Shenandoah is offering a unique esports class this spring that invites students to explore music and its role in the broader spectrum of gaming and society while addressing global, cultural and social issues.
In the 200-level Video Game Music (ESPT 205) course, students will study video-game music history, listen to and analyze video-game music, hear from video-game music composers about how it is produced, and ultimately discover the importance of music in gaming.
Conductor and Shenandoah Conservatory adjunct professor J. Aaron Hardwick, M.M., will teach the course.
“Music is a universal language,” said Hardwick, who is currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance (Conducting) at Shenandoah Conservatory. “Video games inherently offer an extraordinary level of diversity, multiplicity, and inclusivity that spans the globe and crosses generational boundaries. The two combined offer a profound, transdisciplinary and engaging study immediately relevant to each student. They will be able to find connections in areas of popular music, classical music, history, art, science, business, computer programming, graphic design, production, and many others. This kind of rigorous and diverse study is perfect for our times.
J. Aaron Hardwick, conductor and adjunct professor
Students will explore musical elements, technological developments, social trends, and representative styles as they relate to video-game music. Students will also learn about history, art, production, and marketing as they pertain to music and gaming.
Upon completion of the course, students will be equipped with new listening skills and a basic understanding of how and why music functions in and outside of video games.
“Although this is a general ‘appreciation’ class for video game music,” Hardwick said, “it is a ‘window’ into the history, composition, and production of video game music, which is one of the fastest-growing areas of music and entertainment.”
This is the first time this class will be offered at Shenandoah University and the first time a conservatory professor has taught an esports class.
“This is a great example of the interdisciplinary nature of esports education,” said Director of Esports Joey Gawrysiak, Ph.D. “No school or university is finding esports learning opportunities like Shenandoah, and by offering this unique class, Professor Hardwick will be able to expose students to a whole new area of esports and gaming. By working across the conservatory and the business school in this class, we are able to reinforce how the Shenandoah University esports program truly goes beyond gaming.
Joey Gawrysiak, Director of Esports