Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business announced this week that it is expanding its program to Hawaii in a new partnership with University of Hawaii’s Honolulu Community College. The new program, MELE—Music & Entertainment Learning Experience, is designed to foster and promote the business and profession of music in Hawaii and will begin accepting students immediately.
In Hawaii, individuals interested in a career in the music business will have an opportunity to grow creatively, technically and commercially through this innovative partnership. Students who enroll in the Hawaii program will receive training in three focus areas—artist creativity, entertainment business expertise and technical production skills—and will be able to earn an associate’s degree in two years. Classes for HCC begin Aug. 20, and introductory courses offered in the MELE program include Survey of Music Business and History of the Recording Business.
Through matriculation to Belmont University, MELE students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in music business, audio engineering, entertainment industry studies or songwriting. As the MELE program develops, students will be able to participate in the Belmont network of external programs, “Belmont East” in New York and “Belmont West” in Los Angeles, as well as secure internship experiences in Hawaii and other locations.
Wesley Bulla, Dean of The Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University, said, “This partnership is an incredible opportunity to build a program where HCC can capitalize on Belmont’s experience and success, and the two institutions can emerge as leaders in music industry education for Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region.”
Ramsey Pedersen, HCC Chancellor and a key member of the initial team who envisioned MELE, said, “We’re in the 21st century where technology can bring our music to the global stage. There needs to be a bridge that will give Hawaii’s raw talent the technology, skills and opportunities to bring them to the next level, and that is MELE.”
The fall MELE courses will be team-taught by faculty from Honolulu Community College and Belmont University via live distance learning methods. Internet videoconference technology will allow HCC students access to the academic and real-world education available to Belmont students in Nashville as well as enable faculty and students on both campuses to engage in live discussions. In addition, HCC students will be able to participate in Belmont’s seminar program, “The Insider’s View,” and take advantage of live lecturers and chats with professionals in the field.
Proposed last spring as part of Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle’s 2007 Innovations Initiative, MELE is being developed through a combination of funding support through a grant from the State of Hawaii through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, a program start-up budget appropriated this year by the Hawaii State Legislature, and a five-year Title III Developing Institutions grant.
For more information about MELE, click here.