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Sheridan hits the right notes

Why not a career in music composition?

Sheridan College is preparing to launch a highly collaborative music composition program this May.

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Sheridan College is preparing to launch a highly collaborative music composition program this May.

Writing music for TV and film, animations, video games and apps, and musical theatre takes teamwork. With this in mind, Sheridan College is preparing to launch a highly collaborative music composition program this May.

The 12-month music applied to stage, screen and interactive visual environments (MASSIVE) program will see students working extensively with their peers from other arts programs to bring projects to life with music as they prepare for a career in music composition.

“We identified eight programs, such as game design and film and television, that would benefit from this program,” says the MASSIVE program’s coordinator, Stephen Barden. “That’s when we realized the collaboration that can take place is actually the beauty of MASSIVE. While in similar programs at other schools students would be taking existing shows, for example, and re-writing the music, they would never be sitting down with a director or video game creator and collaborating. In MASSIVE, they will work on student-driven productions and have that ‘client interaction.’”

The peer-to-peer teamwork, says Barden, is what makes the offering—which is geared towards those who have gone through some level of post-secondary music education or professional and semi-professional musicians who lack formal training but have years of experience—unique.

“Even the collaborations are well rounded,” he says. For example, there is a course called storytelling in a song: musical theatre. I don’t think many of our students will have experience in musical theatre and Sheridan has a world-renowned music theatre program that will give them the opportunity to do that.”

Facilitated from the school’s Trafalgar Road campus in Oakville, Ont., MASSIVE will consist of 20 practical, theoretical and business courses that will also make extensive use of the location’s recording studios and state-of-the-art equipment

“The campus is technologically equipped to handle the level of experiential learning built into the program,” says Barden. “But students will also take theory courses such as genres and scores, which looks at the history of music in commercials and on TV, and business courses that will prepare them for all that comes along with being freelance. It is a complete package program.” 

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