While a degree is not strictly required to work in music production, many industry professionals pursue a degree in music production.
Students in music production programs hone their knowledge of recording technology and music production through hands on training – completing professional-level projects and participating in internships at local tv, radio, and recording studios. Students also further their fundamental knowledge of musical theory, composition, history, as well as audio recording technology and engineering principles. Some programs will also provide students with training in music business and marketing.
1. Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA)
Berklee College of Music is not just the best music production school in the world, many would consider it the top school in music, period. While Berklee began as a music school focused on jazz, they’re now renowned for their teaching and training in styles as diverse as hip hop to rock.
Like all of their programs, students majoring in music production and engineering (MP&E) will enjoy a hands-on approach to their studies. Students will study the process of music production from creation to the final product and have the opportunity to complete their own recording projects in Berklee’s state of the art recording and production studios. Students are not permitted to graduate until they have demonstrated that they can complete production and recording projects that can withstand professional scrutiny.
Like all of Berklee’s programs, admission into the MP&E program is extremely competitive. Student’s are evaluated based on their prior academic record, musicianship, and aptitude for the field. Berklee students can apply for the MP&E major after their 1st or 2nd semester.
2. Full Sail University
Located in Winter Park, Florida, Full Sail University is one of the leading audio production schools in the country, as well as one of the pioneering online music production schools.
Full Sail University’s Music Production Bachelor of Science equips aspiring music producers to work in virtually any facet of the entertainment industry, from film, tv, radio, video games, live events, and music recording. The program is designed to train musicians and composers in the technical knowledge needed for a career as a professional music producer.
Students in the program – both at the local campus and online – have the opportunity to further their knowledge of music recording technology through practical application by creating their own songs and recordings. In addition to practical hands-on training, the program also provides students with a strong foundation in music theory, composition, history, and audio engineering.
To ensure that students have a well-rounded set of skills in the job market, Full Sail’s Music Production degree also includes courses in music marketing and business. Because of the hands-on approach of the program, all graduates will have a portfolio of professional grade projects by the end of the program.
3. New York University Steinhardt School of Music
The Steinhardt School of Music at NYU produces some of the top music producers in the industry. The Steinhardt School of Music is one of the few institutions that offers a Masters Degrees in Music Technology, composition, and business.
Admission to the program is extremely competitive, but graduates will have the knowledge, training, and pedigree to pursue a successful career in the music industry with a degree from the Steinhardt School of Music.
4. John Hopkins University – The Peabody Institute
The Peabody institute is most famously known for their long history of excellence in music performance. In fact, the Peabody institute is often referred to as the “first major intellectual and arts center in an American city”, with its over 150 years of musical history.
While the Peabody institute is steeped in historical lore, it is also home one of the top music production schools in the world. The Bachelor of Music in recording Arts and Sciences at Peabody is a double major degree program that puts together the high performing standards of the music program alongside coursework in the Recording Arts and Sciences.
In addition to musical performance studies, classes include math, science, electrical engineering, and computer science, as well as internship placements in local television, radio, and music recording and production companies. The Peabody Institute also boasts a Master of Arts Degree in Audio Sciences that is perhaps the finest such program in the world.
It should be noted that while the music production programs at the Peabody institute are top notch, because it is a traditional performance school, students will have to take many courses not directly related to music production. While this is well-suited for individuals pursuing a more well-rounded musical education, the program might be too academically rigorous and financially impractical for those simply interested in gaining practical skills in audio production.