Music at Meramec: Something Noteworthy

Posted on 07 August 2013 by admin

Non-majors ‘just want to learn to be a musician’

Managing Editor

At the STLCC-Meramec campus, every student has the opportunity to be a part of the music department. From Beginning Guitar to Choir, any new student can enroll in music classes, regardless of their musical background.

“Unlike some of the four-year schools that have auditions to get into the program—you can’t take music theory, you can’t be a part of the ensemble if you don’t go through the auditions. Here you can take any class, you can come in with any skill level, and it’s our job to get you through the classes,” said Jerry Myers, associate professor of music and coordinator of music at Meramec.

Without the restrictions of auditions, some students take music courses such as Music Theory 1-4 or Classical Piano 1-4, even though they are not music majors.

“We have a lot of other students who go through piano and theory who have no intention of being a music major, but they will do the full four semesters of all the classes,” said Myers. “They just want to learn to be a musician.”

One of the most popular general education course is Music Appreciation. “It’s a one-semester overview of music from the beginning with chant, medieval music, all the way through music today,” said Myers. “It’s a look how similar it really is all the way throughout history. You don’t have to know how to read music for that. There’s also a Survey of Rock and History of Jazz. They’re almost always filled.”

Meramec offers students a music/keyboard lab for audio technology courses.

“The music lab does have open lab hours that we typically do restrict to just those students in piano and theory and maybe an audio technology course. If you would want to get in to that lab to use it, you can just come to see me and we can work that out when we have a lab supervisor in there. We do have practice rooms that are always open as well,” said Myers.

Unlike certain majors where students just take general education, students have to start on music major courses right away, said Myers. Students majoring in the music field start their first semester by taking courses that are part of their major rather than focusing on general education classes first. “Students take the same freshman or sophomore curriculum as they can at a four-year school,” said Myers.

There are a diverse amount of fields in the music business, said Myers, such as commercial music, recording industry and sound engineering. Another popular area is music education if students want to teach K-12 music.

“We have had a couple students from years past who are successful pianists that have come back and performed recitals,” said Myers.

Success Story: 

Philip Wesley is a Meramec alumnus whose musical talents have allowed him to find success as a renowned composer, pianist, and recording artist. He was exposed to piano at age 20 and did not let his lack of experience deter him from taking advantage of Meramec’s music education programs. Here are some noteworthy tidbits about this prolific musician.

• Wesley did not have any interest in music until he was 16, when he received a guitar as a Christmas present.

• He has released six albums to date.

•  “Dark Night of the Soul” peaked at #1 in New Age music on iTunes.

• He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Therapy, and is a board-certified music therapist in a hospital setting.

• His record label is Autumn Music Productions.

• He lists his influences as David Lanz, George Winston, and Jim Brickman


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