Close Up: Recording Connection

A Disruptive Approach to Recording Education: Established in 1989 by former San Jose DJ and broadcasting school instructor Jimi Petulla, the Recording Connection is one of four distinct schools under the banner of The Recording, Radio, Film and (most recently launched) Culinary Connection. Colorfully described by Chief Academic Officer/COO Brian Kraft as “fundamentally disruptive of the status quo of music and recording education,” The Recording Connection has become known as an industry leader in the revolutionary mentor-apprentice (extern) training approach—matching students with pro mentors in their specific regions.


The program pairs students with a working music producer or audio engineer, combining a structured-yet-flexible curriculum with plenty of hands-on training. By learning on-the-job, students not only learn to record, produce and mix from working pros, but also learn the inner workings of the industry and make valuable connections that can help them establish their careers.

Photography by Brian A. Petersen at http://www.petersenfilmphoto.comAn Inspiring Placement Success Rate: Petulla, Kraft and their team
have found that the mentor-apprentice approach is far more effective than traditional, theoretical instruction alone in helping students secure jobs in fields and industries that are competitive. It’s the only school offering private access to leaders who have crafted recordings for everyone from U2 and Frank Sinatra to Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé and Michael Jackson.

A Three-Layer Admission Process and Affordable Tuition: The Recording Connection engages each applicant in a three-tier admission process, capped with a meeting with a professional producer or engineer who has final approval. Partnering with hundreds of pro producers and engineers, many of whom have worked with some of the biggest artists in the business, the program has placed more than 11,000 students as working apprentices in studios throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K.

Mindful of the extraordinary costs of traditional music schools and liberal arts colleges, The Recording Connection prides itself on tuition that averages 75% less than other programs. Says Kraft, “The future of education is happening now, learning one-on-one inside a real recording studio for 75% less tuition, and as a hands-on apprentice.” 

- Jonathan Widran