On Feb. 2, students in Honors 2488 “The Critical Eye” recorded a demo of a song they wrote under the guidance of L. Russell Brown, writer of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree,” who served as the artist in residence for the course. Taught by Professor of Entertainment and Music Business Dr. Larry Wacholtz and Associate Provost Dr. Beverly Schneller, the class offers an examination of important and influential works from the fields of music, art, literature and drama, and explores the criteria by which those works have acquired their standing, with an emphasis on essential works from the student’s field of study.
The Critical Eye is the first course Honors students take in the Artist Studio track. The purpose of the course is to explore ideas of creativity, experience creativity and develop the ability to critique and evaluate creative products. The course is designed to engage students in a range of creative practices from collaborative songwriting to painting and glassblowing to writing short stories and performing in an original one-act play.
Schneller said, “We hope by focusing on practitioner-based experiences,the students will come to see themselves fully and differently as artists and critics. This particular songwriting collaboration was the result of four class visits with Mr. Brown who shared insights from his career in the music business and his experience as a songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. The project started with students contributing an opening line or two for a potential song, then writing it together as team , and learning what it means to be in a studio recording and how to monetize the product once created.”
The students recorded the demo, found below, in Belmont’s Ocean Way Studio C with fellow Belmont students serving as the session musicians.