What’s Your Major? A Q&A with Eric Engler

January 4, 2017

Eric Engler is a third-year student in The Peabody Conservatory’s Recording Arts program.

What is the Peabody Recording Arts and Science major?

The Recording Arts department houses Peabody’s programs/majors in both Audio Engineering (Undergraduate and Graduate) and Acoustics (Graduate Only).  The undergrad program only exists as a double major in conjunction with a more traditional music degree – typically instrumental performance, vocal performance, music composition, or computer music.  My other major is Jazz Trumpet.  The idea behind this is that, upon graduation, the graduate will be equal parts musician and engineer.  The program take five years to complete, and, upon graduation, I will earn both a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Trumpet and a Bachelor of Music in Recording Arts.  Both are full majors – I take just as many music classes as any other music major in addition to the recording curriculum.  This is DIFFERENT from what is usually referred to as the “Dual Degree” program – that name generally refers to students enrolled in both a music degree at Peabody and another degree at Homewood.  In Recording Arts, both degrees are administered by Peabody, though the recording program does include many Homewood classes.  The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in the audio industry.


How did you get involved in the program, and why did you want to get involved in the program?

Since the program is my major, I got involved in it the same way many do – by applying for it in my college applications senior year of high school.  Some students do that, while others are brought in later by the department.  Each year, our department head looks at the incoming Peabody class and reaches out to musicians who also had high scores on math and science tests as potential candidates.  For me, this program was the ultimate mix of all of my interests. At the same time, engineering has always been a strong interest of mine, and I put a lot of time and energy into maintaining my academics. The Recording Arts program allows me to take my affinity for engineering and apply it to my passion for music.


What electrical engineering classes do you take?

As part of our required curriculum, we take Calculus I-II, Physics I-II, Intro to Electrical and Computer Engineering, Digital Systems Fundamentals, Circuits, and Signals and Systems. In addition to our core music classes for our performance degree, we also take recording studio classes and several acoustics classes at Peabody.


What are your plans or goals for the rest of your time in the program at JHU?

That’s somewhat of a difficult question, and one I don’t have a particularly good answer to.  At the moment, I’m looking into different areas within the music and audio industries to get an idea of what I’d like to do with my career.  I’m continuing to build my skills as an engineer as well as practice on my instrument, with the goal of being able to have a successful career both as a trumpet player and an audio engineer.  I’m currently in my 3rd year of the 5 year program, so as of writing this, I’ve just hit the half-way point.  Moving forward, I guess I’d just like to keep moving in the same direction, take advantage of the resources at Peabody and JHU, and see where it takes me.


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