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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Applied Music program to remain at SBCC after concerns of closure

Kevin Ham
Music instructor Tony Ybarra helps David Struven perfect his piano playing for the Applied Music Program on Friday, Nov. 16, 2019, in the Drama/Music Building on West Campus in Santa Barbara, Calif.

When classes for the Applied Music program were not being shown on the spring semester schedule, many people expressed concern that the program was being cut, but it is now back for registration.

The program allows qualified music majors to take weekly private lessons taught by a professional in the field of music they’re practicing.

“It’s a very expensive program, especially since it’s one-on-one,” said music department chair Nathan Kreitzer. “Every other class that community colleges offer needs at least 25 people in the class for it to go.” 

Community colleges all over California have been affected by budget cuts this year, causing stress for students and faculty in various programs and departments. 

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“They were looking for places where they could cut or save money,” Kreitzer said on the effect the restricted budget has had on the music department. “When the classes were taken off the schedule, it really worried a lot of us.”

Solutions to keep the Applied Music program are currently being implemented and Kreitzer is working to get these changes in action starting next fall. 

One of these changes includes making the program itself cheaper in cost for the school by changing the unit load from three units to 0.5 unit. Kreitzer further emphasized that such a change would not only help the school save money within the music department, but also make it cheaper for students enrolled in the program.

Kreitzer said the department also aspires to fill up more of their general education courses in the upcoming semesters.

“What we’re hoping is to get a whole bunch of people to sign up for those classes,” said Kreitzer. “If those classes are really full, that can help pay for the Applied Music program.” 

In addition to the changes in progress in the department, Kreitzer is working on creating a transfer degree for the program, which is not yet offered at City College.

“We have an [associate’s degree] in music but not a transfer degree,” he said. “It’s another piece of the puzzle, but if that happens then the Applied Program will be here forever because it will become part of the transfer degree.”

I’m hoping to get all of this done very quickly, so I can get all of it done by fall.” 

The announcement that the program was being cut from the schedule elicited a strong reaction from many students in the music department. 

One of the students is music major Sophie Bakaev. She is enrolled in the Applied Music program and expressed her gratitude towards the program being re-opened for enrollment. 

“I’m so happy that it’s back,” she said. “I did not realize how disappointed I was until the program was almost gone.” 

This is Bakaev’s second semester in the program, where she is taking singing lessons. 

“It’s so comfortable to know that it’s back, and I think it’s 100% the right decision,” said Bakaev. “I love my teacher, she is an amazing role model and singer.” 

City College was one of the first colleges in California to offer the Applied Music program nearly 20 years ago, and the music department said it wants students to know that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

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