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How Much Does Music Production School Cost?

Music Production School Prices

Do you have a love of music, good people skills, and a solid business mind? If so, a career in music production might be perfect for you. Music producers must wear many hats. One minute he or she might be inspiring an artist to give their best performance while the next minute might demand that the producer apply their knowledge of recording equipment or attend a record label meeting. It's a fast-paced career that often requires long, unorthodox hours, but for music lovers, it feels more like play than work.

Becoming a Music Producer

It's common for music producers (also known as record producers) to have musical ability and experience, but there are cases of successful producers without a music background. One such example is Bill Porter, whose golden ear propelled him to the top of the U.S. music world in the 1960s.

While such exceptions do exist, a more typical path to becoming a music producer involves a mix of hands-on experience (whether this means playing in a band, recording or mixing a band, or landing an initial gig as a recording studio engineer), making industry connections, and formal training.

Formal Training

Schools such as Berklee College of Music, Fail Sail University, the Steinhardt School of Music (NYU), The Peabody Institute (John Hopkins University), and Webster University not only have top-notch music production programs, but they give students the opportunity to network with music-minded students and professionals. At the undergraduate level, courses in recording arts technology, sound editing, digital audio software, and recording industry law might be taken, culminating in a bachelor degree in music production, music production and engineering, or a similar distinction.

Master level coursework is additionally available to students interested in music production. Webster University, for example, offers a Masters of Media Communication, while NYU awards a Masters in Music Technology. Such programs give students the chance to expand their technical as well as musical expertise. Producing a full-length recording or completing an internship may be a requirement for graduation.

Rather than enrolling in a degree program, you may choose instead to take individual courses or training programs to fill in knowledge gaps. There are also institutions such as the Recording Connection Audio Institute that focus on hands-on training in a recording environment. Completing this type of training takes as little as six months and results in the awarding of a certificate.

Salary

According to the Berklee College of Music, record producers earn anywhere from $25,000 to $1,000,000+. This echoes the sentiment of producer Meghan Gohil (owner of Hollywood Recording Studio), who describes the range of salaries in the music production field as peanuts to caviar. For a good perspective on the industry, read his career story.

Music Production School Costs

The actual cost of bachelor's and master's degree programs vary significantly from school to school. For the most accurate tuition information, contact individual institutions.

  • According to the non-profit education organization The College Board, average tuition costs nationwide for four year programs range from $8,655 per year (tuition and fees at a public, four-year institution for in-state students) to more than $29,000 per year (tuition and fees at a four-year, private institution).
  • The College Boards estimates that tuition and fees for a master's degree program is $7,600 - $26,000 per year.
  • Note that the above figures do not reflect room and board, books and supplies, and other education-related expenses.
  • Non-degree music production programs (i.e. certificate programs) typically cost $8,000 - $12,000.
  • Need help paying for school? Learn about your financial aid options at studentaid.ed.gov.

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