PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

School of Music to Offer Music Technology Degree Option

Penn State’s School of Music will now offer Music B.A. students a degree option in technology. The new option builds on existing technology classes already available, and allows music majors to graduate with a focus in more technologically-advanced aspects of their art.

“It’s really the same degree as our BA in Music,” Professor of Music Technology Mark Ballora said. But with the new technology addition, the major now has two options: general music studies and music technology. “Music technology is a superset of the general music studies B.A. It has the same core of theory, ear training, history, piano, and ensemble participation.”

What makes a music degree with the technology option stand out, then? Some pretty serious gen eds, to start with. “It mandates gen ed courses in calculus, matrices and vectors, computer programming, and physics. It also has required courses in music production, recording engineering, and software programming,” Ballora said, which bring in the technological emphasis.

As one can imagine, understanding these technological aspects of music production is important for modern music students. “The great majority of music we hear is recorded, not performed live. How music is processed and recorded is vital knowledge for musicians today, whether or not they wish to specialize in how it’s done,” Ballora said. This emphasis on technology is important for students because music majors will probably not find their full-time post-grad job at a career fair in the BJC. “They’ll have to be prepared to make a living in a variety of ways — performing, teaching, writing, etc. This gives them additional tools they can draw from as they embark into professional life.”

But the School of Music wants to make one thing clear: The technology option is not an easy way out for the less musically-inclined. “It is not a ‘school for waywards,’ where weak students who aspire to be DJs can seek an academic haven; and it is not ‘music lite for rock and rollers,’” Ballora said. The skills from the technology option will likely attract students who aspire to music production, television or radio broadcasting, recording, or software programming, to name a few.

Ballora says the demand for such an option has existed at least since he joined Penn State in 2000. The new technology degree option was built piece by piece, adding one class at a time. In 2006, sound design classes from the School of Theatre were added in, and faculty in the School of Music were able to put together a technology-based minor to offer students. By 2013, Ballora said, enough classes were available to fill in music degree elective slots, and the new degree option then went through the typical approval process at the university.

The degree option is currently available for students, and the department expects the first freshmen to enter the program in the Fall 2015 semester. Ballora said he hopes to get about 5-10 students to choose the option each year, but knows it will take about four years for a “critical mass” of technology-option students to develop.

About the Author

Melissa McCleery

Melissa is a senior majoring in Women’s Studies, Political Science, and Spanish. In the little free time she has, Melissa likes to cook, spend all her money at The Phyrst, and add to her collection of blue and white striped clothing. She can be reached via Twitter (@mkmccleery) or email ([email protected]).

Comments

More by Melissa

Former Student Accused Of Breaking Into Residence Halls And Fondling Female Students Sentenced

A 19-year-old former engineering student from China, Zhongyuan Shao now faces nine to 23 months in the Centre County Correctional Facility for indecent assault, harassment, criminal trespassing, and burglary.

Mold The Minds Of Future Penn Staters: Help Choose The Next Penn State Reads Book

World Campus Ranked No. 1 Program For Veterans

Athletics

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

This year’s sneaker is available to purchase online for $109.99.

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Fall Move-In Traffic & Construction Changes

When 40,000 students need to move back to State College over the course of four days or so, things are bound to get crazy.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend