Audio Engineering & Production
Arts Technology & Arts Administration
1. What were your primary responsibilities at Rock University?
I am the director of Rock University: Millikin as well as guitar instructor, band leader, and roadie for the kids on gig day! I organize Rock University on a semester-by-semester basis with various musical goals in mind.
With Rock University, we take students learning guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and keyboards, and throw them into bands. Then over a 10-week span, they learn some tunes together as a band and we will play some gigs around Decatur.
2. What experience here at Millikin University has prepared you for your career?
There’s a lot of hands-on learning here at Millikin that has been most valuable. Part of my major has an audio focus, so we spend a lot of time in Millitrax actually experimenting with mics and recording techniques rather than just discussing them. An aspect of Millikin that I don’t often see brought up is that the classes are much more personalized. This translates well into a career environment since you can develop a rapport with your professors and learn to interact with them as colleagues in many cases. Having spent time at SIUC, that’s not something you got a lot of since many of your lecture-style classes could have 300 students in them. This also gives the professors an opportunity to tap into your strengths and help bring out the best things you have to offer.
3. What made you decide to major in both Arts Technology and Arts Administration?
The interdepartmental nature of these majors is what drew me to them. Being an older student, I’ve spent the last ten years having my hand in a bunch of different areas rather than just one. I would teach guitar, play in bands, help organize music programs for kids, run social media for some businesses, do brick and mortar sales as well as online sales. Being in Arts Tech and Arts Administration is almost built for that! I’m able to tackle a lot of business and entrepreneurship courses that help me build a foundation in growing the arts I’m involved with whether I’m the one doing the art or if I’m helping others make art. It really hits home the fact that you are able to make art and be business savvy while you promote that art.
4. How do the two majors fit into your future career goals?
I almost went about this backwards. I was already teaching, running music programs for kids, and playing music before I decided to come back to Millikin. It almost seemed like I was coming here to get a degree for something I was already doing. After discussing the major with professors and reading about the classes and who would be teaching them, I knew this was the right move to help take what I’m doing currently and push it to the level. These two majors are going to help build the programs to a larger scale and hopefully help me develop even more programs and projects!
5. Can you describe what you learned while helping launch the first Midwest Music Expo?
I learned that there is no better way to learn something than by just doing it. Martin Atkins had the idea for MMX and we all thought he was pretty much nuts (we thought that beforehand and we still do, to be fair). It was definitely a DIY, guerilla form of organizing an expo. We would spitball ideas in meetings, made lots of calls, got a lot of the community involved, and we pulled it off! While it was pure chaos, I learned if you’re excited enough about something, you don’t even think about the possibility of it failing. When you have that attitude about something, it can be infectious, and others will hop on board with you.