One of the great things about Millikin University is its commitment to performance learning. Throughout our collegiate career, we are afforded many different opportunities to participate in performance learning projects that have advanced our knowledge and skill set in various industries.
A favorite project, thus far, has been the creation and implementation of Millitrax Playhouse Weekend. This was an idea that stemmed from a need to recruit for the School of Music’s Music Industry Studies program. The concept revolved around potential students having an opportunity to experience a “day in the life” of a music industry student at Millikin University. The goal was to record, mix, and master a song in one day so the students could get a feel for what it was like to work in an actual studio. They also participated in a photo shoot, a biography writing session, and a Q&A session with different professors in the program.
We began the planning process in the fall of 2016, with plans to have the event in the spring of 2017. It was a collaborative effort between several students and faculty members within the School of Music. To fully immerse the potential students in our campus community, we arranged for them to stay in a dorm on Friday night with current students in the music industry studies program. The following day we dove straight into the “day in the life” of a music industry student. It began with a rehearsal led by several current music industry students to assign parts and nail down the song before stepping into the studio. The potentials students moved into the studio to record. While the song was being mixed and mastered by our current students, the potential students and their parents were able to sit down with professors and ask questions about the music industry studies program and Millikin. The final product at the end of the weekend was a video of the weekend with song the students had recorded as audio in the background. The weekend closed with a viewing/listening party of the finished product. After the wrap-up session, each student was sent home with a copy of the CD as a keepsake.
Current Millikin students played several different roles throughout the planning process and weekend itself. During the early stages, we sat in on meetings and helped make decisions. These decisions helped to shape the weekend and we offered ideas from a current student’s perspective. We assisted in creating a timeline for the event which included branding, promotion, event recruitment ideas, and the event itinerary. For the event, each student had a designated task to ensure that the event was moving smoothly and on time. Some students were in charge of leading rehearsals and running the studio, while others spent time answering parents’ questions, taking artist photographs, and documenting the weekend on social media.
This performance learning experience offered current Millikin students the opportunity to expand their skills in event planning, event implementation, management, public speaking, leadership, social networking, and so much more. This performance learning project was a chance to get out of the classroom and take a risk in a “real world” setting. Performance learning is key to Millikin education and to our versatility of skills. These skills then can be applied to many different industries and fields.