Lane creates music industry leaders of tomorrow; Music technology lab helps take students’ music to new heights

Music theory tutor Matt Noble (left), and music technology tutor Kyle McCready (right), are working in the research department of Lane’s high-tech music lab on April 14.Photo: Penny Scott


Music theory tutor Matt Noble (left), and music technology tutor Kyle McCready (right), are working in the research department of Lane’s high-tech music lab on April 14.
Photo: Penny Scott

Lori Hawley, a music technology tutor, began as a culinary arts major at Lane, but once she’d experienced commercial editing, music composition, mixing, and mastering in the music lab, she changed her major.

“It totally changed my life and my career path,” Hawley said. “I decided I wanted to be a tutor and now a year later I am. I’m studying music technology and audio engineering.”

Lane’s state-of-the-art music technology lab sets Lane apart as an industry leader among community colleges. Twelve years ago, the college constructed the lab, which has remained top in its class ever since. A portion of the fees from music, dance and theater students are saved each year and earmarked for major upgrades to equipment every five or six years.

The lab has a research center, sound studio, isolation booth and 20 individual high-tech stations. Each student is assigned a station that resembles a personal home recording studio. Instead of being assigned lab time throughout the week, students have access to individual stations until the lab closes each day at 5 p.m.

“There are students who are really passionate about what they’re doing, and they don’t want to spend two, three, or four hours. They want to spend 10 or 20 hours working on their creative projects,” Alberto Redondo, music lab coordinator, said.

Lane’s music program offers courses in both formal music theory and music technology. Many students share both disciplines, which expands their musical capabilities, taking them beyond the thresholds that a single discipline imposes, acording to Redondo.

The lab was the brainchild of lead music technology instructor Ed McManus.

“Ed changed my life. He is such a great teacher and has been the shining star of developing this music program,” Hawley said.

The lab has eight tutors in music technology and music theory.

The tutors are being trained to become music industry leaders, Redondo said.

“Tutoring is about communication between human beings,” music theory tutor Matt Noble said.

“You’ve got to be really clear and really specific. You’ve got to really understand where the student is coming from.”

“The best thing is meeting new people,” music technology tutor Kyle McCready said. “I get to work with people with different learning styles, having different troubles, and ways they get over their obstacles in understanding music.”

The music instructors are high-caliber and they each bring something unique to the program, Redondo said.

“Seth Mulvihill is a local artist and a really fun teacher,” Hawley said. “He plays in a lot of jam bands. He has his doctorate, and it’s so great that he gives back and plays in the community.”

Redondo sees opportunities for people emerging in the music industry. He said people educated in music go to concerts, stimulate that economy and bring money back into the arts.

“You have people who are doctors or professionals in other careers who, because of a musical or artis-
tic background, may be more creative thinkers when they are in another job,” Redondo said.

“Music is in everything. It’s in the way we communicate and work with each other. So music or arts trans-
lates into a higher quality of whatever they are doing.”

Students collaborate and things have a way of falling into place in a synchronistic way, Redondo said. Mu-
sicians and bands can meet just the right person for their projects. Relationships form and their creative efforts are taken to new heights.

According to Redondo, students perform for each other, and other students show up and get inspired. They, in turn, compose something and perform for each other, and it creates community awareness of the arts; be it music, dance or theater.

“We have such an influx of students and so many creative things happening,” Redondo said. “We are pro-
ducing a very sustainable thing.”

Lane’s 20 high-tech individual music stations in the state-of-the-art music technology lab in Building 6 provide personal space for  students to create and mix virtually any kind of music.Photo: Penny Scott


Lane’s 20 high-tech individual music stations in the state-of-the-art music technology lab in Building 6 provide personal space for students to create and mix virtually any kind of music.
Photo: Penny Scott