10. Peabody Institute – Baltimore, MD
Graduates of Peabody’s Recording Arts and Sciences program have become fixtures at major production companies worldwide, including National Public Radio. They have also joined the staffs of major symphonies, audio equipment companies, and have even gone on freelance careers as post-production and mixing engineers. Additionally, the school also has a “Computer Music” program, which is designed for musicians with an interest in both electronic music production as well as the recording arts.
9. Full Sail University – Winter Park, FL
An intriguing component of the Full Sail University Music Production is the emphasis on marketing. To be able to produce high quality music requires demanding, complex skills, but to be able to market high quality music is a whole different ballgame. Full Sail, a small for-profit college in Florida, has graduated students who have ascended the ranks of popular music production. Full Sail offers an intensive online course study that is very thorough. However, they may not have the same state-of-the-art in-house facilities other colleges with music production courses may be able to offer.
8. California Institute of the Arts – Valencia, CA
California Institute of the Arts, more frequently known as “Cal Arts,” is a top program for those interested in music production, especially those who are interested in integrated media. In 2011, Newsweek ranked the California Institute of the Arts as one of the best schools for pursuing the arts, as the campus itself evokes a very creative, artistic atmosphere. The studio’s creative facilities are top notch, and students are allowed to pursue projects in state-of-the art recording rooms. The degree is not exactly in “music production,” but rather “music technology.”
7. Academy of Art University – San Francisco, CA
The Academy of Art University is actually not a music school nor a music school attached to a larger university, like most schools on these lists: rather, it is a stand-alone, for-profit, and privately owned general arts school with about 18,000 students, making it one of the largest art schools in the nation. The music production program is among the most significant in the country; many of their alumni have gone on to major production jobs at Sony, Dolby, Skywalker Sound, and CBC Toronto, among other top corporations. Some skills that their students are taught include mixing, mastering, orchestration, editing, and even composing for multimedia.
The program is deeply embedded with the visual media program at the school. So, if you are looking to have an education in various electronic music styles, this may not be the best college for you. However, if you are looking to do scoring and sound for multimedia and television, this could be the very best college for your needs.