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Published on January 19th, 2009 | by Admin



                                                                                                                                         By Baldwin S. A. Howe




ibo-cooper.JPG  There are plans afoot to establish a J$60m recording studio facility at the School of Music, Edna Manley College of the Arts.  The objective of the expenditure is to develop a five-year-plan to offer a proper recording studio-engineering course to prospective students.


Currently, the Music Business Technology Trainers and the CPTC offers and provides studio engineering workshops and a certain level of certification but diplomas and higher degree certifications are sought overseas, and in this respect, many Jamaicans opt to attend the Full Sail University in Florida.


In speaking of the School of Music’s proposed intent its director, Roger Williams told Reggae Times that, “This is the way to go.  It’s the school latest response to current music trends that steers away from instrumentation to digitalization. We are talking about a five-year plan.”


Mr. Williams stated that under the redevelopment plan, the money would go towards buying equipment

and reconstructing the auditorium into a state-of-the-art performance centre, that will make it a far

better performance facility.  The plan also includes building a recording studio facility upstairs.  Mr. Williams further noted that, “I don’t remember, but off the top of my head the planned project will cost about J$60 million.”


Mr. Williams went on to elaborate that a room in the complex was recently converted into the music technology lab, which is utilized by lecturers, Ibo Cooper, Michael Harris Peter Ashbourne and Michael Dyke. He made the point that it has been noted that most of the current music industry activities occurs

off-stage, in the studios and in corporate offices; while most of the 140 students enrolled at the School of Music, Edna Manley College of the Arts are in performance-based programmes.


In speaking about some of the courses that the School of Music offers Mr. Williams said: “We have about four courses that incorporates music technology.  We have no studio-engineering programme but the subject matter forms part of our existing programmes.  Regarding the technology courses, which started

in 2007, as part of its Jazz and Contemporary Music programmes, a lot of people look at studio

engineering as something you do in and of itself.  We currently cannot offer it that way.”  


Further, in tendering the Edna Manley College of the Arts’ annual report Mr. Williams stated that he suggested that: “The development in the area of music technology is another priority.  Our students must

be aware of what is available and they should be savvy with the technology that is out there in the music industry.  Therefor, the development of at least two music technology labs and a recording studio facility are needed in the School of Music.”


The recording studio will be used to broaden the school’s technology programme offering.

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