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Students focus on the application of technological skill sets required for a career in music production and audio engineering, preparing them for opportunities in the field and fostering collaborative efforts among various disciplines in electronic media, music performance, public relations, audio engineering, and sound production. In contrast to the B.M. Composition: Commercial/Audio Production track, this minor should be considered as a complement to other career pathways in Entrepreneurship, Business, Marketing, and more. Please note music minors cannot be paired with a music major.

An audition is not required for this minor

Required Courses


Options for minors within the Bachelor of Arts Integrative Studies Major (BAIS): All music minor programs work especially well as part of the Integrative Studies Major. In Integrative Studies, students essentially choose three minors to form one collective major. An interdisciplinary program like BAIS works incredibly well for students who like three different strong areas of interest.

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We strive to provide our students with the necessary resources and tools to achieve their goals. SOTA provides access to facilities on campus, including multiple theaters, studios, recording equipment, and instruments that allow students to complete their coursework in pursuit of the degree. In addition, recording bundles are issued to incoming audio production students so they may continue working at home or other locations.


  • Three live performance theaters
  • Three production studios
  • Multiple recording spaces
  • Network audio and video


Adam Pleiman

Adam Pleiman


Adam Pleiman is a creative director, chief engineer, and multi-instrumentalist. He has worked in music and sound in many capacities since 2001, including studio recording, audio post-production, live reinforcement, and strategy. He believes in the ability that music and sound possess in conveying emotion and strives to help others understand this connection.

Adam's career in audio has earned notable credits in multiple disciplines. As a music engineer he has worked with bands including Coldplay, 30 Seconds to Mars, and The Collingsworth Family who's 2017 release "Best of the Collingsworth Family" earned a roots gospel album of the year Grammy nomination. As a composer and producer he has written and produced music for Gillette, John Frieda, Secret, and ADM among others. In audio post-production he has landed credits for dialog work on films including Disney's Frozen as well as The Hunger Games.

John Zappa

John Zappa, MM


John Zappa is a performer and educator. At Northern Kentucky University, he teaches trumpet, Jazz Theory, Arranging, Jazz History, Composition, Improvisation and Jazz Appreciation as well as coaching a variety of ensembles. As an educator, Zappa has written a text book for Jazz Appreciation and developed Jazz Theory and Arranging courses to fit the needs of the students at NKU. He also developed a course called Composition For Commercial Media which blends composition with technology. Many of Zappa’s former students have gone on to successful performing careers and some as successful music educators. His trumpet students range from serious jazz players to lead/commercial players and classical players looking for better technique.

He also maintains a performing schedule and has appeared throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. Zappa’s professional credits as a trumpeter run the gambit of musical styles and ensembles. While primarily a jazz trumpeter appearing regularly with several big bands and jazz combos, he also plays with salsa bands, concert orchestras, pit orchestras, and show bands. John is also an accomplished studio musician recording music for theme parks and T.V. commercials as well recording for various album projects which have included the Grammy nominated “When Bullfrogs Croak” by Zach Morgan and “We Want the Funk” by Bootsy Collins for the movie “Undercover Brother.”

Zappa has recorded his own music on albums including “Not Too Slow, Not Too Fast” and “Moon and Shadow” with famed and legendary Cuban drummer, Ignacio Berroa. Another album called “Now Hear This” is also the name of his band that features his original compositions and arrangements that explore world beat rhythms in a contemporary jazz setting. John has worked consistently as a band leader fronting dance bands of different sorts as well as jazz groups for 22+years. One such group featured the drummer of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton fame John Von Ohlen.

John has performed a variety of concerts with headliners including Don Rickles, Eddie Money, Wayne Newton, Leslie Gore, The Temptations, The O’Jay’s and Frankie Vallie, in addition to jazz concerts with well-known artists including Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Ignacio Berroa, Jimmy Heath, Lew Soloff, Terell Stafford and Jeff Coffin.

Kurt Sander

Kurt Sander, DMA


Kurt Sander's compositions have been performed in 15 countries on five different continents. Much of his choral and instrumental work takes its inspiration from the sublime dimensions of the Eastern Orthodox faith and the richness of its artistic traditions.​

His sacred choral work has been recorded and performed by professional ensembles throughout the world including Cappella Romana, the Kastalsky Choir (RUS), the Cincinnati Camerata, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa (CAN), the St. Romanos Cappella, the Clarion Choir, Archangel Voices, the Patriarch Tikhon Choir, and The Orthodox Singers (RUS) and the PaTRAM Institute Singers.

In 2017, he received a commission by the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute (PaTRAM) for a new English-language setting of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. This 90-minute work was recorded by the PaTRAM Institute Singers under the direction of Peter Jermihov and released as a 2 CD set on Reference Recordings label in 2019. The CD of this work was nominated for a Grammy in 2020 under the "Best Choral Album" category.

Sander was one of five featured composers on the collaborative composition "Heaven and Earth" which was commissioned by the St. John of Damascus Society and will be recorded in 2021 by the renowned choral ensemble Cappella Romana under the direction of Michael Boyer. The CD is scheduled for international release in 2022 on the Cappella Recordings label.

Sander has also acquired notoriety for his chamber and orchestral writing. He was recently named a finalist in the American Prize for his song cycle "Ella's Song" about the life of St. Elizabeth, Grand Duchess of Russia. Other instrumental works have been performed by the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the Brasov Philharmonic (Romania), the Pleven Philharmonic (Bulgaria), the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Synchronia, the Corbett Trio, the Solaris Wind Quintet, and the St. Petersburg Quartet.

​Sander currently serves as Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition at Northern Kentucky University. He holds degrees in composition from Northwestern University, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Cleveland State University where he studied with Bain Murray, Alan Stout, Rudolph Bubalo, and Andrew Imbrie.

Sander's music is published through Musica Russica and Media Press, Inc.


Career Opportunities

With the explosion of media through the internet, it has become apparent that everyone needs an online presence in some form. This creates career opportunities for those who have expertise in media creation. Understanding how sound and music fit into this equation is an asset in the modern world. Creators who understand and utilize the emotional and narrative power of sound and music will be sought after by a whole array of potential clients. This opportunity will manifest itself in any number of the following descriptions.

Job Titles

  • Audio producer
  • Audio engineer
  • Audio mixer
  • Music editor
  • Sound designer
  • Music supervisor
  • Sound supervisor
  • Production mixer (film set)
  • Film composer
  • Game audio producer
  • Broadcast mixer
  • Live sound reinforcement
  • System tech
  • Beat maker
  • Video post-production editor
  • Foley artist
  • Mastering engineer
  • Forensic audio expert
  • A/V Install designer
  • Worship media producer