Education is a major part of life. It is a way to learn the information and the skills needed to perform a particular job. Without it, it is harder to get a job, especially in the music industry. Here are some options for education for sound editing and other areas of technical support within the music industry.
Your music industry education can begin in college. If you are sure that you want to be the person who edits the recorded sound to make it better, then a college with a specialized music program is your best bet. These programs offer intense study of music and hands-on training. Someone who graduates from one of these programs will have the advantage of actual knowledge of music equipment.
Technical schools are also in high demand. At one time, people shunned technical training as being second class. It ran a distant second place to getting a degree at a four-year institution. But, when it came to finding jobs after graduation, technical school graduates had one very important advantage-legitimate experience handling the latest equipment used in the music industry.
Technical schools provide a mix of book learning and lectures and time in the music lab. Students get to create music, edit sound, and produce their own music to see how the process works. Many technical degrees are two-year programs but a lot of fundamentals and advanced teaching goes on in those programs.
Internships are required at most technical schools. They evaluate their students and how they apply the skills learned in the classroom in a work setting. Some programs at four-year institutions require internships before graduation but not all. An internship at this stage with an instructor to back you up is a great initiation into the music industry.
When choosing a music school or a music program at a college or university, review the entire program. Are the instructors credentialed? In the music industry, this could mean that they have twenty years experience as a sound editing engineer or a music producer. A Bachelors degree wouldn’t hurt either. With the constant changes in the music industry, be sure that your instructors can provide the type of training for you that is currently pertinent to the industry.
How is the program set up? Many programs offer more book work and less time in the lab. Theory is good to know if you are planning on a career in teaching. For a career that involves working in a music studio or on the sets of music videos, hands-on experience is more practical.
Studios are looking for graduates who can jump right in and be a part of the company. If the studio head asks you to sit at a station and make the sound better, your career could take a dive if you can’t work the equipment or provide an interesting answer. They don’t have time to waste on unprepared people.
Distance learning is also a way to get the education you need to perform technical jobs in the music industry. For those who have to work a regular job during the day to make ends meet, distance learning programs provide the opportunity they seek. All you need is a willingness to be flexible, a computer with Internet hook-up, a telephone, and commitment. Many distance learning programs are affiliated with local community colleges or university campuses so students have access to musical equipment. A student has the best of both worlds on their own terms.
So, before you decide to move to a major city to go to school, check out the local technical schools and distance learning. Being in New York or California won’t make you more likely to be hired, but the content of your school program might. Check with potential studios to see what program accreditations they recognize and shoot for a music program that has them.