Top School in Nashville for a Career in Audio Production

Students interested in studying audio production in Nashville, TN, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

Nashville has three top colleges that offer audio production and technology programs: Belmont University, Nashville State Community College and Trevecca Nazarene University.

  • Winner: Belmont University is first on the list due to its high U.S. News & World Report regional ranking and renowned recording facilities.
  • Runner Up #1: Nashville State provides students with a cost-effective certification program in music technology.
  • Runner Up #2: Trevecca Nazarene offers a major and a minor in commercial music and music technology.

School Comparison Chart

Category Belmont University Nashville State Community College Trevecca Nazarene University
Rankings (2013) #7 for Regional Schools (South),
#2 for Up-and-Coming Schools (Regional Universities South)*
Location Nashville, TN Nashville, TN Nashville, TN
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $26,130** $3,465 (undergraduate, in-state)**
$13,833 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
Audio Production Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's degree 1-year certificate Bachelor's degree
Audio Production Degrees or Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in (2011-2012) 42** 12** 9**
Most Popular Audio Production Program (2011-2012) Recording Arts Technology (42 degrees awarded)** Music Technology (12 certificates awarded)** Music, Other (5 degrees awarded)**
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2005 Entering Class 68%** 6%** 54%**
Noteworthy School's state-of-the art recording facilities have been used by Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, the Nashville Symphony and Elvis Presley NA Faculty members have performed and/or recorded with well-known musicians

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator.

Winner: Belmont University

  • Audio engineering technology program is accredited by the ABET Technology Accreditation Commission (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)
  • Facilities include Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studio and RCA Studio B ('Home of the 1,000 Hits')
  • Opportunities for music industry internships
  • 82% of first-year students received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES

Belmont University is a nondenominational Christian school that offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in audio recording technology. Available through the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, both programs require 45-47 credits of major coursework in audio engineering physics, circuit theory, critical listening and electronics. Students also attend non-credit seminars and workshops, receive an overview of the music industry and complete 18 credits of audio engineering electives. These may include topics in concert production or sound design, audio restoration and mixing. The program culminates in a 3-credit senior capstone.

Runner-Up #1: Nashville State Community College

  • State-of-the-art recording studio
  • Career Services Office
  • Job placement rate for the program is 78%, according to the Council on Occupational Education and reported on the school website
  • 92% of first-year students received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES

At Nashville State Community College, aspiring professionals can pursue a 30-credit certificate program in music technology that can help to prepare them for careers in mastering or recording engineering, record label operations or production. Under the direction of the 4-member faculty, students take courses in digital audio production, MIDI (musical instrument digital interface), music publishing and studio recording. They also learn about mastering and mixing, have the opportunity to write songs and find out how the Internet can be used to promote independent artists and labels.

Through the Career Employment Center, students can use cooperative work experiences as substitutes for some of the technical course requirements. Credits earned through the certificate program are transferable to the college's Associate of Applied Science in General Technology program.

Runner-Up #2: Trevecca Nazarene University

  • Music technology facilities include two studios equipped with up-to-date consoles, processors and recorders
  • Opportunity for up to four music technology internships
  • College-based career and employment services
  • 98% of first-year students received financial aid in 2011-2012, according to NCES

Trevecca Nazarene is a mainstream Christian university that offers a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music, as well as a 21-22-credit minor in music technology. Regardless of the major, all students must take two courses in spirituality.

Degree-seeking undergraduates can pursue a 6-course, elective-based specialization in music technology, with topics in audio mastering, mixing and recording. Requirements for the minor include courses in aural and general music theory, basic and advanced recording techniques, recording styles and entrepreneurship. Unique to the curriculum is a study of the editing and mixing technologies associated with film and video.

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