Bachelor of Arts in Sound and Vision

  • Degree duration: 4 years (full-time)
  • MSU Denver Phone: +1 (303) 859-2030
  • MSU Denver Email:  [email protected]
  • DIME Denver Phone: +1 (303) 623 1600
  • DIME Denver Email: [email protected]

Introduction

Metropolitan State University of Denver and DIME Denver partnership enables students to take MSU Denver courses at DIME Denver. As an MSU Denver student, you will pursue a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sound and Vision. DIME Denver functions as an extended campus of MSU Denver, where students can also pursue BA’s in Music with concentrations in commercial music performance, commercial songwriting, and music industry studies.

DIME Denver is a music institute that is custom built for serious musicians who desire a long-term, professional career in commercial music. Courses offered by MSU Denver at DIME Denver are designed to build strong musical and academic foundations, which allow students to seize opportunities for long and sustained careers in the music industry.

The BA in Sound and Vision is a liberal arts degree that integrates video, social media, photography and general studies content throughout all coursework. Students are exposed to a broad curriculum that includes studies in history, the arts and humanities, and the sciences.

This BA degree in Sound and Vision equips aspiring visual producers with the knowledge and skills needed to function effectively in the fast-changing landscape of the music and visual media industries. The degree aims to develop critically, contextually and culturally aware practitioners through the production of diverse visual works that serve musical artists and the music industry.

Under the guidance of working professionals, the Sound and Vision degree provides students with essential information about the functionality of the discipline.  Students learn how to create and exploit multiple income streams in the visual and music industries.  Instructors and course work encourage freethinking and individuality that allows students to enroll in specialized classes that focus on visual production for music while meeting all BA degree requirements.

The intensive nature of the degree enables learners to become skilled practitioners and provides the freedom to develop their own unique and innovative methods of working. Upon completion of the degree, students will have assembled a professional portfolio that equips them to identify, create and respond to numerous career opportunities that exist in the ever-evolving visual production field as it relates to the music industry.

MSU Denver at DIME offers the Sound and Vision degree as a full-time program, which enables students to complete their studies in four years.

Benefits

  • MSU Denver at DIME Denver faculty include video producers, social media experts, PR and photography professionals, who are all active in their fields.
  • Faculty who are award-winning educators with real-world experience.
  • Instructors who guide and encourage students to develop their own individual area(s) of expertise.
  • Direct engagement with the visual production industry through project-based work and internships.
  • Collaboration within a broader visual production and music community; your regular interaction with peers and faculty groups is enhanced by live events and other extra-curricular activities including: master classes, year-end showcases, regular Open House events, production work with DIME Denver music students and the opportunity to partner with local video producers, musicians and music related organizations.

How are the courses taught?

The teaching strategies applied within the degree program seek to reflect and apply the educational philosophy of MSU Denver and DIME, and the rationale, aims and learning outcomes of the course. The intention is to engage the active participation of a committed group of academic instructors,  technical staff and students. Students at MSU Denver at DIME Denver will benefit from the following modes of teaching:

  • Group lectures in which students learn from experienced instructors and interact with other students in a group setting.
  • Specialist lectures within the institute environment, where students will learn in specialist specific groups.
  • Lab/lecture combinations where students learn editing theory and apply it in hands-on lab exercises at MSU Denver.
  • Weekly lectures with instruction by world-class industry professionals who have vast experience in the video production industry and with social media.
  • Regular One-To-One interaction and advising on matters relating to courses, career planning and student care offered by the MSU Denver at DIME Denver Campus Manager, the DIME Denver Head of Institute, MSU Denver Faculty and DIME Denver Student Services Manager.
  • Exclusive Masterclasses from renowned artists, educators and industry professionals.

What you’ll do

For further information about the BA degree in Sound and Vision, you may visit MSU Denver’s website, or explore the course content by clicking on the sections below:

Year 1: Semester 1

Domestic Music Market
MUS 1890 – This course provides students with an introductory overview of the American music industry. Throughout the semester this class will demonstrate how the multiple components of the music business – management, fundraising, publishing, copyright, contracts, touring, promotions, merchandising/ endorsements, corporate sponsorship, film, new media, etc. – all work together in the digital age to create income streams for artists and industry professionals. Students will study the business strategies of classic and contemporary artists to reveal how these musicians have navigated an increasingly complex and dynamic industry. Through case study analysis, students will deconstruct the careers of successful artists to show how the many parts of the music business complement and compete with one another. Overall, this course gives students the tools to negotiate the complex terrain of the domestic music market.
Survey of Music, Video and Film
JMP 1050 –  In this introductory course, students examine the ways in which music, film and video have evolved and become interconnected.  Students learn how aesthetic principles, production techniques and technological advances have affected the manner in which film and video producers use and incorporate music in their productions.
History of Rock and Roll
MUS 1050 – This course will survey the origins and history of Rock and Roll.  In addition to examining the songs and influence of significant artists, this course will explore how the issues of race, politics, and the forces of capitalism have shaped this tradition and subsequently popular culture in America.
Literacy and Communications Technology
JMP 1450 – Students review basic Internet standards and refine electronic communication skills using digital media and current online technologies. This course builds media literacy skills, including visual, information, and news literacies. Digital Storytelling is also explored to introduce media production concepts and practice.
Public Speaking
CAS 1010 – This course integrates both the theory and practical skills of topic research, composition, delivery, and criticism of public speaking. Skill development includes effective public presentation strategies and audience analysis. Students develop critical listening skills by evaluating their own public-speaking style, as well as the effectiveness of their peers and professional speakers. This course builds public-speaking confidence, and introduces the student to the power of public rhetoric in social and professional contexts.

Year 1: Semester 2

Basic Video Editing
JMP 2400 – This course introduces the fundamental principles, aesthetics, and procedures necessary to perform nonlinear video editing. Students learn how to perform video edits, the importance of aesthetics in editing, and how to translate editing theory to practical applications.
Basic Single Camera Video Production
JMP 2420 – This course introduces the fundamental principles, aesthetics, and procedures necessary to perform nonlinear video editing. Students learn how to perform video edits, the importance of aesthetics in editing, and how to translate editing theory to practical applications.
Introduction to Journalism and Mass Media
JMP 1000 – This course offers class instruction in piano to students with little or no previous training. You will learn the basics of playing scales and chords along with simple etudes and accompaniment for voice and other instruments.
Composing Arguments
ENG 1010 – Composing Arguments is a course focusing on the process of writing and revising college level texts in three major categories: arguments through-personal reflection, arguments through analysis, and arguments through interpretation. The course employs lecture, discussion, workshop, and conference methods. Students learn how to read, summarize, and analyze texts. Students demonstrate their ability to generate, organize, and produce writing for appropriate audiences. Course work does not include research and documentation of secondary sources. Students must receive a C- or better to earn course credit.
Mathematics for the Liberal Arts
MTH 1080 – This course is an introduction to the spirit and methods of mathematics. It includes problem-solving strategies, introductory financial mathematics, probability, statistics, and other topics demonstrating the interdisciplinary applicability of mathematics.

Year 2: Semester 1

Self-Employment Skills in Music
MUS 2880 – This course will focus on how to start, operate, and expand your own independent music business, whether it’s a record label, talent agency, publicity firm, studio, or otherwise. Students will learn the basics of incorporating, tax law, record keeping, accounting, fundraising, human resources, promotions, and other essential components of running a successful business. This class will also include furthering students’ ability to work as a team and manage employees. Students will need to construct and present a business plan to show how it will be viable in the short and long term.
Beginning Photojournalism
JMP 2600 -This survey course introduces students from all academic disciplines to the historical development of journalism and mass media and its relationship to contemporary society. Students will explore the functions and impact of newspapers, books, television, radio, magazines, films, public relations and issues such as technology convergence, censorship, economic control, and privacy.
Scriptwriting for Video
JMP 3440 – This course stresses the principles used to create video scripts for a variety of programs. In addition, the course instructs students in the organization and writing of story outlines, treatments, rough draft formats and scripts. It also identifies the fundamentals of visual and audio applications and includes viewing and analysis of video productions.
Mobile and Social Media Communication
JMP 3540 – This course explores the principles of using mobile and social media to accomplish a communication goal. Social media is investigated for its collaborative and community-building properties. Mobile media is examined through the lens of technology-enhanced communication.
Elective
XXX XXXX – Students will be able to choose from a selection of core courses in other disciplines (i.e., songwriting, music entrepreneurship) as well as a rotating group of offerings that may include: Home Recording, Live Sound, Denver Music Heritage, Guitar Ensemble, Pop Music & Politics, Stage Management, and more!

Year 2: Semester 2

Video Production and Process
JMP 3420 – Crew-based production process is the focus of this professional-practice course in audiovisual storytelling.  Students work in standard industry group-assigned collaborative roles to produce a distribution-ready package program. Prerequisite(s): JMP 2420
Audio Post-Production
JMP 3800 – Field recordings are made on location outside of a controlled, studio environment and are a critical component to video and film production. This course explores the theory, required equipment, and practical application of recording audio specifically for video productions. Students gain hands-on experience creating field recordings, documenting the process, and evaluating the postproduction options for each recording.
Making Media Social
JMP 3580 – This course explores the principles of what makes media social from both a theoretical and applicable standpoint. Using a variety of tools, students not only create products and content for social media, but also understand their creation using a larger theoretical, rhetorical, and communication framework.
Research and Argument Writing
ENG 1020 – This is a course in the process of writing extended essays supported by research. The course includes an introduction to library use, research techniques, and the conventions of MLA and APA styles of documentation, as well as practice in critical reading, thinking, and writing across the disciplines. Students can expect to do a series of shorter writing and research assignments leading to the longer, documented paper. Freshman Composition includes hands-on instruction in the use of computers in research and writing in a computer lab.
American History Since 1865
HIST 1220 – This course covers the background to the present-day United States beginning with the Civil War and culminating with recent times. It analyzes cultural, social, economic and technological change. Topics addressed include immigration, industrialism, emergence of the U.S. as a world power, Progressivism, the First World War, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War and its aftermath.

Year 3: Semester 1

Motion Graphics I
JMP 3485- SIn the intro motion graphics course, students create keyframe and preset-based animations for use in broadcast, online, and other professional video productions. Students incorporate raster and vector graphics, digital audio, video footage, typographic treatments, and appropriate visual effects to construct their animated messages. Rendering techniques and video compression are also practiced. The course concludes with demo reel presentations..
Television Production
JMP 3445 – This course is an introduction to television production, operation of broadcast studio equipment, vocabulary, and experience in direction of multi-camera productions. Specific attention is focused on preproduction, including identification of audience by age, gender, and culture. Students will participate in production activities and procedures on a variety of projects.
International Film
ENG 2850 – This course introduces the study of films, using classics of international cinema.  Students study national cinemas, important movements, and critical trends, as well as themes, styles, and important figures relevant to each era/movement/national cinema. Students study representative films and the larger culture represented in those films.  Students learn a film vocabulary that will enable them to articulate critical responses and write analytical, evaluative critiques.
Video Production Design
JMP 3431- Theories and principles used to direct, design, light, and stage successful film and video productions are overviewed. Students explore production design and art direction in this hybrid lecture-production course, putting knowledge to hands-on practice.
Introduction to Nutrition
NUT 2040 – This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of human nutrition, including digestion, absorption, metabolism, and function of nutrients as they relate to human health and disease.

Year 3: Semester 2

 

Budgeting and Planning Video for Music Production
JMP 3490 – This course analyzes the methods and techniques for budgeting and planning video for commercial music productions.  Script analysis and breakdown, shot list development, storyboarding and production contracts are studied.  Students learn how to schedule productions in terms of time, personnel, equipment, materials, video formats and cost.  Students create line item budgets for various music productions.
Streaming Media Technology
JMP 3590 – This course explores the history of streaming media and prepares students for the preproduction and production processes, current technologies, and streaming media deployment.  Students develop a website, which incorporates streaming media technology.
Video Production Management
JMP 4430 – This course presents various directing and lighting techniques used in the production of video programs. Students learn the theories and principles used to direct and light for video production in a remote location and in a studio setting.
Creating Content for Music Promotion and Social Media
JMP 2615 – This course covers the various types of visual media, social media and platforms used for promotion of musical artists and music-related business.  Students learn how to shoot promotional photography, create print and electronic press kits, and design and post social media content.  Students learn which social media platforms are appropriate for artist promotion and message delivery. Pre-req: JRN 2600
Cross-Cultural Communication
ANT 2330 – This course explores anthropological approaches to cross-cultural communication. Emphasizing an applied approach, the course focuses on how language and language use vary from culture to culture, and how knowledge of these differences can lead to understanding of difference and dominance relations between groups within the United States, specifically African-American, Asian, Hispanic American, and Native American, and internationally. Topics include the relationship between language and culture, sociolinguistic variation, politeness, multilingualism, and language politics.

Year 4: Semester 1

Advanced Video Production
JMP 4420 – This course covers advanced video production techniques including editing, lighting, graphics, scripting, and audio recording. Students formulate and track budgets, plan and execute remote shoots, and carry out all aspects of single-camera video production. Students obtain outside clients for the final video project.
Video Editing for Music Soundtracks
JMP 4402 – This course focuses on the terminology and editing techniques applied to music tracks of films and video programs.  Students discover the purposes of music in film and video, the role that music plays in the editing process and how to apply this knowledge when editing programs.  Students learn about different platforms for music-related video programs and their technical specifications. Career options in the video editing field are also examined.
Media Law for Video Production in the Music Industry
JMP 3785 – This course presents legal practices that impact professional video and visual media producers. The course emphasizes laws, copyright, fair use, intellectual property and other issues that affect video production as it relates to music-based productions.  The course focuses on laws and regulations for video producers of music programs as they apply to digital media in physical and electronic distribution.
Sound and Music
PHY 3620 – This course will consider the basic nature of sound waves, the ear and hearing, musical instruments, and acoustics. Although this course is mainly descriptive, some high school algebra will be used.
Elective
XXX XXXX – Students will be able to choose from a selection of core courses in other disciplines (i.e., songwriting, music entrepreneurship) as well as a rotating group of offerings that may include: Home Recording, Live Sound, Denver Music Heritage, Guitar Ensemble, Pop Music & Politics, Stage Management, and more!

Year 4: Semester 2

Producing the Music Video
JMP 4425 – In this course, students learn how to conceptualize, plan, produce and undertake post-production tasks in the creation of a music video.  Students learn about specific pre-production activities, employ the methods and techniques for properly recording visuals and audio, and successfully perform post-production.  Various types of music videos are identified and analyzed.
Multi-Camera Production for Music Performance
JMP 4460 – This course focuses on multi-camera video production as it applies to music performance in a studio setting.  Students participate in and plan production activities that result in a finished video program.  Studio activities include camera blocking, set design, lighting schemes, use of special effects, motion graphics, technical direction, creative production design and post-production editing.
Internship in Video Production for the Music Industry
JMP 3980 – This course provides students with an internship experience at a media company, music venue or other music-related setting where students are able to use the skills learned in the classroom in a supervised, professional environment. Students work as video producers, scriptwriters, editors, videographers, photographers or social media producers at various media outlets.  Students collaborate in the production of a final project overseen by the agency supervisor.
DIME Elective
XXX XXXX – Students will be able to choose from a selection of core courses in other disciplines (i.e., songwriting, music entrepreneurship) as well as a rotating group of offerings that may include: Home Recording, Live Sound, Denver Music Heritage, Guitar Ensemble, Pop Music & Politics, Stage Management, and more!
Professional Capstone Project
JMP 4780 – In this Senior Experience course, students produce a final video project that showcases a specific musical artist.  The final project is a “rock documentary” that consists of on-camera interviews, performance footage, a conceptual video piece, promotional or social media materials and other media that represents the musical artist.  The final project may incorporate subject matter from previous classes, but must include newly created content.  Students will present the final project as part of an oral presentation.

Staff

Throughout your studies with MSU Denver at DIME Denver you will come into contact with a range of artists, experts, practitioners, educators, support personnel, and administrative staff. Your key contacts will be the MSU Denver at DIME Denver Campus Manager, DIME Denver Head of Institute, DIME Student Services Coordinator, your Department Chair, and MSU Denver faculty and instructors. You will enjoy regular contact with these people during your studies.

In addition, your education will be enhanced by input from a range of experts through masterclasses and their contribution to the design and writing of specific classes. Click here to see some of DIME Denver’s previous guests.

Assessment

The modes of assessment used in this degree program include:

  • Portfolio of work
  • Group assignments
  • Hands-on exercises
  • In-class presentations
  • Examinations
  • Essays (critical, reflective, research-based)
  • Assigned media projects
  • Project documentation

In some cases, instructors employ more than one mode of assessment for a class to ensure that  learners can demonstrate fulfillment of the learning outcomes. The work produced for these assessments develops graduate outcomes required in employment, such as a high level of managerial and entrepreneurial competency, time management abilities, written and oral communication skills, portfolio production, critical reflection, and team work. Self-motivation, independence, and creativity are other benefits associated with the assessment process.

Careers

MSU Denver at DIME are deeply committed to providing career advice and support. This starts in the recruitment of a roster of MSU Denver faculty who exemplify the values of a successful self-employed professionals in today’s video, photo and social media industries. MSU Denver at DIME courses and learning outcomes reflect the visual production industry as it is today, and our commitment to degree development will ensure their currency in the future. At MSU Denver at DIME, we encourage students to form realistic and achievable career goals underpinned by research and experience that provide a genuine understanding of the structure and operation of the visual production field.  We describe this philosophy as ‘designing your own professional life’ and  this theme will recur throughout the degree.

Further career opportunities/destinations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Video producer
  • Music video director
  • Show runner
  • Video editor
  • Editing assistant
  • Videographer
  • Scriptwriter
  • Music supervisor for film or video
  • Motion graphics artist
  • Photographer
  • Video technical director
  • Clearance coordinator
  • Social media manager
  • Publicist
  • Technical or vocational school teacher

Further study opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Graduate study in film or video, film direction and scriptwriting, film criticism and theory
  • (K-12) Teaching Certification – National Board Certification by the American Board for Certification of Teaching Excellence (ABCTE)
Download the Sound and Vision Program PDF