The title I have chosen for my program is called Music Production and Entrepreneurship. It is a program designed to prepare myself in the music technology field to be better at the art of composing, as well as run my business. I created this program by taking the basis of a Music Technology degree, adding business courses, and exchanging out a number of music courses for ones that would make one better prepared to be a music producer/composer. There is no other major in the music realm that has a strong focus on composition. Every other music degree requires the specialization in an instrument, but no major with a composition focus exists. I have chosen each course carefully, assessing their importance to the job field intended. I acknowledged the necessities of being well informed in music theory strongly, as knowing how to understand and operate the technologies of digital audio workstations, as well as market myself out in the field via medias, is essential. The reality that there is no music degree with a strong focus on composition, as well as the fact that I wanted to mix the disciplines of music and business, are the leading reasons of why I believe this major is appropriate.
I created this program because I wanted to spend the focus of my education leading up to producing my own music and running my own business. My goal is to compose on a virtual platform and run my own business marketing my product. I have been composing for years now, and I believe that the classes I have chosen can help me become more educated and prepared. Ever since I took my first music technology class my freshman year of high school, I knew that this was something that I wanted to do as a career.
This program is different than any other major or minor here at PSU because it focuses on the art of musical composition itself as well as running/marketing your business as a multimedia composer. Other majors here don’t focus enough on the compositional or business side of the trade, and those are two things that I feel are essential for my desired career path. This major is truly an interdisciplinary product, and could only exist with modifications from any other majors.
The courses from the music department that I have included will both lay down a foundation for music theory, as well as give me the basis for technology for music. Piano Class I and Piano Class II are classes that I have already taken. They both laid down the foundations of keyboard theory while also focusing on skills such as reading sheet music. Piano comprehension is a basic necessity, and in those two classes I’ve felt like those skills have been enforced. Musicianship I, Musicianship II, Musicianship III, and Musicianship IV are all classes that I have taken for music theory. They have provided me with the basic skills and understandings of music theory. Seminar in the Music Business is another course very relevant to producing music. It goes over things like copyright, songwriting and publishing digital works, which is essential so I go about regular operations professionally. Intro to Hard Disk Recording is a class that I’ve taken that focuses on the equipment needed to produce my product. It explores the equipment crucial to recording and filtering sound for a successful multimedia workstation. Arranging is a class that goes over the basics for orchestral instrumentation, and delivers a strong compositional background for non-digital instruments. I took this class my junior year, and it continues to be highly applicable to any compositional work that I do. Composition is a one credit course that I have taken a few semesters of, and continue to for its constructiveness. I meet with a professor in a small group to discuss the piece that I am currently working on. It is helpful as it is me composing pieces, and then hearing reviews from peers and the professor. Music Technology Senior Project and Music Technology Junior Project are classes that will evaluate mastering, composing, and the ability to produce a final product parallel to that of which would be in the real world. It is necessary as these will be an exercise meant to put many of the things I’ve been learning together.
The courses that I’ve included for business will help me develop my business, and help structure my future career. Principles of Marketing is a class that I have taken that focuses on… well, the main principles of marketing. I feel like this is class is necessary from it giving the basic understandings of marketing, and how to market your business. A second class in business that I’ve taken is Organizational Behavior. A big complication of being a multimedia composer is communication with clients, and in this class you learn effect ways to communicate, as well as basic experimentation with teamwork and projects. When assessing which classes would be most appropriate, Small Business/Entrepreneurship Marketing and Operations grabbed my interest by being very relevant. The goal is to set myself up for running a small business, which means I need to know the basics, including how to market myself. Social Media Strategy is another class that I chose in the business field. I chose this class because much of what I will be producing will be for virtual medias, and the primary way to market is on social media. This class helps optimize your influence on social medias, giving you a breakdown of your marketing results.
The interdisciplinary classes that I’m required to take are designed to help market and develop my business. Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies is an essential class regarding the marketing side of my major. It will establish a way to market myself, and give me the knowledge on how to market myself. Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar is the final piece on completing my major, allowing for reflection and how it integrates into my next steps after this educational chapter.
My QRCO is Statistics I, and it has given me the tools to interpret data and the ability to assess any trends from said data. I took this my sophomore year, and the skills it has taught me are important to have.
The major I made is interdisciplinary due to its focuses, music and business, being two separate fields of study. I brought them together in a way that produces a pathway to use one to fuel another, in other words giving me the ability to create a product and market it. Giving me the tools to compose music, and run my own business. Being able to compose using the sound equipment and DAWs is an art form itself, but also bringing the ability to market yourself into the world sets one up for success.
Looking back at this essay, I feel like it is time for some self-reflection. Time has passed, and I am progressing with my studies. Many other of the Interdisciplinary students writing for this assignment have probably spent a good two years or so following their road map to their major, while I, the last-minute minority, have had a small journey in IDS. I took the introduction seminar for IDS last semester, as I decided to make my own major my senior year. Now that everything is falling into place nicely, I can safely say that I am glad I decided to do it– but I wish that I decided to much earlier on. I feel like it is a success, even though this IDS status has only been on my shoulders for a number of months. Having my own major is pretty cool, if I am being honest. I stand out in many of the classes I am taking this semester, and am becoming quite the mutt. I am a Music Tech Marine, that is from the land of beaches (Cape Cod). I’m also learning about business and marketing within my studies, and loves to exercise. I’m proud of where I am at, and am in large part thankful to IDS for that.
Within the classes I am taking this semester, aside from standing out from what my major is called, I also feel like I have a different perspective on things. From all of my other focuses I feel like I bring a creative train of thought to discussions. Just the other day one of professors replied to my proposed concept to add to our collaborative list, and he stated that he never heard what I said applied in that way. Even though my IDS journey lasted a total of two semesters, I believe that the fundamentals of what interdisciplinary means gave me a lot.