College Update: What’s Happened

It’s been about a month now since I moved back to Plymouth State for my sophomore year! And in that month, things have changed. While I’ve been enjoying my sophomore year thus far, I need to address something pretty big that I took care of early on in the semester.

I’ve changed my major.

Yes, this should come as a surprise to many that were unaware of this. At the end of last semester, I was planned to be an interdisciplinary studies major focusing on Music and Business with the title of the contract being “Music Marketing & Production.” My career goal at the time was to become a producer working in the music industry while also composing and arranging new works and projects. For those who know me, you all know how hard I worked to become a music major in the form I was. And you also knew how much I loved music; whether if you’ve known me just in college or in high school especially.

You all must be asking, “Why did you change your major?” and “What’s your new major?”

Well, the reason I changed my major came from some thoughts I was having at the end of the summer. In August, about a week or so before move-in, when thinking about the semester ahead of me, I was questioning myself if I really had it in me to do all of the tasks I was going to do. Which surprised me given that my work ethic in my first year in my music related courses at PSU seemed to be very strong. I had been practicing and everything over the summer but I found myself in a situation I hadn’t found myself in since high school. So, thinking more in depth, one last question I asked myself was, “Am I enjoying this anymore?” And, to be honest, I didn’t think I was enjoying music as much as I used to. So, when the new semester was young, I talked with my advisors and they supported my decision to change my major.

Now for what my new major is.

Now that I’ve settled in, my new major comes from the College of Business Administration department here at PSU. I am now a Marketing major with my option being in Strategic Marketing. I also have picked up a minor in Communication and Media Studies! I went with this major because it was already in my Interdisciplinary Studies contract in some form as I had to take a few courses found in the Marketing contract. Alongside the fact that I liked the plan of working in the business field, specifically in marketing now, this wasn’t too hard of a decision to make. My overall career goal is still a bit blurry, but I know it’ll figure itself out overtime.

What happens now?

In terms of music, I am not involved with music in any way this semester. I’m taking this semester to get used to my new program and really think about all the options I could have with a degree in Marketing. I don’t think I’ll walk away from music entirely, as I’m considering returning to University Chorale next semester. That’ll be given more thought when the time comes. At most, music will be a hobby of mine from now on. I have nothing against music, all I’ve done is changed my major because I thought I’d be better off in the core business field and not solely in the music business.

I’m sure my life will still be filled with music in some capacity.

The future of this website is currently uncertain. I’ve created a new WordPress website which focuses more towards my personal life while presenting myself in a professional manner. It’s fairly new, so, it doesn’t have as much content as this website at the moment.

Outside of my academic changes, I’ve mentioned already that I’ve been enjoying my sophomore year. It’s been going smoothly and I couldn’t really ask for anything else! I’m looking forward to seeing what lays ahead of me in the near future.

My new website can be found here:

Thanks for reading!

– Stelios Eleftheriou

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From Uncertainty to High Hopes

Before I registered for the Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies course at Plymouth State University for the Spring 2016 semester, I was an undeclared major. I had auditioned for the BA degree in Music Technology offered by Plymouth State University’s Music, Theater, and Dance department twice, but was not accepted both times. However, in my second audition interview, Dr. Daniel Perkins, the director of choral activities, looked me in the eye and said, “If you were something like a Computer Science major, the MTD department would be willing to let you take certain courses as electives.” Leaving the Silver Center that afternoon, I looked into the CS department with ambition and hope. However, the Computer Science degree required me to take multiple courses focused around math and with my poor performance in math in the past, I refused to go after the degree. Soul searching and thinking about what I could do for my major, Interdisciplinary Studies crossed my mind. After I approached Dr. Perkins and Dr. Jonathan Santore, the professor of Music Theory and Composition and now my current advisor, they were on board with the idea of an IS degree focused around music and another discipline, which was unknown at the time. Since finding Interdisciplinary Studies, I’ve found a major perfect for myself and the contract displays how it is interdisciplinary.


Before signing up for Intro to IDS, Dr. Perkins, Dr. Santore, and Dr. Pfenninger took note of my interest in composition and observed some of my works. Impressed with what I had done, Dr. Santore told me to sign up for the course at the end of the fall 2015 semester.

Before the semester started, I had an idea of what this course would be about. I thought the course would go over what Interdisciplinary Studies really is and require us to complete assignments relating to the subject. When the term “interdisciplinarity” first came up when the semester began, it came to me as a program that is unique when compared to other majors offered at PSU. I actually had no clue what the term was going into this class! So, it’s good that all the readings from the Repko textbook gave me a way better understanding as I progressed in the course.

My understanding of Interdisciplinary Studies certainly developed as the semester went by. Having a general idea at the beginning, it really made more sense and my overall view on it now is a lot better than it was in January. In the beginning, my definition of IS was to create my own major to suite my desires. But now, I can define it more as, “The studies of the types of disciplinarity, the history of interdisciplinary studies, the characteristics of it, and why it is its own subject.” With my posts on my ePort discussing topics including the “Bowl of Fruit” concept, connections to my proposed IS contract to the humanities, and creative breakthroughs, my understanding of interdisciplinary studies has expanded way over what I had initially planned for. Now that I have my program of “Music Marketing and Production” approved and finalized, I’m ambitious for what is to come in the near future.

When I look at my program, there are connections to Interdisciplinary Studies that come to my mind. First, there’s the potential of a creative breakthrough. While some people may think that the disciplines of music and business have no connections to each other,wordle19-600px when properly aligned, the two disciplines work together very well. On the business side, there’s topics such as marketing that can be connected to music with how musicians can promote their own works to the public. There’s also contracting works that can be discussed within the two disciplines, as employees who work for record labels have to manage their own contracts when first joining the organization before they can attend to their position. So, while some people might believe that these two disciplines don’t work so well together, put some thought to it and they might realize how well they can blend!

Going outside of my own program, interdisciplinarity plays a role for universities. Here at Plymouth State, there is the new addition of clusters that’ll combine certain departments to work together. That can show how the role of interdisciplinarity can be played at a university. More worldwide, interdisciplinarity has been a factor for decades! Dating back to post World War I, there was a new “quest” for an Integrated Educational Experience; as there was a conflict between the culture and education of the United States at the time. Since it has gained legitimacy in the 1980s and 1990s, Interdisciplinary Studies has developed variations of the subject for academics such as multidisciplinary.

When I think about what my future holds, I’m very passionate and ambitious about what is to come for me. With my degree, I hope to become a Music Producer while also being a composer and arranger working in the music industry. I’ve wanted to “do” music since I was in middle school and I won’t let that go away. I made this far and I plan to keep on


While I’ll be focusing on voice, I’ll also be receiving jazz piano lessons from the MTD department!

going. While I’m here at PSU for the next three years, I look to become a better musician by learning more about theory, performance, and composing original works and arranging existing ones. At the same time as that, I’ll be taking a number of business courses and learning how to do tasks such as market my work, concerts, and whatever else that may come to mind! I’ll also be learning about business law and statistics so I can keep track of them and have an understanding of how the business really works in the real world. I believe I have a very bright future ahead of me, and with this IDS program, I’m very excited to see what lies ahead for me.

While I’ve faced obstacles in my journey with music, I’ve overcome them before I found Interdisciplinary Studies. Despite being denied by the Music, Theater, and Dance department for their Music Technology program, they still gave me when I pitched the idea of an Interdisciplinary Studies major involving music to Dr. Perkins and Dr. Santore. In this past semester, I’ve learned the theories, timeline, concepts, criticisms, and a lot more about interdisciplinary studies and what is has to offer. With all of that knowledge by my side of my passion and dedication to music, I have high hopes for myself to succeed. Conscientious, I move on to the next chapter in my life with my head high and ready to take on what’s in store for me next; whether it’s in music or business.


Work Cited:

Wolf, Stephanie. Musical Composition. Digital image. DIY Dancer. WordPress, 25 Feb. 2011. Web. 2 May 2016.

Vincent, Fran. Wordle. Digital image. Fran Vincent: Digital Marketing & Music Consulting. Fran Vincent. Web. 2 May 2016.

Kee, Reagan. Piano. Digital image. Reagan Kee. Reagan Kee. Web. 2 May 2016.

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True Music Appreciation and Interdisciplinary Studies

“There remains a notable absence, however. There seems to be little in the sociology of popular music that deals with the specifically musical aspects of its subject. Not music as an object to be bought, held, collected, traded, shared, but music as music, as organized sound. The sociology of popular music skirts around music and, as a result, contains remarkably little discussion on how music creates particular effects, and relatively little on the experience of listening to music,” (Marshall, pg. 157).

When I think about connecting interdisciplinary studies to music, this statement made by the scholarly article I chose to read about connects to it. The overall main idea I came across while reading it was that music seems to have little to no sociology found in popular music today. And it doesn’t mean music as a product, it means music as it is defined to be: Sound organized in time. It can be argued that there is little discussion to how music creates effects on somebody (Example: They can be emotional feelings, help to concentrate on something, etc…) and even the experience of listening to music.

To support this claim for the main idea of this article, there’s a point it makes about not having an understanding of music. Which says, “Without an understanding of how (popular) music can give rise to such intense individual and collective experiences, the sociology of popular music offers not just an incomplete picture, but a picture with a big black hole in the middle” (Marshall, pg. 157). Without an understanding of the music itself when listening to it, it takes away from the intended purpose of music. Someone would also be unable to appreciate the music for what it really is.



People shouldn’t just appreciate music for the product it is, but for the experience it can give you through listening.


Connecting this to Interdisciplinary Studies, if someone doesn’t have an understanding or focuses on the other aspects of music other than the music itself, that could be classified as “tunnel vision.” The reason for that is because the audience only has a small area of focus; and that “focus” is on music as an object to be bought, held, collected, traded, and shared. All of those are described as something that music shouldn’t be seen as social in.

The next point the article makes is about the structure and meaning in music. While musical structure is important, the article mentions that it is important to recognize that listeners create their own “musical meaning” through their position without any sort of framework that gives them the tools to make sense of the sounds they hear while listening (Marshall, pg. 159). The term “musical knowledge” is brought in next and describes that the knowledge needed can be quite sophisticated. It is then pointed out that “people who know nothing of formal music theory can identify a wrong note,” (Marshall, pg. 159).


When thinking about this point and Interdisciplinary Studies, it speaks to me as the overall “Theory” in the defining elements of a discipline. As described already, musical meaning is critical in order for the listeners to have their own connection to the music they listen to. And I see that as an idea of Interdisciplinary Studies applied to music. When it talks about musical knowledge and music theory, it also can be seen as “Theory” in Interdisciplinary. Because, it is the rule of the discipline at hand.


“As listeners we are engaged in a constant interaction with music and its surrounding cultures. We sometimes concentrate and we are sometimes inattentive, but we are constantly absorbing, transforming and utilizing knowledge about how music works and about what music means. Without such knowledge, the sounds we hear would be literally meaningless; we would not be able to make judgments about what kind of music this was, or whether it was good or bad,” (Marshall, pg. 159).


As listeners, we should take in the music given to us and see if we can find a connection and come to appreciate with it has given us as listeners.

One more point that I found about the main idea of the article is, surprisingly, about how the sociology of popular music can benefit from diminishing its interdisciplinary perspective in favor of increasing dialogue with sociologists working in other substantive areas. The article supports this point by describing that, “Approaching popular music from a more conventional sociological perspective enables us to observe similarities between popular music and many other areas of social life. At the same time, however, treating popular music as just like anything else has limitations because there are ways in which (popular) music is not just like anything else. One area of social life is not suitable for another: we cannot study, say, television, or popular culture, and expect to know everything about popular music,” (Marshall, pg. 164). So, with less support from Interdisciplinary Studies, the sociology of popular music can benefit from having more sociology based work in certain areas of music.

Connecting this point to Interdisciplinary Studies at first glance can be challenging, since the article is talking about decreasing the amount of support needed from Interdisciplinary Studies. But, when thinking about the defining elements of a discipline, this can be connected to both the phenomena and concept of it all. The phenomena is about studying the sociology of popular music and finding the overall connection a listener can have to the music. The concepts come from the subjects looked into while studying the phenomena. Some of them are Music Theory, Sociology, Pop Culture, and Music Appreciation. All of these are studied and discussed in the article, but it looks to be talking less and less about interdisciplinary studies. Which supports its point about having less support from IS.

This article gave me a perspective to really think more about the effect music can have on me when I’m listening to music. It makes me think more about the mood it can put me in, if there are any connections I have to it, or if I understand the meaning behind all of it. Going more interdisciplinary, the defining elements of a discipline stuck out to me when I was reading. Elements including phenomena, concepts, and theory all came into my head as I read through the main idea and points the article made. So, not only did it give me more of a musical understanding, it also gave me an interdisciplinary mindset to have when observing both the audio from music and even the structure of it all.




Work Cited:

Marshall, Lee. “The Sociology of Popular Music, Interdisciplinarity and Aesthetic

Autonomy¹.” The British Journal of Sociology 62.1 (2011): 154-174. Print.

Musicilogy at UT. Digital image. University of Tennessee. University of Tennessee. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Torres, E. Man Listening to Music with Headphones. Digital image. Creative Market. Creative Market, 27 Aug. 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Gonzalez, John. BRAVO! Music Appreciation. Digital image. Cesar Chavez Sipat. Cesar Chavez Sipat, 3 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.


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The Creation, Taxonomy, and Integration Process of my Interdisciplinary Program

People have asked me what my interdisciplinary major combines ever since I declared for the IDS program in January. At first, I told them that it would be a music major focused around Music Theory, Composition, and Arranging. However, ever since my interview with my current advisor, Dr. Jonathan Santore, we’ve really created a better fitting name for the program I have constructed. What Dr. Santore told me when we were building this program was an interest in having business courses in the program. This can be connected to the Interdisciplinary Theory of Integration of “Interdisciplinary Creation.” According to the Repko textbook, this can be defined as, “…putting elements together, integrating them, to produce something that is new, coherent, and whole,” (Repko, pg. 132). With all of that put together and organized, the major, “Music Marketing and Production” was created with the help of Dr. Santore.

“A musician in the 20th and 21st century has to be entrepreneurial. HAS to be!” – Dr. Santore.

Going into more of how this applies to what Dr. Santore and I discussed roughly 2 months ago, he took the necessary element of business and added it to my program next to the already existing music element. Adding the business element into my program also made it more complete and “whole” as the definition mentions. How it applies to the “integration” aspect of the creation is interesting. Repko describes the integration in Interdisciplinary Studies by saying, “Integration is central to understanding the nature of interdisciplinary studies and is a distinguishing feature of this rapidly growing field. Integration is also at the core of interdisciplinary studies,” (Repko, pg. 132). So, with both the necessary elements in the proposed contract, it can now be integrated into its own IDS major and the program itself can be seen as the “core” as Repko described.

With this pyramid of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Levels of Intellectual Behavior, it puts me in an interdisciplinary mindset that I can relate to my program. From top to bottom, I can find a way to apply each section to my program:



Bloom’s Taxonomy Pyramid of Intellectual Behavior


  • Remembering: Knowing what the kind of program I want to make for myself. Alongside having the relevant knowledge of my program in the long run.
  • Understanding: Being able to understand what courses I should be taking, what disciplines I should feature, who my advisors should be, etc…
  • Applying: Taking the knowledge I’ve learned from Interdisciplinary Studies and applying it to what I already know in my two disciplines featured in my own, unique, contract.
  • Analyzing: Going over everything in my program. Making sure I’ve gone over the options for who my advisor(s) can be, what courses I can take and put in my contract, and analyzing the appropriate disciplines I should focus on.
  • Evaluating: After I’ve analyzed everything I’ve needed, I evaluate and review what I have to make sure I have it all right. Did I pick the best courses? Did I get the right advisors? Did I get the best two disciplines for this program? Do these course’s appeal to the name of this proposed contract? Questions like those really help when evaluating what I’ve created in my program.
  • Creating: With everything else out of the way, I then go in and make my IDS program. Confident in myself, once I’ve submitted everything needed for my program, I believe it’ll be approved and created for myself. Make myself an innovator of an entirely new program!


With the mindset and knowledge from all the perspectives in my IDS program, I know what I’m capable of and I’m also willing to stick with it and explore what I can do with it. While I do have an initial goal of being a Music Producer while also composing and arranging music, I may come along other possible career options as the years go by. As a first year student, I still have the time to think about other career options in the music field that might work out better for me. But for now, the “Music Marketing and Production” program I’ve made could just be what I’m looking for. And with the necessary knowledge, mindset, and education provided, I can succeed and really show how unique and interdisciplinary this program is when compared to other music majors offered here at PSU.



Work Cited:

Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger. “The “DNA” of Interdisciplinary Studies.” Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. SAGE Publications, 2013. Print.

Bloom’s Taxonomy. Digital image. Baruch College. CUNY. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.

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My IS Major: Music Marketing and Production

Disciplines: Music, Business.

Music-Business (1)

            With an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Music Marketing and Production, I will be pursuing a career as a producer working in the music industry while also composing original music and arranging current music. The two disciplines of Music and Business are both relevant to this degree because of what these disciplines will teach me. On the music side, courses such as Musicianship will teach me about the structure of music and how it all works as it all builds up to taking both Composition and Arranging since it is a pre-requisite to both of those courses. On the business side, courses including Principles of Marketing and Branding and Marketing Communication will teach me how to market my current work and talents to music studios willing to hire me as a producer. It can also lead to people asking for commissions from me to compose or arrange a piece of new music for them. Overall, this major will have me compose and arrange music, be familiar with marketing, use online programs to record music, and have me understand topics such as business law.

The reason I decided to make this program from these two disciplines is because PSU does not offer anything like a Music Marketing and Production degree. While I have the option to major in Music with a minor in Business, there are some aspects of the core music major that I currently cannot match in order to be accepted into the department (The biggest is the performance aspect). However, despite this, the Music, Theater, and Dance department was willing to give me a chance to see what I could do with an IS degree. So, at the end of the Fall 2015 semester, Dr. Jonathan Santore recommended that I should take the Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies course. With the exception of the Seminar in the Music Business course offered by the Music, Theater, and Dance department, there are no required business courses for a music major to take in their respectful program. The only program offered by PSU that comes close to this IS contract is the Music Technology major. Even with that, the Music Technology major has no business courses required for a student to take. With this Interdisciplinary Studies degree, I will be able to select business courses that I can benefit from taking as someone who wants to work in the music industry; especially as a producer.

Going into the courses included with this contract, there are a decent amount of music courses alongside some business courses. Looking into the music portion of the contract, the first two semesters of the Piano Class course are included because musicians find themselves using the piano constantly! Whether it is to tune their own instrument or practice, this instrument is used frequently by musicians even when it is not their main Sheet-Music-Paul-Halleyinstrument! Next, there are the first two semesters of Musicianship. As explained already, this course teaches the student about the structure of music and how it all works as it is a music theory course. Although Musicianship III and Musicianship IV are not listed, they will still be taken as electives because they serve as a pre-requisite for a select number of upper-level music courses. For example, they are a pre-requisite for both the Composition and Arranging courses. Composition will give me the skills and tools needed to be a proficient composer and the Arranging course will have me arrange current works while giving them my own, unique, twist to them.


Going into the more technology based courses in the contract, there is Technology in Music Performance. This course introduces students to MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) techniques, synthesis, programs, and equipment that support MIDI and Music-Businessaudio production for the performing musician. This course will serve as the TECO in my contract. There are other courses that expand upon the use of MIDI in this contract, too. These courses include Advanced MIDI and Film Scoring, and Introduction to Multitrack and Hard Disk Recording. The Advanced MIDI and Film Scoring course also has students introduced to film scoring techniques for multimedia projects. The Introduction to Multitrack and Hard Disk Recording course has students explore the recording aspect of music by using multi-tracking and hard disk recording while continuing to expand upon their knowledge of MIDI. As someone who wants to be a producer, having knowledge of these programs is important with how involved a producer is with recording and using programs such as MIDI. This can be also beneficial as a composer and/or an arranger since I would be scoring for multimedia projects such as films and television shows as well!

Closing out the music side of my contract, my WRCO will be represented by the second semester of the History and Literature of Music course. While the first semester is not listed in the contract, it will still be taken as an elective when the time allows it. Now, onto the business courses. There aren’t as many of these courses included with this contract as opposed to the music side, but they will teach me how to succeed in the music industry. First, there is Principles of Marketing. This course will teach me how to market both my own work as a composer/arranger and the artist I would be working with and their own work. It could also be used in how I could market the studio I would be working for. After that, there is Business Law. This course will help me understand business topics such as torts, contracts, property, employment, business organizations and the constitution. The course will also help me understand administrative, criminal, civil and constitutional law through common law and statutes, as they relate to institutions and people in the workplace.

Next, there is Branding and Marketing Communication, which will help me with the skills needed to compete for, and win, the attention of my consumers of whatever my product would be. Serving as my QRCO, Business Statistics will give me the skills neededmusic money to calculate the statistics, probability, probability distributions, sampling, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance and regression analysis of the company I’d be working for as a producer and see if I’m in the right fit with that said company. And lastly, there is Business Innovation. Which will teach me about the body of knowledge in business such as effective teamwork and design thinking. The course will also have me consider and analyze successful and failed innovation initiatives. Similar to the music side, there will be other courses that I can look into for business, but they will be taken as electives and will be determined later on in my time at PSU.


With all of these courses from the Music and Business disciplines, it really gives it the title “Music Marketing and Production.” The business portion of my contract will give me the marketing and innovation skills needed in the music industry while also teaching me about the overall law of it all. The music half of it will give me the skills to be a proficient musician, composer, and arranger. It’ll also introduce me to programs that’ll expand my knowledge of recording and composing. With all of these courses selected for my contract, it shows how different and unique this degree can be when compared to other music contract options. The learning experience ahead of me from these two disciplines will set me up with the skills needed to be a music producer.


Work Cited:

Owsinski, Bobby. The 8 Stages of Music Business. Digital image. Music 3.0. Bobby Owsinski Media Group, 20 May 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

Music as a Business. Digital image. NARIMA. WordPress. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

Halley, Paul. The Composition Process. Digital image. Paul Halley Music. Zealous Creative, 6 Sept. 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

Introduction to Music Production. Digital image. Audio Concern. Audio Concern, 4 Feb. 2016. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

Entertainment Industry Studies. Digital image. Northwest Mississippi Community College. Northwest Mississippi Community College. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

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The Perspective of the Music Discipline

“The study of music as a creative pursuit involves the composition and/or performance of music, which is itself produced in response to elements of human experience (and therefore the culture in which it exists). The study of music can include conducting, performing on various instruments, aural training, performing as part of an ensemble or soloist, or composing or arranging. Part of the study of music involves examining developments in the discipline over time and in different parts of the world,” (Repko, pg. 100).

– Repko describing the “Perspective on Reality” of the Music discipline.


When reading through chapter five of the Repko textbook, I came across a section that discussed the “concept if disciplinary perspective.” Right off the bat, it is described by Repko that in order to develop competence in interdisciplinary studies, one must “understand the concept of disciplinary perspective and the role of perspective taking,” (Repko, pg. 94).

Looking more into the concept, the text describes the four specific cognitive capacities. Applying these four capacities to music, here is what I came up with:

  1. Viewing Yourself: Recognizing the influence of culture, politics, religion, and socioeconomic background on your view of a situation, event, issue, or phenomenon (Repko, pg. 95).

Applied to Music: How you view yourself and the kind of culture the event you’ll be a part of. An easy example a musician can view themselves being a part of is an ensemble. Or, for an event in this case, that event can be a concert they are involving themselves in,

  1. Viewing Others: Identifying and examining the perspective of other people, groups, or organizations, and identifying influences on those perspectives (Repko, pg. 95).

Applied to Music: Say you’re identified as an instrumentalist. You could examine the perspective of other musicians that are choral musicians or one’s that play a different instrument. Those influences can differ depending on the musician. So, a choral musician would have more vocal influences.

  1. Viewing Cultures: Explaining how different access to knowledge, technology, and resources affects cultures (Repko, pg. 95).


Applied to Music: Over the course of history in music, times have changed. Technology is certainly different in the modern day as opposed to the 1600s. There are now recording studios, online programs, and much more. Resources are different, too. There’s now both physical and digital sheet music today for people to use. The knowledge, however, can be debated. The knowledge of music by respectful musicians can be very similar. With studies in music theory, musicians can share a lot of knowledge that they can agree to, but can take their knowledge and do something unique with it. Whether it’s just practicing vocal techniques or doing something such as film scoring, the knowledge and practice of music is really spread out.

  1. Viewing Disciplines: Explaining how communities of expertise understand a situation, event, issue or phenomenon (Repko, pg. 95).


Applied to Music: With the discipline of music, there are different options for students to study under the music discipline. There’s Music Education, Music Technology, Music Business, and the list goes on! With expertise’s such as professors, they can understand a situation where they are doing something like teaching their students about the history of music and asking questions to make sure their students understood them (This being a history and writing focused discipline in music). The professor could also be in a situation where they are rehearsing with their ensemble and reviewing certain parts in the music (This being a Performance focused discipline in music).


As an aspiring musician, all of this can be applied to my education easily! Knowing who I am, who my classmates/friends/acquaintances are, certain cultures depending on the subject, and knowing what the other disciplines and who has the expertise in a certain field of music are all important to me! If I didn’t know any of these, I would be lost in both my current education and future. Having a good perspective and overall sense on what I want to accomplish will help me in the long run. Both in education, and when I’m out of school and working!




Work Cited:

Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger. “Academic Disciplines.” Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. SAGE Publications, 2013. Print.

Pfitzinger, Scott. Composing. Digital image. Youngstown State University. Youngstown State University, 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.

Hopping, Clare. Is Technology Killing the DJ Star? Digital image. Just Go. 13 June 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.

Archives, Vanni. Eyfe Dwight Music Classroom. Digital image. Open Buildings. Dattner Architects. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.

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Creative Breakthrough’s in Music and Beyond

“Interdisciplinary has produced some of the most interesting intellectual developments in the humanities over the past few decades,” (Repko pg. 79).

Looking into the definition of the term, “Creative Breakthrough,” it can be defined as “…when different disciplinary perspectives and unrelated ideas are brought together,” (Repko, pg. 79). This is expanded upon by British scientist and novelist, C.P. Snow, where he says, “The distinguishing points of two subjects, two disciplines, two cultures, or two galaxies, so far as that goes, ought to produce creative changes. In the history of mental activity that has been where some of the breakthrough came,” (Repko, pg. 79).

With these descriptions and quotes on the term, Creative Breakthrough, I can easily relate to this with my current and past studies. Since this can be defined as “…different disciplinary perspectives and unrelated ideas are brought together,” that can be applied to what I’m basing my Interdisciplinary degree around with subjects such as Music Theory, Music Composition, Technology in Music Performance and even American Sign Language thrown in there. While the primary focus of my major is on music, I’m also bringing in a foreign language as a secondary focus due to my past studies in ASL.

I can also relate to this term with my previous studies easily since I was a student taking both music and ASL at the same time throughout high school! As stated in previous blogs, I did well in both subjects and I was often asked by fellow students and acquaintances what I would pursue in college. Although it seems to a lot of people that I’ve put ASL to the side in favor of music, I haven’t forgotten about the subject at all as I want to implement it into my degree and really make an interesting and creative major out of it.




What’s amazing to me is that I was able to mash the two subjects together into my own work when I was studying both subjects. Being able to perform songs in a form known as ASL interpretation was truly amazing and I can see myself making that “Creative Breakthrough” again in the future. However, that will be for ASL while my main focus will still remain in my core music courses.

Focusing on the music side, the way I’m forming this major is really interesting to me. As I’ll be looking into courses that focus on Music Theory, Composition, Arranging and a handful of Music Technology and Business related courses to get my mind wrapped around the music business and sound design. At the same time as that, I’ll be expanding my knowledge of theory since I’m coming from previous studies in the subject and also applying my knowledge to writing original compositions and arranging current works while adding my own personal, unique twist on them! Wanting to be a producer next to being a composer and an arranger is certainly a large goal to tackle, but, I’m more than willing to go after it and achieve my desires.



As someone who’s wanted to be involved with music since middle school, I don’t see my passion and enjoyment of music going away. The same can be said for ASL despite the fact that I started studying it a few years after I initially got into music. Once this is all set and done, I’m looking forward to making an impact with this IDS major. Hopefully there will be another Creative Breakthrough with a Music Theory, Composition and Production major pending!


Work Cited:

Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger. “The Rise of the Modern Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity.” Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. SAGE Publications, 2013. Print.

Simons, Doreen. American Sign Language. Digital image. University of Connecticut. University of Connecticut, Sept. 2014. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.

Ninachu. How Addicted to Music Are You? Digital image. PlayBuzz. PlayBuzz, 21 Mar. 2015. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.

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Allison Scagliotti: From “Drake & Josh” to Broadway!

When looking for some interdisciplinary success stories that related to music and the performing arts, I checked out Berklee College of Music’s website since they run a blog called “Student Stories.” While searching through this, I found a whole thread dedicated to students who study (Or have studied) Interdisciplinary Music Studies!


PastedGraphic-2-copyThe one I decided to look further into was one about actress Allison Scagliotti. While she’s had quite the career as an actress (She played Mindy Crenshaw on Drake and Josh!) she’s also an accomplished musician. Scagliotti specializes in guitar and voice next to her acting career as she attended New York University for film studies and is currently enrolled in Berklee’s online program where she is an Interdisciplinary Music Studies major. She started playing piano at age seven and she gives a short list of influences during this interview. Her influences include: Robert Johnson, the Rolling Stones, “any incarnation of a Jack White band,” the Pixies, Nirvana, Radiohead, Steppenwolf and The Runaways (Kravitz).


The author of this blog, Kayley Kravitz, interviewed Scagliotti via email and asked her questions about her musical background and her acting experiences. Kravitz starts the interview by asking Scagliotti about how Berklee Online caught her attention. Allison states that while attending the Monterey Jazz Festival, Berklee’s info booth “turned her world upside down.” Allison won a raffle for half off the online blues guitar course and mentioned that she has certificates in Guitar (Master Certificate) and Vocal Styles (Specialist Certificate) (Kravitz).




Scagliotti then says that the Interdisciplinary Music Studies program offered by Berklee is the program she’s been searching for. She expands upon this by saying:

“Combining the business and technology of music with theory and performance makes me feel I’ll truly be receiving the most well-rounded and applicable music education I could ever ask for.” (Kravitz).

Kravitz then asks Allison if she sees any crossover with music and her past work in film and television. She responds by basically giving an overview of musical theater. As Scagliotti mentions that her goals consist of producing her own album of blues covers, playing a musician on film and starring in a Broadway musical and finishes her answer by saying:

“To me, there’s no line between the two: there’s music in acting and acting in music.” (Kravitz).



Allison performing in the off-Broadway musical, Jasper in Deadland.


After Allison answers some questions on more of her background on music and acting, the last question she is asked is how she finds the time for her classwork. Scagliotti responds by saying she is still figuring that side out, but also mentions that “balance is key.” And the interview ends with a quote she read recently that said this:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck (Kravitz).

Since Scagliotti states that the Interdisciplinary Music Studies program Berklee has is the one she has wanted for years, this shows how Interdisciplinary plays a part in her story. The information booth Scagliotti went to at the Monterey Jazz Festival is a factor as well since she mentioned it “turned her world upside down.”

What Scagliotti describes her education work as seems to be a mix of Multidisciplinary and the Bowl of Fruit metaphor given from the Repko textbook. As the description of the metaphor is, “Multidisciplinary can be compared to a bowl of fruit containing a variety of fruit representing a discipline and being in close proximity to the others.” (Szostak, Buchberger and Repko, pg. 32). Allison is working with theater, acting and music plus she studied film studies at NYU (Although she did not complete the degree) so, she is definitely studying multiple fields in her educational works.

For those interested, you can read the full blog by Kravitz here: Student Stories: Allison Scagliotti

And here is a short video of a Pixies cover Scagliotti has done: Allison Scagliotti – Where is My Mind



Work Cited:

Kravitz, Kayley. “Student Stories: Allison Scagliotti.” Web log post. Berklee Online. Berklee College of Music, 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

Kravitz, Kayley. Allison at a Recent Premiere. Digital image. Berklee Online. Berklee College of Music, 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

Berklee Online. Digital image. Berklee Online. Berklee College of Music. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

Kravitz, Kayley. Allison Performing in the Off-Broadway Musical, Jasper in Deadland. Digital image. Berklee Online. Berklee College of Music, 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger. “Understanding Interdisciplinary Studies.” Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. SAGE Publications, 2013. Print.

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The Love of Learning and Passion of Musicians

While reading through chapter three in the Repko text, the “Traits and Skills” section found on the bottom of page sixty-five caught my attention the most while reading. True to its name, this section of the chapter goes over the traits and skills an interdisciplinarian needs. One of my personal favorites from this section is the “love of learning” trait.

According to the text, the “love of learning” trait is important because, “Interdisciplinarians are intensely interested in the world and welcome opportunities to view it and its problems from different perspectives. Finding themselves in new and challenging work situations, they will speak to acquire a working knowledge of relevant terminology and the analytical skills necessary to develop an understanding of a given problem,” (Szostak, Buchberger and Repko, pg. 55).

Being able to connect this trait to myself varies a lot, actually. As a musician, I’m constantly learning and finding myself in new and challenging situations. Whether that may come in my own practice or in rehearsal with a given ensemble. I’m always willing to explore new and unknown territory related to music. That’s one of the main reasons I took Music Theory in high school! I was into music already and I wanted to explore this subject more since I fulfilled the pre-requisite and I had the time in my schedule to fit it in. As it turns out, that was a great decision on my part.



Being able to practice and learn new things about music every day is something that keeps me going and I don’t see myself slowing down the progress I make.


In other ways I can connect this trait to my future education and my IDS major, I’m aware that I’ll be learning about other subjects aside from music theory. There are subjects like Composition, Arranging, Film scoring, Music History, Jazz and World Music and other courses I’ll be taking that I’ll be learning more about down the road! There’s always something for me to work on in this field and it keeps me occupied and on my toes.

As someone that wants to major in music, being able to possess this trait especially is critical to me. Not being so enthusiastic about learning whatever the subject might be is not what I want as I want to find out more about the subject at hand both in the classroom and in my own practice in both piano and voice. There’s a lot I want to do in my time here and I’m willing to take the chance and see where I can go.



Work Cited:

Repko, Allen F., Rick Szostak, and Michelle Phillips Buchberger. “The Interdisciplinary Studies “Cognitive Toolkit.”” Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. SAGE Publications, 2013. Print.

Countryman, Linda. Piano. Digital image. The Warehouse School of Music. The Warehouse

School of Music, 5 May 2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.

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Interview with Plymouth State University professor, Dr. Jonathan C. Santore

Recently, I took some time and interviewed Dr. Jonathan C. Santore of the Music, Theater and Dance department here at Plymouth State University. The interview focused around subjects such as his background and education, the work he does outside of the University and Interdisciplinary Studies as my major will be based around Music Theory, Composition and Technology courses offered by the MTD department.


Dr. Jonathan Santore studied music and composition all through his years in college. He received his BA degree in music from Duke University and received his MM degree in music composition from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a PhD in Music from UCLA. Dr. Santore teaches in four primary areas, with a fifth one when time allows it. These courses include:


1. Musicianship: There are four levels to this subject that span out to four semesters. It is a class focused on Music Theory, sight reading and other tasks such as Melodic Dictation and Music Analysis.



Dr. Santore teaches most of his courses in Room 131 in the Silver Center.

2. Global Jazz: An intro to Jazz History and World Music. It is both an online course and in person with Dr. S teaching the online portion. The in-person side of the course, however, is taught by Dr. Tim Gilmore. This course satisfies the Global Awareness Connection and Diversity Connection required in a student’s general education degree works.

3. Exploring Music: A general education music appreciation course. The course also satisfies the Past and Present Direction required in a student’s general education degree works.

4. Composition: This course is scheduled via appointment only with Dr. S. There is also a pre-requisite of taking all four semesters of Musicianship before a student can take the course.

5. When the time is available, Dr. Santore also teaches Advanced Theory and Composition courses.

Now that he is a professor at the University, one of the first questions I asked him what if there was anything else he researches today and if he did anything related to the works he teaches outside the classroom.

Jonathan by Maundy

A: “Constantly! I’m a composer. You know, I’m creating new work all the time and I’m dealing with the materials and issues that I teach about every day in my practice. So, absolutely.”


In his works as a composer, Dr. Santore has done works for dancers. He collaborates with poets and specialists inside his field. He is also collaborating with a playwright, a set designer and a choreographer right now for theater works. You can view a list of his other works at his own website here: List of Dr. Santore’s Compositions

Alongside theater, Dr. Santore works with conductors who conduct community choirs and professional choirs alongside working with community bands and community orchestras.

“…One of the things about our field is that the practice of it, outside of an academic context is as vital, if not, more vital than the practice inside the academic context.”

Continuing our discussion about his collaborative works, Dr. Santore mentioned a quote he recently read about that said:


“The two of you, or the three of you, or the four of you walk into a room and there’s suddenly an idea that wasn’t there before.”

Dr. Santore also referred to himself as an “utter control freak” and stated that composing for a live performance is always a collaboration. The reason he said that is because you don’t know what someone like the conductor is going to do, so, you never know.



“…There’s a point where it is under my maniacal, total crazed control and then I have to let go of it and give it to someone else. And I have no control of what they’re going to make of it. And if I’m working with a fantastic collaborator, that’s a beautiful thing and I find out things that I didn’t know were there before. If it’s not such a good collaborator, it’s a nightmare and you want to go hide.”



After, I moved on to questions that focused around Interdisciplinary work and other courses offered by the University. To start off, I asked Dr. Santore if he had done any IDS work. While he has not taught any IDS courses, he has been a guest panel member for IDS courses in other departments (Not including MTD) and stated that he works in an IDS fashion from time to time when referring to how he collaborates with others. Dr. S has also supervised IDS students in the past. He has also guided students with degrees and coursework.


Dr. Santore also mentioned that there have been students before that have had IDS majors based off courses in the department, especially for students who specialized in dance. There’s also been students who built a Music Therapy major as well. But aside from that, he wasn’t sure if there were any others as he mentioned the Theater side but was unsure if there were any in the recent past.


Lastly, I asked Dr. S about what courses students that major in the department they should take outside of the department. This varies across each major in the department. For example, Music Education majors have a whole series of education courses they must take outside the department.

Dr. Santore also recommends business courses for every music major no matter the option. The reason for that is, from what Dr. Santore said, “…a musician in the 20th and 21st century has to be entrepreneurial; HAS to be.” So they know they’ll be able to know how to market themselves and their successes they may have, etc.

For Music Technology majors, courses in Communication and Media studies, specifically in film and production are recommended since there is a course offered by the department that teaches students how to write music for film productions from the production side.


Voice Performance and Pedagogy majors have to take a foreign language and their choices contain Italian, German or French because of what their repertoire will contain.


The list really goes on as Dr. Santore listed off courses related to Anthropology and Computer Science as well. But that is mainly directed towards students who major in music who are interested in those kind of courses and topics


And that question concluded my interview with Dr. Santore. It was a very productive interview and it gave me a good overview of what music majors do outside of the department and I also learned more about what a composer like Dr. Santore does outside the classroom and what the benefits and challenges of that are!


For those interested, you can view Dr. Santore’s own website here:


Work Cited:

Santore, Jonathan C. Jonathan by Maundy. Digital image. Jonathan Santore, Composer. Santore Communications. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

Dr. Jonathan Santore. Digital image. Plymouth State University. University System of New Hampshire. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

Graff, Carleen. Piano Onstage at the Silver Center. Digital image. Plymouth State University. University System of New Hampshire. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

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