Study Music Production: Associate, Bachelor's & Online Degrees

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What kind of jobs can you get with an associate's or bachelor's degree in music production? Find out associate's and bachelor's degree requirements, online options, and info on courses in music production.
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Music Production Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

Music production programs at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels cover all areas of music, including recording, composing, editing, mixing, and performing. Formal training isn't required to work in music production; however, this means students will need to start gaining experience as soon as possible. Whether that is through an internship or developing a demo recording, employers will look much more favorably on applicants who have previous work experience. Career opportunities are available in both the creative and technical side of music production. While some individuals will want to become singers or composers, others may work as technicians or producers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for sound engineering technicians was expected to grow 13% from 2010-2020, while employment for singers and musicians will increase ten percent during the same time period.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want to record music or work behind-the-scenes in music production Those who want additional education and training in the field
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) -Sound engineering technician ($56,000) *
-Audio/Video technicians (46,000) *
-Music director/composer ($54,000) *
-Producer ($92,000) *
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - About 20-24 courses
-About 40-48 courses
Prerequisites High school diploma - High school diploma
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's in Music Production

Students enrolled in a music production associate's degree will explore how music is created. In addition to teaching students about the relationship between writing music and storytelling, opportunities are also available to learn how to record and mix music properly. Graduates who want to work in the technical side of the industry will learn about digital and analog recording, mixing techniques, and editing sounds. Those who prefer to work in a more creative aspect will have an opportunity to compose and arrange music.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Opportunity to create music
  • Gain both technical and artistic skills
  • Learn the business side of the industry

Cons

  • Experience is preferred over education
  • Work nights and weekends
  • Musicians may not have consistent employment

Courses and Requirements

An associate's degree program in music production is likely to include both technical and creative courses. Students who want to perform will take courses related to voice or instrumentation. Opportunities may be available for students to participate in concerts, orchestras, and ensembles to improve their skills and abilities. Students may also take private lessons with an instructor. Courses related to the technical side of music include fundamentals of music production, digital sound, music theory, and sound recording techniques.

Online Course Options

Opportunities are available to complete this degree program online. Taking courses online offers students several advantages, including a flexible schedule and an opportunity to learn at their own pace. However, before enrolling in an online program, students must have certain technical requirements and a computer with high-speed Internet access.

How to Stand Out

If you sing or compose music, your talent has the potential to take you a long way. However, learning an instrument, such as piano or guitar, can expand your skill set and help you write and perform. Those looking to work as technicians will need to have high-powered computer and the technical skills used to record, mix, and edit music. Being proficient in music software programs, such as ProTools, Cubase, and Logic Studio, will also be beneficial.

Bachelor's in Music Production

A bachelor's degree in music production will cover similar topics as an associate's degree program, but will provide students with additional knowledge and training in the field. Students will learn the role music plays in the entertainment industry and how it is created to suit a certain audience. A program will teach students about contemporary musical hardware and software and educate them about creating and arranging songs and melodies. Students may also have a chance to create a portfolio of their work to show potential employers.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More career opportunities
  • Learn about latest technological advancements
  • Opportunity to create a portfolio

Cons

  • Live performances may be stressful
  • May need to travel to jobs
  • Consistent work may only be available in metropolitan areas

Courses and Requirements

Students in the program will take both beginning and advanced courses related to music. The specific courses are going to depend on your area of interest. Initially, students will take courses related to music theory, genres and listening; however, as they get more experienced and knowledgeable in the field, the program will introduce them to areas involving composition, production, and publishing. Students will also learn about the business side of music, which will open up additional career opportunities as music producers, distributors, or marketers.

Online Course Options

Online bachelor's degree programs in music production are available to students who already have jobs and want to continue their education. Online courses are similar to on-campus courses, and graduates will be prepared for entry-level employment after graduation. Communication takes place through e-mail, discussion forums, and chat rooms. While students may not have strict deadlines, they will still need to turn in assignments by a certain time.

How to Stand Out

Musicians and composers need to be disciplined and continue to practice and develop their craft. Whether it's through rehearsing or writing, they need to continue to work on a regular basis. Individuals who want to work behind the scenes need to obtain experience in the field and make connections. The BLS reports that technicians often work their way up and advance from smaller markets into larger ones.

Popular Schools

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  • East Lansing, MI

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • BSBA - Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • BBA: Project Management

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Brenau University

  • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Operations Management
  • Bachelor in Business Adminstration

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Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Business Management
  • BS - Organizational Leadership
  • BS - Project Management

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Regent University

  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Business - General Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business

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Saint Leo University

  • BA: Business Administration - Project Management
  • BA: Business Administration - Management
  • BA: Business Administration - Logistics

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Baker College Online

  • Supply Chain Management - Bachelor
  • Business Administration - Accelerated Program - Bachelor

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City University of Seattle

  • B.A. Management
  • B.S. Project Management
  • Project Management - Undergrad

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Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Sports Marketing and Media

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