5 Best Music Video Production Courses for Aspiring Filmmakers

Published: June 3, 2024

The editor’s top choice is John Valley’s The Creative Filmmaking Music Video Production Course. This class is excellent for beginners and intermediate learners who want hands-on training, industry insights, and gear access.

This course is certified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide Continue Professional Educational (CPE) credits, adding credibility to the course content.

As a music video producer, you must oversee everything from pre-production to completion. This dynamic and creative field requires constant adaptation.

The average annual salary of a Music Video Producer in the United States is $123,552.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment of producers and directors is projected to grow 7% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

As digital platforms like YouTube, OTT, cable, and satellite TV continue to grow, more opportunities for making music videos will arise.

However, because many want these jobs, competition is fierce, and the industry is continuously evolving with its own challenges.

Therefore, acquiring skills, knowledge, and techniques is essential to excel in this field.

We’ve curated a list of the 5 best music video production courses to equip individuals with the knowledge, techniques, and tools needed to create quality music videos.

List of the 5 Top-Ranked Music Video Production Courses

Here are the top 5 music video production courses for you:

  1. Music Video Production Course: This is the editor’s best choice for aspiring filmmakers. It offers hands-on training, industry insights, and access to gear, making it a valuable, TEA-certified resource for videographers.
  2. Music Video Course: This is the best real-world course for intermediate learners; it offers cinematography training, making it a valuable learning experience.
  3. Music Video Course: This is a detailed course for advanced learners; it has over 140 videos covering Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, shooting techniques, lighting, pre-production planning, and directing. It provides a well-rounded education for beginners and intermediate-level learners.
  4. Music Video Production Course: It is the best budget-friendly option for learning skills from real-life scenarios and gaining insights from pre-production to post-production. The course uses Keith Urban’s ‘For You’ as a reference, offering detailed breakdowns, practical tips, and valuable reference materials.
  5. Music Video Production Workshop: The most popular series-based course that covers everything you need to know, from pre-production to the promotion of music videos, with interactive sessions, personalized feedback, and practical resources.

Our Criteria for Choosing Music Video Production Courses

We use a comprehensive set of criteria when evaluating music video production courses to ensure aspiring filmmakers and videographers receive the most enriching and practical learning experience.

We considered the following factors:

  • Course Curriculum: We assessed the courses based on curriculum and whether they included all stages of music video production, from initial concept to final edit, ensuring students thoroughly understood the topics.
  • Experienced Instructors: Courses should be led by professionals with significant industry experience, providing invaluable insights and guidance. Instructors with exceptional work in music video production offer practical expertise and serve as inspiring role models for students.
  • Course Reputation: The course’s positive reputation within the industry, supported by reviews and testimonials, signifies its credibility and effectiveness. Also, high job placement rates validate the course’s ability to prepare students for successful careers.
  • Learning Preferences and Delivery Methods: We explored flexible options to accommodate diverse learning preferences, including part-time and full-time schedules and different delivery methods, such as online, hybrid, and in-person formats.
  • Hands-On Experience: We ensured that students gained practical projects that allowed them to apply theoretical knowledge, developing their skills through real-world application.
  • Real-World Scenarios: Whether the course offers exposure to industry practices, collaborations with musicians, invaluable experience, and networking opportunities.
  • Technical Skills: We ensured that the course covers industry-standard tools and equipment, enabling students to work proficiently with cameras, lighting, and editing software.
  • Creative Aspects: We emphasized courses that offered insights into visual storytelling and artistic direction, enhancing students’ ability to craft compelling narratives and visuals in their music videos.
  • Recognized Certification: We reviewed the certifications offered by the course that employers respect and enhance students’ credibility and prospects in the job market. We also checked accreditation from relevant educational or industry bodies to confirm the course’s adherence to quality standards.
  • Mentorship and Feedback: Access to mentors ensures students receive personalized guidance and constructive criticism, fostering growth and improvement.
  • Technical Support: We checked the availability of technical assistance to ensure that students can overcome challenges with equipment and software.
  • Networking Opportunities: We ensured that the instructor offered industry connections to facilitate career advancement and collaboration opportunities.
  • Additional Resources: We also searched for additional materials and equipment to enrich the learning experience and provide valuable resources for students’ development.
  • Course Fees and Financial Aid: We evaluated the costs of quality education and potential career benefits to help assess the value of the course. We also checked the options for scholarships and payment plans to assist students in managing tuition expenses.

5 Best Courses for Music Video Production – Detail Reviews

1. Music Video Production Course – The Editor’s Best Choice

The editor’s perspective on this course

The creative filmmaking course, led by John Valley at the Austin School of Film, is designed to provide the skills to produce high-quality music videos and tell a compelling song’s story.

The nine-week curriculum covers all the essential aspects of music video production.

Topics such as writing treatments, planning production, budgeting, and networking are addressed, providing students with an understanding of the process.

Most importantly, the course allows you to learn from Director John Valley and gain insights into practical methodologies and personal experiences that could be invaluable for aspiring filmmakers.

The course mentions gear provided in class, indicating students can access necessary equipment during hands-on exercises.

The course focuses on practical application through hands-on exercises and discussions led by the instructor. However, the limited class size may restrict availability.

This course is certified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide Continue Professional Educational (CPE) credits.

Overall, the best course from an experienced industry professional makes it a valuable resource for aspiring videographers.

Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for intermediate filmmakers seeking to enhance their understanding of music video production.

It’s suited for those with prior filmmaking experience who aim to refine their skills in writing treatments, planning production, and networking within the industry.

What topics are covered?

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Writing treatments for songs or musical pieces
  • Planning production through storyboards and shot lists
  • Shooting live bands with on-site production labs
  • Budgeting and creating shooting schedules
  • Exploring aesthetics and style in music videos
  • Understanding exhibition strategies
  • Networking within the music video industry

Who is the instructor?

John Valley studied film and theater at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He has directed over 40 music videos and a feature film he also produced, wrote, and co-starred in.

He has also appeared in over 30 stage productions and films, including Robert Rodriguez’s 2019 independent feature Red 11 and the reality series Rebel Without A Crew.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

No.

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

Students engage in practical exercises such as writing treatments, planning productions, shooting live bands, and budgeting, providing real-world experience and opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge.

What are the prerequisites to study?

The course instructor recommends that you have some filmmaking experience and have completed Digital Filmmaking, Camera Basics, DSLR Filmmaking, Intro to Lighting, and a basic editing introduction course.

2. Music Video Course – Best for Intermediate Learners

The editor’s perspective on this course

The Music Video Production course, led by Jakob Owens and Thomas Taugher, is a cinematography masterclass that provides comprehensive and practical skills for aspiring filmmakers.

Their in-depth breakdowns of music videos, such as Lil Wayne’s Mama Mia and Arizona Zervas’s Roxanne, provide invaluable insights into the creative and technical processes behind successful projects.

These segments offer practical, real-world advice that enhances students’ understanding and skills.

The course curriculum is in-depth, covering a broad range of topics from the fundamentals of cinematography and pre-production to advanced concepts like color theory and lighting techniques.

It also includes practical business advice and insights into preferred gear, making it a well-rounded educational experience.

The extensive behind-the-scenes content and project breakdowns add depth to the online course, offering students a chance to learn directly from successful professionals.

The course videos are highly visual and engaging. Using top-down diagrams, graphics, and immersive breakdowns helps understand complex concepts.

The practical on-set footage and real-world examples make the learning experience dynamic and relatable.

However, some minor issues with editing mistakes and on-camera presentations can be slightly distracting.

The course includes a library of learning materials such as gear lists, lighting diagrams, and access to an asset library.

These resources are invaluable for students applying what they’ve learned in their projects.

The availability of monthly product releases and new lessons ensures that the course content stays current and grows in value.

Also, this course is only suitable for intermediate learners with a filmmaking background.

Overall, this course offers a rich and practical learning experience with its curriculum, expert instruction, and continuous updates.

Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for intermediate filmmakers looking to enhance their skills in music video production should take this course.

It is ideal for those with prior filmmaking experience who want to learn from industry professionals and gain practical, hands-on experience.

What topics are covered?

The topics covered in this course include:

  • Writing Treatments: Crafting a treatment for songs or musical pieces.
  • Storyboarding and Shot Lists: Planning production through detailed storyboards and shot lists.
  • Shooting Techniques: Techniques for shooting live bands with on-site production labs.
  • Budgeting: Creating and managing budgets for music video production.
  • Scheduling: Developing and maintaining shooting schedules.
  • Aesthetics and Style: Exploring different aesthetics and styles in music video production.
  • Exhibition Strategies: Understanding methods for showcasing and distributing music videos.
  • Networking: Strategies for networking within the music video industry.
  • Lighting Design: Insights into designing lighting cues for music videos.
  • Camera Tricks: Techniques for executing creative camera tricks and effects.
  • On-Set Directing: Guidance on directing music videos on set.
  • Visual Storytelling: Emphasizing visual storytelling elements and artistic direction.
  • Practical Exercises: Hands-on projects and practical exercises to apply learned concepts.
  • Business Advice: Tips and strategies for succeeding in the music video industry.
  • Gear and Equipment: Preferred gear and equipment used in music video production.
  • Color Theory: Understanding and applying color theory in music videos.
  • BTS Content: Extensive behind-the-scenes content from real music video shoots.
  • Continuous Updates: New lessons and content are regularly added to keep the course current.

Who is the instructor?

Thomas Taugher

Thomas Taugher, born in Dublin, California, is an accomplished filmmaker known for his work on Fruitvale Station (2013), Death Letter Blues (2023), and This Is Our Home (2019).

His diverse portfolio highlights his expertise and significant contributions to the film industry.

Jakob Owens

Jakob Owens is a visual director based in Los Angeles. He specializes in music videos, films, and branded content.

He is the creator of TheBuffNerds YouTube channel, with over 290 million views and 815K subscribers.

With extensive experience in the film industry, Jakob has collaborated with notable artists like Tyga, Chris Brown, and Wale.

He also owns successful filmmaking companies, including Tropic Colour and PrismLensFX.

His skills include directing, cinematography, editing, color grading, and creative direction.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

No.

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

Yes, the practical exercises include shooting live bands, planning productions with storyboards and shot lists, and creating budgets and shooting schedules.

Students gain practical experience by working on real-world projects, helping them apply the concepts learned in the course.

What are the prerequisites to study?

The prerequisites to study the course include having some prior filmmaking experience and having completed foundational courses such as:

  • Digital Filmmaking
  • Camera Basics
  • DSLR Filmmaking
  • Intro to Lighting
  • Basic Editing Introduction

What does social media sentiment tell us?

According to the student reviews, this course pack is an excellent option for individuals looking to direct and create their own music videos or for clients, as it gives insights from real-world scenarios, which are quite helpful when it comes to being on the set.

Source: Tropic Colour

3. Music Video Course – Best for Advanced-level Students

The editor’s perspective on this course

Anastas Maragos offers a complete package to help advanced-level students elevate their music video production skills through his course.

The course has 140 video lessons, including in-depth tutorials on Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro, ensuring you can proficiently use video editing software.

You’ll learn expert techniques for shooting performance scenes and b-rolls, which are crucial for dynamic and engaging music videos.

From basics to advanced techniques, you’ll explore how to ensure your videos are well-lit and visually appealing.

Students also learn pre-production planning and directing skills to manage sets and guide talent.

Lessons on networking, getting clients, and understanding the business side of music video production are also included.

The course videos are clear, with step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow tutorials. Real-world examples and behind-the-scenes content show techniques in action.

The course provides reference materials, such as a gear checklist, shot list template, keyboard shortcuts, and RAW editing files to practice with high-quality, real-world footage.

Also, you’ll get access to a private Facebook community for networking and support.

As a student of this course, you’ll be eligible for discounts on equipment from reputable brands like Zhiyun-Tech, Moment, and Tropic Colour, which are important for those looking to upgrade their gear.

You also gain lifetime access with updates to the course, keeping it relevant and valuable with time.

However, minor editing flaws exist, such as typos and on-screen graphic mistakes in course videos.

Overall, this is the best course for intermediate-level students looking for a rounded education in music video production, making it a worthwhile investment for aspiring music video creators.

Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for aspiring music video producers, filmmaking students, and freelance videographers looking to enhance their skills.

What topics are covered?

Here’s a detailed list of topics covered in this course:

  • Master Music Video Editing | Final Cut Pro X: Learn comprehensive editing techniques specific to music videos using Final Cut Pro X. Taught by Cinematographer RoyalZProduction.
  • Master Music Video Editing | Premiere Pro: Similar to the Final Cut Pro X course, but focused on Adobe Premiere Pro. Taught by Cinematographer Jacob Ettinger.
  • Become A Camera Operator | Music Videos: Explore performance scenes, B-roll, and seven camera operating techniques tailored for music video shooting.
  • Lighting | Music Videos: Cover lighting basics to advanced techniques used on music video sets, including equipment recommendations.
  • Learn Camera Basics | Music Videos: In 30 minutes, you will understand aperture, shutter speed, ISO, frame rates, slow motion, picture profiles, data management, and more.
  • Equipment 101 | Music Videos: Learn about the equipment for freelance music videographers, including cameras, lenses, gimbals, and drones.
  • Pre-Production | Music Videos: Learn music video treatments, shot lists, location scouting, set design, equipment rental, and talent hiring.
  • Directing Music Videos: Gain insights into directing artists and extras on music video sets.
  • Business of Music Videos: Understand networking, client acquisition, studying big production music videos, and the value of film school.
  • Cellphone Music Video Course: Utilize your smartphone to create professional music videos covering industry-standard filmmaking techniques.

Who is the instructor?

Anastas Maragos owns RoyalZProduction and has been in video production for nearly 8 years.

Starting with car videos for friends, his expertise expanded into corporate videos, music videos, fitness videos, and wedding films.

Anastas’s popular YouTube tutorial, How To Shoot Rap/Hip Hop Music Videos, ignited his passion for empowering creatives and is among the top three most-viewed music video tutorials.

Anastas’s dedication led him to establish an online shop offering a range of resources, from presets and LUTs to filmmaking courses and ebooks, to help creatives elevate their craft and succeed in the industry.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

Yes, the other two courses offered by the instructor are:

  • Cellphone Music Video Course
  • Automotive Video Course

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

Students must work on tasks such as developing music video treatments, shooting performance scenes and B-roll footage, editing videos using Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro, and applying lighting techniques in real-world scenarios.

What are the prerequisites to study?

The prerequisites for this course vary depending on the module, but generally, a basic understanding of filmmaking concepts and video editing software is recommended.

Some modules may require prior experience with camera operation, lighting setups, or familiarity with specific software like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.

However, certain courses within the program offer introductory lessons suitable for beginners.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

According to the comments, the tutorial on editing music videos helps users boost their confidence, organize their work, speed up their editing process, and provides valuable tips for newcomers.

Some commend the tutorial’s delivery and usefulness, while others specifically mention how it saved them time and inspired them to take their craft more seriously.

Source: YouTube

4. Music Video Production Course – Best Budget-friendy Option

The editor’s perspective on this course

This budget-friendly music video production course, led by Shane Hurlbut, provides insights into creating professional music videos, covering everything from pre-production to post-production.

The course includes two lessons, one behind-the-scenes video, and a music video example.

The instructor systematically explains the cover set, pre-production, production, and post-production using Keith Urban’s For You music video as a reference.

The curriculum is structured into modules focusing on music video theory, production, behind-the-scenes insights, and music videos.

To enhance learning, detailed written breakdowns, lighting schematics, shot lists, director’s treatment, schedules, and equipment lists are provided.

The videos are informative, with the instructor offering valuable insights and practical tips based on his experience in the industry.

The reference materials, including top-down lighting schematics and shot lists, are particularly useful for understanding the concepts taught in the course.

Overall, this course is ideal for aspiring filmmakers looking to specialize in music video production or anyone interested in gaining insights from a seasoned professional like Shane Hurlbut.

Who should take this course?

This course is perfect for aspiring filmmakers who are interested in specializing in music video production.

It’s also suitable for videographers, cinematographers, or anyone looking to gain valuable insights and practical tips from experienced professionals.

What topics are covered?

The course covers a comprehensive range of topics related to music video production, including:

  • Music Video Theory: Understanding the main components that create a successful music video.
  • Music Video Production: Highlighting the moving pieces that make a music video work.
  • Behind the Scenes of “For You”: This is a look behind the scenes of a real music video shoot, providing valuable insights into the production process.
  • Music Video: Analysis and breakdown of the Keith Urban “For You” music video, directed by Scotty Waugh and lensed by Shane Hurlbut, ASC.

Who is the instructor?

Shane Hurlbut, ASC, is a highly acclaimed Director of Photography renowned for his exceptional storytelling, innovative approach, and extensive experience spanning over three decades in the film industry.

In recent projects, Hurlbut has contributed his expertise to films such as Love Hard for Netflix, Safety for Disney+, and Holidate, starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey.

He also collaborated on the pilot episode of SyFy’s Resident Alien, featuring Alan Tudyk.

Throughout his career, Hurlbut has formed successful partnerships with directors like Scott Waugh, McG, and Gabriele Muccino, working on various projects from action-packed blockbusters to heartfelt dramas.

His impressive filmography includes acclaimed works such as Semi-Pro, The Greatest Game Ever Played, and Into the Blue. He has also ventured into television, contributing to the first season of AMC’s Into the Badlands.

Earlier in his career, Hurlbut contributed to iconic music videos for artists like Guns N’ Roses, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, The Rolling Stones, and Nirvana.

His debut feature film, The Rat Pack, garnered critical acclaim and earned him a nomination from the American Society of Cinematographers, solidifying his position as a rising talent in the industry.

Based in Los Angeles, Shane Hurlbut resides with his wife Lydia, who spearheads Filmmakers Academy, a platform dedicated to nurturing aspiring filmmakers.

As a member of the American Society of Cinematographers and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hurlbut continues to leave a mark on the world of cinema.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

Yes, the instructor offers a range of other courses in filmmaking, editing, and music video production.

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

The course primarily focuses on theoretical and practical aspects of music video production, providing detailed breakdowns, analysis, and behind-the-scenes insights.

While it may not offer hands-on projects, the content and real-world examples reinforce learning through applied knowledge and understanding.

What are the prerequisites to study?

A basic understanding of filmmaking concepts and familiarity with camera equipment and editing software like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.

What does social media sentiment tell us?

According to the comments on the YouTube video, the users appreciate the inspirational and informative content.

They find the information quick, sweet, and organized, motivating them to get to work. Also, they praise the instructor’s expertise and express interest in seeing more content, particularly on the Ronin 4D.

Source: YouTube

5. Music Video Production Workshop – The Most Popular Series-based Course

The editor’s perspective on this course

Brandon Singleton’s Music Video Production Workshop provides a detailed understanding of all aspects, from pre-production to promotion.

Students will receive detailed content on topics such as conceptualizing the song, location scouting, casting, lighting setup, and social media campaign strategies.

The course is designed to be highly interactive, with small group settings ensuring personalized attention and feedback at each step of the production process.

You’ll receive handouts, templates, and bonus media materials to facilitate the application of the concepts learned.

You also learn how to create promotions and advertising links to showcase your music video to the world.

Overall, this workshop equips students with the skills and knowledge essential for creating professional-quality music videos.

Who should take this course?

This course is ideal for aspiring filmmakers, music video producers, and content creators who want to gain practical, hands-on experience in music video production.

What topics are covered?

The workshop curriculum includes:

  • Pre-Production: This section delves into getting booked, selecting the right software and equipment, conceptualizing the song, scouting locations, casting, arranging props, acquiring permits, planning accommodations, story-blocking techniques, planning B-roll, and shooting schedules.
  • Production: It focuses on general safety protocols, providing production assistance, setting camera parameters, framing shots, lighting philosophy and setup, directing talent and crew, ensuring shot coverage, managing over vs. undershooting, planning for effects, and capturing photos and bonus media.
  • Editing: This part covers creating the project or library, organizing and importing media, using the media browser and timelines, making cuts, grading, applying effects and transitions, working with audio and lip sync, and configuring export and sharing settings.
  • Delivery & Promo: The final section addresses delivery platforms, creating promotional content and ads, running Facebook and Google ads, and developing social campaign strategies.

Who is the instructor?

Brandon Singleton, also known as Mr. OneNine, is a prominent videographer from Baton Rouge. He is known for his significant contributions to the local rap scene.

At 28, he is the second-biggest videographer in Baton Rouge, closely followed by David G. Brandon, who has established a solid reputation in the industry.

He has over eleven years of experience in video production, photography, and graphic design. He operates the Str8 Up Ent platform, offering comprehensive services, including music video production, graphic design, and photography.

His breakthrough came as the Baton Rouge rap scene gained momentum, leading him to collaborate with artists such as Spitta, T.E.C., Maine Muzik, Scotty Cain, and the NBA and WNC camps.

Does the instructor offer other courses?

No.

Does the course offer hands-on projects or assignments to reinforce learning?

Students receive assignments and feedback on their projects at every stage, from pre-production to delivery and promo.

This ensures they can apply the concepts and techniques learned in real-world scenarios, enhancing their understanding of music video production.

What are the prerequisites to study?

There are no specific prerequisites to join the Music Video Workshop.

Conclusion

The demand for skilled professionals in music video production continues to grow, with artists and brands increasingly relying on visually compelling content to engage audiences.

It’s best to have a certificate at minimum for entry-level positions. However, better job opportunities await those with advanced skills and hands-on experience with real-life scenarios.

Whether you opt for self-paced learning, personalized coaching, or structured classes, these resources are invaluable and accessible to start your journey.

We evaluated and reviewed all five of the best music video production courses, which provide essential skills for visual storytelling, strong organizational skills, project management abilities, attention to detail, and technical knowledge for video production.

Therefore, you can choose a class that suits your needs, budget, and skill level to advance your career.