Trying to balance life as a student can be difficult. In this blog I will share my experience of being a music production student and give you some tips and advice on how to make the most of this great experience.
I will talk about the financial side of things, as well as your well-being and opportunities that you may get during your time as a student.
Firstly, as boring as it sounds, it is worth trying to make a budget, even if it’s a rough one. Take some time to allocate your income to what you want and need to spend it on. For example, I used to work out how often I would get my student maintenance loan and how much I would get and use that as something to base my budget around. Think about costs such as travel, rent and equipment and resources for studying.
It’s great if you can get a part-time job as well, to help you financially, but I know this can be difficult especially if you’re studying full-time.
I know how tempting it can be to blow most of your student loan straight away, on things that you really want, but if you can use it to invest in things that you will need, it will be more financially beneficial. I needed a Mac when I first started my studies, so I could use Logic at home. I feel that that was a good investment, as I always use it for producing music and I’m even writing this blog on it now. I used some of my student loan with the apple student discount to get it and also invested in some decent monitor headphones, which I also still use. You can get up to 10% student discount off of a new mac through the UNIDAYS website. It’s not a huge discount but if you’re buying a mac that costs £1000, you’ll still be saving £100. Also, you can get Logic Pro X bundled with 4 other pro Mac apps for £199.99 at the moment. Logic Pro X usually costs this on its own, so this bundle is pretty good value for money!
UNIDAYS is also worth checking for all sorts of other student discounts.
Another thing worth mentioning for Music Production students, is that quite a few companies that sell Effects plug-ins and virtual instruments for use with you DAW, also offer student discounts. An example of this is a company that offers a subscription service called Composer Cloud. This subscription includes all of the ‘East West’ instrument packs which are of the highest quality. They’re especially great for anyone looking to do music for media and film and are half price to students! It works out at about $10 US Dollars a month. I’ve included a link to a YouTube video showing the quality of these virtual instruments.
Another thing that I learnt whilst being a music production student, is if you are presented with an opportunity to do any sort of music related work or experience, take it! Make the most of these offers as you never know where they might lead in the future! This could be anything from an offer of work experience to collaborating with an artist, producer or even a student filmmaker.
Really, try your hardest to put 100% into everything you do, as people tend to take notice of this, and it will be more likely that they’ll want to work with you again or even offer you a job. I was lucky enough to do a live sound engineering apprenticeship during my studies and still do this sort of work now, so really make the most of it if someone offers you something like this.
Definitely try and collaborate with your fellow production students as well! Even if you ask one of the others if you can have a go at mixing one of their tracks. This is all great experience and will improve your skills in production as well as working with others.
Time management is a really important thing to work on during your time as a student as well. I found that trying to stick to some sort of routine, even loosely was hugely beneficial to getting my assignments in on time as well as everyday life and social activities.
Lastly, try and have fun and enjoy the experience! It may be stressful sometimes, but for me personally, being a music production student was one of the best times of my life and really helped me grow as a person as well develop my skills. Don’t get me wrong, there were times that I got stressed and worried about stuff as well, but I just kept at it! Also, if you are really struggling, try and remember that help is always available! I hope that me sharing my experience and advice will help to guide you a little bit better through your studies.