MSU Denver at DIME Denver – Bachelor of Arts in Music: Commercial Songwriting

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

Introduction

The 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 in Music: Commercial Songwriting. DIME Denver functions as an extended campus of MSU Denver, where students pursue BA’s in Music with concentrations in commercial music performance, commercial songwriting, and music industry studies.

The BA in Music offered by MSU Denver at DIME Denver is a liberal arts degree in which music and general studies content is integrated throughout all coursework. Students are exposed to a broad curriculum that includes studies in history, the arts and humanities, and the sciences. Music is integrated into general studies courses, and the liberal arts are integrated into music courses throughout the degree program.

Denver Institute of Music Education 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.

This degree will provide you with an opportunity to specialize in songwriting. It aims to empower learners to develop a diverse and industry-relevant set of songwriting skills. You will generate songs that are suitable for a wide range of formats and create an appropriate songwriting portfolio. Under the guidance and supervision of internationally recognized leaders in the field, the course aims to produce graduates who are conversant with the mechanisms of the modern music industry and can demonstrate a creative and industry-relevant approach to their craft.

Under the guidance and supervision of MSU Denver faculty and highly respected artists, your practical studies will be underpinned by research and writing skills and you will reflect critically on your practice. Participation in projects will help you to contextualize your work within a wider arena, enabling you to identify, forge, and nurture many new career opportunities.

The intensive nature of the course enables learners to become skilled practitioners and provides the freedom for them to develop their own unique and innovative methods of working. Upon completion of the course, you will have built up a varied portfolio and will be equipped to identify, create and respond to the many career opportunities that exist in the ever-evolving music landscape.

MSU Denver at DIME Denver courses are offered as a full-time program, which enables you to complete your degree in four years.

Benefits

  • MSU Denver at DIME Denver faculty are world class artists and educators, active in the music industry and educational practice.
  • Direct engagement with the industry through project-based work.
  • Students are guided and encouraged to develop their own individual area(s) of expertise.
  • Collaboration within a broader musical community; your regular interaction with peers and faculty groups is enhanced by live events and other extra-curricular activities including: master classes, private tutorial sessions, End of Semester Shows, regular Open House events, and one-off events in which DIME partners with local musicians and organizations.

How are the courses taught?

The teaching strategies deployed 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 and technical staff and students. Students at MSU Denver at DIME Denver will benefit from the following modes of teaching:

  • Group lectures within the institute environment, where all students will learn in groups regardless of their individual specialism.
  • Specialist lectures within the institute environment, where students will learn in specialist specific groups.
  • Weekly lectures with instruction by world-class industry professionals who have vast experience in the music industry.
  • Regular One-To-One Tutorial Guidance from the MSU Denver at DIME Denver Campus Manager, DIME Head of Education, your Head of Department, MSU Denver Faculty and DIME Head of Learner Experience and on matters relating to the course, musical performance, career planning and student care.
  • Exclusive Masterclasses from renowned artists, educators and industry professionals.

What you’ll do

For further information, you may visit MSU Denver’s website, or explore the course content by clicking on the sections below:

Year 1: Semester 1

Essential Music Theory Skills
MUS 1010 – This course covers the techniques of music reading, analysis, and hearing skills by teaching the fundamental principles of meter, rhythm, pitch scales, key signatures, intervals, triads, seventh chords and the keyboard. The application of traditional sight-reading and ear-training are emphasized. This course is designed to prepare music majors, musical theatre majors, and music minors for MUS 1110.
Lyric Writing
MUS 1866 – This course will introduce students to a range of basic lyric writing techniques, methodologies, and practices. Students will learn to take inspiration from a range of stimuli and structure songs in coherent and productive ways. While focusing on developing student’s unique voice, this course will analyze successful lyricists of the past to draw out their styles, conventions, and methods. Along the way, students will build a workbook of original lyrics, starting with raw material and ending with several finished songs. Throughout the course, students will be asked to critically reflect on their lyric writing, creating self-awareness of their own style and voice.
Foundations of Songwriting I
MUS 1868 – This course will introduce students to fundamental methods, techniques, and practices of the songwriting craft. While a large portion of the class will focus on analyzing the elements (form, subject, harmony, melody, etc.) of classic and contemporary songs and songwriters, the primary goal of the class will be to encourage students to develop their own original material, both lyrics and music. Students will be tasked to write material in a range of different styles to the specifications of numerous prompts. Along the way, students will be asked to critically reflect on their own songwriting practices.
Live Songwriting Workshop
MUS 1860 – This class is all about developing and performing original songs to a professional standard. Each week, a selection of students will present their material to the class; students will then work together to experiment with and polish the musical concepts presented by their classmates. After some individual refining, students will perform, or have others play, their tunes. At each session, instructors will act as music industry producers, providing feedback on the song’s lyrical content, musical style, and overall impact.
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
Introduction to Music
MUS 1000 – This course will investigate the function, structure, style and genre classifications, and aesthetic interpretations of a diverse variety of musical traditions. The student will develop and employ a vocabulary for musical description and listen to many different traditions of musical expression. This course is intended for non-majors.
Public Speaking
SPE 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

Music Theory I
MUS 1110 – This course is the study of the melodic, harmonic, rhythm, textural, and formal elements of music through analysis and composition and the development of reading and hearing skills as they relate to these elements. It covers diatonic music based on the triad including tonic and dominant harmony, phrase structure and grouping, and melodic figuration and dissonance. Aural recognition of materials is emphasized.
Music Theory I Lab
MUS 1120 – Students will apply reading and hearing skills to the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, textural, and formal elements of music through singing and the use of the keyboard. This course covers diatonic music based on the triad.
Foundations of Songwriting II
MUS 1864 – Building on the previous semester of this class sequence, this course will further explore the basic methods, techniques, and practices of the songwriting craft. For instance, students will continue to explore the composition of melody, harmony, and form, while refining their abilities to construct meaningful and relevant lyrical content with object writing and storytelling. Students will analyze and critique pre-existing music, examining the elements that make a song memorable and engaging to better their own original writing. While working to refine their own skill as songwriters, students will also be asked to critically reflect on their own creative process.
Class Piano I
MUS 161B – 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.
Live Songwriting Workshop
MUS 1860 – This class is all about developing and performing original songs to a professional standard. Each week, a selection of students will present their material to the class; students will then work together to experiment with and polish the musical concepts presented by their classmates. After some individual refining, students will perform, or have others play, their tunes. At each session, instructors will act as music industry producers, providing feedback on the song’s lyrical content, musical style, and overall impact.
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
Mathematical Modes of Thought
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.
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.

Year 2: Semester 1

Music Theory II
MUS 1130 – This course is the continuation of Music Theory I. It includes the study of the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, textural, and formal dements of music through analysis and composition and the development of reading and hearing skills as they relate to these elements. It covers predominant chords and other diatonic chords, seventh chords, harmonic sequences, and an introduction to tonicization and modulation. Aural recognition of materials is emphasized.
Music Theory II Lab
MUS 1140 – This course is a continuation of Music Theory I Lab,and covers diatonic seventh chords and elementary chromaticism.
Advanced Lyric Writing
MUS 1868 – Building on the previous course in this sequence, this class will explore advanced techniques, methods, and practices for creating subject matter and lyrics. While refining previously learned methods, students will also be introduced to more advanced ways of conceptualizing lyric writing. The class will critically examine and deconstruct a range of pre-existing lyrics from songwriters across a wide spectrum of genres and styles. Students will refine their own artistic practices to create original lyrical content as well as reflect on their own creative process.
Group Performance Instruction I
MUS 2870 – Students will receive group instruction on a primary instrument (guitar, bass, drums, or vocals). This course will start at a non-remedial level; therefore students will need to audition to enroll in this class. Students will learn a variety of techniques, and apply them to a range of musical styles. This class is part of a sequence that will build towards a functional proficiency on a given instrument.
Notation and Chart Writing
MUS 2868 – In this course, students will gain the ability to communicate their ideas more effectively through written notation, using a variety of methods and techniques for producing scores, lead sheets, and charts. The class will examine a range of pre-existing charts and scores from studio sessions and live tours to become familiar with standard practices, determining the ways that work best for their own compositions. Enhancing their musical literacy and aural skills, students will be asked to transcribe songs from multiple genres, notating their various instrumental parts and vocals in a number of formats, including conventional Western staff notation and several alternative forms (i.e., Nashville number system). Students will be introduced to a broad spectrum of ways to write music, from hand-written notation to several industry standard software programs (i.e., Finale, Sibelius, etc.). Ultimately, students will need to create accessible charts of their own material that can be read by studio musicians and musical directors. Lastly, students will reflect critically on their own choices for chart writing and musical notation.
Large Ensemble (Pop and Soul Choir)
MUS 3810 – The ability to blend voices while singing in a group is an essential skill for any contemporary vocalist. Working to enhance such abilities, this mixed chorus of men and women will focus on a diverse and challenging repertoire of classic and contemporary popular music. Given Denver’s rich history in soul and gospel music, this class will focus heavily on these genres to prepare students for the types of gigs they are likely to encounter in their immediate market. Students will learn to sing precisely and authentically, expressing lyrics and emotion appropriately for each song. The choir will perform both a cappella and accompanied arrangements. Repertoire will vary from semester to semester and be primarily chosen by the instructor, although students are encouraged to offer suggestions and bring their original work or arrangements of covers to the group. Professionalism, musicianship, creativity, vocal technique, and group cohesion will be emphasized throughout the semester. Student participation is key, and will be assessed weekly; a final performance will be mandatory for all students to pass this class.
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
Freshman Composition
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.

Year 2: Semester 2

Song Arrangement I
MUS 2862 – This class will focus on transforming original raw song material into fully formed ensemble arrangements for a modern rock/pop band. Students will be introduced to basic concepts in orchestration for the modern pop and rock ensemble. This will include learning the fundamental attributes, functions, and ranges of the guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and piano to understand how to create viable arrangements for these instruments that work in multiple idioms. The class will deconstruct the rhythm sections and vocals of existing songs to understand how and why they work as a unit. Students will be asked to create re-arrangements and remixes of existing songs, but will also work on ensemble arrangements of original material.
Writing for Artists
MUS 1876 – Previous classes have focused primarily on creating original material for students themselves to perform. This class will explore writing original material for existing established artists in numerous contemporary genres, including solo and group arrangements. Students will develop a familiarity with the contemporary trends in multiple idioms to write for artists across a range of styles to specific prompts. This course will also explore ways for young songwriters to promote and disseminate their own compositions to get noticed by industry-established acts.
Electronic Music Composition
MUS 3860 – This class will introduce the basic components and processes involved in creating original music by using contemporary electronic software and hardware. While working with synths, MIDI, and various hardware such as interfaces, drum machines, multiple pad controllers, and samplers, students will learn to use industry-standard software such as Garageband, Logic, Abelton Live, Reason, Fruity Loops, and more. Students will be required to create multiple compositions by integrating a range of electronic tools.
Group Performance Instruction II
MUS 2871 – Students will receive group instruction on a primary instrument (guitar, bass, drums, or vocals). This course will build on the previous course in this sequence. Students will learn and apply a variety of techniques in a range of musical styles. This class is part of a sequence that will build towards a functional proficiency on a given instrument.
African Drum Ensemble
MUS 3810 – This ensemble will focus on the music of West Africa and the African diaspora, particularly the Caribbean. Students will gain experience performing a diverse repertoire that includes musical practices such as: call-and-response, hocket, polyrhythm, drum language, parallel vocal harmony, and more. Students will be expected to attend rehearsal sessions as well as several public performances throughout the term. Students will also be expected to articulate an understanding of this music in its proper cultural, social, and historical context. The repertoire for this ensemble will vary, so that students who enroll in the class multiple times will continue to increase their knowledge and skills.
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
World History Since 1500
HIST 1040 – This course provides an introduction to important theories, concepts, methods and content for understanding world history since 1500. Among others, it explores social, cultural, religious, economic, and political themes.
Art and Visual Literacy
ARTH 1500 – This course is a general introduction to the tools and methods used to analyze and interpret works of art in a variety of contexts. Students learn how to effectively communicate how visual forms work in conjunction with cultural beliefs both in the past and present. Analytical tools appropriate to the disciplines of art criticism and art history, including the use of research, are used by the student to support interpretations. A variety of artistic traditions, including materials and techniques from across the globe and throughout time, are introduced so that students are prepared to identify and interpret historical and contemporary examples of visual art and design. By developing an awareness of the relationship between visual forms and the messages they convey, students increase their ability to respond critically to their own increasingly complex, visual environment. This course is designed for the non-major and recommended for the General Studies requirement in Arts and Humanities.

Year 3: Semester 1

Song Arrangement II
MUS 2864 – Building on the first semester in this sequence, this class will continue to focus on transforming original raw song material into fully formed arrangements for contemporary ensembles. Students will learn more advanced concepts in orchestration. This will include learning extended techniques and exploiting the sonic possibilities for guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and piano to create innovative arrangements of existing and original material. The class will continue to deconstruct the rhythm sections and vocals of existing songs to understand how and why they work as a unit. This class will also briefly explore the inclusion of strings and horns into popular music.
Group Performance Instruction III
MUS 3870 – Students will receive group instruction on a primary instrument (guitar, bass, drums, or vocals). This course will build on the previous course in this sequence. Students will learn and apply a variety of techniques in a range of musical styles. This class is part of a sequence that will build towards a functional proficiency on a given instrument.
Domestic Music Market
MUS 3890 – 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.
Musics of the World
MUS 3050 – The course will explore the diverse forms of musical expression found in within cultures from around the world. In addition to surveying a variety of musical practices, aesthetic systems, and functions of music, the fundamental theoretical approaches of ethnomusicology will be introduced and employed.
Ensemble
MUS 3810 – This course is a continuation of MUS 2810 and is designed to explore and study performance techniques through the rehearsal and performance of standard ensemble literature. Ensembles may also serve as reading labs for conducting classes. This course may be repeated for credit.
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
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

Jazz Styles - America's Music
MUS 3020 – This class explores the history of Jazz within the context of the African American cultural experience. The course will examine African musical aesthetics that are at the core of all forms of jazz throughout its history. The evolution of jazz will be traced, beginning with distinctly African American musical expressions such as minstrelsy, the blues, and ragtime, before surveying the developments and prominent figures of jazz in the 20th century including New Orleans and classic jazz, bebop and related movements, the innovations of Coleman and Taylor, the innovations of Miles Davis, and the jazz styles of the present.
Group Performance Instruction IV
MUS 3871 – Students will receive group instruction on a primary instrument (guitar, bass, drums, or vocals). This course will build on the previous course in this sequence. Students will learn and apply a variety of techniques in a range of musical styles. This class is part of a sequence that will build towards a functional proficiency on a given instrument.
Advanced Songwriting
MUS 2860 – Building on the Foundations of Songwriting class, this course will examine more advanced methods, techniques, and practices of the songwriting craft. Students will deconstruct a more challenging set of songs to analyze their melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, formal, and lyrical qualities. Students will continue to build their theoretical knowledge of music as well as their music literacy and aural skills. Using the knowledge gained through this analysis, students will be asked to produce original material that expresses their uniqueness as songwriters as they work within a number of prompts that encourage them to write in a plethora of styles and genres. Students will also reflect on their songwriting practices and style.
Ensemble
MUS 3810 – This course is a continuation of MUS 2810 and is designed to explore and study performance techniques through the rehearsal and performance of standard ensemble literature. Ensembles may also serve as reading labs for conducting classes. This course may be repeated for credit.
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
Staging Cultures
THE 3213 – This course uses theatre history and dramatic texts to explore cultures of previously and/or presently marginalized peoples, including but not limited to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, women, and the GLBTQ community, in order to promote greater understanding of these peoples and their struggles for representation.
Introduction to Journalism and Mass Media
JRN 1010 – 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.

Year 4: Semester 1

Co-Writing
MUS 4860 – Songwriting is often a collaborative effort, and this course introduces students to the most effective ways to work with a team of artists to create original music. Throughout the semester, students will examine the material and dynamics of great songwriting teams such as: Lennon/McCartney, Simon/Garfunkel, Jagger/Richards, etc., to better understand their creative processes. Students will gain the qualities necessary to work productively in a group, including time management, social skills, and organizational skills. As an upper level course, students will be challenged to use a wide range of techniques and methodologies to co-create original music to a high professional standard. Additionally, students will be asked to reflect on their processes and dynamics of artistic teamwork.
Writing for Film/TV
MUS 4862 – This class will examine the processes involved in writing for film, TV, and other forms of visual media. While analyzing well-known TV and film composers (John Williams, Danny Elfman, Mike Post, etc.) and their music, students will gain the ability to write for certain scenes, learning to establish mood, highlight plot points, and support the action on screen. This class will also discuss the commercial practice of synchronization to show how the industry pairs music with film/TV opportunities. Students will need to write a range of music for various types of scenes and styles of film. Students will spend some time in a working media studio to understand how audio and picture are synced. Ultimately, students will need to produce several short original pieces for movies and television.
Publishing and Copyright Law
MUS 3888 – This course will examine the processes of publishing songs, including the basics of how to navigate the complexities of state, national, and international copyright law. Students will examine the roles of a publisher in acquisition, marketing, and creative development. The course will also cover various types of publishing deals to familiarize students with their standard terms and conditions, as they learn to protect their rights as songwriters and artists. This class will also explore songwriting splits and how to negotiate a fair and equitable publishing deal. Students will additionally learn how to register their songs and take advantage of licensing and sync opportunities.
Fundamentals of Record Production
MUS 3886 – This class will focus on the processes of moving from a finished arrangement in the rehearsal room to a master recording. Students will learn about selecting the appropriate songs, quality control, pre-production, choosing and working with a producer and engineer, goal setting, mixing, mastering, and the politics of the recording studio. Throughout the semester, students will analyze and discuss the production of iconic songs and albums, exploring its effects on the entire songwriting and creative process. Partnering with local studios, students will have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a recording studio, working with industry producers and engineers to perform, conduct, mix, and master their own compositions.
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
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.

Year 4: Semester 2

Songwriting Portfolio
MUS 4892 – As a culmination of their studies, students will first compile an extensive and representative portfolio of their work to date, both recordings and written scores. Students will examine and reflect on their own output as songwriters, identifying their style, strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in their resumes. Students will then spend the majority of the semester in a guided, but primarily self-directed, attempt to devise a plan to fill out their portfolio to establish a well-rounded and marketable collection of material, which gives them a wide range of opportunities in the music industry. Students will be encouraged to create a balanced and diversified approach to their songwriting careers as they learn to seize opportunities in multiple formats: solo, group, writing for artists, film, TV, sync, etc. As a final project, students will need to present their original work through oral presentation (as if they are presenting to a prospective client, i.e., artist, record label, publisher, etc.).
Songwriting Capstone
MUS 4894 – This class will primarily focus on the short-term and long-term career plans for the student once they leave DIME, ensuring that their body of work is sufficient to gain entry into the contemporary songwriting industry. A portion of this capstone will be dedicated to producing a showcase of the student’s original work in the form of a 45-60 minute performance. To accompany their catalog of original songs, students will produce a written report that will identify real-world career opportunities, articulating how they will integrate themselves into the local, national, and international music industry as a professional songwriter. In order to accomplish this, students will need to undertake extensive library-based and field research to situate themselves in relation to other past and contemporary composers and find these career opportunities; this report will also need to argue for a student’s unique voice in the industry, highlighting their particular artistic contribution(s) and the qualities that make them a marketable songwriter. Reflecting on their creative growth and process as a songwriter, students will learn to articulate these succinctly for prospective employers.
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!
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!
Recital Attendance
MUS 0020 – Students must attend a total of twelve performances, including eight to ten Monday afternoon recitals and two to four evening performances, selected from a list of approved performances provided at the beginning of each semester. Students must enroll during each semester of individual instruction,and must receive a “Satisfactory” grade in order to progress to the next private lesson level.
Marketing Around the Globe
MKT 2010 – Students study the importance of globalization in the business world where global markets are more connected and marketers must respond to the expectations of global consumers. The course covers the essential concepts of global marketing with the aid of extensive, real-life examples. The course offers balanced coverage of developed and developing markets. Integrating cultural analysis throughout the course, students examine global and local competition and forms of global market entry, as well as basic principles of global marketing strategies, such as price, product, distribution, and promotion.

Staff

Throughout your studies with MSU Denver at DIME Denver you will come into contact with a range of artists, practitioners, educators, support personnel, and administrative staff. Your key contacts will be the MSU Denver at DIME Denver Campus Manager, DIME Head of Education, DIME Learner Experience Administrator, your Head of Department, and MSU Denver faculty. 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 our previous guests.

Assessment

The modes of assessment used in this degree program include:

  • Portfolio of work
  • Small in-lecture tasks (solo and group)
  • Tests
  • Essays (critical, reflective, research-based)
  • Case Studies
  • Podcasts and digital media
  • Project Presentation
  • Project Documentation

In some cases, more than one mode of assessment will be used within a class to ensure that the learner can demonstrate that they have met all 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, written and oral communication, portfolio production, critical reflection, and team work. This is alongside self-motivation, independence, and creativity of thought.

Careers

MSU Denver at DIME Denver and 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 music professional in today’s music industry. MSU Denver at DIME Denver courses and learning outcomes reflect the music business as it is today, and our commitment to degree development will ensure their currency in the future. MSU Denver students are encouraged throughout their studies to form realistic and achievable career goals; these will be underpinned by research and experience, providing a genuine understanding of the structure and operation within the industry. The philosophy is described as ‘designing your own professional life’ and you will see this theme recurring throughout the degree.

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

  • Solo artist
  • Songwriter/composer for a range of different areas including popular artists, film, TV and games
  • Music entrepreneur
  • Author of educational materials (e.g. books, DVDs, etc)
  • Teaching

Further study opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Graduate Study
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Masters of Arts (MA)
  • Masters of Music (MM)
  • (K-12) Teaching Certification – National Board Certification by the American Board for Certification of Teaching Excellence (ABCTE)