There comes a time when you must really consider the “next step” of your life. So many questions to consider: What am I good at? What satisfies me? Where do I see myself in the future? How do I get to where I want to be? Is where I want to be where I currently am, or will I have to leave home? Do I go to a trade school or university? Which trade school and where is the trade school? What resources does the school have to “connect” me to my goal? How do I become my BEST ME?
If you’re reading this, it’s because you have a passion for Audio… Sound… Music. There was once a very movie-like route to living this “life,” where you knock on the door of a Recording Studio, they hand you a broom, you pay your dues, you get the chance to learn from watching professionals, the manager takes a liking to you and starts grooming you for the “big chair,” learning how to work with clients, and becoming a bona fide Audio Engineer. The other “traditional” route was to receive an education in Electrical Engineering, and then knock on the Recording Studio’s door, and hope for the same result.
While it’s true that there are many educational facilities out there that may have courses based on your interests of Pro Audio, Music Production, and Audio Engineering, chances are the best educational choice is not local to you. Deeply, you have to rationalize how your life is best served by your educational choice. Will this educational facility “teach” you what you would LIKE to learn, or what you NEED to learn? If your goal is to learn a bit to satisfy solely your creative spirit, then you may find a program near you that will, at best, get you to “know more.” If your goal is to learn a skillset that will provide you with a quality of life that betters your current state, you may need to broaden your search beyond your local limits.!
I know, I know… “I can learn all of that stuff at my local community college.” Really? Who’s teaching the course? Industry leading, award winning Instructors or local high level hobbyists? What environments will you be learning this information in? Converted classrooms built from state-funded budgets, or an educational facility whose goal is YOUR success with purpose-built studios? What disciplines of Audio will your local college focus on? Music Production? Video Game Audio? Post Production? Broadcast Audio? Live Sound Reinforcement? WHAT?!?!?!?! You didn’t know that all of those areas existed in Pro Audio? See what I mean? Having an education in each of these fields will ALWAYS give you the ability of saying YES to ANY AUDIO GIG!
My favorite is “I can learn all of this online.” I hear this almost every day. The same reasons as above apply, but to deeper depths. Outside of what’s been outlined, how do you expect to hear the differences in Pro Level gear from the little speakers on your laptop that were NOT DESIGNED to articulate the accuracy of the Audio passing through them? Something I’ve seen is educational facilities promising success “at your own speed.” Folks… this industry travels at ITS OWN SPEED, and if you want “in,” you’d best be prepared for THIS SPEED. Here’s what frequently happens: You sign up for an online course because it “fits” within your busy lifestyle of work, family and social life. You enroll into the program, you utilize your available Financial Aid, and you stay on track for a few weeks. Then, your job has you work an extra shift, you miss a “virtual class,” you email your instructor, the next “class” comes up before you get returned correspondence, and now you feel like you’re “behind.” You contact your school, explain your situation, and they advise that the best way to get you back on track is to relocate to their physical location. Wah wah wah… exactly what you tried to avoid.
Beyond that, what Production Facility/ Artist is going to make an “online only” educated person their “go to” person?
So, here’s the REAL question… Are YOU where you NEED to be? Although it’s convenient to remain where you are, do the opportunities that you NEED to get to where you envision yourself exist there? Even if you tried the movie-like route of knocking on a Recording Studio’s door, does that Recording Studio exist locally? Beyond that, you have to understand that these facilities are dealing with TOP LEVEL CLIENTS, and are looking for properly trained people to outfit their facility. Now, honestly… do you really think that your local/online facility will prepare you for that?
The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences (CRAS) has been, and will continue to be, THE educational facility that has a proven “recipe for success,” a proven “track record,” 13 purpose-built World Class Studios, award winning Instructors, Graduates that have worked on the Grammy’s Record of The Year for 8 consecutive years, and a 36 week curriculum that focuses on ALL DISCIPLINES so that YOU can say YES to any gig. However, this is where the benefit to YOU lies: Each CRAS student, in order to graduate, completes a 280 Internship in a city/facility of their choice.
Let’s think about that for a second. 280 hours. That’s seven 40 hour weeks. That’s plenty of time to prove to the facility that you are WORTH HIRING after your Internship hours are completed. As an employer, I would have GREAT CONFIDENCE in making an employment decision after having gotten to know someone over 7 weeks, and giving myself the opportunity of seeing their new-learned skills put to task in my facility.
It’s true that other schools have internships, of the 10, 20, and 40 hour sort, but… is that enough time for you to PROVE that you deserve to be there? Is that enough time to PROVE that you’re indispensable? Is that enough time to PROVE that they NEED YOU? After 30 years of teaching Audio Engineering, CRAS has PROVEN that 280 hours is the PERFECT amount of time!
One last time, let’s get to the REAL question: Are YOU where you NEED to be? If you see yourself saying YES to any gig… If you see yourself working on opportunities that don’t exist NEAR YOU… If your DREAMS are bigger than where you ARE… THEN YOU NEED CRAS.