[Introduction]There is no shortage of talented people in the music industry, but a music production career requires not only talent, but also strong business and technical skills, as well as a thorough understanding of all aspects of the music business. So, in Canada, which schools offer music production-related majors? What are the professional skills taught in this major? What are the employment prospects and salaries? How do netizens and UtoCanada view this major? Let's take a look!

Introduction to the Canadian Music Production major

Music is not just about sound. It is a passion and commitment to music as an art form. It can evoke people's memories and feelings, and also alter people's ordinary experience of space and time. Whether you are a musician or are passionate about music and want to learn how to make songs, Canadian music production courses can help you gain valuable skills in music production and prepare you for an exciting career. The qualifications that this major focuses on are:

  • A musical background
  • Knowledge and appreciation of all kinds of music
  • Passion for art and entertainment
  • Interest in the recording industry and understanding of the role of music in today’s entertainment industry
  • Related software skills

What knowledge and skills do students learn in Canadian music production majors?

The colleges that offer this major in Canada provide students with valuable skills and knowledge. At the same time, students will participate in internships to accumulate experience, which will prepare them for work in related industries. Music production courses provide students with in-depth knowledge of music engineering, mixing and production techniques. To help prepare for the technical, hands-on studio components of the programs, some courses will focus on ear training and music theory. Programs also emphasize marketing and promotions and small business and entrepreneurship to prepare students for the business side of the music industry. Other subjects may include (but are not limited to):

  • Industry trends and culture
  • Production theory
  • Analog and digital recording
  • Copyright laws and legal contracts
  • Studio setup

Employment prospects for Canadian music production graduates

The range of career options for the music production profession is very wide. Specific positions include music producer, independent musician/composer, business manager, record producer, promoter of other artists, etc. Graduates can work as audio engineers, producers, personal managers, etc., and can also work in publishing and record companies; or perform on stage as a singer or musician.

》Musician and Singer Jobs

According to the PayScale description,
Musicians and singers can perform live in a variety of venues, including orchestras, operas, theatres, cabarets, and lounges. They can also be hired by recording studios or record companies as music producers and recording directors. Therefore, musicians and singers can be employed full-time or part-time. They can also be freelancers. Professional musicians usually specialize in one kind of instrument, but many can play various different instruments as needed. They also often specialize in a specific genre of music, such as symphonic or rock. Likewise, singers usually specialize in a specific style like opera or pop, but they can often sing in a variety of styles as needed. Most of these performers are required to have a significant amount of performance experience prior to being hired, but some employers will take a chance on an artist if he or she has the talent or the sound that the employer believes is necessary to sell tickets. Many successful musicians and singers have bachelor’s degrees or other formal training in music, performance, music theory, or a related field.
The responsibilities of the singer/musician include:

  • Perform songs within a designated genre in front of an audience.
  • Rehearse, practice and learn new music alone and in groups.
  • Work with other musicians, the public and management to ensure a high-quality experience.

》Music graduate salary: the decisive factors & annual income

According to PayScale statistics, the average annual salary of musicians in Canada is $35,416 CAD, with the lower-end salary at $20,653 CAD, and the higher-end at $106,299 CAD.

The best schools for music production in Canada

Humber College

Bachelor of Music, including professional directions: guitar, cello, drums/percussion, bass, French horn, trumpet, keyboard, saxophone, trombone, violin, vocal music. (Four-year undergraduate degree)Humber’s Bachelor of Music program is unparalleled. By combining the latest recording technologies and entrepreneurial business strategies with performance, production, songwriting and composition, you will be well equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for success in today’s music world. Founded in 1972, the program has consistently produced many of the most successful commercial and jazz musicians in Canada and the world. With more than 350 students, a faculty of 18 full-time and 80 part-time teachers, our program is one of the largest, most diverse and highly regarded programs of its kind in the country. The college is well-known for the strength of its professors. Humber offers you the opportunity to study privately in classes taught by Canadian musicians. After two years of core music courses, you will continue with lessons on your major instrument, as well as take classes in music production and music business while also choosing from electives in arranging, composition, advanced improvisation, film scoring, music production techniques, songwriting, ethnomusicology or pedagogy. You’ll develop musicianship and artistry by presenting your own recital, arranging and composing original material, and recording and marketing your own music. In addition, you will take courses in music history, theory, aural training and improvisation, and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of ensembles. All students complete a major recording project/portfolio in their fourth year. The assembled portfolio, which includes a complete press kit and professional-quality recording, as well as other promotional materials, functions as your calling card for entrance into the music industry upon graduation.

Algonquin College

Music Industry Arts (2-year college diploma)This program enables students to become producers, engineers and music professionals in today's music industry. Students make multi-track recordings and demonstrate a full range of audio engineering and music production skills. The focus is on the research of the entire music industry and the commercial concepts involved, and discusses legal contracts, copyright issues, royalties and music publishing. Students will learn in a professional studio environment.

Fanshawe College

Music Industry Arts (2-year college diploma)This program provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about music production, recording and post-production industries and the skills needed for the music business. Graduates can find career opportunities in music/recording and live remote recording, music/audio production and live sound. In addition, the courses will cover movie audio and sound design, live sound, network, game, TV, radio, etc. Craig Mann, the school’s Music Industry Arts graduate, won the Oscar for the Sound Mixing award in 2015.

St. Lawrence College

Music and Digital Media (2-year college diploma) St. Lawrenceis the only college in Canada that offers this major. This challenging major helps students establish basic skills in music performance and teaching, multimedia, film and audio recording. It prepares students for further education and careers in music and in media industries. The focus is on the connection between different artistic disciplines and creative integration of art forms. Studies in Music History and Theory are combined with digital media courses in Video Production and Recording. Throughout the program, students study their primary instrument/voice in 10 private applied lessons per semester. In second year, students gain experience in composition, entrepreneurial skills, and integrated arts project work.

Seneca College

Independent Music Production (1-year certificate)In this certificate program, you will learn the skills necessary for success as an independent musician. Guided by professionals who are active in the industry, you will gain hands-on experience in home-based recording, music production and distribution and songwriting. You will also be taught business and entrepreneurial skills.

 Cambrian College

Independent Music Production Major (1-year certificate)If you are interested in further research in audio recording and music production, or if you wish to engage in independent music recording and composition, then this course is the perfect stepping stone. As you learn the basics of music recording, editing, and performance, you will have a chance to explore your creative potential and develop the communication skills needed to start navigating the music industry. Your studies will be focused on methods for small-scale, computer-based recording and editing. It will outline the roots of popular music and current trends in the music recording industry, and introduce you to the business skills needed to successfully promote yourself and your work. You will have the opportunity to work in an industry standard laboratory alongside experienced professionals. You will also learn from world-class music professors in a one-on-one classroom environment to ensure that your music skills advance together with your technical knowledge.
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Summary: UtoCanada's views on the music production major

A good music composition requires a long process of creation from the beginning to the end, and music production plays a key role in this process. That is the reason why music producers are a very important role in the recording industry. The work includes managing the schedules of recording projects, training and mentoring new musicians, preparing production budgets and resources, supervising the recording process, mixing and mastering. Producers nowadays usually perform almost all duties, including selecting and arranging tracks, supervising the recording process, and even participating in the creation of music. This requires students of this major to be keenly familiar with various musical instruments and playing methods; have a keen sense of music; have the ability to control the optimized combination of music styles and song structures; have the ability to appreciate music theory, basic harmony, and different music styles; have good composing and orchestration (musical arrangement) capabilities; have the ability to play one or more musical instruments; have an accurate grasp of market demand and orientation; and have the ability to express and endorse a singer’s individual style and characteristics.
Canada has a well-developed music industry that can provide international students with mature and systematic professional learning.If you are truly passionate about this industry and want to become a music producer -- whether it is in records, commercials, movies, games, or TV shows; you skills and strengths can be employed in a wide variety of fields.