Published: March 8, 2018 By

In Fall 2018, the College of Music will begin offering two new programs to open music study to a new kind of student.

In Fall 2018, the College of Music will begin offering two new programs to open music study to a new kind of student.

The College of Music has long been a place for musicians of all kinds to pursue their passions—be they educators, performers or scholars. Now, the college is welcoming even more kinds of music lovers.

In Fall 2018, the college will launch two new programs: a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration and a Minor in Music. Both options will be open to non-music students, further broadening the scope of music study at CU Boulder as we approach the 100th birthday of the College of Music.

Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration

The three-course, nine-credit arts administration certificate will provide graduate students with a pathway into a career on the management side of the performing arts.

“The new certificate reflects the college's commitment to preparing students for professional success,” says College of Music Dean Robert Shay. “It will enable them to delve into various extramusical experiences and to interact with expert arts administrators.”

The idea has been percolating among faculty and college leadership for years, according to Dean Emeritus Daniel Sher, who serves as faculty advisor for the certificate program. “So many of our students find that they have the talent and ambition to make their mark working on behalf of an arts presenting organization. And many of our composers and performers understand that if they want to be successful, they need to learn how to market themselves, develop their audiences and piece together a gratifying portfolio career."

The program is designed to give students a closer look at what happens behind the scenes at performing arts organizations. From leadership to artist management to fundraising and forecasting, the program aims to provide business acumen at a pivotal time for the performing arts.

“As musicians, our world has completely changed,” says Cody Goetz, a current piano performance and pedagogy master’s student. “We have to learn how to program music to cultivate an audience, how to manage a studio. Basically, we need to be able to manage ourselves as a small business.”

Goetz is planning to apply for the certificate. He hopes to one day manage a small school for the arts—something he says the arts administration certificate would prepare him to do.

“I want to have options when I graduate,” he says. “One of the reasons I entered music was to build relationships. You do that with students when you teach music and with the audience when you perform. And that’s a huge part of arts administration, as well.”

The certificate program will offer three courses, including Introduction to Arts Administration, Management and Leadership in the Arts and Sustainable Arts Organizations: Forecasting and Fundraising. The courses will be open to any current graduate student enrolled at the College of Music and in the Department of Theatre & Dance, along with working arts professionals outside the university.

Online and in-class options will be available, Sher says, to provide diverse and accessible opportunities for students.

“Professionals and students will share the same boardroom setting—students here and virtual students on screen. That reflects what they might find in the world of arts administration.”

Applications are being accepted through July 31 for enrollment in Fall 2018. For more information and to apply—either as a current graduate student or as a non-CU student—visit the certificate’s page in the Graduate Advising section. 

Undergraduate Minor in Music

Open to all CU undergraduate students—regardless of major—the music minor underscores the idea that music is for everyone, whether your interest lies in the classical masters, traditional music of the Far East or even Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The 19-credit minor offers two categories of coursework, one focused on creating or performing music and the other involving more scholarly explorations of connections among music, history and culture. With classes ranging from composition to movie musicals, to say there will be “something for everyone” isn’t a stretch.

“The Music Minor is important because it allows more students throughout the campus to engage with music as part of their educational profile,” says James Austin, associate dean for enrollment management and undergraduate studies. “The College of Music’s mission has always included a commitment to meeting the interests and needs of non-majors.”

There’s been growing interest in the music minor, particularly among students like Tyler Anderson, a first-year chemical engineering major who wants to enter the music business.

“I’ve always been interested in performance, but I want to help create the next-generation record label in which the artist owns the songwriting, production, distribution—every aspect of music.”

Anderson, who has played drums since age 3 but decided not to pursue music as a major, represents what the organizers of the minor have seen as an unmet need on campus.

“I was delighted to see the College of Music faculty approve a highly innovative music minor, one that I believe will greatly expand our impact across campus,” says Shay. “It will be great to see many more students engaged in a structured music curriculum.”

Adds Anderson, “Everybody loves music, and this gives people who like to create—but maybe don’t know if they’ll pursue music as a career—the opportunity to do that.

“Music means building connections with people, and I’m excited for the chance to be able to do that, too.”

For more information about signing up for the Minor in Music, visit the Undergraduate Advising section.