Degree Spotlight: Music Production

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Full Sail’s new online Music Production Bachelor’s Degree program has a few similarities with the on-campus Recording Arts program, but there are some major differences as well. If you want to be a studio engineer, Recording Arts is the program for you, but if you want to compose your own music and learn the skills needed to produce it on your own, Music Production might be a better fit.

While the Music Production curriculum has technical courses like Recording Arts does, there are far more composition and theory-based courses. “The emphasis is on composing,” says Program Manager Russ Gaspard. “[Music Production] is more about content creation.”

The 32-month program launched in February 2010. “Software is making it easier and easier to create believable music tracks,” says Music Production Department Chair Keith Lay.”We can now pull people into professional zones with the right education completely on their computers.”

According to Department Chair Greg McCandless, students learn software-based music creating tools including ProTools, Apple’s Logic, and music composition and notation software Sibelius, which Russ describes as “a Microsoft Word but for the music sheet.” Varied courses like Game Music Composition and Music Production for Media will prepare students to create music for all different types of mediums.

The program’s first students will graduate in October, after completing their final projects in September. Keith, who is in charge of final projects, will let each student decide what type of content they want to work on, which could include working across degree programs to score music for a student game or film.

Post graduation, Russ sees students composing their own music, working with other artists to enhance their vision, or adding music to video games, commercial advertising, television programs, and more.

Greg sums it up pretty well: “[Music Production is] not just teaching people how to make music, but how to produce it professionally and market it. It’s about being able to make music and do something with it.”