Music Department

Vol State Music Program

The Sound of Learning

Country, jazz, choral, Broadway, rock, alternative, bluegrass, classical, pop, hip-hop…it’s all happening at Vol State.

Music at Vol State is instruction, theory, practice and performance. It’s a way to hone your craft, grow your talent and discover new ideas. It’s a group of dedicated professional musicians to guide you with one-on-one instruction and in the many different group and ensemble opportunities. The programs are real-world oriented and designed to introduce students to many different facets of music. The recording studio, commercial music and songwriting programs bring together a diverse group of students. Showstoppers and the Vol State Singers provide group experience, with some students able to travel internationally with their performance group. Concerts and a CD recording project highlight student talents each semester.

Our students have played the Grand Ole Opry, appeared on national TV shows and have gone on to careers in a variety of music genres. Our instructors are professional, working musicians with a great deal of experience. They include a hit songwriter, a Grammy award winning recording engineer, a seasoned vocal performer, a country and bluegrass sideman to the stars, an orchestral conductor, a guitar craftsman and a rock and roll band leader. They all share a passion for music and a desire to see students build new skills and blossom creatively.

The Associate of Fine Arts in Music (AFA-Music)

The AFA in Music is part of the Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTP). This degree allows students to transfer all successfully completed classes on the community college level to Tennessee public and private colleges universities. Certain competencies in Applied Music, Piano and Music Theory will be evaluated at the senior university. Students must set up an appointment with full-time music faculty for advisement in this path.

Recording Industry Management (RIM University Parallel-Music)
Recording Industry Management gives students a solid background in audio recording techniques. Students learn fundamentals of audio, acoustics, and recording. They can take that theory into studio courses where they record bands and other musical groups in our on-campus Recording Studio. Advanced students have the opportunity to participate in internships with studios such as Blackbird Studio, Starstruck Studios, and Soundstage Studios. Students must set up an appointment with full-time music faculty for this path.

Entertainment Media Production
Under the Communication Department, Entertainment Media Production combines several areas with the same purpose: to get students trained and plugged into the entertainment industry in Tennessee. Tracks include concentrations in audio and music production, music business, multimedia and web design, and video production. The program offers certificates, which are designed to get students into the workplace. Those certificates can then apply towards a new associate of applied science degree. Students must set up an appointment with full-time music faculty for advisement in this path.

Associate of Science University Parallel Major -Songwriting
Students work with Nashville songwriters in the honing of their craft, in whatever musical style they choose. The program has had hip-hop, rock, jazz, country and Americana songwriters. Students take their original work into the Vol State recording studio and participate in live performances and a CD project each semester.

Associate of Science University Parallel Major-Bluegrass
Individual and group instruction is the foundation of this program. Students can build solo skills and then take what they learn into the Vol State Bluegrass ensemble- Bluegrass Ablaze. The group has performed in concerts in Tennessee and Ireland and released a CD.