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  • Independent Music Production

    Independent Music Production

Program Code:IMP
Duration:2 Semesters (8 Months)
Start Dates:Summer, Fall, Winter,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Certificate

Program Description

Your studies in IMP will provide you with a strong foundation in the fundamentals of music recording, music business and performance. You’ll learn the skills necessary for success as an independent musician. Major components of your program will include home-based recording, CD production and distribution, small business and entrepreneurial skills and musicianship. You’ll grow and improve as a musician with a strong, hands-on, curriculum, delivered by working professionals in the recording and performing arenas. You’ll also improve both your written and verbal communications skills. You’ll benefit from equal emphasis on the three major components of study: music, technical skills and business knowledge.

Program Learning Outcomes:

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Build and effectively operate a home-based recording studio to produce professional quality recordings.
  • Produce a professional three song Demo CD and discuss the distribution process through traditional and emerging Internet markets.
  • Identify some of the key components of sales, marketing and merchandising plans appropriate for their music projects.
  • Recognize how to copyright and protect their original artistic work including music and lyrics.
  • Apply basic knowledge to the process and procedures of registering, owning and operating a successful small music business.
  • Identify the components of effective funding applications and grant requests for public and private organizations in including FACTOR and other Arts Councils.
  • Develop and implement a plan for a small or medium sized venue performance.
  • Write a song working alone or in collaboration with other artists.
  • Identify all and produce some components of a basic promotional package.
  • Function adequately in interview and performance situations.

Essential Employability Skills:

Graduates of this program are also expected to demonstrate the essential employability skills learning outcomes as outlined on the Ministry of Training, College and Universities website.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading)

Applicant Selection:

  • As this is an oversubscribed program, applicants will be required to attend an orientation session and complete a mandatory $55 pre-admissions screening test. Please click here for a practice test. Applicants will also be required to submit a 2 or 3 song demo CD along with a 1-2 page biography of relevant experience. Successful candidates may be required to do an in–person presentation of their demo as the final step in candidate selection..
  • Pre-Admissions English Test Exemption - If you have applied to transfer from our Arts Fundamentals (AFD) program, or have completed a College level English course at an accredited post secondary institution in Canada, OR a country where English is the first language, you may be exempt from writing the pre-admissions English test. However, you will still have to complete all program specific requirements (i.e. drawing test, applicant profile, portfolio). If you are not writing the English test, the $55 fee will no longer apply. Please notify Admissions if this exemption will apply to you.


  • Although not required for admission, the following are considered assets:
    • A background in music training and/or performance;
    • Knowledge of/experience as an independent artist;
    • Basic computer skills including Windows or Macintosh operating system, word processing (preferably Microsoft Word), and spreadsheet software (Excel).

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well–organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


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Your Career

Succeed on your own terms. Our Independent Music Production certificate prepares you to write, perform, record music professionally, and promote your own career. As a graduate of this program, you may work as a business manager, recording engineer or promoter of other artists. Your career could include positions in all areas of the music industry such as songwriting, music publishing, the gaming industry and commercials.

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
IMP101 * Audio and Studio I 4
IMP102 * Sound and Recording I 5
IMP111 * Songwriting I 3
IMP112 ** Music Theory / History 3
IMP121 * Industry Overview 3
IMP122 * Business I 3
IMP201 ** Audio and Studio II 4
IMP202 ** Sound and Recording II 5
IMP203 ** Introduction to MIDI 3
IMP211 ** Songwriting II 3
IMP212 * Artist Development 3
IMP222 ** Business II 3
IMP403 * Photography 2
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
IMP301 * Production Mastering I 2
IMP302 * Sound and Recording III 5
IMP304 * Mentoring I 3
IMP310** Live Sound 2
IMP311* Artist Development 2 3
IMP321 ** Marketing Promo 3
IMP322 * Small Business I 2
IMP323 * Copyrights Contracts Legal 2
IMP324 ** Merchandising Duplication and Distribution 3
IMP401 ** Production Mastering II 2
IMP411 ** Artist Development 3 3
IMP413 * Musical Collaborations 2
IMP422 * Small Business II 3
IMP500 ** Major Project 5

 * Full credit courses offered weeks 1-7 only.
** Full credit courses offered weeks 8-14 only.

Contact Us

For more information, please visit:
Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22840
International Admissions Advisor: Salaha Fatima
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22081
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Tina Tuzi
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33001
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: John Switzer
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33568
Program Chair: Mark Jones
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 33488
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IMP Video

Dirk, Tyler and Marco take a break during a performance by Independent Music Production students to talk about their program, professors and futures after graduation. Click on image above to play video.


“Attending the Independent Music Production program at Seneca was one of the best and most important experiences of my life. I had an amazing time and I learned so much. I made important connections for my career, and lifelong friendships. The instructors are fantastic, knowledgable teachers, and supportive mentors. I gained confidence and a wide range of skills that I benefit from every day. It was such a positive experience, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the program.”

Emma Sunstrum
SRO Management/Anthem Entertainment
IMP 15 Graduate (May 2011)

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