Shenandoah University is excited to announce the return of a unique esports class this spring that will allow students to explore music and the role it plays in gaming and in society while also addressing global, cultural and social issues.
The class, now a 400-level course titled “Music and Video Games” (ESPT 480), gives students the opportunity to study the history of video game music, listen to and analyze video-game music, hear from composers about how video-game music is produced and ultimately discover the importance of music in gaming.
Conductor and Shenandoah Conservatory adjunct professor J. Aaron Hardwick, D.M.A., will once again teach the course. Dr. Hardwick became the first conservatory professor to teach an esports class at Shenandoah University last spring, when the course, then titled “Video Game Music” (ESPT 205), made its debut.
“Last semester our students were able to learn from top, award-winning video-game music composers about their process and the industry at-large,” Hardwick said. “It was an incredible opportunity for our students and we plan to do it again this semester.”
In the class, students will explore musical elements, technological developments, social trends and representative styles as they relate to video-game music, and they’ll learn about history, art, production and marketing as those topics pertain to music and gaming.
“This course is extremely interdisciplinary. The concepts covered in this class can be applied to every music major at Shenandoah University. I was able to meet with professional video game composers and broaden my horizons toward the gaming industry, gaining knowledge about the role music and sound play in video games. This course allows students to break from the ‘traditional mold’ of music that we sometimes find ourselves locked into and become more well-rounded. I would highly recommend this course to music students.”
Dane Frandsen ’23 (Bachelor of Music in Performance – Flute), undergraduate student who took the course last spring
When they complete the course, students will have built new listening skills and an understanding of how and why music functions in and outside of video games.
“I am excited that we are able to offer this class in video game music for a second year in a row with Dr. Hardwick,” said Director of Esports Joey Gawrysiak, Ph.D. “This is a perfect example of what we aim to offer to all students at Shenandoah University from the esports program that we have here. Being able to offer a class that is interdisciplinary and innovative for students to be able to partake in is what makes Shenandoah University such a great place to work. Dr. Hardwick does a tremendous job creating a class that challenges students and teaches them blended content from what seem like two completely different areas in a way that students enjoy and grow through. I am thankful he is able to offer this class again to our students here at SU. This is another example of how Shenandoah University Esports truly goes beyond gaming.”