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Author Topic: Need recommendation on schools for audio education  (Read 4315 times)

Mark Yester

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Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« on: June 27, 2011, 01:33:54 pm »

Hello - my son is entering his senior year of high school and is interested in music production/audio technology education. Anyone have any thoughts on what avenues of education are good?
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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 03:58:23 pm »

Hello - my son is entering his senior year of high school and is interested in music production/audio technology education. Anyone have any thoughts on what avenues of education are good?

UHK:  The School of Hard Knocks.

Think apprenticeship.  Learn by doing.  You can pay tens of thousands of $$$/year for theory and feel-good courses OR if he's serious, hook him up with a business doing what he wants to do and let him get the hands on experience by participating in the environment.

Better to learn practical skills along the way than trying to get them after the fact......and after spending a lot of $$$$$.  When hiring time comes, experience trumps paper.  And a referral from someone for whom you've worked for a few years trumps a professorial endorsement.

That's my opinion.
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Corbin Prosche

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 07:55:13 pm »

IATSE or find your local stagehand company. I learned so much from working with different rigs. Plus you meet touring guys who you work hard for, they do see that...
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 10:01:14 pm »

Hello - my son is entering his senior year of high school and is interested in music production/audio technology education. Anyone have any thoughts on what avenues of education are good?
If that's the case, it may be good to wait on higher education for a little while so that he can get an experience in the event production field.  Working hard, long hours for little pay and no recognition shows a real passion for doing something you love.  If he's set on you want to really help him, get him some gear: a pair of appropriately-sized goatskin work gloves, steel-toe boots (black preferable), and a "roadie toolkit" - multitool, small flashlight, and an 8" crescent wrench on a tether.  That should cover the basics (anything else should be provided if he's starting out, anyway).

If, after that time, he decides to stick with it, then further education may be something to look into.  All of the people I have worked with that went to school specifically for audio have said the same thing: it is what you make of it.  Many schools have tons of lab time - students can stay and tinker/ask questions or leave to do other stuff.  I would look at a education that specific as a time for him to gain experience with equipment that he otherwise would not have the means to.  From there, it's up to him.

All the best,


Jordan Wolf

P.S. - I would recommend posting your location.  There are people from all over the world on this forum and if anyone is near you, I am almost certain that they would love to help you and your son out.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 10:04:58 pm by Jordan Wolf »
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Sam Zuckerman

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 11:41:38 pm »

Just have him get out there and do it. I really got into the business by working on my high school's theater productions. Nothing like being tossed behind 10 wireless mics, amateur vocalists no processing and a reverberant room prone to feedback in order to learn.

Does he do anything production oriented now? Any experience?

Also, why isn't he asking. It doesn't say much about him having the parent ask. I work at a student union and it being orientation season we get a lot of parents walking up asking to give they son/daughter a job. We usually wave them on but if an incoming freshman comes and ask we usually give them a tour on the spot and ask them to come back after they have their first semester grades.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 08:44:01 am »

IMO opinion he'd be better off pursuing a management or accounting degree concurrent to an internship or P/T job in the industry...in a big city. He'll have to filter alot of BS - out of both endeavors. Get a degree. A real degree....

It has been said that an MFA is the new MBA.

Good luck! My 17 year old is going to SUNY Purchase for film.
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James A. Griffin

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 08:56:15 pm »

Hello - my son is entering his senior year of high school and is interested in music production/audio technology education. Anyone have any thoughts on what avenues of education are good?

Enroll in college and work on a degree in something.    Pursue a volunteer internship with a local production company on weekends and over the summer.      Don't spend all that music/tech school education only to find out he doesn't like it or isn't suited for it.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 07:41:25 am »

Hello - my son is entering his senior year of high school and is interested in music production/audio technology education. Anyone have any thoughts on what avenues of education are good?
Are they interested in particular aspects of music production and/or audio technology?  The path to becoming a FOH or monitor mixer, a recording mixer, a system or product designer, a producer and so on might all be different.  If they don't know what they want to do then trying to get some entry level experience in the related industry where they can get to understand the different roles may help them choose what path they want to explore.
 
Also, are you looking for a formal education program with a degree as a goal and/or for other related educational offerings such as manufacturer training, workshops and seminars?
 
 
Just have him get out there and do it. I really got into the business by working on my high school's theater productions. Nothing like being tossed behind 10 wireless mics, amateur vocalists no processing and a reverberant room prone to feedback in order to learn.
Unfortunately, inexperienced people put into such situations with limited or poor mentoring often seem to be as likely to learn as bad habits and misconceptions as they are to learn anything worthwhile.  Whether it is in formal education or on the job training, the quality of the teching and mentoring can have much to do with the value of the experience.
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BobWitte

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 12:50:54 pm »

Education is important. Theory is important. Hands-on work is important.

Options if my son was asking for guidance:

1) Get a degree in a semi related field. For example, I have an Electrical Engineering degree and it is a tremendous help in understanding the theory - but more importantly a good engineering school teaches you how to solve problems, plan, etc. Either part time while at school and/or summers - grunt it out with whatever sound job or volunteering is available. This same principle would hold true with Accounting or a business degree of some type if the "business" aspect is appealing.

2) Do a full college degree in Audio - like Columbia College in Chicago or there are others. You get immersed in some theory and much hands on experience with artists that come in to play for a day while various techniques are tried and learned. People like Jack Alexander and Doug Fowler are some of the teachers you may have. Most programs also have many venues for work in the field while in school and many require an internship. Yes, it is expensive. When you graduate, you have a jump start in knowledge. But you still need to prove yourself in the outside world. This is the very option my son took - but after one year of going after a music degree - which was also invaluable to his career. He is working full time as the Audio Director at a large church and we (me part time) do various activities - live, design, train with many churches in the area. Is he making a lot of money - No. Is he happy with what he does and can he maintain a respectable living - absolutely.

3) As several have suggested - go the "get the experience" route and adjust as needed....

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 02:24:36 pm »

Hello - my son is entering his senior year of high school and is interested in music production/audio technology education. Anyone have any thoughts on what avenues of education are good?

Hi Mark-

I'll echo a lot of what has been said, but from a prospective employer viewpoint.

I value training and education, but it doesn't give an applicant a particular edge, especially if it's from a "trade school" like Windy Sheet (nudge, wink).  These schools sell expensive training for which there are entry level jobs for perhaps 1% of graduates.  Better chances than an NBA or NFL contract, but still pretty dismal.  With a 4 year degree in Something Remotely Useful« like engineering or business, he'd be smart to avoid production entirely. ;)  Both are important if he wanted to get into the industry as an owner, however.

Experience is probably the key to getting a job, which turns into the "chicken or egg" question.  Volunteerism will get an applicant greater consideration with me because it means working in a real-world situation.  Community theater is a prime example, so is being a consistent member of a H.o.W. media team... but anything related to our work, that is significantly hands-on, will help.  Another way to gain experience is for him to sign up with the IATSE Local in your area and get on their "casual" or "work referral" list.  He will need to be 18 for this.

We don't do unpaid internships or apprentices.  We pay entry level wages for entry level work, and wages improve as a worker's autonomy expands.

Over the years there have been a number of thread in these forums centered on "how did you get started?"  It might be productive to search the archived "old" forums.  Use this string (without the quotes) along with your keywords on Google, and it will limit the hits to the old forums.. "site:srforums.prosoundweb.com"

Good luck to your son.

Tim Mc
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Re: Need recommendation on schools for audio education
┬ź Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 02:24:36 pm ┬╗


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