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Recording Schools Or Mentorship?

Recording Schools Or Mentorship?

Do you live in Colorado, and have an ambition to be a record producer or engineer in the music business? If so, have you started looking for the recording schools that are located in Colorado?

If you have, then you possibly have figured out that if you want to go to college, the most likely option is the University of Colorado at Denver. It appears to be the only major college in the state offering degrees in recording.

That seems rather odd, considering that Colorado in general (and Denver in particular) is home to a growing music industry. So many home-grown talents have made it big in the industry – and some are coming back since the area is so reputable. OneRepublic (most popularly known for their smash hit “Apologize”) had their roots in Colorado and even came back to Denver to record Waking Up, their most recent release.

Now, the question is: with the reputation of Colorado and the availability of high-caliber recording facilities there, why is there not enough resources to educate people on this field? Why aren’t there several Colorado recording schools?

Or is that the wrong question to ask? Is a formal education the best way to learn this trade?

Once again, the story of OneRepublic may contain an answer particularly the story of frontman Ryan Tedder. He has built his reputation as the piano-playing, falsetto-singing guy of the band. What many do not know is that, according to OneRepublic’s website, Tedder is a veteran producer as well. Often going by the pseudonym “Alias”, he has written and produced tracks for the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Leona Lewis, and a host of other high-profile artists. Where did he acquire his producing skills? As per the band’s biography on the website, artist Timbaland hired Tedder to work for him after Tedder appeared on an MTV show, a long time before OneRepublic was formed. And as for this, the website appropriately describes such an experience as “being taken under Timbaland’s wing was a dream come true for Tedder. He calls the next two years in studios from New York to Los Angeles to Miami ‘Producer 101’ because it was like going to college for production.”

Whether Ryan Tedder ever attended a school for recording is not mentioned; but it is clear that when Tedder thinks of how he learned production, he cites his time working for Timbaland, working in the studio not in school somewhere. It was this mentoring experience that taught Tedder how to produce.

In short, the recording industry is an extensively learn-by-doing trade; therefore, people who want to penetrate the field should be in a hands-on environment. Even better is when, as in Ryan Tedder’s case, a seasoned professional guides you through the learning process.

With these being said, then it may be safe to conclude that Colorado doesn’t need more formal recording schools – what it requires is a system where industry mentors will teach the skill to others as this is where real education occurs.