How to Learn About Music in New York
There’s a reason they say if you can make it there you can make it anywhere about New York. And while that’s true about hundreds of careers, trying to make it in the music industry is especially tough. There’s plenty of competition for musicians, audio engineers, music producers, and other industry jobs, so you better know what you’re doing to survive. But you may be wondering how to learn about music in New York in the first place.
When it comes to music, or any creative endeavor really, having a diploma isn’t as important as it may be in many other industries. However, you probably need more than a passion for music to make a career out of it (unless you’re Dr. Dre or Kanye West). There are building blocks that should be put in place that will help expand your knowledge base and grow your skill set.
There are several ways of doing this, of course. Going to school, working with a mentor, online resources, and just trying to learn it by yourself. All come with different advantages and disadvantages and not everybody learns the same way. But there’s one thing that trumps all the diplomas, degrees, certificates, and other pieces of paper: Experience.
Recording Connection believes the best way to learn about music is to make music. Certainly, learning about music theory or how the equipment works can be essential for making music. But getting your hands dirty is what it’s all about in the music industry–and that’s what we give you.
When you take one of our audio engineering, music production, live DJ, or other programs, we’ll place you in a professional recording studio where you’ll be mentored by an experienced industry insider. And while there is a structured curriculum, there are also plenty of opportunities to gain practical experience that is so appealing to potential employers and clients when you look to start your music career.
You’ll learn how to use state-of-the-art gear like Pro Tools and other digital audio workstations, establish workflows, get organized for sessions, set up a studio, and work with artists from inside the studio, not a classroom. You’ll get immediate feedback from your mentor and get your questions answered on the spot, which just isn’t possible with online resources or message boards.
And you’ll learn audio production the right way without all of the trial and error of trying to learn it by yourself. Education, collaboration, connections, and experience are what we offer, all without having to take out massive student loans or spend years in school.
How to Learn About Music in New York
There are other avenues of music education, however, and New York offers a plethora of opportunities to learn about music, audio engineering, and music production. Here’s a look at a few different ways to expand your knowledge.
Music Schools and Universities
You could attend renowned institutions like Berklee College of Music, New York University (NYU), The Juilliard School, The Eastman School of Music, or the Manhattan School of Music (although they may concentrate on playing music instead of recording music).
Some of the schools offer various music-related programs, including audio engineering programs and music production classes. Other schools like SAE Institute New York, Dubspot, and Icon Collective New York focus specifically on audio engineering, music production, and electronic music.
Community colleges and vocational schools throughout New York City offer a variety of courses, certificates, and associate degrees in fields like audio technology, production, and sound engineering. While these programs can provide an excellent education, they can also come with a pretty hefty price tag and potentially require taking classes that may not align with your specific interests.
Furthermore, completing these programs may take a significant amount of time, possibly extending for several years. Recording Connection programs range anywhere from several weeks to nine months, so you’ll be able to start looking for work much sooner than those working towards a bachelor of music degree.
Online Courses and Platforms
Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare offer a wide range of online courses in music theory, audio engineering, and music production. These courses can be a flexible option for self-paced learning and obviously won’t cost as much as other options–which is important to think about if you’re just starting out.
But you won’t really know which courses are right for you until you start taking them and you may not get the opportunity to ask questions as you go. You can go to message boards or chat rooms to look for answers, but how can you be sure you’re getting the right information?
Workshops and Seminars
You can attend workshops and seminars hosted by music schools, studios, and industry professionals to learn more about audio engineering or music production. These events often focus on specific topics and may even provide hands-on experience. Or attend events like the AES New York Convention and other music conferences.
These gatherings offer workshops, panel discussions, and demonstrations on audio technology and music production. But you may have to wait around for the workshops you want to attend or go to several to learn everything you want. With Recording Connection, you can start at any time and even help create the curriculum to best serve your needs.
Music Production Studios
Like Recording Connection, there are some recording studios in New York that offer training programs and workshops for aspiring audio engineers and producers. This can provide real-world experience and mentorship. You can also seek out internships or apprenticeships with established studios, record labels, and production companies.
As we’ve said before, learning on the job can be incredibly valuable. So when looking for potential mentors, make sure they are really interested in teaching you and not just looking for someone to run errands. Recording Connection mentors have chosen to work with us because they want to teach the next generation of engineers and producers, not because they’re looking for cheap labor.
You can use resources like books, online tutorials, YouTube channels, and music production software documentation to learn at your own pace. Public libraries often have resources like books, DVDs, and online databases that cover music theory, audio engineering techniques, and production skills.
You can also engage with online communities, forums, and social media groups dedicated to music production and audio engineering. You can learn from peers, share experiences, and get feedback on your work. But it will still be difficult to know who you can trust to give you the right information. It is a competitive market after all, and there may be some bad players that intentionally steer you the wrong way, or even try to discourage you.
Remember that gaining expertise in music, audio engineering, and music production takes time and practice. Combining formal education with hands-on experience and a dedication to continuous learning will contribute to your growth in these fields.
That’s why we feel our programs offer the best of all worlds while removing most disadvantages. You’re learning about the industry from inside the industry, giving you a head start over other educational opportunities. If you’re ready to learn about audio engineering, music production, music business, and other industry professions in New York, get started today at the Recording Connection music production school.