Why Attend a Music Arts College?

Engineer helping guitar player

Interested in attending a music arts college? Want to become an audio producer? There are many benefits to attending a music arts college. Student benefits include music and studio labs, in-depth audio production curriculum, one-on-one instruction with industry professionals, small class sizes, and portfolio preparation. Also, during an audio production program at a music arts college, students will gain valuable skills that will help them succeed in the music industry.

Use of Music and Studio Labs

Many music arts colleges offer music studios for students to use real world audio equipment. These studio environments often include a digital audio workstation, audio and video software, microphones, instruments and outboard sound processing equipment. Colleges have a multitude of music studio set ups for many different uses. Some studio uses include mixing, mastering, voice over, sound design, and live show and sound.

In-Depth Audio Production Curriculum

Many music arts colleges offer a curriculum rich in audio production that teaches many different music fundamentals. These fundamentals include acoustics, audio signal flow, recording, music theory, digital audio workstations, MIDI sequencing, sound reinforcement, lighting design and music and entertainment business essentials. Students participate in classroom and hands-on exercises for real world experience. After mastering these music fundamentals, students will learn artistic and technical skills. These skills include microphone techniques, engineering, system design and maintenance, proper gain structure, mixing, critical listening, session management, studio etiquette, people skills, and basic song composition.

One-On-One Instruction with Industry Professionals

Many of the instructors at music arts colleges are hired directly from the music industry. They may have graduated from a music arts college and begun their career in audio production. These industry experts come with real world experience and have invaluable connections to the industry that can help students during their career in the music industry.

Small Class Sizes

One of the main benefits of attending a music arts college is the small class sizes. Instead of having 200 students sit in a lecture hall, music arts colleges hold classes in smaller settings. Some of the classes and much of the lab time will actually occur inside a studio.

Smaller class sizes allow students to get questions answered by instructors and have the ability to participate in class and labs. Smaller classes will also allow students to make close friendships with fellow classmates that can be beneficial when it is time to network.

Portfolio Preparation

Part of attending a music arts college is creating a portfolio of real-world examples to show perspective employers that students have experience, even though they have just graduated from college. This portfolio will include a variety of techniques and highlight different fundamentals that the student learned while attending a music arts college.

Skills Learned While Attending a Music Arts College

Whether you have the right skills to be a successful audio producer or not, it is important to know that these skills can be learned. An audio producer may be outgoing but may need to focus more. They may know how to network but have trouble with patience. Students attending a music arts college will learn important skills that can be used on the job throughout their career. Some of the more important skills an audio producer needs include networking, respect, patience, focus, attention to detail and ear training.


One of the most important skills an audio producer will need is the ability to network. This is fundamental in the music industry. Many of the people an audio producer goes to college with and meets in the industry will become colleagues in the workforce. Setting up a network at the beginning of an audio production program will allow the student to create a network of fellow classmates and instructors that can be called upon in the future. It is important for an audio producer to network and always show respect to everyone they meet.

Social media is another great way to network with music professionals. Participating on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, BandCamp, and Soundcloud will introduce an audio producer to other colleagues in the industry. These social media sites can also be used as a platform to promote music an audio producer has produced and start a conversation about an important topic. Social media is a great way to start a conversation or pick one with a colleague the audio producer hasn’t talked to in years.


An audio producer needs to have respect for both music and colleagues. It is important for an audio producer to respect those in the industry, especially those that they work with. An audio producer may meet someone at a studio or conference and then need to network to finish a project. If they continue to show respect to everyone they meet, an audio producer will be able to tap on their colleagues to help out in a time of need.


Creating music is all about patience. It is a long process from pre-production to final mastering. There are many steps along they way and a successful audio producer is patient. They have the ability to work at a steady pace and not rush the music to completion. It takes patience to listen to the same beat over and over again until it is perfect. All throughout the process there are times when an audio producer doesn’t think the creation process will ever end, but those that are patient will be rewarded with a quality music product.


Being an audio producer takes focus. There are a multitude of things that can take away an audio producer’s attention from the task at hand. Whether it is colleagues, friends, or social media, an audio producer must stay focused to create a quality track during those long nights of music making.

Attention to Detail

To succeed, an audio producer will need an attention to detail. Whether it is a slightly out of tune note or a beat that is off, the audio producer must make sure the track is complete and sounds its very best.

Ear Training

Most of what makes a successful audio producer is the ability to hear when something is right or wrong. Good ear training allows an audio producer to listen to a track or beat and hear the tiniest inconsistencies. Good ear training also allows an audio producer the ability to identify pitches, intervals, melody, chords, and rhythms simply through hearing. Ear training teaches the audio producer the basic elements of music and allows them to develop an intuitive understanding of what they hear.

Start a Career in the Music Industry

Becoming an audio producer is more than a job, it is a career. As an audio producer, you will look forward to work and enjoy the time you spend in the music industry. There are many different people you will work with and learn from. You will create long-lasting relationships and find a mentor or two along the way. The music industry is always evolving so there is always something new to learn.

Audio Production Program

The Audio Production and Engineering Program  at the Institute of Production and Recording is an occupational degree program designed to train producer engineers who are entrepreneurs, musically and technically creative, and proficient in modern recording technology and technique. Throughout the program, students are involved in hands-on exercises and real-world studio projects that enable them to apply their knowledge and refine their skills.

At the end of the Audio Production and Engineering program, each student presents a portfolio — a selection of his or her best work to date. This serves as a demo reel for potential employers and clients — an audio resume with professional content that highlights the graduate’s talent and skill.

Contact us today to learn more about the audio production programs and starting a rewarding career.