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Kent State Stark Music Technology Program Graduates First Student

Posted April 16, 2012 | Katie Fickle
enter photo description
Spencer Martin, a music technology senior,
is one of the first students to graduate with
a bachelor's degree from the program.

In just a few short weeks, Kent State University at Stark will see one of the first students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in music from its music technology program.

Spencer Martin, a senior studying music technology, explains his passion for music and the program that has enabled him to pursue his dream by earning a bachelor’s degree in music production and audio recording.

Music has been a part of Martin’s life since childhood, and he doesn’t think he could live without it. Both of Martin’s parents play instruments. His father plays violin and owns a violin store, and his mother plays piano.

“I grew up hearing real music in the house,” Martin says. “My life revolved around it, so it just soaked in.”

Pursing higher education in music was a perfect fit for Martin. After looking into different schools, such as The University of Akron and Capitol University, Martin decided that Kent State Stark was the university for him because the music technology program focuses on not only the technical aspects of music production, but also on the practice and understanding of musicianship.

The music technology program offers primary concentrations in music production and audio recording, though students have the opportunity to study other areas as well, including music theory, music history and vocal or instrumental performance. Kent State Stark’s music technology program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Martin enjoys working with his professors because they have diverse specializations within the program, and they display a strong sense of knowledge in the field. Martin says that his professors make him feel valued.

“The program is set up for students to really get to know their professors,” Martin says. “It’s nice because I can refer to them for help, and there is always an opportunity for open communication when I feel the need for feedback and critique.”

Sebastian Birch, D.M.A., associate music professor, has worked with Martin since his freshman year at college. Birch explains that Martin is a student who can be “counted on,” and takes advantage of his education in every way.

“He is always finding ways to make his work come together,” Birch says. “He can make something relevant that doesn’t seem relevant.”

Martin specializes in piano at Kent State Stark, but it is just one of the several instruments he plays. Martin also enjoys playing guitar, violin and drums, as well as singing.

Martin says he understands his passion for music won’t necessarily “pay the bills,” so he plans to pursue a career in an audio-related field, such as radio or other forms of broadcast.

“I've found more and more that modern recording and production is an instrument in itself,” he says. “It's the most powerful and flexible instrument of all. But, like any other instrument, it takes countless hours of practice. You have to learn to play it.”

Currently, Martin is interning at WKSU, Kent State’s NPR news and classical public radio station. Martin explains that this internship is the first job that has truly sparked his interest.

A career in radio may provide strong financial stability for Martin, but he says that he will always strive to follow his dream of playing music and producing records.

“My drive behind pursuing the practice of music production is simple,” Martin says. “I simply love it and can't see myself doing anything else.”

For more information about Kent State Stark’s music technology program, visit www.stark.kent.edu/music.