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Faculty Focus: Team Teaching Covers All the Bases
03.08.13 |

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There may not be a more deliberate way to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to a topic than to have a team of professors approach it from different perspectives. In fact, many of LVC’s team-teaching professors report that discussing a topic in class from many different starting points is one of the best ways for them—and their students—to define and understand their subject matter.

R||:evolution Records

Since 2003, LVC has hosted an annual regional music and entertainment industry conference known as the LVC-MIC. Recently renamed the R||:evolution Music Conference, the conference has continued to grow in size and popularity, and in turn has inspired another multidisciplinary initiative on campus—R||:evolution Records.

“The students came to me about starting a record label to go under the umbrella of the conference,” said Jeff Snyder, professor of music and director of music business, who serves as faculty coordinator for both the music conference and the record label. “I told them that if they wanted to do it, they’d have to do the research, look at other college labels, do some interviews—and that kicked off an independent study project back in 2010.” The study group received a $5,000 grant through The Edward H. Arnold and Jeanne Donlevy Arnold Program for Experiential Education in 2011 to look deeper into the feasibility of setting up the label.

From the beginning, the students knew the project needed to reach beyond the Music Department. “The product that we’re selling is music, but this is a business,” said Nikki Abbamont ’14, one of the study-group members behind the label. “We can work with students in finance, accounting, and business. We can partner with digital communications students for the marketing and promotional aspects. English and journalism students could help out with press releases. We definitely didn’t want it to be just a music class.”

The study group ultimately received faculty approval for a one-credit interdisciplinary class to set up and operate the label. “IDS 199: R||:evolution Records,” is being team-taught by Snyder and Mat Samuel, assistant professor of digital communications, for the first time this spring. The class has already attracted majors as diverse as music recording, digital communications, and actuarial science, with more expected as the class becomes better known across campus. “We’d like to bring in more business majors—they’ll be strong in marketing. Digital communications majors will be strong in downloading and software,” Snyder stated. “We’d like to expand the talents that the record label can have access to.”

Samuel is glad his students have the opportunity to collaborate on the label project. “Digital communications students are involved in the promotional aspects—designing the website, the marketing materials—but working directly with the music business classes in a collaborative way,” he explained, adding that the work closely mirrors what the students will experience in their careers. “They’ll be dealing with clients and colleagues from other departments. They’ll have to work within the look and feel that each band wants to take on. It’s very reflective of what they’ll face when they go out into the industry.”

The label is already working on a compilation album of the work of Dr. Scott Eggert, professor of music, who is retiring this year. “We decided that putting out an album of his songs might be the best way to test-run the class and figure out the details of what we’ll have to pay attention to as the years go on,” added Abbamont. “We already have the material and his consent to move ahead, so we can focus on the marketing and business aspects of the album this semester.”

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