If you're at college or university studying music production during the ongoing pandemic and lockdown then you know how different your learning environment and experience is compared to before the pandemic.
Being able to do things like collaborating with your peers and doing work experience has become increasingly difficult due to the current restrictions.
Try not to feel too disheartened though! This pandemic has already shown people utilising the power of the internet to perform music and find new ways of doing things. So, in this blog I wanted to show you 5 ways for music production students to develop their skills during lockdown. Ways that students specifically can continue to learn and start to plan your future!
I would like to take a minute just to give thanks to all the efforts of teachers and education staff for working so hard to adapt the learning environments and continue delivering mostly online sessions.
The 5 areas we'll be looking at in this blog are:
1. Collaborative Music Making Online.
2. Use Your Free Time In Lockdown To Practice, Research and Discover.
3. Learn About The Business Side Of Music, Not Just The Creative And Technical.
4. Share Ideas and Work With Your Fellow Students Online, Outside Of Lesson Times!
5. Start Planning Where You Want Your Music Production Skills To Lead In The Future
I've already mentioned how the power of the internet can allow artists to perform their music to the world during the pandemic, but now we're going to look at how you can make music and collaborate with other producers from all around the world!
The more traditional way of online collaboration is where producers and artists will share the audio stems and sometimes MIDI tracks/regions with each other. There is the option of sharing DAW projects with each other as well but that'll only work if you're all using the same DAW and plugins. This is a great way to be able to work together long distance or in isolation.
A more recent form of online collaboration comes in the form of online DAW's such as Spotify's Soundtrap. This way you can add your ideas and sounds to the same project online and synchronise them for your music making partner to see. There are also other companies that have online DAW's where you can collaborate in real-time.
Whilst in lockdown and stuck indoors with nowhere to really go, try and make the most of this time to develop your skills and widen your horizons.
Practice your music production if you've got access to a DAW, read articles and watch tutorial videos to assist your learning and pass the time productively.
So many of my friends complain to me about being bored and having nothing to do during lockdown and although I do understand where they're coming from, it does baffle me a bit when there is so much more to learn and discover! I guess us music producers are lucky in that we can always make music or use our creativity to make the most of a bad situation!
Another really important thing you can do to develop your music production skills is to listen to as much music as possible! Try to listen to it critically though, to train your ear to pick out certain sounds and production elements used.
As much as we all just want to make music and be creative, knowing at least the bare bones of the music industry is really important!
Knowing the different areas of the business is crucial to working out how you can make money from your music and production skills.
To find out more about the music industry, check out our other blog: Music Business - What Does It Mean? for more information.
So, most students are currently learning online due to the pandemic and although you're unable to spend time with your peers in person, it's a good chance to get to know then and find out their strengths.
I would really recommend virtually meeting up with your peers outside of lesson times as well. This is great for sharing ideas and production strengths and techniques with each other. Of course, collaboration is really encouraged as well, to help develop your communication skills as a music producer.
Another good use of your spare time is to start thinking about your future as a music producer. You may think, wait I'm still only a student, but the sooner you start thinking about which area of the music business you'd like to work in and how you'll do it, the better.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Where do you want your music production journey to lead?
- What area of the industry would you like to work in?
- Would you like to work as a freelancer, have your own company or work for someone else?
- How will you achieve these things?
Really have a good think about these and start paving the way for your future as a music producer! - We also have a post on 'Writing Your Music CV/Resume'
Times are hard! As music production students, ways of learning are a lot different than before, but really do try to make the best of a bad situation and be as productive as possible with your spare time in this lockdown period!
Check out some of our other blog posts: