Chicago - Masters Degree in Audio? or related Masters Degr?

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Traveler001
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Chicago - Masters Degree in Audio? or related Masters Degr?

Post by Traveler001 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 12:26 pm

Hello,

Just wanted to ask your advice. I have been given the opportunity to teach a beginning Audio class at a nearby Junior College. If I like it, and it all works out, then I would have to get a Masters degree in Audio or a related degree in order to teach college level on a full-time basis.

My question is if you know a University/College that offers this degree in Chicago. Or perhaps a different degree, like Digital Arts, would overlap somewhat. I already checked out Depaul and it seems that they do not offer Audio Production as a Masters, but they do offer a Masters in Music Performance. I dont know about Columbia College, Art Institute, or any of the other possibilities yet. It has to be an accredited Masters Degree though. I guess I am going to turn a blind eye to tuition costs for the moment and see what is out there first.

thanks much for your suggestions,

-Traveler001

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audionaut
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Post by audionaut » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:57 am

Traveller,
As a fellow Chicagoan who has spent the past 15 years working in audio and going to various state & private colleges & Universities for audio, multimedia, graphic design, industrial design, I would have to ask how a masters in "audio" should help you become a good teacher (or get a job teaching). From what I've seen, most schools that offer undergraduate audio or multimedia programs prefer college graduates and postgrad degrees, but are looking for "real world" experience from those that will be teaching such a specific profession.
If you wanted to teach Finance at Kellogg or Notre Dame, I'm sure they would require (minimally) a masters in finance and lots of corperate experience.
As for the world of audio engineering, schools like Columbia are far more inclined to hire you if you had a college degree, and lots of engineering experience. Remember, there used to be alot more studios around then there are now... the professional recording "bubble" burst a few years back. Once you actually graduate with a BA and MA in music, you'll be competing against the huge surplus of 35-55 year old engineers that will have (in addition to the same advanced degrees you hold) decades of studio experience, decades of music production credits, grammys...
I'm not trying to be a prick or tell you that your dreams are misguided, because there is ALWAYS a need for good teachers that are passionate about their subjecs, but audio is more of a vocation than a professional skill in my opinion. If you're really serious about having a teaching career and want to do it in this field, get your masters in education. You can do that at night school or part time while working at a studio / post production or ad house that can give you the professional skills you need. Teach workshops, join organizations, be active in the music community. Most of the "audio" instructors I've met are industry legends that barely (if at all) graduated from college.
I'm not saying that's right either... I would much rather have teachers that are formally & classically trained in addition to their years of award winning experience, but it's not common. I guess it also matters if you're talking about teaching at a place like Columbia college that doesn't even look at students' GPAs of require entreance exams or a prestegious (real) school like Columbia University in Manhattan.
I've known people that have graduated from and taught at both.
Don't know if that helps... yes, I am always this cynical.
Best of luck though.
-Audionaut

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Post by JGriffin » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:08 am

I don't think the OP was saying he thought it'd be a good idea to get a Master's, I think he was saying the school requires it. Many do.
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Post by audionaut » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:08 am

by god, you're right DWLB!
I skimmed over the OP at work and completely missed the point... didn't stop me from typing up a long, unwarranted rant tough. Sorry guys. I'll shut my mouth now.
-'naut
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Post by xgatx » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:00 pm

Northwestern offers advanced degrees (music technology), but it seems the program is currently on hiatus: http://www.music.northwestern.edu/progr ... ctech.html I read this somewhere on the website but I can't seem to find it now :?

The School of the Art Institute has an advanced degree (MFA) in Sound: http://www.saic.edu/degrees_resources/d ... ndex.html#

What about online schools?

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Post by JGriffin » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:13 pm

audionaut wrote:by god, you're right DWLB!

:shock: 8)
Last edited by JGriffin on Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

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Post by Professor » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:21 pm

Most higher-education jobs are requiring masters degrees now, because now there have been schools offering them in audio, recording, etc. for a fairly long time. I don't have a master's degree and have been passed over for jobs at community colleges because in the end the piece of paper matters more to most colleges than any amount of experience you might have. And in a certain way, it makes sense. They are in the business of "selling" a certificate of qualification in the form of a degree. How can they possibly sell that product as legitimate to the students when they hire faculty based on experience but not credentials.
I know it seems absurd that they would pass up a 30-year old with 12 years experience and hundreds of recordings behind him (or her) in favor of a 24-year-old with a master's degree and maybe 10-12 recordings behind him. Sure they would rather have the degree and the experience, but in a pinch they'll choose the degree.
And what's worse is that the going rate for those degrees is sinking fast. It's generally music departments who are adding recording programs to help sustain their enrollment numbers. They generally don't have the kind of funding that other departments on campus have, and they pay a lower starting scale because it's only a master's and not a PhD. So the average starting salary tends to be around $35k per year. Yeah, I know that's nothing to complain about for a lot of guys out there, especially if you're talking about $35k plus benefits, plus retirement, plus only 9-10 months out of the year. But as university pay scales go, that's the lower end of the scale.


Anyway, all that aside, this guy wants to know about master's programs.
The first thing to decide (and maybe to negotiate) is whether a master's in audio (or related field) makes sense for you in the long term. I've been considering going back to school for a master's, and I decided that an MBA would make a lot more sense for me. Undergrad in music, plus grad in business, plus lots of recording experience equals a good candidate for a recording teacher in a music-business program, or in a comm. school program. If academia doesn't pan out, it makes for a good candidate in corporate work in the audio and/or music industry. And if I get sick of the industry altogether, I could work middle-management in banking or finance and live quite comfortably.
That's what I came up with for me, although you might arrive at a different solution for you.
Once you sort that out, if audio is indeed your target, then the AES website has the directory listing of every school in the world with an audio program. Check it out here.

Best of luck.

-Jeremy

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Post by Professor » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:38 pm

Almost slipped my mind, but back about 6 months ago I went on a rant about a school that posted an audio production professor job where a PhD was required but experience was considered "helpful but not necessary".

Here's the link to that thread.

-Jeremy

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Kilroy
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Post by Kilroy » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:41 pm

hey, im too lazy to read all the posts, but columbia collge in chicago has some master degrees in audio.

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Post by mattwhritenour » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:22 am

wow, i thought you just needed bachelors degree, really happy I didn't go to NYU now.

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Post by djgout » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:09 am

As far as I know the only masters program designed for recording/production is at U. Mass. Lowell. It was started by one of my old professors from Berklee. I'd really like to go to that program as well, just gotta sell the house and decide to move somewhere way more expensive than nashville.....
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Post by desdinova » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:43 am

Lowell Tech alu^Wdropout here!
I wasn't in the program, but I had friends who were. When I was there, both SRT *and* the EE+Audio minor/track/foo had performance requirements. Important but sometimes overlooked. I doubt that's changed, it was touted as a highlight, which I agree with.
way more expensive than nashville....
Great school and program, shame that it's here in Taxachusetts. I'm not sure what the current differences are for resident vs non-resident but you might end up ahead living in NH and just commuting. ;P

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