New York is arguably America’s finest art exhibition city. Whether this is music, dance, or drama. So, it makes sense why the whole state is crawling with the best art schools in the world. New York is home to a huge number of music production schools.
And if you have plans to enroll in one of these music production schools in New York, then you may have a hard time selecting what school is best for you.
However, this is why we have written this blog. We have published this as a guide for you to learn about what music production schools in New York are out there, and how you can make your best decision on finding which of them is best for you. In this article, we are narrowing our list of music production schools in New York to three major types found in the city:
- Private (for-profit) and online music schools.
- Colleges that offer degrees in music education and studio production, and
- Vocational schools.
What is Music Production?
Music Production is an umbrella term for recording and producing music. This involves a variety of roles, from voiceover actors to audio engineers and sound designers.
These listed music production schools in New York will teach you the skills you need to succeed in this field, including how to use recording equipment, how to market yourself as a music producer, and so much more.
You’ll also learn about the various types of positions in the music industry:
- Songwriting: You will learn how to write lyrics, compose melodies, and arrange songs.
- Instrumentation: You will learn how different instruments work together and study their unique sounds.
- Sound Engineering: You will learn how to record sound using professional equipment such as microphones and mixing boards.
- Audio Engineering: You will learn how sounds are processed electronically through filters like equalizers or compressors.
These are just some of the things you’ll study at any music production school in New York.
How Much Do Music Producers Earn in New York?
Based on data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary for music producers in New York is $112,870, which averages to $54.27 per hour.
The actual amount you earn as a music producer will depend on factors such as industry and experience, as well as your educational background and training.
The more specialized your expertise and education are—perhaps you’ve mixed a Grammy-nominated album or have a degree from a top music production school in New York—the higher your earning potential will be.
For example, skilled freelancers can command fees that are much higher than industry standards because their work is valued so highly in the competitive field of music production.
Typically, New York is one of the cities in the United States that employs the highest number of music producers – currently at 21,470. What this means is that, while music production is a competitive field, there are still opportunities out there to be explored.
Top Private Music Production Schools in New York
Below is a list of the top-ranked private music production schools in New York.
No matter where you are, there’s likely a music production school close by, but it’s important to choose one that best fits your needs. For example, you would want to look for a school that offers the type of training or degree you’re seeking.
Also, if you want to attend part-time or full-time, are looking for financial aid opportunities, or want to get into a specific program (such as Audio Engineering), these are all things to keep in mind when choosing the right school for you.
Beyond location and amenities, it’s also important to make sure that the school is accredited.
The following private schools have been ranked based on their reputation and commitment to academics. Each of these schools has met accreditation requirements from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and will prepare students for careers in music production and/or audio engineering after graduation.
#The Juilliard School
Review: Great school, but very expensive. Difficult to get in.
Ranking The Juilliard School as the best music production school in New York was not a difficult decision to make. This is by far, the most renowned and reputable music production school in New York. Juilliard is an art school specializing in dance, drama, and music.
They have various degrees in arts like the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) for actors; and the Bachelor of Music Arts (BMA) degree for music students. What stands out for Juilliard is the impressive alumni roster they have.
Grammy-winning actors like Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Adam Driver, Kevin Spacey, and the talented Robin Williams all passed through this school.
The critically-acclaimed composer, Alexandra du Bois, is an alumnus of Juilliard. But don’t get too excited yet.
While Juilliard may be one of the finest music production schools in New York, it is very expensive. The cost of getting a degree from this school is around $79,572.
And even if you have the money, still, getting into Juilliard isn’t easy. It has an 8 per cent acceptance rate – this means that, if 800 people applied at the same time to Juilliard, only 64 will make it into the school!
The New York City private music production school called The Juilliard School is widely considered to be the best in the world and is located in New York City.
Students who specialize in music production, electronic music, and other electronic instrumental genres are trained to work within all areas of the industry.
However, if you are looking for cheaper music production schools in New York, continue reading this article for more options.
# Manhattan School of Music
Review: Less expensive than Juilliard. And has a better acceptance rate of 42 per cent.
The Manhattan School of Music, located in New York City’s famous borough of Manhattan, is a private school with a student enrollment population of 518 (fall 2019) that offers undergraduate and graduate programs.
This school was established in 1917 and is one of the best music production schools in New York.
Like Juilliard, the cost of studying in this school is on the high side, but you will rest easy knowing that MSM enrols more students in its school than the famous Juilliard.
MSM does not require an audition for its music production classes.
The school’s annual tuition is $51,500. However, financial aid is available for specific courses. And if you are qualified for any of them listed, you can apply to study at this school.
If you want to know more about the music production courses MSM offers, you can check out their website or contact them directly.
# School of Jazz and Contemporary Music | The New School
Review: This school is a little affordable, and has an acceptance rate of 69 percent. You are a lot more likely to get in!
The New School is composed of several schools, including the School of Jazz. The School of Jazz was founded in 1987 and has been bringing jazz education to students ever since.
It is one of the oldest music production schools for jazz in the world, delivering a rigorous curriculum that attracts musicians from all over the globe.
Alumni include notable musicians such as Wayne Shorter and Anna Webber.
Students can choose from many programs at different levels and degrees, whether they are interested in performance (jazz studies), music production, or composing and arranging for big band ensembles.
- Undergraduate degree options include a bachelor’s in Jazz Studies; a bachelor’s in Music Production; and a bachelor’s in Contemporary Improvisation.
- Graduate degree options include Masters in Jazz Studies with a concentration in Composition/Arranging; Masters in Jazz Studies with a concentration in Improvisation/Performance; Masters in Jazz Studies with a concentration in History & Literature; Masters in Contemporary Performance – Integrated Contemporary Practice.
The School of Jazz makes a great choice for producers who want to learn the ropes of making good jazz music.
It is one of the best music production schools in the world.
Tuition payment in this school is $25,920 per semester; the program lasts for 4 years.
Learn more about the School of Jazz.
# The Collective School of Music
Review: Good choice for instrumentalist producers, and live-band performers.
At the Collective School of Music located in Broadway, New York, students will learn how to put instruments together to make great music, as well as the business of music. The Collective is a good choice of music production school in New York for as many who rather than vibrating air molecules in sound instruments, prefer to play the actual thing!
The tuition cost for this school varies. But a statistic on Univstats reported the average tuition fee as $30,300 in 2021.
View their programs here.
# Mannes School of Music | The New School
Review: Good value price. Good music production school in New York.
The Mannes School of Music is located within the New School in Manhattan. It’s one of the oldest music schools in the United States, having been founded in 1916.
Mannes (also part of The New School, offers a Bachelor of Music in Music Production, Audio Recording, and Technology, and Contemporary Performance with concentrations in Songwriting, Production, and Media Composition.
The school also offers a two-year Master’s degree program with concentrations in Classical Performance, Contemporary Performance, and Studio Composition.
Additionally, Mannes has a Doctoral Program which encompasses multiple disciplines as well as an Artist Diploma program.
Students can work on their degrees full-time or part-time. The cost of tuition at this school is $24,300 per semester.
# Berklee Music School
Review: The best online music production school in New York.
Berklee College of Music is a private music production school in Boston. However, it features an online music school and a recording and music production facility in New York City (called Power Station), which is just as effective.
Berklee is simply one of the best music production schools in New York and Boston, and we just couldn’t pass up the chance to not include them on this list.
Known for its contemporary music education, Berklee has “the world’s largest independent contemporary music college,” with over 12,000 students studying at their campus.
The school offers a degree program in music production, which is intended to give students technical skills in the field and also encourage creativity within the confines of that field.
Their stated aim is to encourage students to “develop an individual voice” and become “confident performers.”
The cost of studying at this music production, however, is a little expensive.
It costs $69,444 to study in this music production school in New York.
Berklee also has a campus in Valencia, Spain, which offers similar programs to the Boston and New York locations.
# Music Production Institute
Review: Good choice of music production school in New York. Affordable fees, and great learning experience. The acceptance rate is 100 percent.
The Music Production Institute is a good school for learning music production. It is based in Yonkers, New York. Additionally, the Music Production Institute offers classes in music production and recording arts.
Their flagship program, Recording Arts & Music Production (RAMP) has been described on MTV as the best course for music production for entry-level students.
It features 8 modules of learning and an internship apprenticeship that may last up to two years.
If you are considering cost as a factor in choosing a music production school in New York, then this is your best chance.
The cost of tuition at this school is $8,999. And they offer flexible learning hours that fit into your schedule, should you be working and studying, for example.
View their RAMP course.
# Recording Connection Audio Institute
Review: Good school. Numerous locations in New York make it accessible to almost everyone.
It has a bargain price for its tuition and is a well-reviewed school.
Recommended for students who are not financially capable of studying in the elite music production schools in New York.
By now, we are sure that you understand what we are trying to do now. We have reached the music production schools in New York that are considered the cheapest among all the music production schools in New York on our list.
Recording Connection, for example, is not as prestigious as say, Juilliard or Manhattan School of Music, but it is considered a really good music production school, without any bias.
This school has branches across different states in the United States, but its most prominent schools are in New York.
The duration of the programs, from Audio Engineering to DJing, is typically 6 – 9 months long, depending on your schedule.
The cost of tuition in this school is from $12,750 – $16,220. And if you ask us, it truly is a great school to kickstart your music career.
# Williamsburg School of Music
Review: Small music school. May not be what you are looking for if you want to study Audio or Studio Engineering.
But it is a great music education school for all ages. It was named the third-best music production school in New York once.
The Williamsburg School of Music is an independently-owned music production school in New York.
It is located in Brooklyn. It has been in operation for more than 25 years, and its specialties include piano, guitar, violin, cello, voice, drums, and more.
Each instructor creates a customized curriculum to suit the student’s level and interests.
The Williamsburg School of Music offers private music instruction for all ages and skill levels.
Students can choose between weekly lessons or intensive blocks where they take lessons every day.
They offer group classes such as acapella singing and chamber music ensembles as well as summer programs for children that focus on improvisation and jazz performance.
# Music Conservatory of Westchester
Review: Good music education school, but does not go in-depth into sound engineering.
The Music Conservatory of Westchester is an independent nonprofit arts organization in White Plains, New York that provides community-based music education to all ages.
Programs at MCW are designed to help students build their musical skills and discover their passion for music, whether they’re serious about making a career in the music industry or just want to enjoy learning how to play.
Tuition fee: $14,000.
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music (LaGuardia Community College)
Review: LaGuardia is a music high school (think High School Musical) targeted at younger kids.
It remains one of the premier music production schools in New York and makes a great option for kids who have an interest in a music career.
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art and the Performing Arts is a distinguished public school with an extensive curriculum in music and technology, including music production.
If you have an interest in pursuing a career as a filmmaker or screenwriter, Fiorello’s program offers both theory and practice.
The Academy of Music is the performing arts magnet school at Fiorello LaGuardia High School.
It was founded in 1936 as the School of Performing Arts by Mayor LaGuardia as a solution to New York City’s lack of vocational education for gifted high school students.
The school accepts students from both public and private schools who demonstrate extraordinary talent in dance, drama, music, or visual arts.
The cost of tuition at LaGuardia is $4,800 per year for New York City residents and $9,600 per year for out-of-city or international students.
[Music Production Colleges in New York]
So, you’re looking for music production schools in New York? Great! New York is a hub for music and arts in general, so there are plenty of options available to those who want to pursue education and training in the field.
This is our list of the best universities and community colleges to study everything about music production in New York, from Music Education, Music History, and Sound Engineering, to Audio Combination.
Studying in a general university cost more (in some cases) than private music production schools in New York, and usually lasts for 4 years.
Here are the best universities to study music production in:
University of Rochester
Founded in 1850, the University of Rochester is the third oldest private university in New York. The school, which had an endowment of $1.9 billion in 2016, sits on 585 acres and is made up of six schools and various graduate programs.
The Eastman School of Music (at the University of Rochester) was founded in 1921 and is one of the best music production schools in the world.
It’s considered one of the most selective schools with an acceptance rate of less than 30 per cent for undergraduate applicants and 35 per cent for graduate applicants.
If you’re looking for more career flexibility after college or are already working full-time but want to take classes to boost your skillset, you can choose from several less intense degree paths like a Master’s in Jazz Studies or Music Technology or minor in Music Theory or Performance Studies so that you can still study music at Rochester without having to commit as much time as other degree programs would require.
The average cost of tuition in the school is $80,476 before financial aid and about $30,000 after aid.
View the ESM Admission Schedule.
New York University (NYU)
NYU, located in New York City, is one of the largest private universities in the United States. NYU is a prestigious school and has been ranked as one of the top universities in the world.
Though NYU is a large university with over 50,000 students, it is still possible to get involved with smaller communities within this school. There are many clubs at NYU that are dedicated to expanding its students’ knowledge of music production. For example:
- NYU’s EDM Club teaches you how to make your iconic music! It also hosts events for members to perform their electronic music.
- The Music Technology Club’s purpose is to connect fellow producers and engineers through social events, workshops, and performances.
Overall, NYU makes provision for being one of the top music production schools in New York. Albeit, like many universities you will find on this list, it is expensive. Tuition costs $78,440 (per year) and $40,000 after financial aid.
See the Music Technology course.
Columbia University is located in the heart of New York City, the nation’s largest city and arguably the capital of music in America.
The institution’s partner program with Juilliard School – arguably the best music production school in New York, does not only offer students an opportunity to earn a prestigious degree but also allows them to be part of one of America’s most important cultural hubs.
Columbia University is unique among other music production schools in New York on this list because it is both a well-respected university with a large undergraduate student body (over 8,000 undergrad students), as well as an elite conservatory that has traditionally taught a more rigid approach than its peers.
In recent years, Columbia has made efforts to integrate its conservatory with newer styles and techniques, which you may find appealing. The cost of tuition in this school is $79000 and includes financial aid.
Ithaca College is located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, around 155 miles NW of New York City and 155 miles NE of Buffalo.
A variety of courses are available, including Beyond the Studio, Acoustic Communication (with an emphasis on music), Creative Composting and Music Production, Electroacoustic Composition, Sound Design for Theatre, Experimental Music (including courses like Sonic Arts), Game Audio Production and Design, Sound Recording Technology (including Audio for Video Production), and many more.
You can apply online or fill out a paper application form.
The deadline for applications is May 1st for the Fall semester and December 1st for the Spring semester.
Tuition fees vary according to which faculty you’re applying to. Ithaca College is a good music production school in New York and focuses on giving its students the best education in Music Arts.
Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY)
Purchase College is a top music production school in New York. It offers great hands-on learning for entry-level students who wish to pursue a music career.
Upon completion of your studies (in 4 years), you will earn a BFA degree.
Syracuse University is located in Syracuse, New York. It is one of the music production schools in New York that offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Production and provides students with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career as a music producer.
Asides from its quality of education, Syracuse University is known for its beautiful architecture and notable alumni.
You will find schooling here, a good choice.
Tuition for this school is $49,000 after financial aid, and it has a 69 per cent acceptance rate.
Visit the school’s site for more information on their programs.
They offer degree courses in various music aspects, like Music Performance, and Sound Recording Technology.
Additionally, the cost of studying in that school is 11,145 per semester, making it one of the cheapest universities to study music in.
Hofstra University was founded in 1935, making it one of the most venerable universities on Long Island.
It is a private university in Hempstead, New York, and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,624. Hofstra’s acceptance rate is 59 per cent.
They offer both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music production and audio engineering.
The following courses are included as part of the BFA program in Music Production at Hofstra:
- Sound Synthesis
- Aural Perception
- Editing with Pro Tools
- Audio Engineering 1
- Audio Engineering 2
City University of New York (CUNY)
Without any doubt, CUNY is another good choice for a music production career.
It is a music production school in New York that features several music production degree courses for you to select from.
The cost of studying at CUNY varies, depending on what your needs are.
Stony Brook University
The Department of Music at Stony Brook University is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Stony Brook offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with a concentration in music education. The program takes four years to complete and requires 120 credits total.
This degree prepares you for careers teaching K–12 music education or as a freelance musician.
In addition to coursework, you must complete an internship or study abroad during your junior year. You will also have to attend concerts and/or perform in student ensembles every semester until graduation.
The Department of Music accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, and the cost of tuition in this school is $27,743.
University of Buffalo
The University of Buffalo is located in Buffalo, New York. It offers a Bachelor of Music Production and Audio Engineering and Masters in Music Composition that can be completed on-campus or online.
The programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The production program was established in 2012, but the school has been educating musicians since 1836.
We have ranked Cornell University on our list this low because the school is widely known for other aspects than music.
While they are doing a lot to improve their music production school, this school may not be a suitable choice for you.
However, Cornell University remains one of the best universities in New York and does a decent job as a music production school in New York.
It is located in Ithaca, and it costs $78,000 annually to study here, for 4 years.
[Vocational Music Production Schools in New York]:
Vocational schools cater to students who are looking to learn a specific set of skills. There are more than 25 music production schools in New York, and it can make your head spin just trying to decide which one is right for you. Here’s more shortlist of options that offer courses in music production and audio engineering:
>Garnish Music School, Livingstone
Garnish Music School is a cheap music production school in New York. But not without quality. If you find degree courses in universities expensive, then you may settle for music production trade schools like Garnish, and others mentioned on this list.
These trade schools come highly recommended to get some experience in music-making, before you may choose to try out other bigger music production schools in New York.
>343 Labs, New York City
343 Labs is a music production school located in the heart of New York City. Their courses cover music production, audio engineering, and DJing, and teach students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s music industry.
The instructors at 343 Labs are top-notch producers, engineers, DJs, and session musicians themselves. Furthermore, the school provides hands-on experience with the latest and greatest equipment!
>Scratch DJ Academy, New York City
Let’s move on to the first school of DJing! If you’re looking for a DJ school in New York City, look no further than Scratch DJ Academy.
Classes are available for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Scratch’s courses cover all aspects of DJing, so you can learn whichever particular skill you need at the moment.
More than 20,000 students have attended since its opening in 2002. The academy can be found in three different locations: Manhattan (Lower East Side), Brooklyn (East Williamsburg), and Queens (Forest Hills).
>ProMedia Training Center
ProMedia Training Center is a school that teaches both audio and video production, with a focus on the Apple Macintosh platform and Pro Tools. Founded in 2009, the school has locations in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles.
For those of you who can learn only by experiencing it firsthand, ProMedia offers hands-on learning where students can practice their skills at will.
The school also offers internships for those who want to pursue audio post-production or music production careers or are looking for opportunities to network with others in the music industry.
>Electronic Music Collective, Broadway
The Electronic Music Collective is a music production school in New York that offers a joint program with the Audio Technology Program at Westchester Community College.
The cost of tuition is $4,350 per semester for full-time study (12-18 credits), plus a $300 fee for the Audio Technology Program.
Soundfly is a vocational music production school in New York that features interactive learning sessions.
This program will get you started in your music career. But it is only recommended as a beginner course, as this will not teach you all you must know about music production.
> Born Star Training Center, New York
The Music Production Program at Born Star Training Center offers a unique variety of classes, including Mixing, Recording, Audio Engineering, Music Theory, Beat Making, and Music Production.
At the heart of this program is a team of instructors with years’ worth of experience as well as an impressive list of connections in the music industry.
After completion of the program, students will not only be proficient but also connected enough to network for jobs in their field.
At the end of their course, students will even have the opportunity to intern with a major label and record artist.
What to Look for in a Music Production School in New York?
Now that you have gone over 30 amazing music production schools in New York, what next?
How do you select a program that suits you? What factors will determine what choices you make? Cost? Location? Degree? Other benefits?
Here are some things you may want to consider in selecting the best music production school for yourself:
- Consider the school’s history and reputation.
- Find out what courses are offered.
- Think about the technology provided by each school.
- Look into the cost of each program.
- Research student support services at each school.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re feeling unsure about which school is the best for you, that’s normal. There are a lot of factors to consider when making a decision this big.
It can be helpful to make a list of the things that are most important to you in a school, then find out what each program has to offer.
The goal isn’t necessarily to try and pick one school over another, but rather to discover more about yourself and your priorities regarding music production.
The final thing we’d recommend doing is getting in touch with these schools directly through the contact information provided on their websites.
Check with their admissions departments and have an open conversation about your needs as an artist and student. Who knows? They might be able to open up even more opportunities for you!