DigiPen Music and Sound Design

DigiPen Music students


  • Location: DigiPen Institute, Redmond Campus
  • High School Credits: Year 1 – CTE (2.0), Fine Art (1.0); Year 2 – CTE (3.0)
  • 2 Year Program Available
  • No Tuition
  • Program fees may apply. Financial assistance may be available for qualifying students
  • College Credits: DigiPen Credits TBD
  • Prerequisites Year 1: No prior experience required. Prerequisites Year 2: Successful completion of Year 1 and instructor approval.

Discover the exciting opportunities of music engineering and sound design. Combine music composition, history, and theory with practical training in studio recording techniques. Apply fundamentals in computer science, mathematics, and physics to sound design principles. Learn what it takes to work within teams in real-world settings to create interactive audio for video games and engaging soundtracks for film.

Sound and music play a critical role in how audiences experience games, animated films, and other forms of entertainment, making skilled sound designers essential to a project’s success. This program focuses on the creative and technical aspects of music and sound design, production, and implementation.

Students study composition, theory, performance, audio recording and mixing, and technical sound design for animations and video games. They gain valuable experience creating and implementing original music and sound using the latest in digital design tools, all of which can help launch them into this field.

In this full-year, 3-period Skill Center class (3 high school credits) students will:

  • Learn basic music theory including music notation, keys and music analysis
  • Apply elements of rhythm, pitch, and harmony
  • Develop skills in transcription and composition
  • Develop a more intuitive understanding through ear training
  • Expand knowledge of music history and genres
  • Gain competency with the use of digital music production tools and processes
  • Learn basic audio engineering skills for recording and mixing
  • Practice the Video Game production process including pitches, design documents, scheduling, milestones, testing, time management, and working on interdisciplinary team


Potential Careers:

Audio Engineer • Audio Production Editor • Composer • Creative Director • Film Composer • Music Arranger • Music Composer • Music Producer • Sound Designer • Sound Technician • Recording Engineer • Engine and Tools Programmer


Example Median Yearly Salary in the Seattle Metro area:

  • Music Directors and Composers $51,170
  • Sound Engineering Technicians $55,950
  • Audio and Video Technicians $71,420

*Source: careeronestop.org, U.S. Department of Labor 2021


Course Expectations: DigiPen Music & Sound Design.  Located at DigiPen Institute of Technology 


Reading Expectations of this class:  

Students will be expected to read and accurately recall information about musical terminology and historical events and figures. Students read approximately one chapter of a college-level music history textbook each month. 

Writing Expectations of this class:  

The writing component of this class comes in the form of responses to the historical information mentioned above. Students should expect to write short-form responses to prompts about musical terminology or historical events and figures. 

Math Expectations of this class: 

Students should expect to use basic arithmetic to count and find relationships between notes. The relationship between music and math is subtle; however, students are expected to be able to manage basic arithmetic in their learning. 

Science Expectations of this class:  

There is no significant science component to this class. Occasionally topics of interest related to acoustics may be brought to class to provide context or to showcase music technology. 

Homework Expectations of this class:  

All the coursework for this class is intended to be done during class. Lab time is planned in class for every assignment, and students are expected to be self-motivated during this time. The goal is for students to have all the help they need while actively working on their assignments. Any work done outside of class is typically preparatory work such as reading or reviewing a video in advance of the topic being introduced in the class. 

To be successful in this class, the student should be prepared to:  

Students should be prepared to generate, analyze, and discuss musical ideas. Students should also be ready to try new things, listen critically, and participate in giving and receiving constructive feedback in the pursuit of better music. A multitude of skills come into play when making music. This class endeavors to introduce students to a variety of these skills, some of which may not be easy at first. Mistakes are common at first, and students should be willing to embrace the growing process and learn from both their successes and mistakes.  

Applying and practicing skills is key to showcasing your competency. Embrace an attendance policy reflecting the norms of business and industry, where you take on the role of an employee or professional. Commit to full daily attendance and active participation for optimal learning and productivity. Dive into the program's array of hands-on activities necessary for earning credit. 

Additional Information: 
  • Prerequisites Year 2: Successful completion of Year 1 and instructor approval. 

  • College credit may be available.