Colleges with Music Technology Majors: How to Choose

Music technology is concerned with the equipment used in the production of music. The field entails the use of traditional musical instruments as well as computers, sequencers, editing software and electronic instrumentation to produce, present and record music. When choosing a school, students should consider factors like music studio facilities and class size.

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How to Select a Music Technology School

Schools offer music technology training at the associate's, bachelor's or master's degree levels. Some schools also offer career certificates.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Types of programs and curriculum
  • School facilities
  • Class size
  • Extracurricular activities

Types of Programs and Curriculum

These programs generally provide an education in the fundamental concepts of music appreciation along with practical experience in the technology and techniques of sound effects and audio production. When selecting a school, students should compare different programs for their content and quality to determine which is best for their particular interest. Candidates may also want to consider if a program at a 4-year university or a technical school training program is right for them.

School Facilities

Individuals who are comparing music technology programs should look closely at the school's music production studios. Studios are where critiquing, collaboration and presentation occur. These are important aspects to a musical artist's development.

It is imperative that music studios be well designed, contain up-to-date equipment and be readily accessible to students. Students should also be exposed to today's digital technologies and computer software, which enable today's music and recording artists to produce high quality work outside the music studio.

Class Size

Students pursuing music technology may desire close access to professors and small group relationships in their classrooms. To ensure this access, students should look for schools with small class enrollments.

Extracurricular Activities

It is also advisable to find schools that have numerous campus music production projects and opportunities to work in community events. Students may also want to join an audiovisual club or a music performance group to gain an edge on the competition.

Program Overviews in Music Technology

Certificate

Completion time for a career certificate in music technology is usually 12 months or less. Admission generally requires a high school diploma or GED along with completion of a reading and writing proficiency exam. Certificate programs generally design their training to cover aspects of music production and recording, such as:

  • Digital audio editing
  • Performance
  • Recording
  • Marketing and promotion

Associate's Degree

Applicants are usually required to have a high school diploma or GED and may need to take an academic proficiency test for placement in general education classes. Generally, associate's degrees are completed as 2-year programs. Associate's degrees in music technology usually have general education courses in math, science and communications in addition to a core of music technology courses. Support courses might include:

  • Music business
  • Jazz
  • Swing

Bachelor's Degree

Music technology programs in universities and traditional 4-year colleges typically have a very strong general education component with classes in advanced math, the sciences and communications. Students frequently take internships and complete senior capstone projects. Universities and colleges typically require a high school diploma or GED and good scores from a college admittance exam, such as the ACT or SAT.

There is a core of courses that covers:

  • Music techniques
  • Sound production
  • Music theory

There are usually opportunities to specialize in such areas as music and sound for live concerts and sporting events or for video games, animation and video productions.

Master's Degree

Programs generally last 2-3 years and consist of seminars, along with production or research projects. Applicants are usually asked to submit transcripts, preferably from a bachelor's degree program related to music, along with results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students who complete a master's degree program are usually qualified for admission to doctoral programs.

A master's degree in music technology gives students the opportunity to acquire advanced training in a specialized area. This might be in a technical aspect, such as music synthesis, multi-track recording or sound aesthetics through technology; or it may be in a non-technical aspect such as music interpretation or translation. Common coursework may address topics like:

  • Digital audio
  • Musical production
  • Interactive design
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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MBA in Music Business

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Audio Production

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
        • Music Composition and Theory
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
        • Music Composition and Theory
        • Music Performing
        • Piano and Organ
        • Stringed Instruments
        • Voice and Opera
      • Photography, Film, and Video

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