Degree in Music Performance.


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Admission Requirements

  • Minimum GPA 2.00
  • Minimum incoming TOEFL iBT 45
  • Minimum incoming IELTS 6.00


    Financial Aid & Scholarship

    Many students at California College of Music receive large talent-based scholarships which greatly offset the cost of tuition. You can apply for a talent-based scholarship easily within the Online Application by providing a 250-word personal statement about your musical goals, academic awards, and artistic accolades.

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    Other Information

    Established in 1999


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        42 S Catalina Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA

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