Madison Media Institute Reviews
I feel that MMI and other similar 'technical arts' schools may have shot themselves in the foot by offering programs to positions that are very competitive, don't have any real regulation in decent pay or permanent placement, and require living in another major metropolitan area to thrive. Really, it would have better served if it didn't need accreditation; I knew going in that nobody would ever care to see my degree over how I perform and sound. A previous reviewer stated in another way that many students liked the idea of the program they were in, but their output proved that they were wasting their money and everyone else's time and I thoroughly agree. Even those that did show promise didn't have to drive to start from the bottom at a job; I'd know because I cold called previous graduates for paid work after I became established and they hemmed and hawed. The problem with a grade on subjective material meant that many students can and did graduate, but their portfolios were beyond lackluster and they would never be hired in the field with what they provided. I only know a few students in my class that are still active, I'm 1 of maybe 3. I'm not trying to brag in saying that I was one of the top mixers in my class, I desperately wanted more friendly rivalry to beat me and grow and see others do things differently, but most of my classmates under-performed. There were still many amazing teachers when I went and I honestly wish I had more time to pick their brains. I truly enjoyed most of my time there though the price I paid for what knowledge I now use left a really bad taste in my mouth for years. The theory of sound waves and all material pertaining to recording and mixing theory was fantastic and taught passionately. I could have done without 4 classes on pro tools as I use Logic X, Reaper and Ableton. I had a friend who graduated 4 years previously in the same degree and the breadth of knowledge he absorbed seemed so much greater. Perhaps its also that so much changes in a live setting over a studio setting; I had to learn a lot on my own doing live work. Perhaps its that the income doesn't justify the cost when there's so much knowledge online. Perhaps its mainly that the professors I looked up to did it right themselves wherein they apprenticed themselves under someone they looked up to in the actual field and learned the hard way. I wish I did that first instead.
I graduated at a time when the school was at its best. the instructors were amazing and I was taught by people who had been in Hollywood for most of their career. The time they took outside of the classroom to help you was so helpful. Our graduating class cranked out more than five short films which gained some attention at film festivals. I was so proud to be a part of this and finding a job was easy. One phone call. That's all it took
I have to give Media Inst. a very mixed review,First I would say that the quality of our equipment,and the expertise of the instructors was generally good.I had few,if any issues with equipment actually broken.I was sorely disappointed with being required to take two semesters of digital language coding,apparently aimed at teaching us to build a business related website.This was in 2010/2011,Cripes! I didn't go there to learn background coding and even the instructor admitted that it would all be relatively useless,obsolete training by the end of the year.Which year?In 2004 I could easily(with only average internet savvy)buy a domain name and put up a simple yet fully functional storefront website.I used an inexpensive template and had no problems customizing it. For the most part I felt that all of the faculty were very knowledgeable in their craft.Career guidance and placement assistance,on the other hand was absolutely a joke.The one and only job/career adviser they had was about as useless as boxing gloves on a snail.He provided me with a few vague suggestions,one solid lead(3 weeks old)on a graphic design gig just up the hill at a DNR office bldg.I guess that's all he had,and was visibly irritated that I interrupted his cig' break.He was rarely in his office.Mostly,he seemed to hang around near the front entry,smoking,offering haphazard advise and trying desperately to impress anyone who would listen with what how insanely fun it was to be a rock star in the mid '70s .I heard later that they finally laid him off a semester or two after I graduated.Even if the weren't shutting down,I really wouldn't recommend MMI as a path to anything other than unpaid internships or participation in low budget indie films with slight hope of adequate compensation or possibly being "Discovered" If you are serious about your education and know that you want to get into the entertainment industry,there are many better options.
MMI was once a great school with exceptional teachers, but the awful people who run the school have ran out anyone who is worth being taught by. One issue is that the quality of teachers was highly polarized. The teachers were either highly experienced and helpful, or very washed up and very unhelpful. You shouldn't have to pay to hear some instructor talk about how he thinks he's the best beat maker/engineer from the 90s or whatever, you should be given information to help you in the event you even get a job in this field. The truth about this school is: there are way too many people who think they can "make it" in this industry and not enough jobs for them. 95% of the students who go here are posers and wannabes, and have no grasp on audio or video or anything of the sort. They have completely wasted their time and money and are a burden on the teachers and students who are actually worth something. The financial office here is a joke, so make sure your ducks are in a row so don't have to deal with those people. They do have great gear for you to learn and work on. They also have a couple amazing individuals who make sure the stuff stays up and running as well. That being said, getting in and working on the equipment is tough because of scheduling conflicts, which are mostly due to wannabe hacks who reserve the studio for taking pictures of themselves in from of the console. When I went there, the amount of stuff I learned was massive, and I was thankful to have amazing teachers who knows their stuff. Unfortunately, they are all gone now. The school's morale is in the dumps, and potential students are realizing that going here is way too expensive, lacks credibility, and simply doesn't possess the security of a job when you leave. Only 2 people in my graduating class has a job in their field from their degree. I'm one of them, and the other person who has a job is a person who busted their a** at that school and wanted a recording job more than most of the people who wanted their time there. Don't count on getting help landing a job with MMI. This school won't help you there. Look at the statistics. This is a for-profit school with a huge student loan default rate, which means these people aren't working a job from their degree. Most of the people are back home, swamped in debt, and working retail. And once you leave, MMI doesn't care. They tell you they do, but they don't. These are the things people won't tell you going in. This school is a sea of wannabes and posers looking to get a hit single, not people looking to help someone take a client's album or song to the next level. The school's placement rate is abysmal, and they know it. But they will happily take your money, put shiny mics in front of you, talk about how the 90s were the best time to record music, and then walk away when you're horrifically in debt and can't find a job in recording because nobody taught you how to do so. Instead, they taught you how to make a fuzz pedal. They taught you how to create a portfolio that nobody will even look at. If this was 6 years ago, if highly recommend going here. It was a blast. Now? I would highly recommend NOT going to MMI. This school isn't the answer nor is it the gateway to your success. You can do anything that goes on in there on your own if you really put your all into it. It's true that the gear inside that school is not readily available to everyday people, but you surely can get behind a camera or a console one day if you put your mind to it. My success came from finding my own way in after graduating, not by hoping the student career office can hook me up with an interview. Think twice about going here. Put your effort into your craft outside of that place. Surround yourself with people who care about audio and video. I miss the teachers who were amazing. They're all gone now. It's a joke compared to what it used to be. MMI is a joke. Don't waste your money. MMI is not the pathway to success. In fact, it a ravine going right through the middle of it.
This is the best choice if you are looking for anything in media arts. The teachers are pros and they work hard to help you learn. They are very connected with employers all over the US. Grads are working at some of the top media companies from coast to coast. I got a job before graduating.
Some of these "teachers" do not have teaching degrees, they pull these people off the streets who have had experience in the field, but they can't teach worth a penny. I've had some experience with video editing programs, and I didn't really learn much. Also, the equipment is usually broken, anywhere from video cameras, to $1million soundboards, or computers. Sometimes students will have to "sit out" because of a broken computer.
Madison Media Institute is another classic example of a school to promote apple software. If you want a real education in video production/ special effects I suggest going to an Art Institute or Full Campus. If you are into graphic/web design, try Herzing college, they offer a 3year bachelors degree program for a way cheaper price.
If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely not go here. MMI in a nut shell is overpriced, lazy, and cheap(as far as the education quality). Do not waste your time here.