Today, music is no longer the domain of the romantic, it is the stomping grounds of those who went to college and figured out it was one of the good programs for creative students. In the highly complex world of digital music, advanced training is a must. It isn’t enough to have a “good ear.” Musicians and sound engineers need training on the complicated equipment for their craft. With it, they are wizards. Without it, they can hang on Youtube in the hopes of that big deal. There are both  traditional campus and online options. Both STUVU Ranked Schools  system and  eHow rankings out  Berklee College of Music as one of the best music production schools in the country. It is one of the oldest. Located in Massachusetts, this college’s stock in trade is that it is very popular among jazz musicians. It’s been popular since the 1940s when it was founded.

Music production college is distinctly different from conservatories or traditional colleges of music. These schools focus on the recording or capture of music. Their courses of study emphasize the mechanics of sound fidelity and recording. Traditional colleges of music focus on performance. Among these schools are: McNally Smith College of Music, the University of Texas at Austin, Berklee College of Music, The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts and Indiana University at Bloomington.  There are many methods for locating a music production school. Ehow ranks the schools by their curriculum and student scoring. Stuvu ranks music production schools by student’s comments.Hackcollege uses the size of the student enrollment as a quick sort for quality of program.

Because the schools tend to lean towards a specific genre or aspect of music production, the best way to determine which school works best is determine what the students wants out of the school. Is it an improvement of existing skills so that a certificate is sufficient? Is it a career in music coming out of school? That will probably require a fully-accredited degree approved by an institution like CHEA.org or something comparable. Make sure that the school is accredited.

The next step is to figure out the type of music that the student is most interested in, because the faculties tend to be somewhat oriented along musical types.  Is it rock-n-roll? Jazz? Classical? Then identify the school that has the best faculty for that endeavor. University of Texas, for example, is close to a lot of country music, rockabilly and country-rock crossover music labels. Berklee has many jazz musicians on its faculty. McNally seems to have a lot of rock connections. There are some schools in Los Angeles, CA with lots of rock connections.  Find the school whose faculty’s musical interests mostly closely reflect the genre of the student’s interest.  Using this methodology, students will find that they are music production being trained by people whose interests they share.