do you really need college to be successful in the music biz

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by charms87, Nov 29, 2005.

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  1. charms87

    charms87 Guest

    hey everyone
    I'm a senior in high school
    and an aspiring recording artists
    i'm just having trouble right now debating on
    whether i should go to college or not for my career?
    Because I have found this great school to go to
    for being a recording artists
    but then again on the other hand
    do you really need college to be successful in the
    music industry?
    I know the answer is probally no. But my parents keeps pressuring me to go to college because they never graduated. But still I want to follow my dreams and my heart.
    So any advice, input, anything please feel free and be 10000% HONEST
  2. xian

    xian Guest

    If your parents are paying for it, then go. :p

    I'd say take individual classes on stuff that you know you need help with rather than a whole program. Get a job as a helper at a studio. That's just me though, I don't learn well in a classroom evironment, I need to try it, ^#$% it up, and try it again in order for it to really sink in.
  3. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Five years ago if you mentioned school I would look at you funny. Two years ago I would have said no, it's not really important. But now I would say yes.

    Recording School isn't going to teach you how to mix a great record. What it will teach you is the foundation of why everything does what it does, and how it does it. More and more people are coming out of these schools, and if you're competing to get a job as an assistant of some sort, they're going to trounce you with their book knowledge.

    You'll also learn the basics of mixing and stuff, but really getting good at it takes time and just a lots of hands-on experience. It'll be ten times easier to get there when you've got all that knowledge.

    One thing I hate about rec school grads is the tendency for them to be rigid in their approach to everything. "This is how I learned to do it in school, so this is the only way to do it" is a prevalent mentality of grads. Don't fall into this hole.

    Another thought is that you're probably going to need another job (probably unrelated) when you first start in the field. Having some sort of degree looks a lot better on a resume than just graduating High School. At least you'll be learning about something you enjoy.
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    I'd have to agree with McCheese. I went to The Recording Workshop in good ole Chillicothe Ohio and did well and learned some stuff. But looking back I really wish I went to a University (of Miami).

    Is the school your talking about a recording school like Full Sail or SAE or a college with an audio engineering program?

    Like McCheese said, those schools designed to teach just recording, teach ppl what to do and a little bit of how things are done. But what they don't teach is how things work and why. A good audio engineering program will generally include some sort of electrical engineering or acoustical engineering with it and that type of background information in invaluable. PLUS if you can't get a gig as a recording engineer, you'll have plenty of knowledge to do something else.

    I'd highly recommend the college program if'n you can swing it.
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I wanted to be an audio engineer since I was in Junior High school. This was in the early 60's and there were NO schools that taught audio engineering in this country. I went to a college to study electronic engineering thinking that at least I would know what is behind all the knobs and dials. I lasted one semester. I was already building my own equipment from scratch and they were teaching me ohms law and hole theory. I switched to broadcasting at the same college with an emphasis on audio and got my degree in Radio TV Producing and Directing but what I really learned was all I could about audio the whole time I was in college. All the other courses were GREAT and I have used what I learned over and over again in running my own business. The two things my college taught me were HOW TO TAKE THE KNOWLEDGE I LEARNED AND APPLY IT and HOW TO FIND INFORMATION. I will be forever in their debt for teaching me these two simple yet complex procedures.

    If you go to college you get out of it what you put into it. I guess you could say that about life in general

    I would suggest going to a good four year academic school like Peabody, Ohio U, Indiana U, Berklee or somewhere they have a school of audio engineering along with the other academics you will need to survive in the fast changing world we are in.

    My opinion of schools like the ones that last six weeks to six months is that they are not really teaching you much more than you could learn by reading tech manuals and doing your own recording. This is born out by some people who have applied for jobs in my company from these schools and have not had a really good grounding in what I consider to be important. Yes they may know the names of a lot of pieces of high end equipment and may have sat before an SSL console but they don't know how to take that knowledge and use it in other situations.

    The four year degree schools teach the whole gamut of knowledge and in my opinion are the better way to go.

    If you don't want to go to college there are ways of learning by doing OJT or on the job training or interning.

    What McCheese said is all valid.

    My best friend is a really great acoustical engineer but he never went to college but he started off learning all he could and just kept learning more and more going to more and more seminars and now he has the equivalent of a doctoral degree in acoustics.

    The choice is up to you, what you and your parents want and how much you are willing to commit to learning. Nothing good is ever easy.

  6. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    The real value of going to college is the connections you will make. Whether you go or not is up to you but if you do decide to go, make sure you put in 110% effort because the benefits of college are all self fulfilling as Thomas said, , i.e. "College is whatever you make out of it." If you put nothing in, you'll get nothing out.

    It's a great place to meet girls, musicians, artists, and all the other exciting people who live in the area and you'll have access to gear and knowledgeable teachers which you wouldn't otherwise. All sort of great opportunities to work with bands, etc. will arise.

    Anyhow don't go for your parents. Forget about them and make the decision that's best for you. The college isn't going anywhere, it'll still be there in 2007 or 2008. :D
  7. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Here's an interesting link from the U S Depertment of Labor

    although the data is for year 2002 , still worth the read

    also has links at bottom of page to

    National Association of Broadcasters

    Society of Broadcast Engineers

    enjoy the read


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