Becoming a Music Producer: Is a Degree Necessary?

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Music producer producing music

In this era, it’s not hard to believe you can learn just about anything on the internet, even the “how-to’s” of becoming a music producer.

There are a ton of Youtube videos, forums, and blogs like BPM Skills that offer tutorials, and share industry secrets for FREE.

If you use them well, and dedicate time and focus to your passions, there is no doubt you can master your craft!

So with resources right at your fingertips, is it still wise to pursue a degree in music production?

The answer is, YES! And we’re telling you all about it. Read on!

What Does a Music Producer Do?

A music producer’s job is not just one task. A music producer has multiple roles that overall see the whole picture of music creation.

In essence, a music producer brings an artist’s vision to life. They guide their sound throughout the whole process of creating a song or a full album.

This includes making crucial choices for sound identity, lyrics, beats, musicians, instruments, vocalists, etc., and how all of these elements morph into a melodious work of art!

Anything that adds up to the finished product, the music producer partakes. Even the choice of the recording studio!

How to Become a Music Producer

Sure, having a degree in Music Production has its edge.

But regardless of how you want to become a music producer one day, professionally with a degree, or on your own, you got to have the following:

Passion

Whether you are backed by a degree or not, passion and enthusiasm will get you to where you want to be.

The music industry is very selective. You have to have the love, respect, and passion for music to get by. People in high places will notice this in your demeanor.

This dedication will get you jobs and put you in places where you need to be. And when things get rough, your passion will fuel you through too!

Knowledge

There is no fixed standard or requirement to become a music producer. However, most employers will consider those who invested time and money in getting a 4-year bachelor’s degree.

No matter where you get your resources from, to qualify to become a music producer, you have to be knowledgeable in the following topics:

  • Music history
  • Music theory
  • Musical composition
  • Audio engineering
  • Sound editing
  • Digital audio software
  • Recording industry law and ethics
  • Copyright law
  • Artist and product management
  • Marketing and advertising

It is a fact that producers who have a deep understanding of how music has changed and grown through time create impressive work.

Knowing the business end of the music industry is also essential to making good money out of your passion.

Training

Being good in theory is of no use if you cannot apply them in reality.

Professional training, whether through formal education, personal practice, or an internship, will help you gain the skills for the success of your future music career.

Dedicating time to training will help you develop a trained ear. This means you are capable of identifying intervals, chords, scales, and notes without having to look at sheet music.

You will also hone your audio engineering skills, learn how to work with sound equipment, and develop beats and melodies.

Certifications

A certificate in music production, audio production, talent management, or audio arts can help build up your career in the music industry. These supplementary programs usually run for 6 to 18 months, depending on the university you go to.

Interpersonal Skills

A huge part of a music producer’s job is to find and manage talents. This includes collaborating with them to develop their music and identity as artists.

To succeed in this business, you need to have strong interpersonal skills where your relationships are built on trust and respect. To become big in the competitive music industry, you have to be able to maintain a credible professional and social network.

Advantages of Having a Music Production Degree

Those who hone their craft academically have more chances at landing opportunities after school than those who decide to work things out on their own.

Here are the benefits of having a music production degree:

  • Learn from the expert and experienced instructors
  • Be surrounded by like-minded classmates
  • Build a network
  • Experience professional internships

How to Start On Your Own

If the budget is tight and getting a degree seems out of the picture, your dream of becoming a music producer is far from over!

The internet is full of resources that will help you gain the knowledge and skill for your dream career.

However, it doesn’t mean you won’t spend a single penny. You still need to have at least a laptop and some music equipment!

When you’ve got those things, here are a few suggestions to make it on your own:

  • Try out free tools and software
  • Experiment with different sounds
  • Study and learn from the music greats

Getting a degree will give you the edge and put you in opportunities much faster than if you were to do everything on your own.

But whether or not you graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music production, experience is still the best teacher.

Who knows, you just might be the next most in-demand music producer out there!

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