View Full Version : Education in music technology??

02-20-2003, 02:32 PM

As young as I am, only 19, I haven\'t really started my education yet. I am just wondering if it would be a good idea to get a bachelor degree in music technology (studio, recording etc..) I am very interrested in the whole thing, but very unsure if it is easy to get a decent job with decent payment.. Anyone have an education like this would like to shed some light??

Any thoughts appreciated! images/icons/smile.gif

02-20-2003, 03:28 PM
Dude I was just logging on to make a similar post when I read this. I am in a similar situation but wondered if having a music degree is essential these days, or like Hans Zimmer- who only had 2 weeks of piano lessons and is now making tons of cash and loads of jobs thrown at him...? for my self I play by ear and I think I\'m pretty good, but I have not had any official training but I was wanting to take a math class to help me in composing and wanted to know what math should I take to really help me in my composistions. I also wanted to know what type of music degrees are there for the use of midi and or audio/sound engineering degrees? Thanks for your input!

02-20-2003, 03:42 PM
Hi Plundrik,

Well I am 29 now and a first grade teacher but it was not always this way.

At the age of 20 I decided to leave a well regarded business school, that I had grown to hate, so I might attend a music college and focus on audio recording.

Many of these \"schools\" are really just large studios (ie Full Sail) that take on students and run you through a quick program. Other schools like NYU have audio recording programs, but I found that their equipment was a bit dated.

Well, I attended this small music college (which had a wonderful state of the art recording facility) for 2 semesters, I wrote and recorded quite a good bit of music and had a great time. But, it was really nothing like a true Universtity, the student body all had the same aspirations and there was not as much diversity as one would hope for in a college experience. I decided to go to another University and get a degree in something that I knew would guarantee me a job doing something I liked that also gave me summers off to persue music. This is what has worked best for me.

Also you might want to consider that what these schools sould really be teaching is the latest software, because although I learned how to edit on a 2\" 24 track machine, there is seldom a situation that calls for such a thing these days. And the fact of the matter is most of the software being used in the big studios these days can be bought for a relatively small amount of money by the average consumer. Which brings me to another point. When so many musicians have very respectable home studios, there is less and less need for large facilities that charge an arm and a leg for their services.

Having recorded in large studios, I vowed that I would make the investment so that I might record at home, on my schedule, and have gotten very good results.

So you could go to college and get a degree in audio engineering and that might land you a job, but it is very competative, you will most likely have to live in a big city, the hours suck and at first the pay is even worse. ( I should know, I took and internship at a large studio while attending music school and spent more time scrubbing toilets then operating the board.)

Now having said all this. Nothing is better than music. Writing and recording your own stuff is truely the most satifying thing that I can think of and if you like it make sure to make room for it in you life. If that means going to school for it than work hard and expect a few dissapointments. If that means making some investments and teaching yourself miking techniques, DAW management, mastering, etc., then by all means do that. You may want to consider taking a short course on recording, depending on where you live many places, or studios offer this. But if I had it to do again this is what I would do.

Go to a large University or College (not enormous, but big enough to have some diversity) and make sure it offers many well regarded degrees of which audio recording may be one. Enjoy yourself there, make friends, occasionally drink too much, but make sure you get something out of and pass all your classes. Try taking recording classes at this school and if you do not like it have a backup plan. You might find it more useful to get a minor in audio recording and major in something that would get you a stable job if you needed it. Also, do not worry about whether the school has the best equipment, be more concerned if you will be able to get in the studio yourself and experiment. Great equipment does not make for a great recording, great talent does. And with all the fancy plugins and samplers these days do not forget to let your ears be the judge as to what is or is not good music.

Hope this helps, but hey what do I know.

Best of luck,


02-20-2003, 03:58 PM
The cliche states that if you have to ask you can\'t afford it. My experience is that folks who are succesful musicians just wouldn\'t survive doing something else. You either have to do it or you don\'t do it.

Music is a lot like professional sports. A very small minority makes big money. The rest are minor leaguers at best. But they get to do something they love. I have a freind who\'s an engineer for Blue\'s Clues, he\'s comfortable, but lives very simply.

So figure the pluses and minuses. On the plus side music is a popular field, presumably you love making music, you might even be pretty good at it. Doing it as a job may prove less appealing over time.

So to be honest, I\'m not involved in the music industry anymore. I\'ve been in many bands, sold at retail, sold for a proaudio dealer and worked for a manufacturer. At every stage I made considerably less than I could have outside the music industry. I now sell technology and I like what I do and I make music as a hobby. That means no deadlines and nobody telling me who to imitate.

Believe me I\'m not trying to discourage you. But go into it with eyes open. I got an email from someone recently asking how to get involved with A&R. I looked into that at one time. A guy at RCA told me a long time ago to intern for a record distributor and get to know everyone you can. I passed that suggestion along and never got a response. The fact is it will take very hard work and effort. You will toil in obscurity and either give up or outlast the competition. It can\'t hurt to get education, but be sure to learn all aspects of the business including business. Good luck.

Steve Chandler