Departments collaborate to create music technology minor at FHSU

What started a year ago as a discussion over student interest in commercial music production has turned into one of the newest minors at Fort Hays State University.

"We did a student interest survey, and there was a lot of interest from the students in learning about this," said Dr. Tim Crowley, chair of the Department of Music. "So we wanted to make it available to them."

For the past year, the Departments of Music and Information Networking and Telecommunications have been working to create the music technology minor, which will allow students to learn how to edit, record and produce music.

"Music has the music expertise, INT has the electronic media expertise," said Dr. Mark Bannister, chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications.

"And marrying those for student benefit makes a great deal of sense," he said.

The music technology minor will consist of six classes totaling 21 hours. The first three classes of the minor will be in the INT area, starting with Introduction to Electronic Media, which Bannister said provides an overview of electronic media.

The second INT course in the minor is Beginning Audio Production, a laboratory class in which students learn the basics of audio production and the fundamentals needed for the seminar music classes Music Technology 1 and Music Technology 2.

The Law of Cyberspace, the third INT course in the minor, looks into areas such as intellectual property, copyright and fair use policies.

"A student needs to understand intellectual policies in doing music production so they can both avoid violating others' copyrights and protect the creations that they produce," said Bannister.

The second half of the courses in the minor are music courses, starting with Music Technology 1.

"Seminar in Music Technology I is about getting acquainted with the studio, learning how to do analog recording basics and learning some things about MIDI [Musical Instrument Digital Interface]," said Crowley.

They will also begin working with the Pro Tools system, a hard disk recording system, and doing small projects to help reinforce everything that they have learned to that point.

In Seminar in Music Technology II, students will work on more detailed projects, make multiple track recordings and learn more about the Pro Tools systems. They will also deal more with the post-production aspects of recording.

Topics in Music: Recording Practicum is a two-semester course that Crowley said is an independent study which allows the students to design and arrange their own project on a larger scale.

Students will have access to studio facilities in Heather Hall and Malloy Hall. Malloy's facilities were recently remodeled just for this purpose.

"We have studio facilities between the INT Department and the Music Department that will be used to allow students to have hands-on lab exercises and to participate in recording, mixing and producing music," said Bannister.

"Students will record small and large groups of musicians and learn how to do multi-track recording and, in the post production aspects, get it mixed down into some type of digital format," said Crowley.

While the minor might not lead directly into a career, it may be valuable to people who wish to have a career in the radio or recording industry or who wish to self-produce music.

"We don?t promise any careers. This is a minor and it's mostly just an interest-based program," said Crowley. "Maybe they might be interested in entrepreneurial activities, setting up a home studio or that kind of thing. We would tell them about the equipment and teach the techniques for recording."

"The benefit of this minor," said Bannister, "is that a student from any area on campus who has an interest in music production can learn how to actually edit, record and produce music.

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