February 13, 2019

Michael Cochran: Instructor Spotlight, Recording Arts & Show Production

Meet Michael Cochran, an instructor in the Recording Arts & Show Production program at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Michael has traveled the world studying and working in music, entertaining in a range of productions and working with major artists. Michael, a Grammy nominated music producer, now takes his talents to F.I.R.S.T. Institute where he has taught for the past two years – inspiring the minds of students eager to learn.

At A Young Age

Michael Cochran was destined for music from a very young age. His parents bought him a small one-octave organ where he learned to play piano and fall in love with music. As he grew older, he became inspired to dive further in the industry through some great mentors like his piano instructors and high school band instructors. His interest was officially peaked, and he knew that music would be a huge part of his life from there on out.

From the USA to Italy

Michael Cochran decided to turn his passion into a career. He attended the University of Florida where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition and soon after traveled to Rome, Italy where he attended the Conservatorio di Musica. Here he developed his specialty in orchestral music. Michael’s first professional paid gig out of college was writing an orchestral score for a large live event with around 40,000 people attending.

Record Labels, The Walt Disney Company, and More

In Michael’s return to Orlando, Florida he landed a job as a Music Director for a record label. He credits networking for his career taking off shortly after. Through connecting with other music professionals, he was introduced to a music production company where he would create the music for theme park shows all over the world. This company created 90% of the Walt Disney Company’s live shows, castle shows, fireworks, parades, and more all over the world. Michael’s first Disney show was Tokyo Disney’s Christmas castle show and he was able to work on the music for the grand opening of this park as well.

Major Recording Artists

As a freelance Music Producer, Michael is afforded the opportunity to dive into many different kinds of projects. Michael has a versatile music palette as he has worked in pop, rock, electronica, R&B, Latin, and instrumental. Michael Cochran has had the pleasure of working alongside some major recording artists such as Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Alicia Keys.

A Grammy Nominated Music Producer

Michael Cochran’s greatest accomplishment in the music industry so far was in 2016. He was nominated for a Grammy for best pop album with his artist Chaz Robinson and his album Without You.

A Transition to Teaching

Michael Cochran mentions great mentors he had throughout his career and how he wanted to be that person for someone else. From here, Michael takes his talents to F.I.R.S.T. Institute to become an instructor in the Recording Arts & Show Production program.

The Recording Arts & Show Production Program

Michael details some of the highlights that are taught in the Recording Arts & Show Production program at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. The first things that they teach are the DAWs of the music industry, or the Digital Audio Workstations: Logic Pro and Pro Tools. The program then moves on to teach students how to record music in a recording studio using analog outboard gear. Students continue on to learn Foley work, sound for visual media, advanced mixing and mastering, and finally live sound and show production.

Dynamic and Diverse Instructors at F.I.R.S.T. Institute

Michael Cochran mentions that his favorite part of F.I.R.S.T. Institute are his fellow instructors. He explains that all the instructors are diverse in their experiences and what they are working on now in the industry. He enjoys being a part of such an interesting and dynamic group of educators.

“F.I.R.S.T. Institute is the Place to Be”

Michael offers some insight into the benefits of the programs at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. He explains that if anyone wants to learn about the digital media industry with a lot of hands-on and one-on-one time with fantastic instructors, then F.I.R.S.T. Institute is the place to be.

Looking Forward for Michael Cochran

Michael Cochran is actively involved in the music industry while he teaches in the Recording Arts & Show Production program at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Michael’s upcoming projects include more Disney work as he is slated to work on another Disney on Ice show. He is very excited to also be working on a new arena show called Jurassic World Live.

A Mentor Even After College

Michael Cochran mentions that he continues to keep in touch with his students even after they graduate from F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Past students reach out to Michael almost daily to keep in touch with him, ask for advice, and update them on their careers.

Michael Offers Advice for Those Interested in the Music Industry

“If you’re interested in getting into this industry and making this industry a career, my number one advice would be to learn a lot of different skills. Be proficient in a lot of different things even if it’s not necessarily what you want to do exactly. In order to make an income in this industry, knowing a bunch of things really helps. If you get knocked down 100 times, you need to get up 101 times. So, never give up.”