Music is one of the main pillars of European culture - which is why students from all over the world choose to specialise their academic studies in Europe, the home of so many higher education institutions offering specialist courses in this subject. In the UK for example the Guildhall School of Music & Drama , ranked 6th in The Guardian’s University Guide 2016, is one of Europe's leading conservatoires, offering musicians, actors, stage managers and theatre technicians an inspiring environment in which to develop as artists and professionals. Similarly, The University of Bristol, which is also well regarded, started out as an Englsih university college in 1876 with just 99 students - but today it has has developed into an internationally respected academic powerhouse. Whilst the Royal Academy of Music that has been training students for over 190 years and produced hundreds and thousands of musicians who have succeeded at the highest levels. Whether one aspires to becoming the next Simon Rattle, Elton John or Milos, this special place is committed to helping students realise their talent and follow in the footsteps of their musical forebears and heroes. Highest ranked in the Guardian's University Guide 2016 is the Royal College of Music, followed closely by Edinburgh University and Manchester University. Continental Europe is also home to many high quality HEIs offering courses in Music, particulalry in Italy, France, Belgium and Germany.