If you’re wanting to learn music production or DJing, chances are you’re looking at attending a school or course for music production.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll definitely know what we think about music production schools.
Why do we think like this? Because the issue is that you can very easily waste this learning opportunity on some expensive school that doesn’t get you the results you’re after. There are a plethora of outdated and irrelevant programs for music production that exist in many countries and online.
They teach you vague concepts without applying them.
They don’t challenge you to become better.
They don’t give you concrete results.
But there are a small number of schools that might be worth it if you’re willing to put in the effort. So to save you time, we’ve curated our top picks from among the sea of educational resources.
Los Angeles, CA + Online
Icon is regarded as one of the most prestigious schools for EDM production, and a position there is coveted by many. In fact, Connor our Product Manager attended there, and his music, well it speaks for itself.
Firstly, the school known for its rigorous program. Icon is specifically tailored to electronic music production, so you’re not wasting time learning things that aren’t going to get you results. No more lecturers spending one hour conveying how to open Logic Pro. You’ll also get really valuable extras, like guest artists, 1-on-1 sessions with staff and a great network.
In addition, you’ll certainly be stretching to find an alumnus who will tell you that graduating Icon was easy. In other words, it’s got a damn challenging syllabus. Compared to most music production schools, Icon’s 30 contact hours a week (for the LA program) will push you to work harder than you could imagine on your own.
Lastly, Icon’s long list of successful alumni (Jauz, Nghtmre, Slander etc.) is very convincing, especially in an industry that hasn’t been around for 100’s of years.
You’ll be learning the basics of music production with Ableton Live and Logic Pro X, as well as songwriting, music business and intermediate/advanced music production.
If you want more info on their Online classes or Los Angeles class, visit their website.
Worldwide Campuses + Online
SAE (School of Audio Engineering) is an arts school that have a solid electronic music production program that has stood the test of time. They have 51 campuses in 25 countries, so there’s a good chance there’ll be one near you.
The exact offerings vary from country to country, but you can get varying levels of education, including an associate degree, diploma, bachelor and masters. In other words, they are a higher-education institution and can offer approved degrees if that’s your thing.
They have great access to professional recording studios and equipment, and also a great network of other students, teachers and industry professionals.
Check out the US website here for more info.
Prices Upon Application
A bit of an oddball amongst some big names, Liveschool is a hidden gem down here in Australia. They are based in Sydney and offer courses specifically for Ableton Live, as a certified training centre. Like Icon, they boast some big names, this time in the realm of trainers and guest lecturers: Flume, Elizabeth Rose and Mr. Bill.
Their signature course – Produce Music – is an all-encompassing music production course featuring Sound Design, Remixing, Mixing & Mastering and many more modules to help you become a great all-round producer and an Ableton Live master. The same course is also offered in an intensive 8-week course, instead of the traditional one-year.
Additionally, they offer some of the modules as standalone courses if you weren’t wanting to learn everything.
Although they don’t offer any online courses currently, if you’re based in Australia and want a great option for a brick-and-mortar school, give this one some serious consideration. No, they aren’t a ‘higher education’ approved institution like some of the colleges and universities here, but does that really matter?
Check out their courses here.
Berklee College of Music
Boston, MA + Valencia, Spain + Online
Well, come on, we couldn’t leave out one of the most respected schools for music across the globe. If you haven’t heard of Berklee, then you’ve been living under at least a couple of rocks.
Based in Boston, this higher-education music school recruits the most promising and talented contemporary musicians from across the US and even the world. In a nutshell, you can study from among 27 majors through a B.M., B.F.A., B.P.S. or artist diploma. They also have graduate courses beyond that, and both undergraduate and graduate options for their online program too.
An entry requirement of Berklee is to have a ‘principal instrument’. Traditionally, this refers to pianos, guitars and the like. However, as of 2019 you can take an EDI (Electronic Digital Instrument) as a principal instrument, like an Ableton Push.
Beyond that, there is a broad number of disciplines taking these courses will introduce you to, including theatre, film and technology. But that gives you the option to specialize in what suits you (if you’re reading this article, probably electronic music production).
Apart from the prestigious curriculum, you’ll find a vast network of people and alumni to connect with at Berklee. You might ask how that’s different from any old school – their 294 Grammy wins by alumni might help you understand the value there a bit more.
Get more info on the programs at their website.
Worldwide Campuses + Online
From $887 (One Module Only)
Point Blank is a great example of a highly focused and wildly successful music school, specifically focused on music production and DJing. Starting in London, they now have campuses in LA, China, Ibiza and Mumbai, along with their online platform.
They’re also amazingly flexible, offering not just full higher-education courses but a wide variety of different skill-based classes, as well as weekend courses and summer schools. You get the point – they have a lot of options.
They also tend to offer free software copies with their courses, including NI Komplete and Ableton Live, which is a win if you don’t already have them and need them.
San Francisco, CA + Online
From $495 (One Module Only)
Pyramind is and has been quite popular in the electronic music production world, and for a good reason too. They offer quality courses and programs for both music production and DJing, helping you to get career-ready in a focused way.
Their main offering is ‘The Complete Producer’ course, which gets you well acquainted with music production in the broader, multidisciplinary sense. You’ll learn production for bands, film and a whole lot more.
The more relevant program here would be the ‘Electronic Music Producer’ program that covers Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, Piano and Music Theory, Sound Design, Mixing & Mastering, Production/Arrangement, Music Business and DJing & Live Performance.
Additionally, they package similar concepts into the online version, at about 1/10th of the price, this time focusing mostly on Ableton Live.
Apart from that, they’ve got great facilities, industry partners (like Ableton and Xfer) and a solid lineup of instructors, including You Suck At Producing’s Underbelly.
From $4750 (One Module Only)
Despite the previous controversy, Dubspot is still alive with their website and courses, albeit no physical campus anymore.
Many people have gotten a lot out of their courses and the materials that come along with them. This is because they break down their learning into 5 different modules: DJ, Music Production, Music Foundations, Sound Design and Mixing & Mastering. The different programs they offer include varying combinations of these, depending on your goals of course.
They’ve been around for a while, so it’s no surprise that many people swear by them. Personally, I have gotten a lot from their YouTube channel, especially when I was starting out, so their courses would be more than a slight improvement on that information.
If you want more information on the full range of courses available from them, or if you want to learn via the standalone modules, had over to their website here.
Full Sail University
Winter Park, FL + Online
Like SAE, Full Sail is a holistic arts school, rather than just a music school. But they only have the one campus in Florida, with their online school. That being said, they are meant to be one of the top 25 music schools in the country.
Looking a bit deeper, Full Sail has designed their programs to be accelerated and feature more contact hours than traditional universities and schools. You also get a lot more hands-on and professional experience with actual companies than usual, with recording studios operating at the same times they would in the real world. Because they are real-world studios.
The Music Business and Music Production bachelor degrees are available to do online or at the campus, with the Audio Production bachelor and certificate options being online only. For people wanting to learn music production, the Music Production bachelor is probably the best bet. There is yet to be a dedicated electronic music program, however.
Other than the basics, Full Sail has a dope campus, a great network and an integrated online program that makes you feel like you’re there.
Need more info? Here’s the website.
What? You expected us not to include out our own courses? Yeah, right.
In all seriousness, the factors that we believe sets our courses apart from the rest are our course principles: practical-oriented, fast-tracked and relevant content. All for something you pay only 100’s for instead of 10000’s. And you’ll have finished music by the end of the course, including one original that you can release into the world and call your very own.
Why else would you choose us over a traditional school? We’re a small team of dedicated educators with a passion for electronic music and over 30 years of combined industry experience. You’re not going to get lost in a sea of staff members or 100000’s of students. So you get all your questions answered, and the attention to detail you need.
Interested? Check out our more info on our beginner’s course, EDM Foundations, or our music theory course, Songwriting for Producers. If you’re doubtful as to how our courses stack up to the traditional schools, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked.
It’s easy to get delivered a course by someone who has no idea what they’re doing or just doesn’t have the experience. That’s simply not the case with Hyperbits.
If you’re not familiar with our three-time podcast guest, then you definitely should be. Not only is he an incredible producer who’s remixed for the likes of Laidback Luke, but his Masterclass has been taken by producers who have gone on to play some of the world’s biggest festivals, like EDC. So you’re not in bad hands here.
You’ll go through an 8-week structured course with valuable live sessions and contact hours added in along the way. Not to mention, you’ll get a dedicated 1-on-1 session with Hyperbits himself. On top of that, there are heaps of software discounts you’ll be able to gain access to (50% off brands like iZotope etc.), as well as other awesome bonuses.
Interested? Check out the masterclass here.
Masterclass is a multi-faceted organisation, focusing on utilising successful artists, writers, entrepreneurs and whoever, on teaching what they know in their specific areas of expertise. When it comes to the realm of music production, you can gain insights into the processes of deadmau5, Armin van Buuren, Timbaland and a couple more people.
While Masterclass is a less-traditional approach to education – and isn’t focused on action-based learning, it’s certainly valuable, and doesn’t cost too much.
With the deadmau5 class, you’ll be seeing more of his thought processes and approaches to music production, rather than the technical specifics, or watching him create an entire track from scratch.
While I haven’t seen in the other two, the Armin van Burren Masterclass is aimed at teaching DJing and Production for dance music, and the Timbaland masterclass is focused on beatmaking for hip-hop oriented music. Is it worth the money? Maybe, maybe not. But insight from successful producers is generally not something that you’ll want to skip.
Check out their website here for the full range of Masterclasses.
Beat Lab Academy
Los Angeles, CA & Online
Another music school in the heart of the thriving music industry in LA, Beat Lab is a unique flip on the traditional lecture-oriented music school. The school is focused on collaborative learning and education through practice. In other words, you make music with a bunch of people and learn as you go.
Furthermore, the learning system is split into 4 ‘levels’ to help all producers at whatever experience level: Foundation of Music Production, Producer Skills, Artist Progression and The Art of the Super Producer. They also have an assortment of weekend classes and other programs to suit people who are wanting to pick up skills around the 9-5.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Beat Lab has garnered a lot of support over the years. As a plus, they have Ableton Certified Trainer Sidebrain at the helm, who also has a great website.
Check out what they’ve got to offer on their website. The promo video is pretty cool.
How Do I Decide?
Well, you’ve been presented with the options. Time to make a decision.
But I’ll reiterate my earlier point – most of these schools will cost you an arm and a leg.
One school that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, that doesn’t waste your time with irrelevant information and that doesn’t take years to incomplete, is our range of courses available here at EDMProd. As you may have noticed, our courses are significantly cheaper, but you can get the same value as a $60000 course. And if you’re new to production, I’d highly recommend EDM Foundations.
If I’ve missed any solid options, let me know by hitting me up at [email protected].