Looking to Learn about Music Production? Here Are The Top Colleges For Music Production Majors

Here Are Our Top 14 Picks For Best College For Music Production Majors

“The record producer is the music world's equivalent of a film director.” - Phil Ramone

When deciding to go to college it is so important to choose the right one for you. Do not solely base your decision on which college to attend by seeing what the top college for the major you want is. It is so important to find the one that makes you the most comfortable. You can still earn a good education for any major without needing to go to the top college for that major. 

Choosing the right college for you may not be the same college for someone else, even if you are pursuing the same major. There are lots of factors that go into determining what college is the best fit for you. Just go with your gut and choose the one where you will be the most comfortable and the one that has the opportunities and experiences that you want. 

Remember, going to college is more than just about the academic opportunities, it also encompasses fun activities and sporting events. Try to engage in some activities and join clubs to get the most out of your experience at college.

Keep in mind, deciding to go to college is no one's decision on your own. You do not have to go to college to live a good life. Think of college as an investment in yourself and in your future. It will be expensive either way, but there are ways to help pay for college, even if you do not have the help from your parents.

If you are looking to major in music production, these are the top 14 colleges for music production majors. Researching these colleges could be a good start when deciding what college to attend and apply to. 

  1. Berklee College of Music
  2. NYU Steinhardt
  3. USC Thornton School of Music
  4. Frost School of Music
  5. Middle Tennessee State University
  6. Drexel University
  7. UMass Lowell
  8. Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)
  9. Belmont University
  10. American University
  11. Full Sail University
  12. Musicians Institute
  13. Carnegie Mellon University
  14. SAE Institute

Now let’s take a deeper dive into the top 4 colleges for music production. To figure out what sets them apart and makes each one unique. 

Berklee College of Music

If you choose to attend the Berklee College of Music, you can either study online or attend at the Boston campus. Studying online allows you to complete your music program from anywhere in the world. Their campus is located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood and has access to the college’s world-class performance venues, professional-grade recording studios, and rehearsal spaces. 

At Berklee College of Music, there is an interdisciplinary curriculum so students will get to experience all aspects of the music industry.  

Specifically for the music production majors at Berklee College of Music, as an undergraduate student you will develop your expertise in engineering, production, editing, mixing, mastering, and the recording industry. 

The application process to be a part of the music production and engineering undergraduate major at the Berklee College of Music is a two-step process. This process includes a submission of a written online application which consists of a series of short-answer essays and a five-minute (max) video responding to selected prompts. 

To learn more about this major and other music related majors, visit the Berklee College of Music

NYU Steinhardt

At NYU Steinhardt there is a department specifically for Music and Performing Arts Professions. This department provides students with a supportive environment where they have the opportunity to explore disciplined and interdisciplinary endeavors in:

  • Music Performance
  • Composition
  • Music Business
  • Arts Administration
  • Music Technology
  • Music Therapy
  • Drama Therapy
  • Arts in Education - Educational Theatre, Music, and Dance

If you choose to attend and apply to NYU Steinhardt for music production, there are two undergraduate degrees you could choose from. These include either a Bachelor of Music (BM) in Music Theory and Composition: Contemporary Production and Songwriting or you can choose a BM in Music Technology. 

Music Theory and Composition: Contemporary Production and Songwriting 

If you choose this Bachelor of Music undergraduate degree it involves the study of the craft of writing, producing, recording songs, and the music industry. Students will explore these through intensive course work as well as collaboration with professional musicians. 

Image of students in a recording studio.
The BM of Music Theory and Composition: Contemporary Production and Songwriting degree at NYU Steinhardt. You can choose this option if you want to major in music production as an undergraduate. Image courtesy of NYU Steinhardt

Music Technology

If you would rather pursue this undergraduate Bachelor of Music degree at NYU Steinhardt you will receive a well-rounded foundation in music, electronics, sound engineering, music production, electronic music, and the liberal arts. Students will learn this while studying with industry leaders. 

Feel free to visit NYU Steinhardt to learn more about the music programs and other academic majors offered at this college.

USC Thornton School of Music

The USC Thornton School of Music has three divisions that offer cross-genre experiences for students that will expose them to diverse styles and techniques, which will help them prepare for a well-rounded career at the highest level. These three divisions are:

  1. Classical Performance & Composition
  2. Contemporary Music
  3. Research & Scholarly Studies

The music production major is housed under the Contemporary Music division. This degree encompasses the creative, technical, and business aspects of professional music. 

At USC Thornton School of Music the music production bachelor’s degree displays the evolving nature of making music during the digital age, where the professional musicianship frequently includes composing and arranging, live studio performance, audio engineering/editing and mastering, music synthesis and programming, along with the business aspects related to music. 

If you would like to learn more about the music production degree here along with any other contemporary music program, or one of the other degrees in the other two divisions. Visit the USC Thornton School of Music.

Frost School of Music

The Frost School of Music is part of the University of Miami and it is the home of stunning concert & recital halls, world-class recording studios & labs, a technology center, a premier music library, along with an array of fully-equipped rehearsal spaces. 

They have a ground-breaking curriculum called Frost Method, where the students build themselves into musicians using artistic, technological, and entrepreneurial skills to help them thrive in the 21st century. 

Specifically the major for music production at the Frost School of Music is the Bachelor of Music degree of Music in Media Scoring & Production. This program is designed to provide students with the highest level of preparation to be qualified writers and producers for media. 

Once these students have reached graduation they will have—a highly competitive skill set in Media Scoring & Production, a diverse and applied understanding of the music industry, along with the ability to create and execute a business plan and have a portfolio that showcases their brand equity. 

To learn more about the Music in Media Scoring & Production degree, other music degrees, and the Frost Method curriculum visit the Frost School of Music

Careers You Can Pursue With A Music Production Degree

There are lots of career options for people that have earned a degree in music production. Here is a top 10 list of music production career paths.

  1. Audio Director
  2. Boom Operator
  3. Concert Technician
  4. Mastering Engineer
  5. Music Editor
  6. Live Sound Engineer
  7. Mixing Engineer
  8. Production Sound Mixer
  9. Recording Engineer
  10. Sound Editor

Keep these career paths in mind when deciding to pursue a degree in music production. Make sure to do any necessary research for the career paths of whatever major you decide to pursue in college to give you an idea of what your future could hold when deciding on a college major.

Graphic of five steps to be a music producer. 
The 5 Steps to Becoming a Music Producer. Which is also a potential career path if you earn a degree in music production. Image courtesy of Learn Music Production.

Conclusion

Remember it is all about finding the best college for you, even if it is not one of these top 14. There are lots of colleges out there that offer a quality education. There are certain aspects that make one college better than another to a person. However, something that could make you really want to attend one college could be the deciding factor for someone else to choose to attend a different college.

These are the top 14 colleges for music production majors, however you can still choose to attend any other college if you want to major in music production. We focused more in depth on the top 4, but feel free to look into the other 10 colleges when researching colleges for music production. 

Keep in mind, you will need to make sure to choose the best college to meet your needs. There are ways to help pay for college since it will be an investment in your future. Everyone may not want to go to college, and that is their choice since it will be expensive no matter what. There are people out there to help with this stress, such as talking with the college about financial aid options. You can also apply for scholarships to help. 

Visit Grantford, if you would like to learn more about financial aid options.

Elizabeth Grobstein
Liz Grobstein is a writer based in North Huntingdon, PA.
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