Are you currently a college music major (undergrad or grad)? Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes when faculty and administrators of music schools get together? Can you see yourself someday wanting to teach music on the college level?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll find the College Music Society (CMS) national conferences well worth your time.
The November 2015 National Conference in Indianapolis included three days of highly diverse panels, presentations, focus groups, and performances. Timely and sometimes provocative topics included:
- curriculum reform
- gender issues in college music programs
- rethinking the conservatory model of education
- opera from the orchestra pit’s perspective
- digital music and college ensembles
- entrepreneurship and music
- hip hop music education
- popular music degrees
- improving pedagogy
- cutting-edge technology
- musician wellness
- online music instruction
- collaborative efforts in music outreach
Instrumental and vocal performances and recitals focused on new music, music and film, and electronic music. Presentations by students and recent graduates as well as a poster session featuring the research of faculty and students were well attended.
What’s in it for college students?
CMS conferences are fertile grounds for networking. Students have a multitude of opportunities to talk with deans, department chairs and faculty – and vice versa.
Undergraduate and graduate students at the 2015 CMS National Conference said they were motivated to attend for these reasons:
- Opportunities to hang out with faculty and learn what they think about when they’re not in the classroom
- The chance to make connections for graduate school
- Ability to network with students from other schools
- Opportunities to share research
- Inspiration to return to school with new insights and support
- Interdisciplinary connections
- A peek inside the “academy”
- Technology insights (CMS holds its annual conference in conjunction with that of ATMI, the Association for Technology in Music Instruction)
- Exposure to a variety of performance styles