[Photo: Dean John Davis gets a tour of our new, state-of-the-art recording studio from Recording Engineer and Music Technology Instructor Kevin Harbison.]
Having celebrated the dedication of our expanded Imig Music Building just last month, the spirit of Homecoming 2021 is particularly meaningful to current College of Music students, faculty and staff, as well as our family of Forever Buffs, supporters and friends.
Key to sustaining a sense of home for our students and our greater community is creating and nurturing a culture that embraces and elevates Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), as well as actively tending to a shared belief that everything we do is in our students' best interests.
Specifically, the overarching goals of my administration are to offer our students the space, skills and tools they need for both personal growth and professional exploration; and the guidance and opportunities they need to excel as universal musicians—that is, artists who are equally at home onstage as performers as they are as teachers, researchers, recording engineers, composers, entrepreneurs, administrators, caregivers and more.
At the College of Music, enhanced educational offerings already include our Musicians’ Wellness Program and Entrepreneurship Center for Music; as well as undergraduate certificates in Music Technology, Music Theory and Singing Health, plus career-focused Artist Diplomas and an Arts Administration certificate for graduate students. But we need to go further.
The way I see it, the College of Music is an innovation lab with endless potential for defining and redefining what it means to be an artist in a dynamic global environment. By developing an interdisciplinary micro credentialing program, my vision is to model an educational experience in which recognized mastery of varied competencies—from performance to wellness, digital media, business, engineering, copyright law, the sciences, you name it—prepares our students for flexible, individualized careers. Bringing together current and former Music Buffs to exchange ideas, aspirations and real world experiences, we'll write the script for micro credentials that extend our graduates' success and impact across a range of new, nuanced occupations.
Even as we forge our own unique path, I'm also encouraged by opportunities for synergistic learning and knowledge sharing. As one example, the University of Florida's online Arts in Medicine program—started by a team of hospital-based artists and caregivers—prepares students for a diverse field of creative programs supporting health. That kind of enterprising mindset—that also led to the Colorado Lullaby Project, soon to be expanded in partnership with Boulder Community Health—is what I hope to harness and encourage more of, here at home.
From double majors to micro credentials and skills-specific certificates, the College of Music's curricula, programming and activities must anticipate and advance the creative careers of tomorrow.