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A Concert in Class?

Posted by on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 in Academics, Blair School of Music, Teachers.

This semester one of my favorite classes that I am taking is History of Country Music. During class we learn about various artists and movements that have helped shape country music over the past century, as well as what classifies music as “country.” Before taking this class, I knew that I liked country music, but I did not know a lot about its history or the artists that helped make it what it is today. So far, I have learned so much about the roots of country music, as well as the changes it has gone through and how artists have responded to these changes.

One of the most exciting parts of this class is that our professor knows so many people who are involved in the country music industry. He constantly entertains us with stories about when he met a famous artist and is able to tell us how these artists act in real life. Also, since we are in Nashville, the heart of the country music industry, many of these artists are right down the street. Because our professor knows so many artists, we often have guest performers come which gives us the opportunity to see a live performance by an artist or band in a rather intimate setting.

A few weeks ago, a bandy by the name of Mockingbird Sun came and performed for us. They are a newer band, so they have not reached a level of popularity where a random person on the street would know them, but they have two EPs on iTunes, and they have opened for big-ticket artists such as Toby Keith. They performed several of their songs for us and also talked to us about how they came together as a band and what artists have had an influence on their development. They were very real guys, and it was so interesting to hear about the country music industry from the perspective of an artist who is still working up to a level of fame. When I got home after class I immediately downloaded some of their songs and have been listening to them quite often over the past week.

My country music class has allowed me not only to learn more about a subject I previously knew very little about, but it has also helped me to gain a new appreciation for country music and the opportunity to learn about it from the perspective of various artists who have experienced it first hand. This class is also proof that Vanderbilt has a wide variety of classes that will cater to the interest of anyone!

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