Beginning next school year, students will be able to major in Bradley’s new music and entertainment industry program, regardless of musical ability or inclination.
“What’s unique about this new major and what we were trying to accomplish, was to reach the students that had an interest in working in the greater music and entertainment field, but were not necessarily performing musicians themselves,” Carl Anderson, director of both the music business and new music and entertainment industry majors, said.
Previously, students wishing to pursue a career in the entertainment industry could only major in music business. However, the music business major is housed under the music department, and it requires students to take music classes as part of the curriculum.
“The current [music business] major doesn’t allow [students] a field of study because they would have to audition and take specific lessons, and they’re either not ready for that, or they have no interest in pursuing that part of it,” Anderson said.
The music and entertainment industry major, which passed through University Senate in a motion last semester, will incorporate classes in communications, interactive media and business in place of traditional music courses. It also includes a similar internship capstone to the one the music business major requires.
“The music business program at Bradley is one of the oldest in the country,” Anderson said. “We’ve been teaching classes as early as 1948 … But this new major has a broader appeal because it’s not [limited] to just students that perform an instrument.”
Students at Bradley are able to explore the music industry in a variety of ways, from the Hollywood Semester to internships to visiting the recently opened Hilltop Studios, a recording studio on campus.
“Hilltop Studios is built for students [and], it’s exclusively for campus students, run by students,” Scott Dean, president of Hilltop Studios and senior music business major, said. “Regardless of major, regardless of background in the music industry, in the tech field or your background as a musician.”
Dean said he believes there is a lot of talent at Bradley, but not all students interested in music are a part of the music department.
“You can be creative in multiple ways here: You can be creative as a musician … or you can come in and be creative as a tech person,” Dean said. “And if you just want to learn about the music industry, or hang out with the music business kids, learn the tech side or experience what it’s like to sit in a room where musicians are creating music, this is an open environment for all those people.”
Music and entertainment industry majors will not only be able to learn about the music industry in their classes, but will also be able to apply it to a practical setting, such as Hilltop Studios.
In addition, the music and entertainment industry major will provide students with an array of opportunities based on what they are interested in.
“Since we focus so much on collaboration and having that free environment, people who might not be familiar with the tech side but really want to focus on publishing or booking artists, can come in and meet the artists, and make those connections in different ways,” Dean said. “It’s like all facets of the music industry meet, in a way.”