When looking for a higher education in the area of bluegrass music, there are limited choices. The one I chose was South Plains College in Levelland, TX. One of the things I loved about the school was the close association of the music program with recording program.
East Tennessee State University (ETSU) has a similar program of bluegrass music studies, the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services. Beginning with the fall semester, the students at ETSU will have access to a new recording facility. Plans have been in place for the recording lab since a building on campus was vacated in 1999. Those plans are coming to completion during the 25th anniversary of the bluegrass program.
Associate professor Raymond McLain commented on the new learning opportunities this would present for the students.
From a musician stand point, it will be a good opportunity to learn in a recording environment. It is hard to learn to play the guitar with out a guitar, and it is hard to learn how to record music without a recording lab.
Plans are for one recording class to be taught this coming fall, but the University is still looking for the right person to manage the lab and teach the class (job info). And they are still working to complete the construction phase of the lab. The ceiling has been completed, the sheetrock work is underway but currently on hold so wiring can be completed. School officials predict the overall cost for construction to be somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000. These expenses have largely been paid for by funds raised via the student technology access fee.
Speaking from my own personal experience, those students who are dedicated to earning a living in and around bluegrass music will benefit greatly from this resource. I encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the technical side of making music.