School of Music launches into 'The Brave New World of Music'


Brahms and Tschaikovsky will have to share the spotlight with modern composers and recording artists as the School of Music seeks to diversify its curriculum as part of the "21st Century Musician (21 CM) and The Brave New World of Music" campaign.
The move to an educational experience marked by variety, rather than just tradition, will make it one-of-a-kind in the field of music.
Mark McCoy, dean of the School of Music, said the campaign will offer students the opportunity to study entrepeneruship and recording along with other relevant skills for the modern musician in addition to performance.
Unlike music conservatories such as Julliard, McCoy thinks DePauw can attempt something new with it's curriculum because DePauw produces students that have entered into careers outside of performance.
"There's not a music school in America that's tried this," McCoy said in a phone interview Thursday.
The campaign, which is anticipated to carry a $20 to $28 million price tag, has been funded in part by Judson '74 and Joyce '75 Green who announced their contribution of $15 million to the Board of Trustees last night.
"The world of music is changing rapidly, but presents so many new opportunities for musicians and music students. The goal of 21 CM is to create talented and entrepreneurial musicians who can thrive in this new musical paradigm," Joyce Green said in a press release.
The School of Music ­- Indiana's oldest and one of the nation's first - as part of the campaign will continue to encourage community engagement, audience development and business skills for musicians, which seem to be more applicable for today's musicians.
Whereas in decades past careers in performance were attainable to music students, today with dwindling presence of major orchestras, a student is more likely to be struck by lightning than to find as a professional performer.
"The whole point is that there are still careers out there that are plentful and as meaningful as they've ever been, they're just changing," McCoy said.
Over the past few years the School of Music began adapting to that change by offering recording studio experience and programming with living composers and musicians.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma visited campus in 2011 as part of the pilot phase of the program. He taught master classes and performed with DePauw students while on campus.
"Having spent time at DePauw, I understand the Greens' love for the University and I think this initiative will have a profound impact on how we educate future generations of musicians," Ma said.
Elective classes are set to begin this year and full implementation of the curriculum will take place in the fall of 2015.