The Los Angeles Times recently ran an article detailing the introduction of a Popular Music Degree at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. As described on the school’s website: “ USC Thornton is proud to announce a new bachelor of music degree in pop music performance, the first of its kind at a major university. The program, which will begin in the 2009-10 academic year, will provide a place for instrumentalists or vocalists whose passion is popular music — be it rock, R&B, folk, blues or country.”
And a quote from the LA Times article follows:
Students still will be required to study music theory, history and songwriting, but they’ll also learn about entertainment law, record promotion, marketing, publicity and other fields pop musicians need to understand to succeed in the evolving music business.
“We built this program recognizing that the nature of the music business is changing,” [Associate Dean Chris] Sampson said in a separate interview. “We’re looking to create a broader number of opportunities for our students to successfully make careers in music. Turning out records that end up making the charts, that’s the top of a broad pyramid. I expect other students might find their way into becoming music directors, arrangers and a variety of different roles.
“The whole idea is that we’ll be bring it all together under one umbrella. . . . We are building a network of people in different disciplines, whether in technology, business or law . . . and within a college atmosphere, students will have some room to experiment.”