Dr. Marc Reed
“Intelligent people are kind of drawn to music and music helps people become more intelligent.”
So says Dr. Marc Reed, chair of the FLC Music Department. His point is made in his department, where the creative and the academic come together to make—pardon the pun—beautiful music.
The quality of the program was officially recognized this semester with a successful reaccreditation effort with the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The department has enjoyed accreditation since 1983, and this current accreditation will extend until 2025.
In short, NASM accreditation is a mark of excellence for schools of music, big and small. Earning accreditation is an intensive process that can take years to complete, but the end result is an important reassurance to students and parents that the education they’ll receive is top notch.
Beyond just the students majoring in music, the FLC Music program reaches across campus and into the community. In fact, many of the students who participate in the department’s opportunities are earning degrees in other disciplines.
“Just last semester alone we had almost 500 students that were involved in academic courses, ensembles, and lessons and so I think the familiar atmosphere of our music department is one that is difficult to find other places,” explains Dr. Reed.
“You're studying with faculty members; you're not studying with teaching fellows or graduate students. We kind of feel like we are a small family and that we see each other a lot more than, I think, a lot of students in other departments do.”
The smaller school environment of Fort Lewis College offers students opportunities they might not find at larger institutions. The program is particularly well adapted to give students the chance to learn-by-doing, which in music terms means performing.
“I actually think that we have more performance opportunities here simply because we're undergraduate focused and we're focused on teaching, whereas if you go to a large institution sometimes you might end up in the third concert band and end up studying with a teaching fellow. If you come here you're going to be in the first concert band and you have all sorts of other opportunities and small ensembles and things like that,” says Dr. Reed.
The results are students well prepared to move into the next chapter of their lives once they’ve earned their degree, whatever that next chapter looks like.
“Our students end up going out and doing things like performing or teaching, but then also working at arts entities or symphony orchestras or nonprofits,” says Dr. Reed. “They end up teaching privately; they end up going into studio jobs where they're kind of on the technical side of it, on the engineering side. So, I think a music degree opens up a lot of doors, not just the stereotypical ones that people think of.”
Learn more about the Fort Lewis College Music program at www.fortlewis.edu/music.