Due to the technical requirements of the field, online programs in music production aren't common at the bachelor's level. Fully online bachelor's programs in media production are available, and may even have specializations like audio production and sound design. However, students can find some hybrid programs in music production available where some on-campus courses may be required. Students will need access to specific audio equipment and music editing software programs, like audio synthesizers and Pro Tools software, which can typically be found on campus. In addition to courses in music production, recording and music mixing, students may need to take part in a capstone or directed study course.
Bachelor's Degree in Music Production
Students aspiring to a career in music production may get their foot in the door by earning a Bachelor of Science in Music or Audio Production. Music producers oversee the studio recording sessions of musicians and bands. They have a wide, comprehensive knowledge of music, music theory, music composition, recording equipment and sound mixing. Students gain invaluable experience with contemporary music hardware and software systems currently being used by working professionals in the industry. Music producers may also be involved in the marketing and management of an artist or band.
Information and Requirements
Students devote around four years to a bachelor's degree program. Online programs in music production are rare, but there are a few options for students interested in distance learning. Students need a computer and Internet access. Certain computer programs may be required for some classes. Students work with instructors in a collaborative fashion towards the creation, development and refinement of various projects.
List of Common Courses
Along with some core general education requirements, students take introductory and advanced courses in music production and related subjects, such as music composition, music theory and basic marketing. The courses are topic specific and designed to prepare students to work as professional music producers.
Introduction to Music Theory
This course gives students an in-depth overview of song form and notation, along with learning useful auditory skills. Some topics of special interest include reading music and constructive collaboration with musicians, directors, programmers and producers on a professional level.
Marketing in the Music Business
Students are introduced to basic marketing principles and concepts, along with analyzing how they are applicable in the music industry. Trade publications, trade shows, licensing concepts, consumer behavior and promotional campaigns are some of the essential topics covered. Students obtain practice in developing marketing campaigns.
Copyright and Publishing
The reasons for and process of copyrighting music is the focus of this course. Students also get a brief overview of the history of the music publishing business. Other topics of discussion include songwriters' contracts, royalties, publishing options and contemporary publishing companies.
Most individuals working in the music industry are located in select major cities, such as Los Angles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Music producers are typically self-employed, often working on many projects at the same time.
A degree is not an absolute necessity, but may be helpful. A company may offer extensive on-the-job training. PayScale.com reported that the middle half of producers working in the music industry earned $50,919 in November 2019. A large portion of a producer's salary is tied to the success of an artist or band.
Bachelor's degree programs in music production are typically found in a hybrid format for students to study the music business online and on-campus. Graduates may find employment as music producers, who are usually self-employed.