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McNally Smith Announces Program Changes to Emphasize Career Readiness

Beginning Fall 2015, McNally Smith will enter its 30th year — a milestone that will be marked by the introduction of broad changes to its curriculum and co-curricular programming. This new initiative, called Teaching for Tomorrow, redefines music education for the 21st century by answering the question: What kind of education do students need to succeed in the future music industry?

“We recognize how dynamic the career landscape is for aspiring industry professionals, which is why we embarked on Teaching for Tomorrow,” says McNally Smith President Harry Chalmiers. “Former rules and outdated educational models simply don’t apply when it comes to preparing the next generation of music makers and content creators. We believe this reimagining of a McNally Smith education will give students the broad foundation they’ll need to be successful in the future marketplace, whatever that may be.”

Teaching For Tomorrow Media Kit

For complete details, please explore the Teaching For Tomorrow Media Kit.

Started in 2014, Teaching For Tomorrow developed through conversations with seasoned industry professionals, thought leaders, graduates in the field and faculty from all disciplines. From these discussions, a combined emphasis on artistry, technology and entrepreneurship emerged as a framework for defining the skills, knowledge and experiences that collectively prepare students to make and sustain a career in an ever-shifting marketplace.

This triad of artistry, technology and entrepreneurship is the key driver behind major changes that will enhance student experience, operations and curriculum being rolled out in Fall 2015, including:

  • Center for Creative Careers. The new Center for Creative Careers will deliver services and programming that reinforces and supports artistic expression, technology skill building and entrepreneurial thinking. In contrast with most other institutions, the Center for Creative Careers will be embedded directly into the curriculum, providing a critical bridge between classroom and industry.
  • Online Portfolio Development. The College is taking an innovative approach to music education by requiring students to create and curate media rich portfolios that support career readiness and digital literacy, particularly as it relates to web publishing, streaming and recording technologies, social media and other digital platforms.
  • Industry Advisory Board. A board of active practitioners and thought leaders from varied disciplines within the music, entertainment and audio industries is being established to help steer program development, vet student portfolios and foster greater connection to the professional community at large.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Curriculum. Breaking down the outdated divisions between disciplines, the new curriculum will support cross-disciplinary collaboration to help students acquire the broad knowledge and skills necessary to build and sustain their careers.
  • Foundational First-Year Coursework. Students in their first year will take a combination of foundational courses that introduce concepts like portfolio development and basic technology skills necessary to compete in a digitally driven market. For example, the required Music Industry Economics course will help students develop entrepreneurial mindsets as freshmen.

“We’re seeing new business models emerge in the production, distribution, and promotion of music and creative content on an almost daily basis,” says McNally Smith Music Business Department Head Scott LeGere. “As such, we think it’s imperative to give all freshmen a first year overview course focusing on these issues and how they affect our world and future career paths. With this enhanced curricular piece in place, students are able to start thinking about their creative and professional goals from day one, a perspective we believe will help lead to future success and personal accomplishment.”

For complete details, please explore the Teaching For Tomorrow Media Kit.