The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

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The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

Music Tech continues to improve

Updates to the Music Technology program keep it as one of the nation’s best

The University of Central Missouri Music Technology program has begun another round of renovations. These renovations are more about architecture to keep the facilities up to date and of the best quality.

  “We have a ton of insulation and a bunch of wood lying around [that] we’ve been making into sound baffles where [we] make a little frame, put the insulation in and then wrap it with Canvas, [or] some type of material. So we have a ton of those that are made from last semester, and I think the summer so we’re gonna start putting them up to absorb the sound as people are recording in the live rooms,” Keith Wecker, music technology graduate assistant, said.

Music Technology majors work on renovating the department’s studios on Feb. 17. They worked on building acoustic pane;s for the studios in the lower level of the Wood building. (Photo by Braeden Sholes)

  Another person who is instrumental in these updates is Eric Honour, Chair of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. Honour has helped draw up renovations before that have seen success in the Music Technology program, and is looking for similar results again.

  “[It was a] recruiting boom. I mean, the moment we walked a prospective student into that room, they’d be like, whoa, this is amazing,” Honour said.

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   The renovation’s funds are based upon contributions by the university. The reason is to help students succeed. One of the metrics of success is first the destination success rate. This measures what percentage of students find a job, go to graduate school, or start their own business within six months of graduation.

  “The last time I looked at the numbers, every program in music, including the Music Technology program has either been at 100%, or in the high 90s [for first destination success rate],” Honour said. “For a degree in music technology, like in recording studio work, there’s a lot of other programs out there where the first destination success rate is in the 60s, maybe the 70s, and for music performance, even lower than that. So the idea that we have programs here…in the high 90s… Our graduates are finding jobs and I think that that says a lot about the quality and the relevance of the training that they’re getting here.”

  One successful person who has used the UCM Music Technology space in the past is Shawn Pelton. Pelton is a long-time drummer on Saturday Night Live since 1992, and has been able to play and record with many distinguished artists, winning Grammy’s along the way. Though Pelton did not attend UCM, he was a 1981 graduate of Warrensburg High School, and as such, used the space.

  “I do have fond memories of growing up there in Warrensburg and taking advantage of the music school. I studied there privately when I was in junior high and high school, and was able to go to all the different music camps that were offered by the university as a high school student,” Pelton said. “I do think being exposed to CMSU at the time, and growing up in Warrensburg was really influential in my background as a musician.”

  As aspects of this program helped Pelton when he used them, the goal of these updates is to also help more students in the future. Whether it is students learning how to construct studios themselves, or just reaping the benefits of updated spaces to learn.

  “It’s cool because you get to really understand how studios are made,” Wecker said. “It’s just gaining a fuller understanding of how music and technology interact in a physical space, it’s really cool. And, you know, most people aren’t fortunate to have that experience.”

Grain Hanna (left) and Dawson Grainger (right) work on renovations for the Music Technology Studios. Hanna and Grainger put mounts on acoustic panels to hang in the newly renovated studios. (Photo by Braeden Sholes)

  Other aspects of the facilities that are being updated are also helpful in student success.

  “[The facilities are] mostly underground, which means we’re isolated from outside noise,” Honour said. “It’s huge rooms with really high ceilings above the drop ceiling, they go up like 13, 14 feet above the drop ceiling, and all of that is good for acoustic issues. [This] enabled us to build rooms within those rooms that feature great sound isolation from each other. If someone walks in there now, they won’t see such huge rooms with high ceilings because all of that is hidden away.”

  These top-of-the-line studios have helped UCM Music Technology gain recognition from around the globe.

  “There are people all over the world who know about this program,” Honour said. “I’m on calls with that group [The International Computer Music Association] with people who are coming from institutions like Stanford, and the University of Illinois and [other] major institutions all over the world. But they know about our program, [and] sometimes they [ask] like, how did you build that there? Well, that was the mission, so we built it here.”  

  This mission of building top-of-the-line facilities is just another aspect of the music technology program at UCM that helps gear students toward success in their future careers. With opportunities on the rise for music technology students, Pelton shared what is important to consider when aiming high in the professional world.

  “It’s incredibly important to be in love with what it is you’re doing because, as a musician, there’s a lot of time involved in developing your craft,” Pelton said. “You have to follow your passion and your dream.”

  While students follow these dreams, the music technology program tries to give them a wide variety of skill sets, so they have many options for their future.

 “One of the things that we see as a real positive measure of the program, is because we have so many courses, where we can go both broad and deep into what that stuff means,” Honour said. “That means that as the students graduate from the program they’re actually prepared for a very wide variety of careers.”

  As students get set for a wide range of career options, Pelton gave some more advice on what to consider as students try to secure the career of their choosing.

  “The music business is a lot of hard work, and it’s really important that you are a good person to work with,” Pelton said.

  The wide skill set development in music technology will continue and be shown in an event that is free to the public from March 14-16, 2024. This annual Missouri Experimental Sonic Arts Festival (MOXsonic) features three days of sound and technology coming together through events with various composers, performers, and researchers. UCM faculty and student work will be shown along with works from many visitors both nationally and internationally. The event is held in multiple venues across the campus of UCM including but not limited to Hart Recital Hall, the Gallery of Art and Design, and the newly renovated Music Technology Studios. For more information, visit www.moxsonic.org.

 

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About the Contributors
Brad Hadank, Reporter
Brad Hadank is a Bolivar high school graduate, and a freshman at the University of Central Missouri. He is a double major studying digital media production and communication studies. As a staff reporter, Hadank has done profile pieces and plans to do more sports coverage. In the future, Hadank plans to pursue a career in sports journalism or sports broadcasting.
Braeden Sholes, Photographer
Braeden Sholes is a freshman at the University of Central Missouri pursuing a bachelor's of music in music technology and violin. As a photographer, Sholes is responsible for providing pictures for all content sections. After graduation, Sholes plans on working in the entertainment industry as an Audio Engineer while pursuing a master's in music technology.

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