Somewhere along the line in your life you heard a song, you saw a magical performance, or you tasted a sample of the pleasures music can bring about. Thoughts of your future pondered you, and you quickly become obsessed with all things music. The only problem is, you have no idea where to start. All you know is that you want to make a career out of it. After countless hours of doing research online, you come to three possibilities: go to a private college, learn on your own, or enroll in a music production school like Dark Horse Institute.
The point this blog tries to make is why we think it’s a good idea for you to skip the first two, and enroll in a music production school. These types of schools offer a wide array of reasons to attend, which will have quick and impactful advantages for your musical career, as opposed to years of college or being self-taught.
Advantages of Specialty schools Vs. Private
One of the main reasons you should attend a specialty school over a private four-year college is simple, money. The average cost for a music program is anywhere between $17,000 – $50,000 per year, whereas attending a private school can be upwards of $100,000 for all four years, excluding the cost of living.
Another big money saver is not having to take all those general education classes for your first two years. Lastly, time is precious, and the last point we will make is this, would you rather spend six to twelve months on training that will help you land a job faster, or would you rather spend four years with minimal studio time or real-life experience in music?
The Downsides of the self-taught path
Nowadays we live in a world of the internet. A simple google search or video search on Youtube could lead you to vast amounts of videos to teach you pretty much anything and everything you could want to know, and while yes, that is entirely possible. There are downsides:
● You learn things in bits and pieces, while not allowing yourself to get the full picture of any one subject.
● Creating a schedule to learn something without someone to guide you is challenging.
● Some online courses can potentially promote personal agendas and sell you on ideas instead of honest teachings.
Knowing about the advantages and disadvantages is a great place to start, but specialty schools can really help with one thing, figuring things out.
Figuring Things Out
There are many different facets of the music industry. You can potentially work in various industries like:
● Motion Pictures
● Sound Recording
● Radio & Television
● Performing Arts
● Video Games
● And Many more
Within these industries are various branching paths. For example:
● Live Sound
● Digital Audio
● Digital Disruption
● And Countless Others
The first helpful thing that a music production school can do for you is to navigate you towards the avenue that sparks your passion. Do you want to be a music producer in electronic music, for example? When you attend these schools, you’ll get hands-on experience providing you with real opportunities to try various aspects of the industry, figure out what you like or dislike, then narrow it down to what you’re good at.
On top of testing multiple positions within the industry, you’ll also be able to get a sense of the salary range and lifestyle you can expect within your chosen career field. In fact, one of the first things you’ll learn is that you will likely make within $30,000 -$82,000 a year. Knowing the information about your career path, salary and lifestyle are essential to understand what you’re genuinely passionate about.
Attending a music production program will allow you to do this, and most importantly, you’ll be able to get invaluable real-world experience with industry professionals.
The hands-on approach
Other valuable aspects of attending a music school are being able to get hands-on experience with lots of various pieces of equipment, business practices, and technologies such as:
● Microphones and Placement Techniques
● Signal Routing and Patching
● Compression, EQ, and Digital Effects
● Digital Audio Workstations
● Pro Tools
● Software plugins — Melodyne, Elastic Audio, and Beat Detective
● Setting up Tracking Sessions
● Editing Techniques
● Working with MIDI, Loops, and Beats
● Analog Tape Machines
● Live Sound techniques
● Full bands Recording, Editing, Mixing, and Mastering
● Soldering and Studio Repairs
● Sound for film and post-production
● Creating a business and becoming an independent contractor
Another critical area of knowledge you’ll gain during this hands-on approach is life skills. This set of skills will be needed to meet deadlines, cultivate long-lasting connections, and work a project from beginning to end. We apply all of these approaches here at Dark Horse Institute, and we’d love to tell you about our perspective.
Dark Horse Perspective
At Dark Horse Institute, you’ll learn music production instructors that have decades of experience recording with countless Grammy-nominated artists from all different genres of music. They’ll share the tips, tricks, and tools you’ll need to be successful within the industry. You will, however, have to make a decision on which program you want to pursue: Music Business or Audio Engineering, or both. These two programs offer essential insight into the industry.
In the Music Business Program, you’ll learn all about what it takes to be successful in the industry during the morning class. Then in the afternoon, you will participate in Dark Horse Music Group, a student-run recording, marketing, and project management company. Tasked to scout out indie bands, sign them, and then preparing an EP recording with your fellow classmates.
From day one in the Audio Engineering Program, you will be working with a small class of around thirteen students in one of our four breathtaking recording studios. Where we offer world-class analog and digital gear for you to learn recording and music production techniques.
If you decide to go to Dark Horse Institute, or any other music school, now what? Well, this leads us to perhaps the smartest reasons to go to a vocational music school of all, job placement.
Jobs & connections
Whether you decide to go to a private school or teach yourself, one thing that sets a specialty school apart is career development. Music production schools such as Dark Horse Institute guide you towards job placement during enrollment and after you graduate. For example, we offer career guidance and connect you with industry-networking opportunities, and we help you out post-graduation with:
● A Nationwide Employer Contact List – Includes many recording studios, record labels, production companies, and gear manufacturers.
● New Resume and Cover Letter Design – We’ll help you design a new resume and cover letter better suited for the industry.
● Career Opportunities Board – Our Career Advisor will post job openings the moment they open up.
● Pre-Interview Session & Post Interview Follow Up Skills – Before your interview will we prepare a series of tips and questions. Then afterward will create a follow-up campaign.
We know securing a job encompasses so many factors, including educational training, level of experience, networking abilities, and presentation skills. We hone in on these elements in our classes to give you every advantage to learn how to present yourself professionally and optimize networking opportunities.
The Choice is Yours
Not everyone needs to go to one of these schools to gain the knowledge. If you’re a self-starter and continuously push yourself and put yourself in instances where you’ll be with the right people, then go for it.
Yes, schooling can be expensive, that’s why choosing a music production school like Dark Horse Institute is a great option. You’ll learn faster, be in the job market quicker, and form connections easier. It’s at our school, or one of the countless others, that you’ll learn the knowledge of what field you really want to dive into, how to better navigate the tough waters of the entertainment industry, and ultimately, pursue your dreams.