B.S. in Music Engineering Technology

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Music Engineering Student at work in a FROST Lab Music Engineering Student at work in a FROST Lab

The University of Miami was the first American university to offer a four-year undergraduate degree program in Music Engineering. The Music Engineering program is among the University of Miami’s most prestigious programs. Undergraduate students from the United States and overseas combine the study of music recording, music theory and performance, electrical engineering and computer engineering in a unique interdisciplinary program.  This program also requires proficiency on a musical instrument or voice.

Portfolio Requirements

Course work includes studio and live music recording, mixing, post production, digital audio, acoustics, studio design, transducer theory, signal processing, film/video production, and audio design. In addition, students must play in ensembles throughout their four-year stay. Our graduates enjoy a very high placement rate in the professional and consumer audio industries. Many graduates occupy prestigious positions and have achieved great success in their work. For example, as recording engineers, graduates have recorded gold, platinum, and Grammy award-winning albums, and mixed the sound tracks of Oscar-winning motion pictures.

The Music Engineering Technology program is designed for students who desire a career in music recording, film and video production, audio equipment and software design, sound reinforcement, broadcasting, or studio design and installation. Students completing the undergraduate program earn a Bachelor of Science degree. They can choose a minor in electrical engineering (hardware study), or computer engineering (software study). Both curricula tracks are completed in four years. Combining the study of music with technology ensures that graduates are proficient audio engineers as well as accomplished musicians.

Music Engineering students are expected to demonstrate expertise in three principal areas: music, music engineering, and hardware or software engineering. Music skills are gained in courses such as music theory, arranging, music history and literature, and instrumental or voice study. Studio classes emphasize audio theory, digital audio, acoustics and studio design, microphone and mixing technique, sound synthesis, and video production. Courses in electrical engineering might include circuit theory, electronics, digital design, logic design, and microprocessors. Courses in computer engineering might include computer programming (C and C++), algorithm analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and software engineering. To find out more about the engineering aspect of the B.S. in Music Engineering, visit the website of the School of Engineering.

For more information on the B.S. in Music Engineering Technology Degree, please visit the Academic Bulletin.

B.S. in Music Engineering Technology

Do you have an aptitude for music and an interest in electrical engineering or technology? If so, you may be interested in attaining a B.S. in Music Engineering Technology. This exciting career path prepares you with the skills you need to process, mix, reproduce, and record sound. Music engineers work in diverse music and entertainment fields such as film, radio, video games, live concert venue performances, and more. But what do you need to know before you begin to pursue this career path? What kinds of qualifications will you need under your belt? And what do you need to do before you apply to programs?

What Will I Do During My Music Technology Bachelor’s Degree?

Music engineering technology is a unique degree in that it combines creative and technical knowledge. In fact, this is what some music engineers love most about their field! B.S. students are in a special position to take courses within a few different departments. There are many Music Technology Engineering programs out there, but some are older than others. Matriculating in an established program means that the university will have interdepartmental relationships in place and you will be able to take the classes you need.

Across all of the classes you take, you will build diverse skill sets. The abilities you practice during undergrad will help you succeed throughout your career. Professionally, music engineers use many of the following skills on a daily (or even hourly) basis:

  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Working as a member of a team
  • Leadership: giving and receiving directions
  • Collaboration
  • Patience
  • Using an exquisitely trained ear to assess sound

What Else Do Music Engineering Technology Students Need to Know?

It is not enough to simply learn how to run boards and manage sound. Excellent music engineers are team players who are driven to achieve a solid product every time. One way to stand out as a music engineer is to insist that you produce high-quality work consistently.

It’s also essential for all sound engineers to have a honed aural skills. You need to know when the sound is working, and when it isn’t. Much of being a sound engineer is knowing when to make fine adjustments so that all of the musicians sound their best. During a live performance, you will make these adjustments in the moment. Your strong aural skills may mean the difference between a catastrophe or the performance of a lifetime.

What Kinds of Skills Will Set Me Apart in Music Engineering Technology?

Good work ethic is invaluable in any profession, but especially in a collaborative setting where the impression of one person’s work relies on many others. Some of the ways you can exhibit a good work ethic include the following:

  • Integrity: Doing what you say you will do, when you said you would do it.
  • Showing up on time: This simple but important quality makes you stand out.
  • Attention to detail: Eliminating sloppiness saves you time in the long run because it teaches you how to produce excellent work more quickly.
  • Empathetic collaboration: We’ve all dealt with people who have difficult personalities. It makes work dreadful and demoralizes everyone. If you are a person who can work well with others, people in power will look to you first when a new opportunity needs to be filled.
  • Going the extra mile: There is a currency in good deeds. We can’t all do extra every time, but if you go the extra mile when it’s possible, your work ethic will not be forgotten.

A B.S. provides a valuable opportunity to begin practicing the professional skills you will need throughout your career. See your peers not only as your friends, but your colleagues. Similarly, your professors may not only be your teachers, but mentors who will continue to support your journey after you graduate.

How Do I Apply to a Music Engineering Technology Program?

No school expects you to already be a professional engineer, but they do expect that you have already laid your groundwork in the field. In addition to the materials the university requires of any student (grade transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.), your program may expect you to submit a portfolio.

Portfolio requirements may include the following:

  • Audio or visual material
  • Photographs relevant to your musical or engineering ability
  • A writing sample

There are a few different kinds of skills you are documenting through submission of this portfolio:

  • Experience in the studio or with live musical performances
  • Hands-on skill building in recording studios or other musical production contexts
  • The ability to use AV techniques
  • Aptitude in programming, electronics, or other STEM-related fields.

Application committees look at every piece of an application in tandem. If you put your best foot forward in all of your application components, you have a good chance of being seriously considered as an applicant. Consulting with teachers, advisors, or other mentors can provide you with valuable feedback as you revise your application materials. You may also want to contact the program directly before sending in your application to get a sense of what kinds of candidates the school is looking for

How Do I Find the B.S. in Music Engineering Technology Program That is Right for Me?

Many schools offer B.S. in Music Engineering Technology degrees, but it’s important to find the program that is the right fit for you. The more you put into the program, the more you will get out of it. This is why it’s essential to identify a program where you will feel comfortable, and where you feel you can soar. The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami offers a unique opportunity to participate in the Frost Method. This special pedagogical approach places students into a classroom with a small group of peers and an instructor for individualized guidance and mentorship.