Today, I'm not reviewing any music... instead; I'm reviewing the music industry program that I graduated from at Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, California. If you want to survive in the Christian Music industry, you're going to need some of the same tools that secular musicians/producers/managers have. That brings me to the first tool, Pro Tools: Pro Tools is something you'll definitely need to know how to operate, no matter what your function is in the industry. This tool is what everyone is using to produce music and if you're in the music industry, it's likely that a time will come when you'll need to use it firsthand.
The following is from instructor, Tim White regarding Pro Tools certification at DVC, "Starting Friday March 15, 1-4PM for 8 weeks, I am offering a new Pro Tools 110 certification course for Pro Tools 10, this course is in preparation for the AVID Pro Tools User Certificate. I know some of you have already taken 110, so please tell anyone who may be interested in this course about it. It is open to anyone. I do recommend taking the Pro Tools 101 certification course first, but it is not mandatory." The cost of the course is $450 and includes the $75 textbook.
What's great about this course and others in the Music Industry program at DVC is... it's a community college, and they literally have one of the best music labs and great instructors that not only have years of experience in their particular music fields, but years of success. The music lab at Diablo Valley College has top universities making trips out to DVC to see how it's done, before building their labs. While you're a student in the program, you can use the lab as a recording studio (by appointment) and they even have soundproof rooms to record in. So, if you’re a performer or producer, you could literally save thousands of dollars in studio time while you’re learning at DVC.
If you decide to go for Music Industry Certification at DVC, here are some instructors that I’ve had great experiences with and you should be sure to take their classes if possible. This list is not in order of my favorites… that I am not telling! ;)
1. Tim White
2. Michael Aczon
3. Mark Steidel
4. Doug Michael
5. Jon Bendich
Find out if anyone has a copy of the rap song featuring Mr. Steidel (Sorry, I had to mention it!) I think I pretty much finished the whole program with mostly these instructors. The first four instructors have at least two and some have three of the required courses. Jon Bendich only had a songwriting course, I think, which was very fun and provided a lot of good feedback. Michael Aczon’s courses by all means should be dry, but they’re far from it… they’re very fun and entertaining, while educational! I actually took a course from Mr. Aczon that wasn't required, because I felt I could learn so much more from him. Tim White is a great instructor, funny too… as is Mark Steidel, and Doug Michael actually set up the lab. Doug Michael is one of the instructors you will be in contact with, even when you’re not in his class, as he helps out in the lab. He’s very helpful and helps you really grasp the technical side of things. I doubt I would've graduated the program without Doug, so listen to what he has to say.
All of the instructors have a great sense of humor and they try to make it a fun learning environment. They actually don’t try to go out of their way to make your life difficult either; they want you to understand it and do well. I always hated school and I thought I was going to hate college, but I made myself take these courses and it was like a gateway… They set me up for success and after I was done with the Music Industry Certification program, I was encouraged to further my education and go for a Bachelor’s degree. With that being said: I’m giving the Music Industry Certification program at DVC 5/5!
Thank you to all of these great instructors and also to those not mentioned that were a part of the program as well. I didn’t have any bad instructors or bad experiences in this program, I am just not mentioning every instructor, because some I didn’t have for more than one course. I honestly feel like, I could not have gotten a better education in music than I did at DVC. Some of you will want more than a certificate in Music Industry Studies, but this program is a great start and you can transfer to a University to get a degree in Music Industry Studies. I would recommend taking as many courses as possible at DVC before transferring.