SAE Institute offers top-quality education in music, film and animation

To get somewhere in the music industry today requires a lot. Natural talent, hard work and a unique brand will only get you so far; real technical skills and hands-on guidance from experienced teachers will take you one step further. That’s why choosing the right educational facility is of vital importance.

Cape Town's SAE Institute gives aspiring producers and engineers the skills they need. Photo: SAE Institute Cape Town
Cape Town's SAE Institute gives aspiring producers and engineers the skills they need. Photo: SAE Institute Cape Town

The SAE Institute in Cape Town, South Africa is an internationally accredited tertiary institution, delivering creative media education in sound, film and animation. Its campus at the Woodstock Exchange is one of 54 SAE campuses in 28 countries and includes world-class facilities with the latest technology. 

Focus areas

The institute offers a wide variety of courses to cater for all requirements, including a three-year Bachelor of Arts in Sound Production and a one-year Higher Certificate in Sound Production. The courses cover all aspects of sound production, studio recording and live sound reinforcement techniques, mixing, mastering, MIDI and modern music creation, music business, studio acoustics and the application of current technology to the music production process. Students also gain expertise in music and business management, marketing, communications and knowledge of the contemporary ‘infotainment' industry.

Led by a team of approximately 23 skilled lecturers, both Sound Production courses provide students with the practical skills necessary to work in the entertainment industry.  Students learn the technical and creative aspects of the recording process by working on complex projects in various professional studio environments. 

In recent years the SAE Academy has trained hundreds of people from all over the continent, who are now pursuing successful careers in the entertainment industry

As the only SAE Institute in Africa, the state-of-the-art Cape Town campus welcomes aspiring professionals not only from South Africa but also from other parts of the continent. Some of its recent graduates currently forging their own successful careers include Nigerian producers Chubie Ujah (Xtremelife Media), Quami Okonny (Nigeria New Dawn) and Ugbede Ogbobe (Digi Audio). Many others are currently plying their trade at well-established studios, production houses and sound companies throughout South Africa. According to SAE Market Manager Thabo Mobo, “There are exciting developments within the SAE group with regards to the rest of the African continent.”

Flexible programmes 

For those without the time or resources to study full-time, SAE also offers a variety of eight-week short courses: Electronic Music Production in Ableton Live, Live Sound Production, Pro Performance DJ and Radio Production.

Then there are SAE’s free Music Business Masterclasses, which are hosted every two months. Industry leaders are invited to share their knowledge and promote much-needed business skills in the African music industry. In 2015 the masterclasses covered topics such as music promotion; artist management, taking South African music global and the role of records labels in today’s music industry.

Besides their music-related offerings, the SAE Institute also offers a similarly impressive range of degrees, certificates, short courses and master classes in the fields of film and animation.

Giving back

Besides educating students at the institute itself, SAE’s strategic partnership with Bridges for Music, a non-profit organization that aims to promote electronic music in disadvantaged communities by encouraging established artists to help ‘give back’, has already had a hugely positive influence on the local music industry.

Together they currently offer four scholarship programmes, represented by top artists AKAReady DBlack Coffee and Young Guru from the US (Jay Z’s engineer and tour DJ), for young talent who lack the financial means to pay for their tuition. The scholarships allow young talent to study at SAE, creating a brighter future for hard-working students through the removal of financial obstacles, as well as mentoring sessions, internship opportunities, career guidance and life skills development. 

According to SAE Director Trenton Birch, "Teaming up to provide opportunities for young disadvantaged creatives is incredibly powerful and we are inspired to be able to offer a platform that can truly change lives."

Another important result of the relationship between SAE and Bridges for Music is the construction of a music school in Langa township in Cape Town, where legendary singer Brenda Fassie grew up. The main goal of the school is to become a creative hub for talented young artists - not only from Langa but from other townships on the Cape Flats - are able to pursue their dreams and develop their skills, through a shared passion for music. Lectures will be given on aspects of music production, graphic design, basic internet usage, and video editing, while the school will also have specific production facilities and an outdoor events space. 

With its global brand, proven track record and commitment to positive social change, choosing to study at the SAE Institute is a wise investment for anyone wanting to lay the foundation for a successful professional career in music, film or animation - and ultimately to make a significant contribution to Africa’s creative sector. 

For more details visit the SAE website or watch the video below.



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