The University of Miami was the first university to offer a four-year undergraduate curriculum in Music Engineering Technology (MuE) culminating in a Bachelor of Music degree, and the first university to offer a two-year graduate curriculum culminating in a Master of Science degree. Today, the Music Engineering Technology (MuE) program in the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music ranks among the University of Miami’s most prestigious programs.
After research into appropriate curricula by Ted Crager, former Associate Dean of the Frost School of Music, who determined that a minor degree in Electrical Engineering was appropriate, the undergraduate degree program was first offered in 1975. Then as now, the undergraduate program was intended for musicians who wish to pursue technology careers. The program has met NASM guidelines since its inception, and indeed set the NASM standard for music engineering technology studies. Majors are enrolled in music lessons and performing ensembles during their four-year study, complete four levels of music theory, and enroll in a strong complement of other music courses. In other words, their specialization in technology areas does not shortchange traditional music studies.
Inaugural program director Bill Porter, a preeminent recording engineer who worked with Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, emphasized recording studio skills; most early graduates pursued careers as recording engineers. The second program director, John Woram, editor of dB magazine and author, expanded the program’s scope to include professional audio; in addition to employment in recording studios, many graduates pursued careers with audio manufacturers.
The MuE program was founded on the premise that it would teach recording technology. With the creation of many similar academic programs also focused on recording technology, and unmet strong demand for audio engineers with “harder” technology skills, the program expanded its curriculum to teach other hardware and software skills. The third program director, Ken Pohlmann, thus further emphasized studies in electrical engineering and computer science; career options as hardware and software audio engineers became available. A Master of Science degree was originated in 1986. A minor in Computer Science was added in 1997 and in 2002 this option was modified to provide a double major in Computer Science. Current degree offerings solidify the engineering content in its curriculum, while maintaining expertise in contemporary recording skills.
The University of Miami Frost School of Music offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Engineering Technology (MUE). Both degree programs were the first of their kind, setting the NASM standard for music engineering technology education.
Undergraduate Degrees in Music Engineering Technology
This unique interdisciplinary program emphasizes the study of music recording, music theory and performance, digital audio, electrical engineering, and computer science. Proficiency on a musical instrument or voice is required.
Graduate Degree in Music Engineering Technology
This two-year curriculum consists of graduate coursework in electrical engineering, digital audio, psychoacoustics, and the psychology of music. Only students with a BSEE, BSCE, BSCS degree (or a comparable technical background) are generally accepted for admission. Proficiency on an instrument is not generally required.