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Online Music Production and Management Degree Programs

Learn about associate's and bachelor's degree programs in music production and management. Find out topics covered in these programs and online program options.

What Are My Online Learning Options in Music Production and Management?

You can earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in music production, music business or a related area from an accredited online program. Many online programs in these areas are offered through for-profit institutions. Master's degree programs in music production and management are available at a limited number of institutions, primarily as an online Master's in Business Administration (M.B.A.). If you hold a bachelor's degree and are interested in continuing your education, you can also pursue a campus-based master's degree program in music production, business or technology.

Degree Levels Associate's (in closely related areas, e.g. music technology), bachelor's, master's
Associate's Degree Courses Basic production techniques, digital recording, audio software, music theory
Bachelor's Degree Courses Music theory and composition, multimedia, digital audio production, songwriting
Online Program Requirements Course delivery systems (e.g. Blackboard Vista, WebCT), Internet connection; may also require additional audio or video software
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $71,680 (for Producers and Directors)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 12% (for Producers and Directors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn in an Associate's Degree Program?

Associate's degrees in the specific areas of music business and production are not currently offered online. However, you can earn an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree in a very closely related area, like music technology or music for visual media, through a distance learning program.

Online associate's degree programs teach you foundational concepts in your area of study, such as basic audiovisual multimedia production techniques or the essentials of digital recording and editing software. You'll also study music theory and explore the different types of musical instruments, giving you a foundational knowledge of basic musical production values in audio-only or multimedia form.

What Will I Learn in a Bachelor's Degree Program?

If you are interested in a bachelor's degree, you have several online options. You can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in music business, production or recording. Most of these degrees are available completely online. However, a few may be hybrid programs, which would require you to come to campus for mandatory courses that aren't offered virtually. Some music production programs may offer optional areas of concentration, such as engineering, multimedia or marketing.

Students at the bachelor's degree level learn about the technical, promotional and business concepts necessary to successfully produce or manage musical compositions, artists, or groups. Course curricula vary depending on degree type, but virtually all programs cover such foundational concepts as music theory and composition, multimedia, digital audio production, and songwriting.

Course topics commonly addressed in music business programs include artist management and marketing, concert promotion, artists and repertoire, online marketing, publication law and music's role in popular culture. As a music business major, you'll also learn about the history and evolution of the recording industry, paying special attention to current industry trends. If you are enrolled in a music production program, your required courses may cover areas like vocal and instrumental harmony, music scoring, digital imaging, audio signal processing, and digital recording techniques.

How Do Online Programs Work?

Online programs deliver the courses through systems such as Blackboard Vista or WebCT. Online course platforms allow you to access course lectures and readings in written, audio or video form. You'll also use these systems to pick up and submit assigned homework or projects, take exams, post often-mandatory responses to class discussion questions, and communicate with teachers and classmates.

All you'll need to complete your online coursework is a computer with a reliable Internet connection. However, due to the technical nature of many music programs and courses - particularly those related to production - you may also need additional audio recording or engineering software, such as ProTools.