There’s a lot of talk about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education, but what’s that actually look like in practice? Many schools have been working to build programs that realize the value of integrating creativity and technical ability, but often it’s from the better-known perspective of STEM, with the ‘A’ as an addition.

California Institute of the Arts, a school renowned for taking on bold initiatives, comes from the opposite end. The MTIID (Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design) program at Calarts “enables students to build both strong traditional and contemporary musical skills while mastering a variety of technologies for the creation of sonic and multimedia art.”

Dr. Ajay Kapur, Director of MTIID, teaching interface design

What that means is that while music technology is of course the core of the program, it’s a true STEAM education: there are courses in programming, web development, robotics, and digital fabrication. Many students focus on fields that some consider outside of “traditional music education,” like sound sculpture, performance art or interface design.

Graduates go on from the program to become engineers, web & game developers, DJs and recording artists. Attending a program like this leads to a lifelong mix of technology and creativity.

Hence the courses CalArts teaches on Kadenze—most come from MTIID, but they’re really about the forefront of creative technology in general. There are courses in Ableton, Reaktor, ChucK, and web development. The first three come together with a capstone course to form CalArts’ online Program, Foundations of Music Technology.

‘Concerto for Prepared Piano and Symphony Orchestra’ by Amir Konjani in The Wild Beast

The program is designed to integrate these technologies (and anything else students come up with!) to reach a level of technical independence that’s highly valued in the industry. No wonder it’s one of our most enrolled-in Programs.

You can learn more about the Program here:

Foundations of Music Technology

California Institute of the Arts