Music To Your Ears Examining Music Education Programs

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    Dec 03, 2013
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Music To Your Ears Examining Music Education Programs Photo by Pamela Wendell

Entering the music industry can be a finicky venture so attending music programs or courses is helpful, as earning the credentials gives one an advantage over the competition.

At Centennial College's music education program, known officially as Music Industry Arts and Performance, the focus is on offering students insight into popular music, world or indigenous music that will help them to enter an exciting and lasting career. This is achieved over a period of three years, during which the music program coursework nurtures musicality and creativity, raises awareness of a variety of music cultures, builds knowledge of music-related technologies, and develops business and entrepreneurial skills. Specific topics covered in the music program's courses include: musicianship, musical theory and creativity, popular music in culture, private lessons, history of Western art music, introduction to music technology, worlds of music, composition, music business fundamentals, digital music creation, introduction to audio engineering, music marketing and social media, advanced music business, copy right, royalties, licensing and publishing; and many others. No other music program offers the same combination of performance, creative, contextual, business, and technology courses. During their courses, students have plenty of opportunity to record and perform, which is an essential part of growing as a musician.

Throughout their music education program, professional musicians mentor students during private music lessons and ensemble rehearsal. One of these musicians is also the offering's coordinator. For over 15 years, Jesse Feyen has enjoyed an exciting music career as a multi-instrumentalist, researcher and teacher. He has performed internationally as a soloist and in a variety of popular music groups on drums, keyboards, guitar and vocals. He also holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology and is a leading expert on Black Canadian sacred and gospel music in Ontario.

In the third year of the music program, students have an important decision to make when they choose to join the music creation and business stream or the music creation and technology stream. Both options come with a six-week work placement in the final semester, which provides hands-on experience in the real world. It is also an opportunity for students to network and establish relationships with seasoned professionals who may help them to advance their career upon graduation.

To apply for this music program, students are required to have at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older). They must also have completed Grade 12 English C or U, or equivalent (minimum grade required) or  take the Centennial College English Skills Assessment for Admission. Additionally, all music education program applicants are asked to attend a mandatory program admission session during which they will audition on a primary instrument or voice. At the session, they will also be asked to complete an evaluation of their music theory knowledge, and a questionnaire about their music background and training. It is worth noting that the music program will consider applicants who have limited formal theory and music training, based on the quality of their audition.

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As the author of this piece, Emma describes the essential aspects that make up the music program.

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