10 Best Music Production Schools In New York
Explore the 10 best music production schools in New York.
Welcome to the cultural and artistic hub that is New York, where creativity thrives and the potential is limitless. As exciting as it is to be in such an iconic location, it can also be extremely overwhelming, particularly when it comes to making big life decisions, like what school you want to go to.
If you want to learn how to become a music producer, going to a music production college is definitely an option that you should consider.
If you do decide to go to music production school, choosing the right institution is of utmost importance. In order to help you decide, we’ve prepared a hand-picked list of the best music production programs available in the city that never sleeps. Each school has its own unique educational philosophy, experienced faculty, and studio facilities.
Below are ten of the best music production schools that the city has to offer, including affordable options for aspiring producers on a budget.
1. SAE Institute
The SAE Institute is located in the center of New York City. The school stands as a haven for aspiring audio engineers, music producers, and creative thinkers looking to further their skills. With a history in audio education that dates back to the 1970s, SAE's New York campus provides a fantastic Music Production and Audio Engineering Program. Students in this program are immersed in an experience that includes access to cutting-edge technology, knowledgeable teachers, and industry ties that are essential for success. Students at SAE New York learn the ins and outs of audio engineering, electronic music production, and sound design while gaining practical experience with top-of-the-line programs and equipment.
Location: 218 W 18th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)
Best For: This school is best for those who wish to learn all about music production and recording technology. If you prioritize learning and hands-on experience in real recording studios with the best equipment available, this is the place to be. SAE offers a certificate program that will ensure you have the skills to secure a job in music production after you graduate.
How To Apply: You can inquire online and a representative will be in touch. If you are in the city, you can also book a tour of the facilities.
2. 343 Labs
343 Labs has recently emerged as an innovative destination for aspiring music producers and electronic music enthusiasts. This new learning center has locations worldwide and provides thorough instruction in music creation and production. Their educational philosophy places a strong emphasis on practical experience and expertise, allowing students to work on real-world projects while utilizing the latest tools and software. 343 Labs offers a stimulating atmosphere for students to learn about sound design, music theory, and production methods thanks to a group of knowledgeable lecturers and a vibrant community of artists inhabiting its halls. The institution's commitment to promoting creativity and innovation makes it a standout option for students seeking to carve a niche in the thriving New York music scene.
Location: 119 W 23rd St #902, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)
Best For: Students who value a less formal educational environment that allows them to work on real projects as part of their learning. The institution provides focused courses, which can be bought separately depending on what you want to study. Each course lasts a few months, and can range from electronic music production to live performance. 343 Labs is also an officially certified Ableton Live institution.
How To Apply: You can simply choose a course based on your interest and purchase the classes - if you want to book a consultation, press “Register Your Interest” on the page for the course you are interested in taking.
3. Recording Connection
Recording Connection stands out as a superb option for aspiring audio engineers and producers in New York City because it provides a distinctive and interactive approach to music production education. Contrary to conventional classroom settings, Recording Connection's curriculum is designed around a mentor-extern format, giving students the chance to study in actual recording studios while being guided by professionals from the field. The actual use of audio engineering methods, mixing techniques, and mastering abilities in a business setting is made possible by this hands-on instruction. Recording Connection guarantees a lively and hands-on learning experience, preparing students for a lucrative career in the music production sector by putting them right in the middle of the action. They also guarantee that each and every class will be taught by a “Grammy-winner or nominee, a legend, a hit maker”.
Location: Multiple private studios in New York and surrounding areas
Best For: Those who wish to immediately start making connections while they learn. It’s also great for those who want to get consistent studio experience, which not every production school offers.
How To Apply: Call or fill out the form online and a representative will reach out to you.
4. LaGuardia Community College
LaGuardia Community College is located in the growing neighborhood of Long Island City, just one stop out of Manhattan. This college is a standout option for aspiring music producers and recording enthusiasts because it provides an outstanding Music Recording Technology curriculum. The program promises to give students a solid foundation in audio recording, music production, and sound engineering. Students gain exposure to the technical and creative facets of the profession through a combination of classroom instruction and practical experience. The modern facilities and committed instructors at LaGuardia ensure that budding music producers have the knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in New York's sometimes cutthroat music production market. Additionally, students completing the program will receive an Associate’s Degree and can transfer to a four-year school to complete their Bachelor’s Degree if they so choose.
Location: 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101 USA
Best For: LaGuardia is great for aspiring producers and audio engineers that want a more traditional teaching environment. Since this is an actual college, there will be plenty of classroom hours to go along with the studio experience. It’s also a good option for those who wish to keep their options open in terms of turning their music education into a Bachelor’s Degree, whereas some other institutes don’t offer anything that can transfer as college credits. LaGuardia is part of CUNY, or City University of New York, which is a network of colleges in New York City. In many places, community colleges are often looked down on, but CUNY colleges have a great reputation in the professional world.
How To Apply: Simply head over to the application page to apply online or set an appointment with an advisor.
5. Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, housed within New York University's esteemed Tisch School of the Arts, serves as a prestigious hub for up-and-coming music producers and recording artists. This institution offers a rigorous and comprehensive educational program that gives students unmatched exposure to the varied facets of the music business. The course material emphasizes songwriting, entrepreneurship, audio engineering, music production, and artist development. Students interact with knowledgeable instructors and business leaders, gaining the knowledge and skills essential for success in the ever changing music industry. The Clive Davis Institute provides the upcoming generation of music production superstars with the skills and knowledge necessary to define the future of recorded music, giving them access to cutting-edge recording studio equipment, facilities, and a great location in the center of New York City.
Location: 370 Jay street, Brooklyn, NY, United States, New York (Downtown Brooklyn)
Best For: Incredibly competitive young aspiring producers and musicians. Getting into NYU is no easy feat, even if you are only trying to do the Clive Davis summer program. However, if you are extremely driven and have a portfolio that NYU finds adequate, the program can offer you invaluable knowledge about the industry.
How To Apply: You can apply online using the NYU Common App paired with a portfolio.
6. NYU Steinhardt
For individuals hoping to succeed in music production through a traditional college education, NYU Steinhardt is a popular choice. The school provides a wealth of knowledge and support through its Music Technology program, which allows students to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Music upon completion. A solid grounding in music theory and practice is combined with a study of the technical aspects of music technology. Students can learn about a wide array of subjects, including digital music creation, sound design, and multimedia applications, thanks to the availability of specialized music technology labs and recording studios. Students are coached and assisted in developing their technical and creative abilities by faculty members who are experts in the industry and include both working professionals and academics. The school's location right in the middle of New York City enhances the educational experience by giving students numerous opportunities to interact with the growing music community.
Location: 82 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003 (NoHo)
Best For: This option is best for those that want to attend a prestigious university and get a four year degree. Additionally, it is likely a less competitive option than NYU’s Clive Davis summer program.
How To Apply: You can apply online through the Steinhardt website.
7. Queensborough Community College
Nestled within the diverse educational landscape of New York City, Queensborough Community College offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Music Production, making it an accessible and valuable choice for aspiring music producers. This program focuses on providing students with a strong foundation in music theory, audio engineering, and practical music production skills. Through a curriculum designed to combine theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience, students learn to use state-of-the-art recording and production equipment. With dedicated faculty who are experts in the field, Queensborough Community College equips students with the essential skills and techniques required to thrive in the competitive world of music production. The accessible location and the affordable nature of community college education make this program an appealing option for those looking to start their journey in music production.
Location: 222-05, 56th Avenue Bayside, NY 11364 (Queens)
Best For: Those who want a college-based music production education without the competitiveness of a school like NYU. Because it is a community college, admission is basically guaranteed. Queensborough Community College is part of the CUNY school network. As such, like LaGuardia Community College, students can easily transfer to a four-year CUNY college to complete their Bachelor’s Degree if they wish to.
How To Apply: You can apply online or schedule a meeting with an advisor.
8. UPA (Underground Producers Alliance)
The Underground Producers Alliance (UPA) is a notable choice for anyone seeking an alternative and community-driven approach to music production education. UPA provides a range of courses, from beatmaking and sound design to mixing and mastering, all aimed at improving students' musical production abilities. UPA stands out for its focus on developing a close-knit community of producers and learners, which fosters a collaborative and creative atmosphere. Through their courses, students acquire practical experience with tools and software that are used in the business, under the supervision of knowledgeable instructors with significant industry expertise.
Location: Classes take place at several active studios in New York, NY and Woodstock, NY.
Best For: UPA is great for a student that wants the feeling of community and craves a supportive creative circle. Additionally, like Recording Connection, UPA allows its students to learn in a real studio environment.
How To Apply: You can contact the school via email or phone.
9. RocNation School of Music (at Long Island University)
The RocNation School of Music, Sports, and Entertainment has established itself as one of the premiere institutions for aspiring music business and production professionals by providing an unrivaled curriculum. This ground-breaking institution offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Production, Technology, and Entrepreneurship thanks to a partnership with Long Island University. The course of study combines fundamental knowledge of music theory with up-to-date production methods, entrepreneurship instruction, and practical experience. In order to ensure that they obtain a thorough education in music production, students have access to top-notch recording facilities, digital production labs, and knowledgeable teachers, many of whom are instantly recognizable names in music. Students acquire unmatched insights and connections in the industry thanks to a direct relationship to one of the sector's most important labels, Roc Nation, instantly and effortlessly putting them on a path to a fruitful and significant career.
Location: 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (Downtown Brooklyn)
Best For: Anyone who wants the best of both worlds: a four-year degree with all the same connections to industry professionals that you would get from a more private-studio focused education. It is an especially good fit for anyone who wants to work in the world of hip-hop and make huge connections while they learn.
How To Apply: Prospective students can apply here.
10. Berklee NYC
The world-renowned Berklee College of Music's New York City extension, Berklee NYC, serves as a perfect finishing touch in education for aspiring musicians and songwriters. The one-year Master’s of Arts program combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience to help students develop their songwriting, music production, and music technology skills. Students have the opportunity to work together, create, and immerse themselves in the vibrant music scene that defines New York City under the direction of outstanding teachers and business experts.
Location: 441 West 53rd Street New York, NY 10019 (Midtown Manhattan)
Best For: Students who have completed a Bachelor’s program and wish to continue their education further in a prestigious music school.
How To Apply: You can apply online through the BerkleeNYC website.
How To Choose The Right Music Production School For You
New York City is home to many prestigious cornerstone institutes for aspiring music producers and audio engineers. Each of them offers a distinctive combination of academic theory and practical practice, from the legendary halls of NYU to the collaborative culture of the Underground Producers Alliance.
With their extensive histories and links to the music business, Berklee NYC and the Clive Davis Institute at NYU provided the foundation for future music moguls. Meanwhile, organizations like SAE Institute and 343 Labs embrace innovation and technology to better prepare their students for the ever-changing landscape of the music industry.
For those on a tight budget who still want to learn about making music, Queensborough Community College and LaGuardia Community College are accessible yet formidable options. Recording Connection and RocNation School of Music at Long Island University are noteworthy in that they offer their students direct lines to successful careers in music production.
Any one of these ten institutions can offer the ideal environment for the upcoming generation of music producers to develop their skills, find their voice, and leave a lasting impression thanks to a variety of programs and teaching methods.
For those who want to get started on their music education with a little bit less commitment while they deliberate, Pirate offers music production courses both online and in person.
For aspiring music producers looking for independent practice time, Pirate also has many affordable rehearsal studios and recording studios in New York. Whatever your choice, remember that there is no wrong way to learn. It all comes down to what works best for you.