Grant McEwan’s newest degree program is sure to strike a high note among music students.

Starting Sept. 2011, students can expand their musical education into a full degree at Grant McEwan, the first of its kind in Alberta.

“We have been working on this for a long time now and finally we have it,” said Bob Gilligan, Chair of the Music program at Grant McEwan.

Recently announced, Grant McEwan will be adding the sixth member to their band of degrees with the launch of the Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music (BMus).

Student demand was the driving force behind the induction of this degree program.

“We were losing all of these great musicians because they had to move out of the province to continue their education,” said Gilligan.

For some students, leaving Alberta to continue their education in the field of music has not been an option.

“A lot of people really would like to continue their education and stay in Alberta and this is the opportunity,” said Gilligan.

Thirty students will make up the first year of enrollment, but the new degree also gives diploma graduates a chance to return to Grant McEwan to continue their musical journey.

“As musicians, you work on your craft for the rest of your life, you continue to develop yourself creatively,” said Gilligan. “It is a way to continue your studies.”

The degree gives students a choice of three: a general stream, performance and composition.

In the general stream, students can choose from two minors: music technology and production and music career management.

“Both of those minors would give added value to a musician, it gives more knowledge and more opportunity to be successful,” said Gilligan.

Performance majors can choose to concentration voice, piano/keyboard, bass, percussion guitar or winds.

And finally, composition majors will study music composition and they will gain the skills to create commercial and artistic works in the jazz and popular music genres.

Diploma program or degree?
For those students who are still unsure if a career in music is the way to go, the diploma program will still be available to sample. Students can later decide if they choose to continue on into the degree program.

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