FEATURE: Passionate About Music? How About A Diploma In Contemporary MusicMonday , 05 Sep 2011
Are you passionate about music?
The Unitec Certificate in Music and the Diploma in Contemporary Music widen your range of musical experiences and develops your creative ability. If you're looking at a career in music or the music-related industries, whether your musical background is in voice, playing an instrument, composing with computers, turntabling, playing in a band or teaching - the six month Certificate in Music and the two year Diploma in Contemporary Music offer students further understanding of musical techniques and the opportunity to explore different music styles and technologies.
We recently had a chat to Hannah Bright – a graduate of the Unitec Diploma in Contemporary Music about her experiences:
Why did you choose the Diploma of Contemporary Music?
There were a few factors - it covered a broad range of disciplines within contemporary music, which is just what I wanted: theory, performance, production, composition, history, plus other important bits and pieces such as self-promotion on the Internet and copyright. I didn't want to dive into a BMus at that stage, so I felt that a two-year diploma was an ideal way to extend myself musically. As a bonus, it was in West Auckland where I was already based.
The DipConMus really helped me get back on board with the theory/aural training I hadn't touched since high school. But it also gave me a huge amount of new knowledge, particularly in the areas of electronic and orchestral composition, which are invaluable to what I'm doing now. Most significantly, we were able to transfer quite a lot of credit from those two years into my current degree, which has meant that I'm basically a second year student, though it's only my second semester.
Glenda Keam and Samuel Holloway had a huge impact on me musically - they were keen to help me extend my theory and composition, and Sam really encouraged me to rewrite my Logic orchestral piece for real orchestra. That was a big turning point for me - I discovered that scoring for orchestral instruments was actually something I loved doing, and that led me to make it my major for the degree. But every lecturer had an influence on me; they all encouraged me in my growth and self-discovery as a composer/artist.
I had my very first paid gig through Unitec, during NZ Music Month's Music in Libraries programme, which was a real buzz! I also had the chance to work collaboratively with a Unitec film student to compose for short film, that was invaluable experience. In addition, it was through Glenda and Sam that I learned about the NZ Composer's Workshop in Nelson, which is now an integral part of my yearly calendar!
I'm planning to finish my BMus down at the NZ School of Music in Wellington, and then look into studying music therapy. I have this little dream of being a music therapist in countries devastated by war and poverty, bringing hope to those who desperately need it. I'd also like to do some more music for film and see where that leads. As I said before, the diploma has cut a chunk off my first year, bringing me closer to those areas of study I'm really keen to pursue. But as well as this, I gained a whole lot of confidence in my own art, which I didn't have before. That's more precious than any credit, really. I'm putting out a pop album at the end of this year, something I wouldn't be doing without the encouragement in my music that I received at Unitec. And of course, there is so much valuable networking that goes on as well.
Our music class was really like a family, including the lecturers. There was always that mutual support which really builds you up and gives you the strength to keep going. I have so many fond memories from those two years, and can't imagine what I could have done instead that could have better prepared me for the future.
For further information about the Unitec Certificate in Music and the Diploma in Contemporary Music visit the Unitec website here.
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