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Q&A - Music Production Schools

What are the most affordable brick-and-mortar and online music production schools?

One of the most affordable ways to start a degree at a music production school is to study at a community college, which is a public institution that provides affordable basic courses for students who lack strong academic credentials. Community colleges can be very affordable music production schools, but they usually only offer some courses in the field. To get a music production degree, you will often have to transfer to a 4-year institution such as a university.

Community colleges cost about $2,000 per year of study, and many can help you find schools for music production to transfer credits to once you are ready to move on to a bachelors in music production. Community colleges tend to have good distance learning infrastructure as well as accreditation, meaning that they can be some of the best online music production schools.

Although more expensive than community colleges, some proprietary music production schools offer both online and on-campus classes and degrees. Full Sail University> offers both an on-campus recording arts degree program and an online music production degree program. SAE Institute offers several online classes in music production and sound engineering.

You should make sure that the school you choose is accredited, even if it is affordable, especially if you wish to move on to a bachelors degree program. A school without accreditation may be unable to transfer coursework to a traditional university, making the money spent ultimately useless toward receiving your bachelors in music production.

How can I connect with other on-campus or online students who are also studying at my school for music production?

Some schools for music production, such as Drexel University, have college record labels where students in music fields can gain experience. These are an excellent resource for students in music production or other music industry programs who wish to connect with others in the field. Fellow students at the label will usually be pursuing similar degree and career paths. Some of these may also offer music production training beyond that which is offered in music production courses.

Other schools may lack these resources but have other programs such as campus radio stations to help you meet your colleagues in music production, broadcasting and related fields. Though you may encounter students from other departments in these programs with greater frequency, you will meet music production students as well.

Students in top music production online schools may have difficulty connecting with other music production students, but there are still available avenues for networking and cooperation. Many online courses are coordinated through programs like Blackboard and Desire2Learn, which provide ways for students to chat with one another. You can use these resources to set up study groups, discuss lectures and talk about your field.

What resources should my brick-and-mortar or online school offer me when I am studying music production?

One important resource that a school can offer is a lab, studio or other practical music production facility. These facilities familiarize you with the tools of the music production trade. Though you may not work with the specific devices provided in the music production facilities at your school during your career, they should help you become more comfortable with music production hardware and software in general. These resources are usually not available at online schools for music production, though some blended programs may offer similar resources.

College record labels and radio stations can also help you become familiar with both the business aspect of music production and the necessary tools of the field. They provide valuable experience that can assist you in getting a job once you receive your degree in music production.

In a music production school online, 1 valuable resource is faculty advising. Your advisors may be able to help you find music production resources in your area that can make up for the lack of studios, radio stations and other facilities only offered by brick-and-mortar schools. They can also help you find the best equipment for your budget if you are interested in doing home production.

Are there any nonprofit online music production schools or programs that I could look into?

Most nonprofit accredited online music production schools are community colleges. Community colleges tend to have strong distance learning programs and are a very good choice for students interested in nonprofit online programs. Many community colleges provide clear advice regarding which credits will transfer to 4-year institutions if you are interested in a bachelors degree. As such, a nonprofit online school is a great way to keep costs down and work at your own pace while pursuing a degree in music production.

Community colleges usually have regional accreditation. This means that credit from community college has been reviewed for its quality and most courses from community colleges will transfer to 4-year institutions. However, community colleges may lack the specialized accreditation needed for a strong program in a field like music production. You should make sure that the schools you are interested in transferring to will accept the credits from your community college.

One example of a school with online courses in music production is Shoreline Community College. Though the school does not offer a bachelors degree in music production, you can still begin a course of study on the music industry through this college. While being a community college somewhat weakens its reputation, you may be able to transfer your credits to a school with a more recognizable name.