Master's degree programs in recording arts teach students about audio production and prepare them for high-level positions in the industry. Possible degree options include a Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Recording Arts. Over the course of these programs, students gain experience using advanced software and hardware for audio production. Students also learn how the field of recording arts is related to computer science, digital animation, and video production. Full-time students can earn their degrees in 2-3 years, but many schools offer a part-time option to accommodate working students. Prior to graduation, submission of a final project may be required.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related subject, and submit a portfolio demonstrating their recording skills and their knowledge of audio engineering, audio production, acoustics, and music theory.
Master's Program in Recording Arts
In these programs, coursework focuses entirely on audio recording and production. Most courses give students the chance to gain hands-on experience in real studios. Common course titles include:
- Musical instrument digital interface
- Digital and audio recording
- Recording acoustics
- Legal issues in recording arts
- Music theory
- Science of audio
A master's degree is the terminal degree in recording arts, so graduates are immediately prepared for high-level positions in the field. Possible job titles include:
- Music producer
- Audio engineer
- Television audio producer
- Radio producer
- College professor in recording arts
Job Outlook and Salary Info
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians are expected to see a 2% increase in employment between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS predicts that producers and directors, including those who work in radio, will see 5% job growth during that time frame. In 2018, producers and directors earned a median salary of $71,680, and sound engineering technicians were paid a median salary of $52,390, as reported by the BLS.
A master's program in recording arts can boost students' understanding of music technology and prepare them for high-level careers in the audio production industry. Most programs include hands-on work in a recording studio and culminate in a final recording project. While the job outlook for sound engineers is about average, those who hold an advanced degree may enjoy the best career prospects.