Commercial Music Production

Commercial Music Production students perform on guitar, drums and piano for an audience.

CCM’s bachelor of music degree in Commercial Music Production (CMP) offers a comprehensive education in professional commercial music studies.

This unique program incorporates core training in music theory, composition, arranging and musicianship combined with recording studio techniques, commercial music and media technologies.

Although this degree includes music production, editing, business and studio technical training, it is important to note that this is music degree, not a music technology, music industry, audio or recording degree. Successful CMP applicants are expected to have significant musical training and study.

The CMP degree includes an additional emphasis on entrepreneurial business acumen by inclusion of a Minor in Entrepreneurship from UC’s Lindner College of Business. This creates a vibrant and exclusive educational experience that provides graduates with numerous opportunities for meaningful employment in the music industry.


Graduates will possess skills in these areas:

  • composition for television and commercial media
  • producing, mixing, running live sound
  • songwriting and scoring
  • music technology and related technologies
  • studio production techniques (editing, mixing and mastering)
  • film scoring
  • music business and entrepreneurship
  • career management

Faculty

Headshot of Tobias Donohue

Tobias Donohue

Adjunct Instructor of Media Production

513-556-9488

Headshot of Max Gise

Max Gise

Adjunct Instructor of Commercial Music Production

513-556-6638

Headshot of Ellen V. Graham

Ellen V. Graham

Adjunct Instructor of Voice

513-556-3442

Headshot of Moni (Jasmine) Guo

Moni (Jasmine) Guo

Assistant Professor of Commercial Music Production

513-556-9497

Headshot of Richard Hordinski

Richard Hordinski

Adjunct Professor in General Studies (Commercial Music)

513-556-6046

Headshot of Aaron Jacobs

Aaron Jacobs

Adjunct Instructor of Jazz Studies (Bass and Combos)

513-556-2696

Headshot of Dan Karlsberg

Dan Karlsberg

Adjunct Instructor; CCM Prep Master Teacher, Jazz Piano

513-556-2696

Headshot of Brad Thomas Myers

Brad Thomas Myers

Adjunct Instructor

513-556-2696

Headshot of Kim C. Pensyl

Kim C. Pensyl

Division Head - General Studies; Program Director - Commercial Music Production; Professor of Music

513-633-4606

Headshot of Jacob Richter

Jacob Richter

Adjunct Instructor of Media Production and Commercial Music Production

513-556-9488

Headshot of Jackie Stevens

Jackie Stevens

Adjunct Instructor of Commercial Music Production

Headshot of John W. Taylor

John W. Taylor

Instructor - Adjunct

513-556-2696

Headshot of Andrew C Villemez

Andrew C Villemez

Assistant Professor-Educator


Ensembles and Conducting Division Head and Staff

Headshot of Kevin Michael Holzman

Kevin Michael Holzman

Division Head of Ensembles and Conducting; Director and Associate Professor of Wind Studies

513-556-9424

Headshot of Rose Anna Hensley

Rose Anna Hensley

Program Manager

513-556-2696

CCM's undergraduate admissions process begins on August 1 for entrance in the following year's fall semester. All application materials must be submitted on or before December 1 to be considered for specific scholarship awards. Visit the CCM Admissions website for additional application instructions.

Commercial Music Production - BM

Pre-screening

Applicants must submit the required pre-screening materials via getacceptd.com/ccm on or before December 3 in order to be considered for admissions and invited for an interview.

BM Applicants Only: When submitting your pre-screening materials, you will have the option to self-select yourself for additional consideration to the Music – BA degree in the case that you do not pass the pre-screening/final audition round.

Pre-screening Requirements
  • At least three recorded examples of the applicant’s original compositions, songs, etc.
    • Any style will be accepted - Classical, Jazz, Rock/Pop, Gospel, R&B, Contemporary, Computer Generated, Film or Media composition. 
    • The recordings may be from live performances, studio or computer generated (sequenced, MIDI, playback exported from Notation software).
    • Recorded examples should be accompanied by documentation in one of the following formats: scores, lead sheets, chord charts or chord charts with lyrics. 
      • The scores or lead sheets should clearly show the notated rhythm, pitches, and chords, if applicable. 
      • The scores should be readable by actual performers. 
      • Please Note: If you are working in a computer-generated music platform such as Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools, etc. -- simply printing a computer-produced print out from the session for the submission is not generally acceptable. However, the score or lead sheets are not as crucial to your acceptance as the music. Many students only have a rudimentary understating of how to use notation software at this stage in their development.
  • Contact information for two references; with at least one who can address the applicant’s specific musical qualifications for success in the program.
  • The applicant needs to submit an essay discussing their musical background in composing, songwriting, performing, and audio recording, along with their career goals.

Audition

Audition Requirements
  • Applicants will play their songs live or with backing tracks, or for some tracks, film scoring, media music, or electronic music, they will play the track and we will discuss the music and the production.
  • The committee will still want to hear the student perform on an instrument (as each student will take applied lessons at CCM for two years).
    • It can be chords, scales, an etude, or a melody, or something else. It helps us access their level of musicality on an instrument. This is not a performance degree, so the level of each student does vary in this area.
Additional Information
  • Applicants should have a major instrument for audition purposes; vocalists and non-traditional instruments are encouraged to apply. All instruments are considered.
  • Although this degree includes music production, editing, business and studio technical training, it is important to note that this is a music degree, not a degree in music technology, music industry, audio or recording. Successful CMP applicants are expected to have significant musical training and study.
  • Students receive admission to the program based on their songwriting and/or composition abilities, academic potential, passion for music, and career outlook. The program is divided into three areas – writing (songwriting/film scoring/composition), recording technology, and entrepreneurship. However, it is the writing that is an absolute to entering the program. Every student in CMP has multiple songwriting and film scoring classes. In addition to the Bachelor of Music degree, students receive a Minor in Entrepreneurship.
  • CMP Students have a laptop and software requirement – MacBook Air or MacBook Pro running Logic Pro. In addition, other software applications and sample libraries will be required.

If you are composing songs in any style (singer/ songwriter, jazz composers, classical composers, film scorers, rock and roll, computer music, R&B, country, etc.) and have working theory knowledge and are able to write out your compositions in a clear way, you may be a good candidate for this program. CMP is an ideal program for applicants interested in studio production, recording, and the editing side of the industry.

An ability to read and write music is required for entrance into the CMP program.

Applicants should have a major instrument for audition purposes; vocalists and non-traditional instruments are encouraged to apply, all instruments are considered.

Although this degree includes music production, editing, business and studio technical training, it is important to note that this is music degree, not a degree in music technology, music industry, audio or recording. Successful CMP applicants are expected to have significant musical training and study.

Applicants will be expected to supply at least two examples of their original compositions, tunes, etc. Any style will be accepted, including classical, jazz, rock/pop, gospel, R&B, contemporary or computer generated music. Questions can be directed to Director of Commercial Music Production Kim Pensyl at pensylkc@ucmail.uc.edu.

We need to see the actual scores or lead sheets showing clearly notated rhythm, pitches, chords (as applicable), etc. The more detail the better. We will also need to review recordings of these pieces. These can be live, studio, or computer-generated MIDI performances, but you must be able to provide MP3 versions. You will need to upload these along with your application; see below for details.

Please Note: If you are working in a computer-generated music platform such as Ableton or Pro Tools, simply printing a totally computer-produced print out for submission is not generally acceptable. The scores should be readable by actual performers. Your score should demonstrate your ability to notate the music you have composed.


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Show your school spirit this spring with official CCM apparel! New UC College-Conservatory of Music apparel is available for purchase online. CCM's Spring 2024 t-shirt and hoodie designs can be ordered online now through March 18, 2024.

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