SUU music program offers paid composition opportunities to grad students

Dr. Steve Meredith instructs a student on music composition, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — The master of music technology program at Southern Utah University has partnered with Casino Game Makers to provide paid music composition and sound design opportunities for those enrolled in the program’s graduate program.

Students work closely with Casino Game Makers staff to provide the musical soundtrack and effects for gaming devices, which are found at casinos throughout the world. Program director Dr. Steve Meredith worked closely with Dre Freden, Lead Game Designer for Casino Game Makers to establish the partnership.

“The MMMT program features a curriculum that is project-based, with the intent that these projects will form the core of a student’s professional portfolio,” Meredith said in a news release.

“Opportunities like the CGM partnership not only help to prepare students for the type of work situations that are typical of the current music profession, but they also help musicians expand the way they define themselves professionally,” Meredith said. “Students who would not primarily identify themselves as composers can be active participants in this type of project and in so doing, expand their skill set and help them identify new potential income streams.”

Freden said the partnership as a win-win situation.

It’s great to see students in the program be so engaged in each new project, and really dig in to give us exactly what we need,” Freden said in a news release.

“Because CGM places games all over the world, we think that scoring or doing sound design for one of our games is a really nice ‘bullet point’ for a professional resume,” Freden said. “And of course, the company benefits because we no longer have to use generic library music, but instead we get customized music that helps our machines stand out in a very competitive environment.”

Chance Wilson, a student in the program, recently provided music for an upcoming game titled “The Deep.”

Wilson said the experience was both professionally and artistically challenging.

There is a real art and craft to writing music with such specific parameters,” Wilson said in a news release. “The experience helps me to develop the discipline required for specific musical applications in film, TV and video games, which is where I want to end up working.”

The master of music technology is a project-based program designed for musicians who wish to use technology to enhance and expand their current skillset as a performer, educator, composer or technician. Students enroll in core courses in music technology and choose a study track: performance technology or studio technology. The degree consists of 30-credits, all offered online, and includes regular interaction with other students and instructors who are working music technology professionals.

More information can be found at the program’s website.

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