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Music and Liberal Arts at McNally Smith College of Music

No question, McNally Smith College of Music will help you develop your musical skills, passions, and artistry to a high level. But musical, technology, and business skills alone won’t be enough to ensure success in today’s competitive, volatile, and exciting music world.
Today’s music professionals need stellar communication skills, exceptional problem solving abilities, great resourcefulness, and a vast capacity for innovation. There are a lot of talented people in the music world, and without creative and critical thinking skills, you can be just another cog in a music industry wheel—and those wheels are changing (and even disappearing) every day.
So how does all this affect your experience as a student at McNally Smith College of Music?
At McNally Smith, we seek to educate the whole person, not just one facet of who you are or who you’d like to become someday. McNally Smith offers the best of both the musical and liberal arts worlds: you’ll work closely with renowned artist/teachers to get an excellent professional and technical education in music performance, music business, composition, or music technology. Then you’ll connect that learning with a breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts that will help you become a flexible, adaptable, critical and creative thinking music professional who is ready to change the world.
Like any college or university, you will take a broad range of courses in addition to your chosen major area of study. Only unlike the liberal arts (sometimes known as general education) courses offered at many schools, liberal arts classes at MSCM are closely linked to your music studies and your future career.
For example, we offer Musical and Room Acoustics, the science of sound, where you’ll learn about sound waves, decibels, frequencies, overtones and much more—important knowledge for musicians. Writing about Music develops your communication skills in industry-specific formats. The broad spectrum of music in today’s global world provides a rich source of understanding and inspiration. Music in the World’s Cultures introduces you to dynamic musical styles around the world. A course called Musical Linguistics explores social identity through the lenses of music and language. Creative Writing, Exploring the Fine Arts, Interpersonal Communication: Presentation and Collaboration in the Music Industry, are just a few more examples of liberal arts courses designed to help you expand and develop your artistic options—there are lots more.
Creative minds, innovative minds, are expanding the face of the music industry at an incredible pace. The industry in 2009 looks completely different than it did even a year ago, and it will continue to change rapidly in the years to come.  Will you be ready?

Real quotes from McNally College of Music Liberal Arts students:

COURSE:  MATH
– “The subject matter is important to the music business industry.  Everything is valuable.”
– “Most valuable?  The instructor’s knowledge and enthusiasm.”
– “[the instructor] minimizes the ‘intimidation’ factor associated with math.  Plus his love of music makes the examples he uses relevant to music students.  Instructor was pleasant and respectful every day.  He found ways to challenge advanced students and cater to slower students.”
– “Professor was ‘spot-on’ in his intuition about student needs.  Best math class I’ve had in college yet.  All credit goes to instructor and his teaching style.”
– “Most valuable?  Application of math to music and music electronics.”

COURSE:  WRITING AND RESEARCH
– “All writing is done on topics of our choice.”

COURSE:  WRITING ABOUT MUSIC
– “All assignments are very appropriate for the working musician or anyone in the music industry.”
– “This was probably the best class I’ve ever taken.  I learned SO MUCH about so many vital industry topics.  You did an amazing job!”

COURSE:  EXPLORING THE FINE ARTS
– “Everything is amazing, the teacher is one of the best.  I feel good and connected with the college in this class.”

COURSE:   INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS
– ‘It applies to everything in our music careers and I think that’s really important.”

COURSE:  ECONOMICS
– “We were able to express ourselves and the one-on-one interaction. I had a lot of fun this semester.”
– “Most valuable?  That it related to real life and current events.”

COURSE:  WESTERN ART MUSIC AND MUSIC OF THE WORLD’S CULTURES
– “Overall great enthusiasm for the class.”

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