Music soothes the soul, lightens our steps, and brings joy to our lives. Music is an important pleasure for many of us, and forms the soundtrack to our entertainment—be it movies, television, or games—and the background sound for our everyday lives. If you love music, and want to be a music production major, now may be the time to go to music production school and get a degree that will get you a job in this huge industry. In the first half of 2020 alone, the music industry had $5.7 billion dollars in sales. If you want to be a part of that, consider getting an online music production degree to get your career started.
Is an Online Music Production Degree Right for You?
Many people enjoy listening to music, but if you are passionate about music, then you may be a perfect candidate for music production school. Whether or not you play an instrument, you can still be a part of the business by becoming a music producer or a sound engineer. For those who also like to create music, your career options could include being a music teacher, a music director, a music therapist, or a composer. The great thing about getting a music production online degree is that you can keep your current job while you train for something that you will really love as a career. Whether you are young or old, musically talented or just have a good ear, music production school may be the right choice to prepare for your future.
Music production colleges can give you the skills that can apply to careers that are more focused on the music side, or that are more in the engineering and production category. Every musician needs to know something about music recording, and every sound engineer needs to understand a good bit about music. It is possible to learn online music production and then take those skills straight into working in sounds engineering, whether or not there is music involved. But it is good to know your own goals and have an idea of your focus to begin with, as that will help you choose the music production school that offers you the types of training that will be most helpful to you in your career. Some schools will focus more on music theory and performance, with fewer of the recording and mixing classes, while others will have a more technical focus. Finding the right balance for your interests is an important consideration as you explore the schools for music producing that offer online degrees.
Careers for Music Production Majors
Everyone knows that making it as a musician can be hard. But if you add other skills, like mixing and sound recording to your toolkit, you have more ways to make a living with your musical skills. While many of us would like to be on stage crooning to a stadium of adoring fans, that is not the most practical plan for a career that can pay your bills. However, behind the scenes, there are numerous positions where your love of music can bring you a good income and allow you to enjoy your passion while also keeping a roof over your head.
If you decide to go the technical route, broadcast and sound engineering technicians make an average of $45,510 per year, and the job outlook is expected to increase much faster than average, by 9% between 2019 and 2029. Music directors and composer average $51,670 per year, but employment is expected to rise slower than average over the next ten years. Another related possibility as you move up in your career would be to become a producer or director, for which the average annual pay is $74,420, with an expected 10% increase in the next decade.
For those who may wish to go a different route, teaching is a popular profession. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers make around $60k per year, though you may also need to get a teaching credential to work in public schools. But many music majors may also choose to teach private lessons, at community centers, or at private schools. With the technical skills of music producing as well as musical knowledge, there may be many other careers that will be open to ambitious graduates with a flare for the creative. For those who do what they love, the path to success may not be straight, but it can be very satisfying.
Careers in the arts can be a bit less predictable than other types of careers, but with the demand forin all types of broadcast, gaming, animation, and commercial video rising, jobs may be open to recent graduates with the most up-to-date technical skills. One advantage of working in a field that has frequent technical advances is that coming right out of school, you often have the advantage of knowing the latest software and hardware in the industry, giving you a competitive edge to compensate for your lack of work experience. On the other hand, even in technical jobs, experience is highly valued, so the more successful jobs you have, the farther you can rise in your chosen area of the industry. Payscale.com reports that the top 10% of sound engineers earn over $88,000 per year. Top engineers in the entertainment industry can earn around $140k or more, but these jobs will require bona fide experience and excellent references.
More entrepreneurial music production school graduates may wish to start their own business, either by opening up a recording studio or becoming a freelance sound engineer. Many creative people will combine a number of different jobs together to make a living, perhaps including some teaching, doing sound engineering for a church or theater, as well as offering recording services for musicians. Since audio engineering skills will be in demand, there are many possible ways to combine these skills with other interests to make a well-paying career that will also include the satisfaction of working with the art of sound.
Music Production Bachelor’s Degree Online Details
You don’t absolutely need to have a bachelor’s degree to become an audio engineer, but for many people, getting this basic degree under their belt is a good way to lock in a solid education while getting a music production online degree. With a bachelor of science (BS), a bachelor of arts (BA), or a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree, you will get many courses in your major, but also take general education classes like English composition, math or science, humanities courses like psychology or anthropology, and other useful classes. Courses in a music production bachelor’s degree online usually include music theory and history, recording and mixing, industry software training like Pro Tools or Ableton, music business, and often specific music applications like sound design for gaming or animation. Many schools will also offer music performance or songwriting classes, and almost all of them will have classes where you can create projects for your demo reel.
Schools for music producing costs can vary widely for a complete a program or degree. An online music production degree like an associate’s can have a sticker price of as little as $30k or more than $60k. A music production bachelor’s degree online can cost around $50k to $120k or more. But scholarships and student aid are available for degree-granting programs, and many students don’t pay the advertised total price. While it is a big investment to get your music production degree online, it is cheaper than going to a residential school, as you can stay in your current living situation while studying at one of the top music production colleges in the country. We have identified some of the best schools for music producing that will give you a great online degree, so have a look and see what inspires you to take that love of sound to the next level.
Top 6 Online Music Production Degree Programs
Los Angeles Film School – Online AS in Music Production
Total Cost: $37,100
Los Angeles Film School’s online AS in Music Production takes 20 months to complete and offers a total of 60 credits that include lots of music-specific courses. In addition to general education courses in mathematics, behavioral science, and creative writing, students spend most of their time concentrating on the technical and creative skills for music production. There is even a course on music business management to prepare students for their professional careers. Music courses include sequencing technology, theory and composition, digital recording, digital audio workstations, mixing, music copyright and business, and advanced production and industry skills. The school provides students with the production tools they will need to complete their degree and get a start in the music business, including a MacBook Pro, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Ableton Suite, headphones, MIDI keyboard, USB audio interface, a condenser mic, and more. For students who want a quick start to their professional career with all the gear and skills they will need to make a splash in music or sound design, the LA Film School program is a great online program.
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Academy of Art University – Online AA in Music Production
Total Cost: $63,853
An online AA in Music Production from Academy of Art University provides students with a solid foundation in music creation and editing. The program consists of 18 credits of liberal arts, 33 core credits, and 15 credits in the major. Courses include music theory, production, history of recording industry, film music, Pro Tools, mixing, songwriting, Ableton Live Certification, and music editing. With a strong online community of arts students, music production students will learn the art and the craft of music within a digital environment. Collaboration with students from the Motion Picture & Television, Animation & Visual Effects, and Game Design programs provides opportunities to combine music with visuals in preparation for a professional career in music and sound. Courses are taught by professional musicians and sound designers. For technical, professional, and production skills in a highly interactive and successful online format, the AAU associate’s degree is a great entry point for those who want a high-quality online education.
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Calvary University – Bachelor of Music Performance & Pedagogy
Total Cost: $54,774
The online Bachelor of Music in Music Performance and Pedagogy from Cavalry University offers three choices of performance focus: instrumental, piano, or voice. The program gives an excellent foundation in music theory, history, and literature, and offers a course in music technology. In addition, courses in theology, mathematics, science, and English composition round out the program. Calvary University offers education from a biblical worldview, and this is woven in throughout the program. Online students can study from almost anywhere, and there is a special tuition rate for military and full-time ministry workers. International students are welcome and supported at Calvary, and the music program has a strong professional and Christian focus. For students of faith who want to study music production in a community of fellow believers, the BM from Cavalry University makes a great choice for an affordable music production bachelor’s degree online.
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Full Sail University – BS in Music Production
Total Cost: $62,975
With a full array of music and recording classes and an accelerated schedule, the online BS in Music Production at Full Sail University offers a comprehensive education for people looking to become true professionals in the music production business. The focus is on music creation and production, with special emphasis on the application of music production for the entertainment industry. Courses include Popular Culture in Media, Topics in Music Theory, Sequencing Technology, Audio Arts in the Entertainment and Media Industries, and Game Music Composition. The degree is in an accelerated 29-month format, fully online, and there are scholarships and financial aid available. Music production majors can choose to get Full Sail’s Project Launchbox, with a full complement of equipment for music recording and production, for a separate cost, while other supplies like textbooks are included in the tuition price. The tuition price is locked once you begin the program, so you know you will not see increases during your degree. Full Sail University’s BS in Music Production is a terrific online music production degree for career-oriented students who want a comprehensive and supportive program to give them all the professional skills they will need to be successful.
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Full Sail University – BS in Audio Production
Total Cost: $63,375
Full Sail University specializes in educating professionals for the media and entertainment industry, so your know that the online BS in Audio Production is a serious program for those who want to succeed in their career in audio production. Designed for entrepreneurial self-starters, this program gives students the skills and knowledge to become independent audio creators. This innovative accelerated program is a compact 29-month fully online program. Each month, the curriculum focuses on a different aspect of the music business, such as recording principles, structure of music, sound design for games, history of recorded music, audio workstations, and fundamentals of music business. In addition to high-quality sound and music courses, the program includes coursework in professional writing, physics, psychology, mathematics, and English composition. In addition to learning skills, there are months devoted to projects and portfolio production. Students can take advantage of the Project LaunchBox, which provides students with all the technology they will need to complete their projects and get started as professionals, but there is an extra cost for this option. There are some scholarships available, and textbooks and materials are included in the price of tuition. For students looking for a business-focused professional program that prepares them to step right into the audio business, the BS from Full Sail University is a great choice.
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Academy of Art University – Online BFA in Music Production
Total Cost: $127,661
For students who want the quality professional education that Academy of Art University provides, but they want more than the AA degree, the online BFA in Music Production is the perfect choice. The total program is 132 credits, with 42 in the major, 45 in liberal arts, 36 core, and 9 credits of electives. In addition to the coursework in the AA program, BFA students will study film history, arranging, real time mixing, songwriting, physics for artists, Western civilization, vocal production, history of gaming, respect for acting, music demo reel, and an internship. In addition to production skills and professional preparation, this program also focuses on developing critical thinking skills. AAU has a world-class interactive interface for online students, collaboration spaces, dedicated support, and a thriving online community of creatives. For students who want to be part of a creative community while they learn the skills to become a music professional, the BFA from Academy of Art University is a great online music production degree.
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If you love music or are fascinated by sound, getting a music production degree online is a great way to get the education that can help you have a prosperous career in music that you can love. When you are passionate about a subject, you are likely to work hard at the skills required, and your musical aptitude be a window into your life’s calling. An online music production degree can be your next career move. Check out the great degree options now!