UT, PSCC collaborate on music business degree

Jay FitzOur Town Youth

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Music has entered into an agreement with Pellissippi State Community College that provides a bridge from Pellissippi State’s Associate of Applied Science in media technologies/audio production engineering to UT’s Bachelor of Arts in music business administration.

The articulation agreement – a program that formalizes a pathway for transfer students –is the first such agreement between an AAS program and a BA program in music at UT. The initiative reflects the focus in the recently established College of Music to improve on existing programs while opening a broader array of opportunities for students interested in the field of music.

“This innovative partnership combines professional industry skills with liberal arts, traditional musical proficiency and business education,” said John Zomchick, UT provost and senior vice president. “We are excited to partner with Pellissippi State to offer students such a rich combination of technical abilities, artistry and business knowledge.”

Broadening Music Skills

The partnership provides a pathway for students to expand on the skills they gain in Pellissippi State’s program and broaden their expertise in various areas of music and music business at UT. While Pellissippi State’s program focuses on hard skills on the technical side of music production and audio engineering, UT’s College of Music provides courses in applied music, music theory and musicology, music business, accounting, management, entrepreneurship, business law, advertising principles and finance.

“These two sets of skills make an especially good match,” said Brendan McConville, interim associate dean of academic and faculty affairs of the College of Music. “The students in this program are working in industry for sound engineering, producing and so on. So, we thought, what if these students had those skills and then combined them with our music, business and entrepreneurship literacies?”

Mischa Goldman, program coordinator and associate professor of audio production engineering at Pellissippi State, said the overall combination that makes up the four-and-a-half-year program “would rival any five-year program in the Southeast and perhaps beyond.”

Expanding Opportunities and a Path to a Four-Year Degree

The Haslam College of Business is collaborating with the College of Music on this program.

In the past, students pursuing an AAS have found it difficult to transfer to a four-year institution, as the curriculum focuses more heavily on applied technical skills than general education requirements. This agreement – a contracted assurance that certain credits will transfer – creates a smooth transition by including certain courses at Pellissippi State into the flexible portions of the music business curriculum.

“The anatomy of our programs is not changing, it’s just enlarging,” said Jeffrey Pappas, founding dean of the Natalie L. Haslam College of Music. “We’re going to retain and improve the quality of the traditional programs we have. But we’re allowing new and different types of programs to integrate, which will improve the educational experience of all UT music students.”

Pellissippi State Community College contributed information and quotes for this story.


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