Music technology courses lead to careers in the music industry for example music business management, music production, talent management, music therapy, and music education. Music technology degrees are programs that involve teaching students about using, fixing, or developing the technologies that are used for sound recording, production, and manipulation. This means that students may learn a variety of skills throughout a program, ranging from operating studio equipment and recording live bands to programming original software, building instruments, and creating electronics. Today, technology plays a large role in many aspect of music performance and production, and as time passes, its role will continue to dominate the industry. Music technology degree programs prepares students to work with cutting edge technology applications that are used in the process of performance, composition, recording, and production. As with other technology, music technology is constantly evolving, and it helps to be up-to-date with the most current resources available in the industry.
Music Technology Education and Training
Completing a bachelors degree in music technology requires music students to take courses in music theory, music history, musical instruments, and aural training. Music technology schools also offer performance opportunities through ensembles, concerts, and periodic recitals in an effort to showcase their students’ talents, knowledge and skills.
There are several different types of music technology degrees that can be encompassed by music production courses. For example, students may seek a degree in sound engineering or recording, while others may graduate from highly technical courses that involve programming and designing instruments or effects. The term music technology is often used to describe both types of degrees.
Students who enroll in sound recording or engineering programs will take core courses in audio recording, studio practice, mastering audio, digital audio, and sound design. Other music technology courses may include:
- Analogue recording technologies
- Mixing digital music
- Multimedia production
- Film and video sound design
- Music industry principles and foundations
Students who choose a more technical pathway can expect to take music technology courses in software design, digital signal processing, and electronics design. They may also take classes in acoustical measurement techniques, human computer interaction, and sound reinforcement.
Any student who wishes to gain entrance into the industry, whether it is for studio work or teaching recording techniques, should pursue professional certifications in the industry standard recording software. Today, the most attractive certifications are for Pro Tools and Logic Pro. Graduates should also seek entrance into the Audio Engineering Society (AES) to increase their chances of gaining employment.
Music Technology Careers
Graduates from music technology degree programs can work in a number of industries. Those who specialize in sound engineering can take positions working in studios setting up the studio space for recording, mixing sound, or mastering sound.
Some students who have taken music technology courses may also go onto becoming live performers or producers. Graduates with a background in sound engineering may also seek positions in concert venues, clubs, and the film and television industries. Graduates of the highly technical programs can work for a number of software companies. Other careers include:
- Music agent assistant
- Recording studio assistant
- Sound technician
The work may involve programming or fixing effects, sequencers, synthesizers, analysis tools, or the user interface. Other options include building instruments, designing studio hardware, and working for a major manufacturer overseeing product design or testing products. Some students also enter the video game industry as audio programmers.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
Entry-level positions for those with music technology courses typically involve taking on unpaid internships. However, once this period ends, salaries may range anywhere between $27,000 and $40,000 to start. Those who are promoted to senior level positions as well as those who are able to work with major artists or major software and hardware manufacturers command salaries well over $60,000 to $80,000. As of 2012, the average salary for music technology positions is $50,000.
Jobs in this industry are expected to grow at a higher than average pace. Currently the average expected growth for most industries is set at 8% over the next decade. However, this industry is highly competitive, so all students should seek out internships and freelance work during their music technology courses and program of study.
Music Production Programs
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