By Evan Brown
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The music department will hold a workshop for music majors in a few weeks. This is the first time the music department will conduct a workshop like this and it is being run by the head of the music department, Michael Billingsley.
This workshop is for all music majors. It will run all day and include about four hours of a variety of topics related to music. Billingsley says the goal of the workshop is “to utilize my adjunct staff and let the students work with these wonderful musicians on a more professional and personal level.”
Billingsley has been around music since he was in seventh grade but started playing when attending Overbrook High School. He played trumpet in his school’s band and started getting paid to play music in his freshman year, when he played in the Mummers Parade. Billingsley ranked first several times in All State and All South Jersey Bands.
It wasn’t so easy for Billingsley after high school, though. When he arrived at the University of the Arts for his freshman year, he says, “I didn’t really know about how to play on a professional level. I had to develop a four- to five-hour routine a day of practicing music because I couldn’t compete with the other freshmen.” Billingsley learned how to play piano while in college and has since developed a love of singing and writing songs.
Besides teaching, he is working toward his doctoral degree in music education at Rutgers University, according to mikebillingsley.com. Billingsley has been a teacher at Camden County College for 12 years and he says he loves working with his students and staff.
He says for the non-music majors who take his classes, “I want to spread some light on listening and using music as a release from everyone’s busy lives. I want to give them a new look on how to look at music.”
Billingsley says it’s tough love for his music majors. The advice he gives the music majors is “if you know where you’re going, then you have to work really hard to get there.”
Students can take any of the classes Billingsley offers. They are music theory, music appreciation, Beatles ensemble and jazz history.