NYU is home to some of the best digital sound and music resources around. Here, you’ll find world-class instruction by industry leaders, internship opportunities at major recording studios and performance venues, and state-of-the-art equipment. Students interested in careers like sound recording and engineering, music production, game audio, and film postproduction can take advantage of these resources in the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development’s music technology program.
Build Core Skills
The program’s curriculum strikes a perfect balance, combining courses in the core liberal arts, music, and recording and electronic technology. For Caleb “LP” Little-Poole, a junior Music Technology major, one class really stands out: Mixing in the Digital Audio Workstation. “The class helped me break down putting together a song in theory. And that completely changed how I perceive mixing music,” he says. “The idea of space, width, and fullness in audio is something that doesn’t truly make sense until you’re trying to create a sonic environment that includes those elements. Since taking this course, I feel much more confident in my ability to take an unfinished song, mix it, and complete it for an artist.”
Business Structure of the Music Industry is another class that had a big impact on LP. The class is an introduction to how money is generated and distributed within the music industry. “As a freelance producer, getting paid for my efforts is not always as easy as it should be,” he shares. “With my knowledge from this class, I have a better understanding of how to monetize something I love doing.”
Additionally, you can collaborate with fellow music technology students by joining the NYU chapter of the Audio Engineering Society (AES). “We aim to provide an educational and artistic creative space for music students passionate about the audio industry,” says music technology junior Charlotte Zhang, who leads AES. “Previously, we’ve held immersive listening experiences. We’ve also brought our members on a tour of Dolby Atmos, the surround sound company. What’s more, we keep our members updated with industry news and audio educational events, and we help them find collaborators.”
Learn by Doing
Beyond the classroom, Music Technology majors are encouraged to actively participate in the world of music and sound production. Many intern at major New York City recording studios, media companies, and performance venues. These might include Sony Music, Radio City Music Hall, Birdland Jazz Club, or the Metropolitan Opera House.
For example, Charlotte interned at the James L. Dolan Music Recording Studio, NYU’s 7,500-square-foot multifunctional teaching, recording, and research space. In fact, it’s one of the most technologically advanced audio teaching facilities in the country. “The Dolan Studio helped me network with many audio engineers and fellow musicians from different programs,” Charlotte recalls. “Every week, the studio runs different recording sessions. There’s film scoring, pop band performance, mixing, and more. I not only learned how to prepare and run recording sessions but also expanded my music perspectives and recording knowledge by interacting with so many different professionals.”
Moreover, the program encourages Music Technology majors to study away, with special opportunities at both NYU Paris and NYU Prague. Charlotte, who plans to attend NYU Paris in fall 2023, is particularly excited to access a class at the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), a French institute dedicated to music and sound research. “IRCAM is one of the biggest institutes focusing on avant-garde and electro-acoustic art music,” she explains. “I can’t wait to take the Sound Design and Spatialization course. I’ll get to meet musicians in different fields and work on new projects together.”
Explore All the Possibilities
For music technology students interested in saving time and money—and jump-starting their careers—NYU offers an accelerated dual-degree program. Current sophomores and juniors can apply to earn a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Music Technology in just five years. And students earlier in their academic careers can check out NYU Steinhardt’s high school summer intensives. These programs provide participants with direct experience exploring both technical and artistic processes, working with various programs and tools, and collaborating on original music. Furthermore, they can be a great way to start preparing samples for your artistic portfolio, which all applicants to NYU’s Music Technology major must submit.
Regardless of your career aspirations, there’s something for every sound designer and electronic music artist in the music technology program. “It’s a place that embraces talented people willing to share their music passion and make the world a better place,” Charlotte says. LP agrees: “There are so many different ways to make this program your own.”