New music class available for students

JoJo Brinkhoff
Entertainment Editor

For the spring semester, the music department has opened a new class for music and non-music majors called “songwriting.”

According to Dr. Kierstin Bible, choral music instructor, teaching a songwriting class was one of her desires for a few years, however, it was decided that songwriting should wait. Recently, Bible has notice the interests and the talents her students has in it.

“I have one student who sit down at the piano and start singing stuff that he is making up on the spot,” said Bible. “…I have a lot of students who are interested in writing their own music.”

The idea in teaching songwriting is grouping students with different talents and having them work together, each one producing a song. During the final, the students will perform their songs not only to their fellow students, but also to the public. The students are free to create any song as long as there are no profanities or anything that would be very suggested.

The reason behind this, according to Bible, is that there’s more to songwriting than writing the words, it takes several people with different instrument knowledge to create a song.

“Every time you look at a song you see someone who wrote the song and someone who wrote the lyrics, what you don’t know is that you go to your band,” said Bible. “…and then someone comes in and is like ‘ok, I could totally see the drums doing this’…and your guitar players playing around with different patterns, and before you know it, you’ve got this awesome song.”

The music system she will be using is called the Nashville Numbering System (NNS). According to the book that Bible will be using, all the chords are numbered such as C=1, D=2, E=3 and so on until the number reaches seven. So when a musician sees the numbers 1-3-6-2, the musician can translate it to C-E-A-D.

Not only does this help students who don’t play or read music understand where the chords are, but also it makes it easier to transpose into different keys. For instance, the numbers 1-3-6-2 could also be translated in the key of A as A-C-F-B, the key of E as E-G-C-F and the key of G as G-B-E-A.

“Somebody who doesn’t read music can have a really good knowledge of how songs are built and how chords are related to each other because… [of] functional harmony,” said Bible.

Along with songwriting, other music classes are available for music and non-music majors alike.