What’s the Difference Between a Music Mentor and a Music Teacher?

Recording Connection mentor Bernard Johnson & student Efrain Matias at Noize Factory Studios (San Diego, CA)
Recording Connection mentor Bernard Johnson & student Efrain Matias at Noize Factory Studios (San Diego, CA)

It’s something most of us are all too familiar with: Sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher, professor, or instructor, telling us what we “need” to know. Obviously, that makes a lot of sense in grade school and on through most of our high school years. And after high school, there’s going to be a fair amount of class time for many degrees across several industries.

We feel that just isn’t the case when it comes to working in the music business, however. How many diplomas did Dr. Dre have when he was producing hits for Ruthless and Death Row Records? Really, how do you grade creative genius? At Recording Connection, we feel the best way to learn about audio engineering and music production is by doing.

We don’t use typical college professors, instructors, or teachers for our programs. Our extern-based learning approach requires something a little more hands-on. Recording Connection connects students with mentors, professional audio engineers, and music producers who are making the music you listen to today.

What’s the Difference Between a Music Teach and a Music Mentor?

Teachers and professors play a valuable role in all levels of schooling, from early education to post-secondary study. But when it comes to the music industry, we feel nothing can compare to the one-on-one mentoring Recording Connection offers. So you may be asking yourself: What’s the difference?

Difference #1: Mentors Do, Teachers Teach

There’s an old adage that says, “Those who can’t do, teach.” And while it sounds a little derogatory to teachers, old adages become old adages because there’s a kernel of truth. While many teachers love their chosen profession, there’s no denying that many colleges, universities, and trade school professors are teaching as a fallback position.

Recording Connection mentors, on the other hand, currently work at or own their own recording studios. Our mentors are working full-time in the music industry, getting paid, and are ready and willing to pass that knowledge on to you. They have a vested interest in teaching the next generation of audio engineers and producers, people they can potentially work with, and they want to see the industry they love thriving.

And they know what they’re talking about–or else they wouldn’t have these jobs, to begin with. So it all boils down to who you’d rather be working with: Those who talk at you with perhaps second-hand information or outdated practices or those who work with you, showing you how music is being made in today’s world?

DIFFERENCE #2: Teachers Follow a Lesson Plan, Mentors Work with What You Know

In most cases, a college professor teaches from an established syllabus that’s been used over and over again. While they may hope for the best for each student, and set a few minutes of office time aside, how well an individual student performs isn’t really the main concern. How could it be with so many students in class?

Recording Connection mentors act with the individual student in mind. This allows for a free-flowing conversation, and while there are established readings and lessons, the industry-oriented curriculum allows for flexibility contingent upon what the student brings to the table and their own interests and goals. Why waste time covering subjects the student already knows?

Difference #3: Professors Work in a Classroom Setting, Mentors Offer a Real-World Environment

One of the most important differences between four-year universities or trade schools and the mentor and mentee relationship is the environment in which learning takes place. College professors need to teach a required number of students all at once, usually in a classroom setting or during a few hours of “lab time.”

Recording Connection mentors teach from within a real-world, fully outfitted recording studio. It’s like being in a lab all the time, not during a few pre-determined hours during the week. Mentors and their students work together to review material, accelerate the program, or even go off-topic if needed. Professors just don’t have that kind of flexibility.

Difference #4: A Difference in Resources

A mentor works with the latest gear (and often a few choice vintage pieces), the latest technology, and the artists who are making music today. There’s no waiting in line or signing up for an hour or two during the week to get your hands dirty. Bring your A-game and with Recording Connection, you can be spending most of your time getting your hands downright filthy (so to speak).

And there’s no waiting for a special guest to work with or messing around with other students in a college setting. Our mentors are working in the industry NOW, engineering small local acts as well as producing the stars you listen to every day. With our mentors, you could be working with those acts, too. That just can’t be replicated in a university setting with dozens of students.

We’ve been doing this for over 30 years so we are experts at finding the right music mentor for you to learn from. If you want to learn one on one privately from a professional music production mentor then Recording Connection is right for you.

Recording Connection has more than 300 music school locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. From Audio Engineering and Music Production Courses, Ableton and Logic Pro Electronic Music Production Programs, and Live DJ, Hip Hop & Beatmaking, and Music Business Programs, we have the perfect mentor for you. Is it time to Amplify Your Life? Get started now.

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.