Audio and video recording programs are most commonly available as certificate and associate degree programs, but these programs are typically only available on campus. However, if bachelor's degree holders in the field are interested in enrolling in a master's degree program in music technology, online options are available. Master's degree programs in music technology may be completed fully online, or may be offered as more traditional on-campus programs with a few online course options. While online options are available, on-campus master's degree programs are more common in this field. Completing online programs in the field requires access to music sequencing software and other course-specific hardware and hardware. Applying in these fields requires demonstrating musical ability through a taped performance, audition or interview.
Master's Degree in Music Technology
Students in online master's programs in music technology primarily learn the processes involved in computer-based music production. While the degree program heavily focuses on audio recording, those enrolled in the program also gain an understanding of multimedia production, including digital video recording. In some cases, students may select a concentration or emphasis in areas such as business, communications, composition, education or production. Most schools require potential students to hold a bachelor's degree and demonstrate their musical ability prior to admission through a taped performance, an audition or interview in person or by telephone.
Program Information and Requirements
Master's programs in music technology can often be completed in one year if taken full time. The program may be offered either entirely through distance education or as a hybrid, with the majority of courses available online and a select list offered on site. Students typically participate in classes at a scheduled time via video streaming technology. They must own a personal computer with music sequencing software; other software and hardware requirements may be necessary.
Candidates in music technology graduate programs study recording technology, musical notation and editing processes, among other topics.
Introduction to Music Technology
An overview covering the history of this emerging field and its most common tools is provided in this course. Students learn about the changes in recording that led to digital audio and methods for creating and storing sound digitally.
Digital Audio Recording
Students are introduced to methods of digital sound recording, ways to edit and protocols for storage. They become familiar with editing software, as well as learn about single- and multi-track recordings. The class also covers compression methods, including widely used formats for the Internet.
Digital Video Recording
Students learn to record, edit and store digital video by completing their own video projects, as well as become familiar with the basic video and computer equipment needed to produce the projects. They learn to format video for different media, whether it's meant to be viewed from a DVD or requires compression for viewing on the Internet.
Those who hold a master's degree in music technology find work in the music, education and recording industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average hourly wage for a musician was $37.51 in May 2018; information on annual salary for the field is unavailable since work isn't year-round (www.bls.gov). The average annual salary for elementary school teachers was $62,200; middle school teachers averaged $62,030 as calculated by the BLS in May 2018. Per PayScale.com, the salary range for a music recording engineer as of November 2019 was $31,000-$102,000.
Continuing Education Information
Those interested in pursuing further education in audio recording may enroll in doctoral programs in music technology; these are intended for those interested in pursuing university professorships or industry research positions. A master's degree program in film or video production is the terminal degree level for technical training in video recording, although related programs in academic areas such as media or film studies are offered at the doctoral level.
Online-only audio and video recording programs are rarely offered offline outside the master's degree level, due to extensive hands-on training requirements. Courses offered online typically introduce students to practical techniques involved in the recording and editing of audio and video content.