The Blackbird Academy

The Blackbird Academy was started by recording and live sound engineer John McBride and his wife, country artist Martina McBride. They created Blackbird Studio in 2002, which has grown to be a top-production stop for recording artists like Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Kid Rock, Tim McGraw, and many more.

The mission of the Blackbird Academy is to prepare students for careers in music production and live sound in the best possible way—via mentor-based training. There is a need for a new model in education which gives students access to true working professionals and hands-on experience using a world-class collection of gear in facilities designed for one purpose: making excellent music. The Blackbird Academy addresses these needs by providing a mentor-based program where students will be taught by a unique cast of professional instructors and award-winning guest lecturers.

Ou r campus is built on the foundation of Blackbird Studio, the Nashville home to a community of engineers, producers, musicians, and technical staff, who over the years have taken the art of audio recording to new highs. The principles and beliefs that guide the Academy’s programs are simple: challenge and educate students by presenting them with real-life scenarios that an engineer would encounter on a regular basis. We believe training should take place in spaces that are not empty, cold classrooms, but professionally designed studios, labs, and venues where engineers can hone their craft. Students should graduate with a high degree of both practical and theoretical knowledge of their trade, which will give them the best opportunity to establish and build their careers. Our goal is to provide the greatest education in the shortest amount of time for the least amount of money.