Music Merchandising FAQs

Can you tell me some requirements/qualifications one must have to go into the music merchandising major?
There is no audition for the program, but students may audition for a talent scholarship, which is a department award based on musical potential. The amount of these awards is 1000-3000 dollars. Students are expected to read music in both clefs, because that is a prerequisite for the music theory class, which is required of all first-year music students. Being proficient on an instrument is very helpful too, especially piano or guitar. Being strong in technology is very important to success in this program because the music business is very technology oriented

What is day-to-day learning like?
Music students take music theory every day of the week. They also take a weekly private lesson on their instrument or voice. Music students participate in ensembles that meet 1-3 times a week: a cappella choir, vocal jazz ensemble, jazz band, jazz combo, recording ensemble, and symphony orchestra. The rest of the academic time is taken up with general education and academic electives. Even with all that, there is still time for recreation and creative work.

What will we be learning?
Music merchandising emphasizes the business of music. The business courses in the curriculum focus on marketing. The first two years, music merchandising majors take the same courses as music majors; then, instead of upper-division theory courses (counterpoint, orchestration, form and analysis), they take marketing courses. Music technology plays a large part in the curriculum, and Lewis University has a very strong program in this area. Many music merchandising students take a minor in music technology.

What kind of careers can I look forward to after graduation?
Music retailing; music sales; music technology; arts management: anything pertaining to the business of music. We have had students go to work for the Lyric Opera, the Chicago Symphony, and other arts organizations. Some students go on to graduate school.

Does Lewis help you find a job afterwards?
The music merchandising program includes an internship. We have placed students as interns with the Lyric Opera, the Chicago Symphony, and other performing arts organizations. We have also placed students as interns with retailers like Brookdale Music and with recording studios. Some students have stayed on to work where they did their internship after graduation. Others have looked at their options, which are plentiful.

Can you describe the students in that area of study?
Students who major in music merchandising often say that they want to be involved in music as a career but don’t want to teach or perform for a living. They tend to be very techn savvy.

Do any of them realize music merchandising wasn't for them after they have entered the program?
Rarely. Most students in this major complete the course of study and graduate from Lewis University. Some go on to graduate school in areas like arts management, and others begin their careers in the music business right after graduation.

Music Technology FAQs

Do I have to be a music major to study music technology at Lewis?
No. Students from all disciplines at Lewis University may take music technology classes; however, students with a music background are encouraged.

Can I use the recording studio?
Yes. Students who have completed "Intro to Recording and Music Technology" (14-299-1) and are enrolled in or have completed "Electronic Music Techniques" (14-300-1) work exclusively in the recording studio. In addition to class projects, students are encouraged to organize and produce individual projects.

If I'm not a music student can my band record in the recording studio?
Absolutely! For our classes, we are always looking for soloists and bands to record. If you are a Lewis student, simply contact Dr. McFerron for more information.

How current is the technology in the Department of Music?
We continually upgrade our equipment. For example, the Department of Music upgrades computers on a three-year rotation. Additionally, the very latest versions of software are installed on all computers on an ongoing basis. The music technology at Lewis is often far superior to other institutions, and it is current with industry standards seen in professional recording studios.

How does your program differ from other programs like weekend workshops?
Although many companies and trade schools offer weekend seminars on particular technologies that can be very interesting and helpful for a single technology, our approach to teaching music technology is quite different. Firmly grounded in a liberal arts education, we don't teach "knob-turning". Instead, we teach aesthetics, concepts, and processes that support our institutional mission to create life-long learners. Through study of standard techniques, music repertory, and creative endeavors such as composition, students are able to adapt to changing technologies and systems they may encounter beyond the Lewis University music technology facilities.