Contemporary Music & Technology
Explore a cross-section of musical genres while you develop the skills you need for a career in the commercial music and entertainment industries!
Train for the Music Industry
Our program has been preparing students for the commercial music and entertainment industry for over 30 years, guided by the principle that the study and practice of contemporary music is the best way to prepare for a successful and rewarding career. It’s one of the only programs in Canada based on the world-renowned Berklee College of Music curriculum.
How Does it Work?
The Contemporary Music & Technology Program is a two-year diploma program. All students take a core first year that provides solid grounding in music theory and ear training. For your second year, choose to major in:
What Will I Study?
The curriculum includes individual and ensemble instruction on guitar, voice, bass, drums, saxophone, violin and keyboards, as well as a solid grounding in music theory and ear training.
The primary styles are rock, blues, jazz, folk and world music. Graduates of jazz and classical programs can learn the technology training and popular music concepts that can help them get career ready.
Develop skills in:
- Film Scoring
- Live sound mixing
Study in professional studios, high-end labs and private practice rooms. We have a total of 18 digital audio workstations on campus, all running the industry standard Pro Tools software and hardware and Sibelius music notation software. Laptops loaded with Ableton Live Suite are available.
Graduates go on to become performers, recording engineers, composers, songwriters and instructors.
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- communicate effectively in various formats to a variety of stakeholders.
- apply entrepreneurial skills.
- apply developing problem-solving skills.
- outline the importance of professional and ethical behaviour.
- explain terms, concepts, and practices relevant to the music industry.
- use music industry-related technology proficiently.
- function collaboratively in a modern music industry environment.
- demonstrate developing critical and creative thinking skills.
In addition to meeting the general admission requirements to Selkirk College, applicants to the Contemporary Music and Technology program must meet the following requirements to be considered fully-qualified.
- Completion of Grade 12 or equivalent with a minimum of 60% or higher in English Studies 12
- Successfully pass an audition/interview which consists of:
- Assessment of instrumental ability on an instrument/voice. The instruments that are accepted are: guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, voice, saxophone, trumpet, banjo, mandolin, and violin/fiddle.
- Demonstration of basic music theory proficiency equivalent to the Royal Conservatory Grade II, through a written examination that includes identifying intervals, key signatures and triads in basic music theory equivalent to Royal Conservatory of Music Grade II requirements.
- An Ear Training Test for pitch, triads, rhythmic and melodic diction and interval recognition.
When it is not feasible to do the audition in person alternate arrangements can be made. The theory and Ear Training Test can be sent to the applicant for invigilation by an authorized person and the performance portion can be submitted through approved audio/media material or by providing a link to an online video.
Applicants who perform an exceptional audition but who do not meet the theory and ear training standard will be required to attend a two-week theory preparation course in August. The applicant must have a minimum final grade of 75% in both the ear training and the theory sections to be accepted into the Music program for September. Applicants who do not meet the minimum standard in matching pitch will not be accepted into the Music program.
Completed applications (except for the audition) are recommended to be submitted to the Registrar’s office by April 30th prior to the start of the next intake of the program. Applications may be accepted after this date with permission of the school chair. The recommended deadline for completion of the audition process is May 31 prior to the commencement of the program.
Auditions will be arranged by the department when the completed application form and transcripts are completed and received.
Study your instrument and related skills in the first year and choose a major in the second. An initial core year that provides solid grounding in music theory and ear training is followed by one of five program majors.
Students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. with no grades below "C-" Specific majors have additional graduation requirements.
MUSC100A - Music Forum A
MUSC150 - Private Lesson I
MUSC 150: Private Lesson I. A weekly one-hour private instrumental or vocal lesson is provided for all first year students. Instruction is available on keyboard, woodwinds, saxophone, percussion, guitar, electric and acoustic, bass, and voice. Lessons are designed to increase students technical and musical abilities.
MUSC154 - Basic Keyboard I
MUSC 154: Basic Keyboard 1. A required course for all students with the exception of keyboard majors. This course is designed to provide practical ''hands-on'' knowledge of the keyboard in today's music industry. Students will gain an understanding of chording (in nearest inversion) and will be required to create musical excerpts using upper structure triads.Students who enter the program with piano as their principal instrument are exempt from taking MUSC 154/ MUSC 155 as part of the core course requirements for graduation.
MUSC158 - Ensemble I
MUSC 158: Ensemble I. Ensembles, required of all students, are the focal point of the Music program. All students are placed by audition in one or more ensembles. Students must participate in a minimum of four ensembles to graduate. Types of ensembles offered will focus on contemporary music including rock, funk, fusion, jazz and vocal, with the goal of developing both the student's repertoire and improvisational abilities. Students are encouraged to participate in as many different types of ensembles as possible. A graduation showcase will be required from all students majoring in Music Performance.
MUSC160 - Computer Applications to Music I
MUSC 160: Computer Applications to Music I. This course covers the fundamentals and practical applications of a digital audio system, as well as methods for functioning in an integrated MIDI/digital audio workstation (DAW) studio environment. An emphasis is put on musical projects designed to emulate professional practice and application. MIDI sequencing is done at computer-based workstations in the classroom. Fundamentals of digital audio recording are practiced and auxiliary buss send and return are introduced. Prior experience with Pro Tools or another DAW is not required.
MUSC162 - Instrumental Lab I
MUSC 162: Instrumental Lab I. This course is designed to help students develop instrumental skills. Grouped by instrument, students learn the fundamentals of reading, articulation, balance, dynamics, styles and technique as related to their particular instrument. This course is taught "instrument-in-hand" and also uses audio and visual aids to explore different techniques and styles. A requirement in all majors, students have weekly assignments.
MUSC165 - History Of Jazz
MUSC 165: History of Jazz. A survey of the music of the jazz idiom from its origins to the present. Included is a chronological study of important soloists, bands, vocalists, and composers. Classes will be partly lecture aided by video clips and partly analysis with intensive listening.
MUSC170 - Arranging I
MUSC 170: Arranging I. An introductory course in commercial arranging dealing primarily with the rhythm section. Specific topics will include ranges of instruments, arranging from lead sheets, planning an arrangement as well as detailed analysis of the function and common practice notational systems for the electric bass, guitar, piano, and drums. This course is designed to give students a working understanding of the techniques of writing for the rhythm section, which is essential to arranging all types of popular music. This semester will taper into midi and function as a companion to that course. All assignments will be handwritten. Special attention will be payed to notational considerations.
MUSC174 - Contemporary Harmony I
MUSC 174: Contemporary Harmony I. This course covers basic harmonic theory and common musical notation used in the music industry today. Topics include clefs, note recognition, key signatures, scales, intervals, triad and seventh chord construction, available tensions and basic harmonic functions. Upon successful completion of the course students will have a comprehensive and literate vocabulary of basic musical terms and symbols, and a working knowledge of basic harmonic functions.
MUSC180 - Ear Training I
MUSC 180: Ear Training I. This course is the first of a four-level program focusing on aural recognition of intervals, triads, seventh chords, rhythms, melodies, diatonic chord progressions and diatonic relative pitch. Students begin to learn the language of solfege and sight singing. This ear training class provides aural perception of the theory learned in MUSC 174, which is taught concurrently. Recorded examples, as well as live playing, are used for developing dictation skills.
MUSC100B - Music Forum B
MUSC151 - Private Lesson II
MUSC 151: Private Lesson II. A weekly one-hour private instrumental or vocal lesson is provided for all first year students. Instruction is available on keyboard, woodwinds, saxophone, percussion, guitar, electric and acoustic, bass, and voice. Lessons are designed to increase students technical and musical abilities.
MUSC155 - Basic Keyboard II
MUSC 155: Basic Keyboard II. A required course for all students, except Keyboard majors. This course continues to expand on chords and keyboard techniques. This semester also focuses on musical ''grooves''of various styles requiring more challenging coordination and technical skillsStudents who enter the program with piano as their principal instrument are exempt from taking MUSC 154/ MUSC 155 as part of the core course requirements for graduation.
MUSC159 - Ensemble II
MUSC 159: Ensemble II. Ensembles, required of all students, are the focal point of the Music program. All students are placed by audition in one or more ensembles. Students must participate in a minimum of four ensembles to graduate. Types of ensembles offered will focus on contemporary music including rock, funk, fusion, jazz and vocal, with the goal of developing both the student's repertoire and improvisational abilities. Students are encouraged to participate in as many different types of ensembles as possible. A graduation showcase will be required from all students majoring in Music Performance.
MUSC161 - Computer Applications to Music II
MUSC 161: Computer Applications to Music II. This course develops the student's ability to produce his or her own multi track recordings with Protools digital audio workstation. Fundamentals of auxiliary buss, application of plug-in inserts such as EQ, compression, noise gate, delay, and reverb are applied. Principals of analogue and sample synthesis are applied to the development of projects. Fundamentals of microphone theory and application are introduced. Notation software is introduced and well as workstation components and application.
MUSC163 - Instrumental Lab II
MUSC 163 Instrumental Lab II. This course is designed to help students develop instrumental skills. Grouped by instrument, students learn the fundamentals of reading, articulation, balance, dynamics, styles and technique as related to their particular instrument. This course is taught ''instrument-in-hand'' and also uses audio and visual aids to explore different techniques and styles. A requirement in all majors, students have weekly assignments.
MUSC164 - History Of Rock
MUSC 164: History of Rock. A study of the evolution of rock music from its origins to the present. Classes will focus on musical characteristics of the different styles within the genre. Sociological, geographical, literary and other cultural aspects will be discussed. Both audio and video clips will be presented for in-class analysis.
MUSC175 - Contemporary Harmony II
MUSC 175: Contemporary Harmony II. This course covers harmonic functions currently in use in all styles of popular music. Extensive use of recorded and written examples are used to show the harmony/melody relationships. Basic harmonic analysis as a tool is presented with an introduction to secondary dominant chords, extended dominant chords, modal interchange chords, and basic minor key and blues concepts. In addition, the application of melodic minor and harmonic minor are applied to these chords. Students are required to demonstrate through written projects, the current uses of these basic contemporary harmonic concepts.
MUSC181 - Ear Training II
MUSC 181: Ear Training II. A continuation of the skills learned in MUSC 180. The focus is on harmonically based melodies with larger intervallic skips. Rhythms are explored primarily through syncopated eighth notes, triplets and sixteenth notes. This ear training class provides an aural perception of MUSC 175, which is taught concurrently.
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