How to Choose an Online Music Engineering School

This field requires a great deal of hands-on studio time, so few online programs have been developed. A few online programs related to music engineering, music technology and music production are offered by for-profit schools and non-profit music schools, as well as several community colleges scattered throughout the country.

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Selecting an online school for music engineering will be easier if you know how far you wish to take your education. You will also want to be sure that you take your home equipment setup into consideration, as it will be important to utilize during your studies.

How to Select an Online Music Engineering School

Interested students will find a few schools that offer online undergraduate programs in music engineering. Students should strongly consider what level of degree will be most helpful to them in their chosen field, and the format the online program takes.

Award Level

Though jobs in this field often don't require a specific degree, online programs are available at the certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree levels. Students will want to examine their career goals and research job titles and employers to see which education level best suits their needs.

Program Delivery

Programs in music engineering can be taken fully online since requirements for studio time can be fulfilled on a home computer equipped with music engineering hardware and software. Some programs do offer local students the opportunity to combine online classes with time in campus recording studios.

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List of Programs Related to Music Engineering

Certificate in Music Technology

Online certificate programs immerse students in the production of music using professional software and hardware technologies. Students take a core of foundation classes, after which they use their home computer as a virtual recording studio to practice mixing, editing and mastering; develop critical listening skills; and create a portfolio of music engineering projects. Technologies used include Pro Tools, SONAR, Logic and Ableton. Foundation studies cover:

  • Principles of recording
  • Advanced song structure
  • Physics of sound
  • Basics of music publishing

Associate of Arts in Music Technology

An associate's degree program prepares participants for jobs in music recording and production. Students can also choose a specialty focus, such as video, radio or a particular genre of music. Pro Tools, Sibelius, Reason and Avid Audio software are used to develop skills in the preproduction, production and postproduction phases of musical engineering. Musical skills, such as playing an instrument or reading music, are usually not required for enrollment. Core classes provide training in:

  • Mastering and marketing your music
  • Music production
  • Digital audio design
  • Sound reinforcement and live recording

Bachelor of Science in Music Engineering

A bachelor's level education provides comprehensive training in music production, with the goal of developing both creative and technological abilities. Students gain a strong foundation in music theory, music history and today's rapidly evolving music industry. They are encouraged to explore composition of music and songs. Graduates leave the program with a portfolio of professional level music projects. Schools usually provide a technology package of professional software and hardware so students can use their computers as music engineering studios. Courses include:

  • Musical instrument digital interface
  • Mixing and mastering
  • Survey of music business
  • Audio engineering practices
  • Music fundamentals

Schools with Online Music Engineering Programs

The Academy of Art University, based in San Francisco, is home to an extensive array of online degrees in music production and sound design. You can choose from an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Arts, and a Master of Fine Arts. Courses include scoring, music editing, and orchestration.

Full Sail University offers a Bachelor of Science in Music Production, which can be taken on campus or online. It should be noted that the online program takes longer to complete, with 32 months needed, compared to the campus version's 20-month duration. Courses you might take are chosen from digital audio principles, advanced audio production, and engineering techniques.

The Berklee College of Music also has an online Bachelor of Professional Studies in Music Production. Online classes take 12 weeks to complete, and contain no more than 20 students in each section. Advanced-level courses are based on placement, and general education courses are tailored toward the artistic and creative end.

When choosing an online music engineering school, students should be aware of the type of technology they have access to, as well as the number of years they plan to spend on earning their degree.

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