Urban Music Academy

Urban Music Academy | San Francisco Bay Area

Start producing the electronic music you love at a quality level in our intimate class setting. From diving into top music production software, to mastering and completing your own EP. This boutique-style program in classes of no more than eight serves as a comprehensive and hands-on experience. Gain invaluable tips and techniques from our superior roster of instructors, who are invested in your progress.

Applicable projects, mentoring sessions, and real-world lessons will have you writing, producing, engineering, mixing, mastering, and promoting your very own EP. To achieve a polished, professional sound, all academy students have uncapped time in our acoustically treated production studio!

We are an official Ableton certified training center, and all Garnish Music Production students are free to take advantage of a 40% EDU Ableton software discount. Beyond mastering Ableton Live Suite, you will learn the ins and outs of Logic Pro X, utilized by many professional producers to complete their work in the mix stage. The course is then rounded out with high-end third party plugins that work in conjunction with Ableton and Logic, such as Native Instruments Komplete,  SylenthSerum, (discounts available to studentsand several secret tools of the trade we won’t reveal here!

Garnish was the first music production school in the UK to offer the Music Grades System for music production, and all music production academy learners, worldwide take a Grade 6, 7 or 8 examination. More on music production grades on our London website here. If UK music production qualifications do not obviously pertain to our students’ goals, they (and perhaps more so their parents) can be rest assured that our music production program meets a national standard of accreditation.

Sketches and Ideas in Ableton

Within weeks into class, you will be working your way around this extraordinary DAW, as it serves you long-term as one of your most essential creative tools. Through a practical hands-on class style, you will explore Ableton Live’s key concepts, such as arranging windows, scenes, clips, and warping. Discover MIDI clips and note editor to program and create beats, bass-lines, and melodies.

Electronic Music Composition

You will learn the fundamentals of electronic music composition, making you a more efficient producer. Learn and program chords which work well together, discover catchy lead lines, and bass lines that groove. Classically trained students who have taken this course repeatedly tell us how this part of the program has given them new tools and techniques.

Audio Engineering

Become grounded in audio engineering and recording with essential techniques and tricks of the trade. This part of the course emphasizes correct recording practices, and vocal production. Even though music producers are not expected to be singers too, the more we understand about vocal production and recording, the better the final product! This includes knowing how to motivate, coach, and produce our artists. Singing is not mandatory during these sessions – we understand! Feel free to just listen.

Logic Pro X

Discover your DAW options with Logic Pro X, a preferred program for many electronic producers, especially for the later stages of production. Even if you decide to stick with Ableton, it is important to familiarize yourself with this comprehensive software.

“I switched to Ableton from Logic many years ago, but after some A/Bing in my studio recently, I could hear that Logic sounded better than Ableton so I decided I needed to brush up in Logic to get the best of both worlds. I called Garnish and, of course the guys were great and got me back up to speed in no time” Jamie Jones

Mixing & Mastering

Know your space; learn the fundamentals behind acoustics and how to correctly stage your studio for cleaner and better sound. Then get your hands dirty with dynamic controllers, in-depth EQ, making the most of the frequency spectrum, mixing vocals, expanding song elements, creating cohesive sound, and awesome professional plugins, including our software partners, FabFilter.

Electronic Sound Design

While even many pro electronic producers stick with only subtractive synthesis during their career, you will go beyond by exploring subtractive, granular, additive, wavetable, and frequency modulated synthesis. This section also covers sampling, glitch, resampling, and additional beat-making techniques to broaden your sound.

Advanced Ableton & Synthesis

Your sound design skills will surpass many those of many professional electronic music producers by this point in the program. But we’re not stopping there. You will also be introduced to Reaktor Ensembles and Max4live devices. Then we cover advanced sampling with the world-leading Kontakt, a powerful force when joined with Ableton Live Suite. You will be able to apply your music to media (film and TV) by the end of this module.

Live Performance

You will also learn advanced MIDI techniques applicable for any live scenario you may encounter. Finally, you will discover how to use Ableton Live to set up your track on stage and perform it live.

Marketing & Artist Development

Take advantage of our small class sizes and hand-tailored advice from your instructors during this module, focused on finishing and refining your projects and what to do next!

Field Trips

Students will enjoy hands-on training recording a band at Clear Lake Recording Studios. Students may find one of the studio’s many notable clients working in the room next door! We also make use of a pre-production studio, where students can experiment and program in a room full of vintage analog synths and processors to find some real analog sounds for their tracks.


If students are capable DJs, who play music we can incorporate into our club night, we will invite them to join our DJ graduates to play at our club night, without having to take our DJ program if they’re experienced enough.


Over 430 hours of tuition and uncapped studio time | $7999 + $300 registration fee | Payment plans

Academic year | Three 10-week terms | Wednesdays & Thursdays | 11.30a – 6.30p

1st term: 3rd Mon. of September;  2nd term: 2nd Mon. of January; 3rd term: Last Mon. of April

Two Year Weekend | Six 10-week terms | Saturdays | 12a – 7p

1st term: 2nd Sat. of September;  2nd term: 2nd Sat. of January; 3rd term: Last Sat. of April (x2)

Two Year Evenings | Six 10-week terms | Monday & Tuesday | 7p – 10p

1st term: 3rd Mon. of September;  2nd term: 2nd Mon. of January; 3rd term: Last Mon. of April (x2)

18 continuous weeks | Monday to Friday | 10a – 2p or 2.30p – 6.30p or 7p – 11p

Start 1: February 26 | Start 2: July 16

Bespoke private tuition is also available for the whole program. Contact us for more information.

Free this year: optional Hit Songwriting classes and mentoring from our Songwriting Music Academy.

If you have any questions, do send us an email or call our Academy admissions specialist on (424) 653 6481. Then when you’re ready, please apply using the button below.

Academy Application Form

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    The course does a good job of expressing the importance of all aspects of music. Art of flow, synthesis, business, and marketing/branding are all building blocks of the aspiring musician pyramid. Armed with knowledge from each category (and of course good work ethic), anyone can navigate the long, crazy road to becoming a successful and happy musician.

    Daniel Ferenbach

    Class sizes were perfect, so there was a great balance of one on one instruction and instruction on broad topics.

    Adam Booker

    The course was very enjoyable, challenging, and fulfilling. The Garnish School is a great space to learn the fundamentals essential to becoming a strong, well-developed music producer. The instructors took the time to teach & explain complex software techniques, and designed special classes to illustrate specific aspects of music making,  and vocal recording techniques. The instructors were varied in their careers & producing styles, making for well-rounded instruction. The instructors were fun to engage with and were interested in building the students and our experiences. I'm so happy this school came to LA from London, and that I made the commitment to complete this course. I feel ready to jump forward and continue working on my music. Thanks to all the Garnish instructors and to Dave for creating this fantastic school!

    Spencer Barnes @jaemisson

    The Electronic Music Academy is a good time and super informative. I've been writing and producing music for the past year. There was so much I wanted to transcribe from my mind to my DAW, but I just didn't fully know how. Fortunately, the EMA course changed that in just a few short weeks. Very exciting! Not to mention the Garnish LA folks are super cool.

    Patricia Seely

    I came in knowing literally nothing and now I can make a quality track in just a day or two. Simple as that.

    Jason Heffler @fluenceemusic

    The course helped me learn exactly what I wanted to learn and more. It was super hands-on, which will help me retain what I learned in the course for a long time.

    Benjamin S Shirken

    I loved the small classes that made it easy to interact with the instructor and let you tailor the course to your needs and areas of improvement.


    I went to school at Stanford for three years and had been taught by many great professors. But I'm thoroughly convinced that my Ableton teacher in the Electronic Music Academy was the best teacher I've ever had. The way he mixes new content, exercises, and little projects is really affective, and I felt like I could do pretty much whatever I want in Ableton.

    William Huang

    A lot of knowledgable teachers that are down to earth and easy going… amazing school all round!

    Anthony C

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