The Northeastern State University Department of Music in Tahlequah debuted its new jazz studies and commercial music degree program in the fall 2021 semester.
The new degree plan was created to update the existing jazz studies degree and provide a program that prepares students for careers in the modern music industry.
“Any university needs to continually revise the curriculum to stay current with the needs of the modern world. This program introduces students to working in the modern-day music industry by incorporating classes that teach recording technologies, music business and a study of American popular music,” Dr. Clark Gibson, director of Jazz Studies at NSU, said.
Music production, composition and pop music theory and improv are some of the courses that will be offered in the new program.
“I’m particularly excited about the music production classes that start in the fall. These classes are available for music majors and non-majors,” Gibson said. “I really look forward to teaching this skill to non-music students and seeing people get excited about being involved with music in a new way.”
All classes in the jazz studies and commercial music program are designed with hands-on projects to provide students with the skills needed for entering the workforce after graduation. These projects include a variety of music industry practices such as performing a concert, recording other artists and composing music.
The new program not only prepares students for performance careers, but also offers a foundation for jobs like sound engineering, film scoring, booking agency operations and many other music industry roles.
Gibson is looking forward to this degree plan starting a positive new chapter in fall 2021 for performers and creatives coming in on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original NSU jazz studies program has been providing students with a jazz education for the last several decades. In 1993 the NSU Jazz Lab was opened, providing a space for students to perform their craft. The program also produces the annual Green Country Jazz Festival, one of the longest running jazz festivals in Oklahoma.
For more information on the jazz studies and commercial music program, visit nsumusic.com or call 918-444-2700.