Students can find a few schools that offer online associate's and bachelor's degree programs in music production and music technology. These programs teach students how to use relevant computer software and may incorporate music education.
Music Production Programs and Majors
Online undergraduate degree programs in music production are available and they can be completed completely online. Students can view lessons and access course materials at any time that suits their schedules, although they must adhere to established due dates. Students need a computer with an up-to-date operating system and a fast Internet connection. They probably will be required to purchase special software for their music production courses as well.
Online School Options
There are several colleges and universities in the United States that offer online training in music production, enabling students to complete coursework through web-based platforms. Some of these colleges include:
- Berklee College of Music
- Academy of Art University
- Los Angeles Film School
- Full Sail University
An associate's degree program in music technology gives students foundational knowledge in music recording. Students are trained in digital recording techniques and learn about studio equipment and production software. These programs generally call for two years of study and require general education courses, such as English composition and mathematics, in addition to music production studies.
In a bachelor's degree program, students learn advanced recording techniques and get to make their own recordings. They may also take courses in music history and music theory. Marketing courses help students master the business side of the industry. A bachelor's degree program generally takes four years to complete, but some schools offer accelerated online programs that can be finished in less than three years.
Associate's Degree in Music Technology
An associate's degree in music technology program provides instruction in the basic principles of audio production and recording, including training in industry software like Ableton Live and Pro Tools. These programs typically do not require applicants to have traditional music skills, such as the ability to read music notation or perform on an instrument. Courses cover recording and production techniques, such as digital, multi-track and live performance recording. Graduates gain knowledge and skills needed to pursue multimedia job opportunities within the entertainment and media industry, including:
- Concert promotion
- Music production
- Sound for video
- Music marketing
This type of music production degree can be completed 100% online or through a combination of online and on-campus coursework. The curriculum typically incorporates general education coursework and other support courses in music and related fields, such as graphic design, radio broadcasting and video arts. In addition to the technical aspects of the recording and production industry, courses encompass different types of music styles, including classical, jazz, swing, techno and music from other cultures. The music technology associate's degree usually requires two years to complete. Online courses for this field of study often cover topics such as songwriting, performance, digital audio production and those detailed below.
Audio Recording and Production Course
This course provides students with instruction in multi-track recording and contemporary production techniques. Topics include:
- Beat loop construction
Recording Studio Basics Course
Students are introduced to the concepts and techniques of common equipment found in a recording studio, including signal processors, mixing boards, microphones and amplifiers. Topics covered include:
- Computer-based recording
- Microphone placement
- Physics of sound
Music Business Course
Emphasis is placed on the business and legal aspects of the music industry. Students study the basics of:
- Promotional law
Bachelor's Degree in Music Production and Technology
Online music production bachelor's degree programs provide students with the technical knowledge needed to work in the music production and recording arts industry. Students typically develop critical listening skills and learn how to record, edit, synthesize, and test multimedia audio recordings. Courses familiarize students with contemporary music hardware and software technology by creating their own soundtracks, songs and scores. Upon graduation, students are often equipped with a professional portfolio of music projects that demonstrate skills and ability in professional music production. Online music production courses focus on providing a well rounding education in:
- Music theory
Music Theory Course
This online course focuses on the construction of music and introduces students to song form and notation. Students learn to communicate effectively with composers, musicians, directors and producers through the study of the workings of music and sound.
Digital Recording Course
Students are trained in how to create professional quality sound results from a laptop-based studio environment. Lessons include an overview of:
- Recording software
- Input devices
- Standard music production practices
- Common challenges presented in a studio environment
Music Business Marketing Course
Students study the basic concepts of marketing as they pertain to the music business. How consumer behavior affects the entertainment industry is also examined. Projects include strategic plans that incorporate entertainment licensing and promotional avenues, such as:
- The Internet
- Trade publications
- Trade shows
Continuing Education Information
Recording industry professionals can stay up-to-date with emerging technologies and music production techniques by participating in continuing education opportunities. Continuing education courses are available through major universities, colleges and conservatories as well as professional organizations, such as the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The Audio Engineering Society (AES) also provides a variety of learning opportunities through regional conferences and an annual national convention.
Online associate's and bachelor's degree programs in music technology combine general studies with instruction in music technology. The goal of these programs is to prepare students for a technical career in the field; graduates can pursue continuing education courses at schools and notable organizations.