GODFREY – Thanks to the success of its COVID-19 safety precautions, the Lewis and Clark Community College Music Department hasn’t missed a beat while holding in-person classes.
“We have all computers surrounded with plexiglass, and we reduced our lab from 12 computers down to eight to space students out,” said L&C Music Department Coordinator and Professor Louis Michael. “Additionally, we’ve installed plexiglass dividers on our stage. Our performers are separated at all times. We’ve been really successful at being cautious.”
Michael said it’s vital that Music Department students, whether performing or producing, be able collaborate in person. The high level of technology available to students on campus simply can’t be matched with remote online sessions.
Additionally, performing in groups is a uniquely important facet of the department’s curriculum. Students are paired into ensembles of their chosen genre to learn and perform as many as 10 songs.
“When we built the program, I wanted to make it so that students had real exposure with how music is put together, whether they want to become a concert pianist, a hip-hop artist or a rock star guitar player,” Michael said. “I think it’s a really unique program compared to other colleges. We’re not just offering skills in production, but we’re offering the opportunity to play music that is current.”
Michael said a foundation of the program is inclusivity and diversity.
“It can be rap, it can be country or rock,” he said. “In the music, there’s not a limitation or any judgement as to what style they want to work on.”
Cameron Goey, a freshman working toward an associate degree in Music Production, said both the program’s inclusive philosophy and offering in-person classes led him to choose L&C after graduating from Alton High School.
“I was a little worried about what classes would look like during the pandemic, but I’m really liking it so far,” he said. “Being in a class is big with music. You want to be able to hear everyone else and play along with them. With the lessons you do here, it just makes you a better player.”
Wyatt Heflin, also a freshman in the program, said he’d been eyeing L&C’s program for two years after taking a campus tour.
“I knew I wanted to go to a music school, and I liked everything I saw here,” he said. “All of the equipment and software was state-of-the-art, and the program was affordable. I knew it was the right place to start my path, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. I definitely would recommend it to anyone looking for further their knowledge of music.”
L&C offers a two-year associate degree in Music Production, which includes three semesters of working in Pro Tools software, two semesters of music video production, as well as instrument training and ensemble performance. The degree can transfer to any university fine arts program.
However, you don’t have to be a music major to take advantage of all L&C’s Music Department has to offer. In addition to degrees in music, lessons to the general public and participation in ensembles is also offered.
Michael said the department is a bit of a hidden gem in the community.
“We hear from people all the time about how they had no idea this was available at Lewis and Clark,” he said. “It’s a little hidden here in the bottom of the Benjamin Godfrey Chapel. We have all state-of-the-art equipment here. The college has been really supportive of everything we’re doing.”
Summer enrollment is currently underway and Fall 2021 enrollment begins March 15. To enroll, visit www.lc.edu/admissions, call (618) 468-2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call the L&C Music Department at (618) 468-4731, or visit www.lc.edu/music/.