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Opportunities to Study recording arts or media technologies


Opportunities to Study recording arts and media technologies at the NIU CVPA:

  • A customized CVPA undergraduate contract major or Master of Music and area of study designed for the modern engineer/musician combining aptitudes in audio, video and computer technologies
  • Pursue a career in music/media technology while participating in ensembles, taking lessons on an instrument and interacting with a vibrant musical community of your peers
  • Network with professional musicians, engineers and artists in the Chicagoland area in organizations such as EARS, AES and NARAS
  • Receive private instruction and coaching during individual lessons with Grammy award-winning recording engineer and NIU SoM instructor Dan Nichols
  • Collaborate with Communications and Theatre & Dance students
  • Work with Event Production Services, WNIU/WNIJ and more

Areas of Focus Include:

  • Study and location recording techniques
  • Audio postproduction for video
  • Acoustics and studio design
  • Webcasting and robotic camera operation
  • Live sound and event logistics
  • Lighting and rigging for the performing arts

Graduate Assistantships Available:

  • Manage a team of undergraduate and graduate student workers
  • Participate in the logistics and staffing of concerts, webcasts and live sound services for over 100 events per season
  • Maintain and improve capture, broadcast and classroom support technologies

Prepare for the demands of the gigging economy:

Students studying the recording arts or unified media technology as a CVPA contract major at the bachelors level or pursuing Master of Music degrees will build and hone the skills required to work effectively in the fast-paced environment and challenging situations faced by today’s music technologists. In addition to gaining technical and musical expertise, you will develop experience in microphone/studio techniques, editing and mixing, critical listening, session management, studio etiquette and much more. Those under the tutelage of Grammy award-winning recording engineer and NIU instructor Dan Nichols develop these skills in parallel with participation and study on primary instruments so that they can be fully equipped for careers in any area of the music industry, whether performing, teaching or facilitating their own or others' musical activites through the use of music technology.

Students will also have the opportunity to work with webcasting equipment and Internet2 technology. NIU has been at the forefront of I2 and utilizing LOLA for connections facilitating master classes, private lessons and test connections at I2 conferences, as well as webcasting, airing over 100 live events per season and creating media for a worldwide audience.

Alums that have studied with Grammy award-winning recording engineer Dan Nichols have been placed with the New World Symphony, Piano Forte Chicago, The Basement Chicago, The Chicago Council for Global Affairs, Soundmirror, BrightTALK, Sound Investment, DeKalb Public Schools, All Pro Audio Visual, Double Door Chicago and The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Requisites for Undergraduate admission:

  • Ability to read music and play an instrument at an advanced high-school level
  • Passing an audition for secondary lessons
  • In-person or phone interview
  • 2.5 GPA on a 4-point scale or equivalent

Requisites for Graduate admission:

  • Two letters of recommedation
  • In-person or phone interview
  • Portofolio submission of recent audio/video projects
  • 2.5 GPA on a 4-point scale or equivalent
Head of Recording Services
Dan Nichols
School of Music
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Il 60115

Contact Us

Music Building
8 a.m.-noon; 1-4:30 p.m.

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