As electronic music becomes popular among college students today, the Music Department chair at Pierce College is bringing more contemporary music classes to the repertoire for students.
The department chair, Wayne “Skip” Perkins, Ph.D. is from Central Calif., and obtained his doctorate degree in music from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has been teaching at Pierce for six years.
Perkins was interested in music from a very young age: first when his mother introduced him to the clarinet in the third grade, and then as a teen when he joined a rock band.
“When I was in high school, I got into rock ‘n’ roll bands and that is how I first made a living through music,” Perkins said.
He was inspired by different genres, including: rock ‘n’ roll, country western, and old blues.
Perkins then decided to teach at Pierce, and he has incorporated time and effort to help other students achieve their goals in music.
He has set up different workshops and programs where the student can work hands on in the recording studios.
“[Perkins] has built a first rate recording studio on campus so that students are afforded hands on experience in the art of recording,” said Adjunct Instructor of Music Cathryn Tortell.
Pierce has two recording studios. One of these studios, called “The Cube,” is used by students in the electronic music workshops, according to the department’s website,
“It is a state-of-the-art recording studio,” Perkins said. “We have Pro Tools in it, a digital mixer, microphones, synthesizers, computers and mixing boards.”
Many students and colleagues have mentioned that Perkins puts many hours into making sure the students have a studio that can produce quality beats for the future of music and the future of the students creating a contemporary sound. Electronic music is seen by many as the future of music and is quickly becoming one of the most popular genres of music in the world.
With that in mind, it is worth noting that people all over the world are looking for as many different ways to listen to their favourite music as possible. Thankfully, with technology such as Audio Video Installation starting to become more and more mainstream, as well as the ever-growing power of music streaming services, it has never been as easy to consume music as it is today.
“He puts in a lot of time setting up recording sessions with the students in music production,” said music professor assistant Ann Aubuchon.
With the help of the Music Department, Perkins says that many students have graduated and successfully made it into the music industry.
“There is a number of students that have made their own recording studios and have recorded music,” Perkins said.
Perkins also mentioned that the budget cuts have taken a toll on schools but he is very hopeful that Pierce and the Music Department will have the opportunity to add more contemporary music classes.
“A lot of the classes are being severely cut,” Perkins said ” But we are looking to ramp up our commercial music endeavors as opposed to the classical music type of school.”
Perkins’ goal as music chair is to bring in new technology for the students to create new sounds and beats, allowing them to exploit their creativity and open new horizons in the art of music.
“Dr. Perkins is both highly dedicated and respected by his students,” said Tortell. “The faculty and staff are very excited about his new leadership role and the future of the Music Department.”
Besides music and helping students in the recording studio, Perkins enjoys riding horses and taking road trips in his truck.
With the variety of recording studios—“The Wedge,” a professional recording studio, “The Box,” an electronic music studio, “The Cube,” a state of the art advanced electronic music studio, and with the clever infusion of digital music genres—Perkins and his staff of music professors seek to encourage new students to enroll in the variety of classes Pierce has to offer in the artistic field of music. If you love listening to music as much as making it,
head to the Graham Slee HiFi site to see how you can make the most of your Hi-Fi.