A music program that gives its graduates the appropriate background to pursue a career in such fields as music therapy, recording, teaching, performing and theatre is a popular choice at the Concordia University College in east Edmonton.
The program, which is typically meant for third- and fourth-year bachelor of arts students, also includes the opportunity for a summer program.
“We also have professional development for teachers during the summer, which gives them university credits towards their career accomplishments,” says Dr. John Hooper, music department co-ordinator at Concordia.
In the degree program, students do a little bit of everything, from piano lessons to joining a choral or instrumental ensemble in addition to their classroom studies, he adds.
Students get a background in three areas: Performance, rehearsal and practice through ensemble and studio study; history, research and appreciation through classroom study; and analysis and writing through theory, ear-training, and composition.
Some students can choose to combine another interest with their musical studies, such as one who wants to be an educator who can teach music in the school, or another who wants to go into broadcasting. “Others are active in a church setting and wish to learn more about conducting and composing,” says Hooper. “The part-time program has students from all ages and backgrounds attending.”
Stephanie Nhan graduated last spring with a bachelor of arts and enjoyed learning different instruments in addition to her classroom studies.
“I majored in music, with a minor in psychology,” she says. “I rate my experience at Concordia very highly. The small class size means great interaction with the instructors and the students get to know each other too.”
Upon graduation, Nhan immediately opened up Edmonton Music Studios, which sees more than 100 students taking weekly private lessons in guitar, piano and voice.
“I took a well-rounded education from the university and I learned a lot about life,” she says.
Nhan says she encourages everyone to follow their dream, and if it’s music, they should consider the Concordia program. “It is totally fulfilling and prepared me for working in an occupation that’s also my passion. If I can do it, so can anyone.”