Recording Arts Career Training in Virginia with Course Summaries

Jul 31, 2019

Essential Information

While music programs are available at colleges and universities throughout Virginia, only a few offer degrees specifically designed for those with an interest in the recording arts. These programs are generally offered at the bachelor's degree level. One community college also has a recording arts undergraduate certificate program.

These programs can prepare students for careers in the music production industry by familiarizing them with recording software and techniques, as well as industry business practices. Read on to get a brief overview of the five Virginia schools that offer recording arts training, and study the comparison table that shows individual program options and tuition info at a glance.

George Mason University

Fairfax-based George Mason University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music program with a concentration in music technology. The curriculum touches on various aspects of the recording arts industry, with courses ranging from recording techniques and arranging popular music to music history and musical communication. Course credits are also earned through participation in ensembles and applied music experiences.

Hampton University

Hampton University is located in Hampton and has a Bachelor of Science program in music with an emphasis in music recording technology. This 4-year program is designed to train students for careers ranging from music recording and audio engineering to broadcasting and studio maintenance. In addition to several music recording technology classes, required coursework includes piano, engineering and physics. As part of the curriculum, students also complete courses in applied performance and participate in ensembles.

Northern Virginia Community College

Located in Annandale, Northern Virginia Community College offers a certificate program in music recording technology. Utilizing industry software, this program can prepare students for careers as studio music recording technicians and assistants. Along with an internship experience, students take courses in mix-down techniques and editing, sound studio design and copyright law in music. The program also features a recording problems seminar, in which students have the opportunity to discuss recording issues with industry professionals.

Shenandoah University

Winchester-based Shenandoah University offers a Bachelor of Music in Music Production and Recording Technology program, and students can choose an emphasis in classical or jazz. Along with courses in aural skills, synthesizing electronic music and music production, students can earn credit through recording studio courses and an internship. In addition to a hands-on curriculum, this program provides students with access to various recording facilities, including a production room, two computer labs, a synthesizer and signal processing technologies.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is located in Blacksburg and has a Bachelor of Arts in Music program with two degree options in music technology. Students can choose between programs requiring 52 and 78 hours of major coursework. Those who select the 52-hour program graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in technology liberal arts, while students who opt for the 78-hour program earn a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in technology professional.

Required coursework for both programs includes music production and audio technology, as well as individual applied and ensemble music classes. In addition to personalized interaction between students and faculty, this program offers access to various recording facilities and equipment, including a 3,500 square-foot facility with nine isolation rooms and multi-track recording systems.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Recording Arts Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
George Mason University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in music technology $12,462 in-state; $35,922 out-of-state*
Hampton University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsized city Bachelor of Science in Music with a music recording technology emphasis $26,702*
Northern Virginia Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Music Recording Technology Certificate $5,610 in-state; $11,618 out-of-state*
Shenandoah University 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Music in Music Production and Recording Technology $32,530*
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Music $13,620 in-state; $31,908 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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