The new audio recording studio in the basement of the downtown campus Durango building is a welcome change and astep in the right direction for the future of the music department at UTSA. That is, if students can manage to record during thesilence that exists between the whir of a noisy elevator. Fortunately, the music department has received an additional $15,000 to build a wall to block the extraneous noise.
Mark Rubinstein, a highly sought-after recording technician in the music industry was hired to teach classes and facilitate the recording process for the Music Technology program do.
Although successful and knowledgeable,Rubinstein never graduated with a bachelor. He was hired by the music department to provide valuable, cutting-edge instructionfor students who want to know about the recording industry process.
A music technology certification is availableto students who are not music majors, but according to DavidHeuser, associate professor of music, music background is essential for success. It is a helpful for students who are majoring in music marketing to have a background in recording technology, he said.
“Electronic music is a bridge betweenthe modern classical world and the pop world. It follows acontinuum from modern classical composers on down to dancemusic,” Heuser said.
Heuser teaches Introduction to Electronic Music in the spring. During the class, students will obtain a basic background in audio technology and the principles behind recording software.
“We have software and hardware tocompose music. I emphasize computer programs such as Protoolswhere the student can bring in an outside source or use their ownvoice and they have many open-ended options,” saidHeuser.
Students also engage in group and individualprojects and are given free reign to record whatever they choose.”The class is designed around projects that areopen-ended,” he said.
“Students are welcome to be creative and do things on their own,” he said.
Heuser said students who have their own equipment can learn skills and gain a broader understanding of the recording process. For other music majors and composers, music technology classes are important for a career in music.
Unfortunately, there is not an abundance ofteaching positions available in the traditional fields of music andmusic, schools here at UTSA are largely teaching a 19th centurycurriculum. “It’s hard not to have a job in thefield of music without encountering music technology,” saidDavid Sebald, associate music professor.
“If you tell someone you are a performerthey used to ask, ‘What do you play?’ But now peopleask what you do. They want to know whether or not you are aproducer or writer or musician,” Sebald said.
Students who are interested in musictechnology do not have to be music majors to participate in theprogram. There is not a degree in Music Technology available, butthe music department does offer a certification program.
The program consists of a block of 16 coursesthat students can take to obtain certification. Students must first be accepted into the program by firsttaking the three intro courses which include Computer Applicationsin Music, Intro to Audio Technology, and Introduction to Electronicand Computer Music. “If people see that you are doingwell in the program, you will be allowed to take the othercourses,” Sebald said.
In addition to these courses, other music courses offered include a topic course in recording technologytaught by Rubinstein, and multimedia production. Students must also complete a student project such as a music CD or othermultimedia project.
“A big emphasis in my classes is using[the equipment] for your own purpose and not allowing it to dictateto you. You can impose your will and impart your owncreativity,” said Heuser.
“If you want to be a business major and run a music studio, the knowledge we provide will make that possible,” said Sebald. “Learn music technology here at UTSA, and you can buy the equipment and create your own studio. That is how accessible it is.”