Pre-screen requirements and auditions for Music Production program at USC

I’d love to hear from others applying to USC Thornton school of music for Music Production. Thoughts on application materials, audition. Any wisdom out there? My son is a rising senior in North Carolina and will be applying in December.

I looked over all the application requirements for first year applicants, including those specific to music production" Music Production | USC Thornton School of Music (Posting for others who might help.)

Since we don’t know anything about your son’s musical background or work, it is hard to comment. Is he able to submit:

  • A 1-3 minute video introduction of yourself at your work-station. On this video, please tell us about your prior experience with musical instruments and music technology; provide a description of your private studio work-space; and relate your experience, if any, of producing recordings.
  • A 2-3 minute video of a performance of a song from existing popular music repertoire. The video performance may be self-accompanied, accompanied by other musician(s) or by a band (as long as the applicant is prominently featured). Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable. If the applicant does not play a conventional instrument, a performance where the applicant manipulates sound in real time using a controller or other similar device is acceptable.
  • 3 audio recordings, of which at least one is an original work, which demonstrate the applicant’s audio recording, MIDI sequencing and production skills. In the “Additional details” section of your Slideroom media upload, please indicate how your work is represented in the production of each audio submission. (for example: songwriter, arranger, singer, instrumentalist, MIDI sequencer, engineer, audio/MIDI editor, or mixer, etc.)

Is your son more interested in creative compositional work, or technical studio training, or contemporary music or all of the above? Does he have teachers? Will he be submitting optional letters of recommendation as well as required?

My D made it to their Grammy Camp last year in Music Production, was encouraged to apply, prepared reasonably strong material (she’s recorded and produced her own music for a number of years in her home studio and knows Logic Pro really well), and didn’t even make it to the audition stage. It seems the admission rate is below 1% (a disclaimer: I don’t have the actual statistics) to this particular program so while it is certainly worth to put all his heart into it, other Music Production programs, from Miami, to Belmont U, to NYU, are worth a careful look.

I can send you a list of music production programs.