Like many college instructors, when I enter the classroom I often begin my lecture in this way. In my Survey of the Humanities class, an arts survey course, I begin the second half of the term asking my students, “How many of you listen to music on a regular basis?” Unlike similar queries about viewing sculpture or reading poetry, I always get a nearly unanimous response; in fact, most listen to music on a daily basis.
In casual conversation outside of class, students will often comment to me that years ago they used to play an instrument or sing, but somewhere along the way lost the will (even often under parental pressure) to practice and attend rehearsals. Other popular teenage interests, such as athletics, dating and video games, often take precedence at that time. “I wish I had kept up with it,” spoken in seemingly clearer hindsight, is something I will often hear them say.
The good news for those still interested in making music is that study can be begun – or even resumed – at any age! Like so many things near to our hearts this time of year, music study is also for kids from 1 to 92 (and even beyond).
Waubonsee Community College welcomes beginners, continuing students and lifelong learners of music. Whether you’re looking to begin study toward a bachelor’s degree or if you’re just checking out a class or two to see how it suits you, we have a place for you. Our instructors are knowledgeable, experienced, talented people who deeply enjoy sharing this activity that significantly touches so many people’s lives.
Our classes cover the spectrum from individual voice and instrument study, to groups such as the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, and our unique Steel Band. We even have a Rock Band and an Electronic Music Ensemble. A full music theory sequence of classes is available for those looking to earn an associate degree, transfer to a four-year school for a bachelor’s, or simply take a deeper approach to music study.
If you are interested in music technology and would like to learn the art of recording, producing or running live sound, Waubonsee offers the one-year Audio Production Technology Program, giving students the opportunity to develop technical skills on state-of-the-art software such as ProTools and Ableton Live.
Research has shown that making music is not only mentally and emotionally healthy, but those who engage in it together often bond in a unique way, creating friendships that can last well beyond the initial experience. Waubonsee’s program is designed to welcome and enrich the lives of all learners, all who wish to experience music not only as listeners but as participants as well. It touches so many lives because it is a direct expression of those lives, of our lives: music is the very essence of those who create and listen to it.
If you’re just starting out, looking to resume music study, or even if you’re an accomplished musician, we probably have a good fit for you here. Come experience music at Waubonsee Community College.
• Mark Lathan is the assistant professor of music at Waubonsee Community College.