Music technology department plans upcoming trips

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For the first time ever, the annual music technology trip will have the students and professors traveling to New York City, rather than its previous locations of Nashville and Chicago. From Oct. 19 to Oct. 22, they will be attending Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention.

“It’s like a star trek convention for audio nerds,” Neal Schmitt, music technology professor, said. “Literally, it will have everyone in our field, from like broadcast; to music; to cutting edge designers; to real, famous engineers and the people making the music that you and I listen to. So all things audio will be there, and that’s pretty cool.”

Fifteen students will get the opportunity to embark on this trip, along with Schmitt and a few other music technology professors. Though the price of the trip was an original hurdle, they have found ways to work around that, ultimately allowing them to stuff two buses in preparation for their nine hour drive.

The AES convention is set to take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. all three days and offers the students multiple ways to get involved. According to the convention’s webpage, students can participate in comprehensive papers, workshops and tutorial programs, as well as visit demo rooms and specific exhibitions where they are shown the latest in audio hardware and software tools.

Schmitt also emphasized the importance of the students exploring the city itself in addtion to attending the convention.

“If you’re in your hotel room for more than five or six hours, then you’re doing New York wrong,” Schmitt said. “We’ve got three days, and it’s a nine hour drive. You can sleep then and on the way back. But you should be out and about while you’re there.”

The trip to New York for the AES convention isn’t the only trip that Schmitt and the music technology department have up their sleeves. During the past two spring semesters, music technology students have been given the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua and Northern Ireland, and this spring they plan to travel to Denmark.

“I reached out to the Royal Danish Academy of Music,” Schmitt said. “I just sent an email and was like, ‘Hey, we’re from Capital. We’re thinking about visiting. I see you have a studio; would you be interested in maybe partnering with us for the week?’ and then two days later we were skyping and setting up the details.”

While on this trip, the students will get the opportunity to take a few master classes that the Danish academy offers and learn how to use some of the equipment and technology that they currently have.

“What’s interesting is that the Royal Danish Academy, they teach everything in English already, so there’s no language barrier,” Schmitt said. “Its humorous because there are times that they will look around the room and realize that they are all Danish and don’t have to speak English.”

The trip is a great chance not only for the music technology students to learn the approach that people around the world take toward conducting music, but also for those at the Danish Academy to learn something about how we use music technology here in the U.S.

“It’s really important not just to be like, ‘Oh, here’s a cool studio,’ but to actually work with the other students and make relationships,” Schmitt said. “It’s an important part of our focus to not over-schedule and just letting some organic time for students to go and create something.”

Though its main focus is music, the trip to Denmark is open to all students and will take place during spring break, from Feb. 24 to March 4, 2018. Students who are interested can contact Schmitt at nschmitt@capital.edu for more information.

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