A New Music Technology Class Becomes a Game Changer for Students at KSU

By CIARA SCHWARTZ

KENNESAW, Ga.– A new music technology class at Kennesaw State University brings students from the School of Music and the Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business Program  together to learn about the technical side of music.

Students learn how to record themselves, use industry standard recording programs, set up stage equipment and much more. Spring semester was the first time that this kind of class has ever been taught at KSU, and according to the staff and students it was a great success.

Student Taylor Marie Johnson said, “I loved the class and thought it was really helpful, I’m a singer songwriter, so learning how to record my own music has helped me save a lot of time and money.”

The Music and Technology class gives students a general understanding of how to create and produce their own music. Students learn a broad range of information all the way from learning about cables and stage equipment to music production techniques such as recording and mastering music. Students also learn how to use industry standard production programs like Pro Tools and Logic to mix and master music.

Danny Howes, lecturer at KSU. Photo by Ciara Schwartz
Danny Howes, lecturer at KSU. Photo by Ciara Schwartz

Danny Howes, the lecturer who taught the course, said, “The first semester of this class went incredibly well and I couldn’t have been more exited. Everybody was very enthusiastic and the students learned a lot.”

This class is recommended to all student musicians as well as students who are trying to break into the business side of the entertainment industry.

“Having the knowledge of music technology is key for musicians, but also for a nonmusician who is trying to make it in the industry because you will have to work with creative people who are both performers and on the music engineering side,” Howes said. “You want to be able to at least speak their language, so for example, if you hear them talking about a feedback or microphone problem, you will know what they are talking about.”

One of the projects students worked on spring semester was to remix a professionally recorded song that was given to them to use by a famous producer in the area. They also recently got to go on a field trip to Quarry Recording Studios, which belongs to the Christian rock band Third Day, to see a world-class studio first hand.

Additionally, guest lecturers who are professionals in the area of music and technology were invited to share their expertise with the class. For instance, Rodney Mills, a well-known mastering engineer in the Atlanta area, came to speak with students on the last week of class.

Patrick McConkey, the class student assistant, said, “The point of this class was to introduce students to the music technology side and I feel like we have successfully done that. It was really cool to see the music majors and music and entertainment business students come together to learn how to record themselves to get their music out there. This has really helped them and they love coming here.”

The class was held in the Mac Lab in the Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business house, where each student has their own computer work station with their own Apple I Mac computers, interfaces, high end microphones, cabling, amplifiers, Pro Tools and Logic. The course is being offered again in fall of 2015 for 20 students, 10 from the School of Music and 10 from the Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business Program due to limited space.

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