Selecting the best music production school for your education can be tough because there are many to choose from. Aside from factors such as program length, class schedules and full-time or part-time study options, you want to consider the experience level of the instructors, how much practical experience you will receive during your studies and the depth of your educational experience. This article discusses several well-regarded music production schools and the factors that place them among the best in the field.
Best programs based on instructor experience
Learning from someone who has actually worked in the industry will provide better insight into the music production business. The Institute of Production and Recording ranks among the best for this category because of their experienced staff and special guest lecturers. The school brings in industry veterans to lead seminars, lectures and workshops with the students. The staff boasts over 200 gold and platinum records and multiple Grammy Awards among them. Full Sail University's Recording Arts program brings in an eclectic mix of musicians, business leaders and music production professionals, such as Steve Albini, a Recording Engineer who has worked with Nirvana, ranking them as one of the best for instructor experience. These guest lecturers work with the student and share knowledge of their industry experience. Full Sail also provides an alumni network that allows recent graduates to contact alumni working in the music production business.
Best programs for practical experience
Some may argue that the best way to learn a trade is to jump in and start doing it. In the music production business, there is some truth to that. Music producers need to know how to operate the equipment and use it to produce maximum quality. The Los Angeles Recording School ranks among the best because of its hands-on approach to teaching music production. Class sizes are kept small, and students are taught in lab environments using industry-standard equipment such as Solid State Logic and Neve large format mixing consoles. Students learn the entire production process from equipment set-up and pre-production through multi-track recording and mixing. Internships are an ideal way to gain actual hands-on industry experience. The Recording Connection Audio Institute ranks among the best music production schools because of its efforts to place students in real working conditions. Each student is assigned a student services representative to help locate paid positions and internships.
Best well-rounded music production education
There is more to music production that just operating the technical equipment. While most programs include some insight into the business side of music production, the Master Recording program at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences is at the top of this category because of its efforts to offer career management and music business courses in addition to technical studies. Students study copyright law, studio ownership, contract and negotiations, trademarks and record labels. The Department Of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music also gets top ranking because of its emphasis on the principles of engineering methodology, critical thinking and analysis. Students in the degree program are required to complete traditional music studies as well as liberal arts courses, providing a well-rounded education.
Lee Haas has been freelance writing for eight years and has been published on eHow.com, educhoices.com, education-portal.com and in "Parent to Parent" magazine. Lee specializes in writing about education programs and careers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Iowa.