Student composer Christopher Cerrone MUS ’10 now has an online medium where he can share his composition sheets and play his music for interested employers.
Cerrone is one of about 40 School of Music students who have become “guinea pigs,” as Cerrone termed it, for the new digital portfolio system the school adopted this year, making it the first music institution to use the system common among other art schools. The system consists of a centralized directory that leads to personal student pages on the school’s Web site, displaying student work — concert recordings, sheets of music, videos, photos, Twitter feeds — as well as research interests and resume.
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The e-portfolios facilitate the organization of materials and make musical performances accessible to potential employers, administrators said.
“We want our students to walk away with a little media-savvy,” said Monica Ong Reed, design manager for the School of Music. “I think it’s a form of empowerment, too — building an audience and selling work directly on their own without saying ‘somebody please pick me up.’ ”
Though several students had previously maintained their own Web sites, the yale.edu address attracts a greater number of hits, Reed said.
But Michael Yaffe, associate dean at the school, said it would be premature to give any information about job placements.
School of Music Dean Robert Blocker said the school has a “really good placement record,” which has remained at a constant high despite the economic recession. He said the program, built by e-portfolio company Digication, would help students keep up with the shift to online media in employment opportunities.
But the project is still in its early stages, and Yaffe said he is currently working with students on ensuring the Web pages do not violate any copyright laws.
Reed, who was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, where Digication began, said she suggested the platform for the School of Music, which she knew was looking for a way to expand its use of technology.
In the fall, Reed and Media Director Lee Faulkner hosted a series of workshops to teach School of Music students how to prepare their page.
Students now visit the photo studio and video studios, use their CD mixers and guitar microphones, check out cameras and recorders, and get one-on-one help from center staff on how to use the equipment.
But Cerrone said he was surprised the music students had taken to the new technology since classical musicians are generally reluctant to interact with new media.
Though he said he has not noticed a dramatic increase in work opportunities since he created his Digication page, since he already had a Web site and a MySpace page, he said he has received a couple of e-mails complimenting his work.
Cerrone said other institutions should encourage students to follow the school’s example.
The School of Drama has also rolled out the Digication platform.