Some of the benefits of studying in the commercial music division in the School of Music at BYU are not always obvious to the student at the beginning of coursework. As time goes on, however, the following kinds of opportunities become apparent:
The commercial music program is blessed with an endowment from the late Merlin and Edna Sant, which provides several scholarships each year for deserving, high-achieving students. In very rare instances, scholarships are granted on entrance. As a rule, however, they are awarded in the upper division years, when the academic, pre-professional, and collaborative characteristics of each student are more apparent. A short, informal application should be submitted to the division coordinator at the beginning of each Fall and Winter semester.
Additional scholarships based on need, talent, or academic excellence are also sometimes available through the School of Music or other university sources.
Each year several upper division students receive the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants (or engineer assistants) in the division’s recording studios or in the classroom. Others are invited to help with the recording of on-campus concerts and recitals. As with scholarships, these invitations typically go to upper division students who can run sessions independently, who have proven themselves to be academically sound, and who also possess leadership and other pre-professional characteristics. These are particularly significant opportunities, resulting in résumé line items upon graduation.
In addition to the opportunities mentioned above, part-time jobs related to commercial music can sometimes be found elsewhere on or off campus. Though not highly publicized, Utah is a music-making community featuring quite a few well-equipped studios and many opportunities for the capable, highly-motivated student. Internships and part-time work can sometimes be secured at BYU Broadcasting or at nearby commercial studios.
Students should be proactive in networking while seeking these opportunities. The same skills will likely be called upon in procuring career employment.
Internships are required at a specific point in the commercial music program. These can be performed on or off campus. The commercial music division office attempts to stay aware of internship opportunities, and students are also advised to be alert to such opportunities that may exist in their home markets or in music centers such as Los Angeles, Nashville, or New York.
See the Music 399R Information Sheet for detailed instructions on internships.
Student Film Projects, etc.
Occasionally, students are invited to participate as recording engineers, composers, or sound designers on student films, television documentaries, mainstage musicals, and other media projects. Chances to work on these projects are more likely to be available in the student’s junior or senior years, when their skillsets are nearing professional levels. Extra-curricular projects undertaken as students can sometimes lead to career paths or unexpected employment avenues.