Music proficiency is an important part of audio recording and production (ARP) education and is an essential part of an aspiring recording engineer’s development. However, because music proficiency is not a well-defined concept in ARP programs, it has been delivered to students in a variety of ways via disparate materials and methods. Therefore, this paper asked educators from 25 different ARP programs in the USA to identify best practices for the inclusion and integration of music skills into formal ARP programs. Educator’s responses, collected via initial phone interviews and an online survey instrument, were analyzed via descriptive statistics and organized via an initial coding method. The educators reported that the integration of musical skills and proficiencies within coursework and assignments enabled them to enhance musical and technical skills simultaneously. Additionally, educators cited keys to improving and nurturing a student’s music proficiency: student ensembles, real-world exposure to performances, and higher-level coursework. Based on the best practices offered by the educators, this paper outlines the content for a music proficiency text specific for ARP students and educators as foundational material for course-learning objectives. Sections include (a) keyboard basics, (b) basic theory, (c) performance reporting, (d) music rehearsals, (e) technical ear training, (f) composition, and (g) genre specific techniques.
A Musician’s Engineer: Best practices for teaching music proficiency at formal audio recording and production programs in the USA
In September 2014, the School of Music at the University of Victoria launched a digital archive of all student, faculty and guest concert recordings presented at the university. A case study of this archive, its design, implementation and subsequent use, adds to the dialogue (Seay: 2011, Strauss & Gregg: 2008) surrounding audio archives in an institutional setting. If we are to see more institutions develop this resource and more industry collaborations with institutions for the purpose of “provide[ing] primary sources while preserving culturally significant recording collections” (Seay: 2011) then a better understanding of how users and contributors interact with the archives is essential. What are the attitudes towards who can have access to the archive? What are the file sharing habits of the users? What is the level of copyright knowledge? This paper uses a web-survey and web site usage data to explore these questions and to develop a better understanding of what the users expectations are from this type of archive.