By Sierra Ingram
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Caleb Sharp never hesitates to share his music and creativity with the world. His experience and talent only grow as he strives for his associate’s degree in audio production at Camden County College.
Music has always been an influential part of Caleb’s life, growing up with a piano in his family home. He has played many instruments over the years, now boasting an inventory of 20 instruments. However, his talent does not stop with playing instruments. Caleb is a singer, writer and rapper. Caleb has also developed talents in other artistic pursuits, from acting to modeling.
As a Haddon Heights High School graduate in 2018, Caleb says he decided to go to Camden County College because he saw it as an additional route outside of a four-year school. His high school counselor told him about Camden County College’s placement test waiver for those who tested high enough with their SAT scores. He appreciated the flexibility the college offers with classes and getting done at his pace.
With his background in music, the audio production major was a perfect fit. Caleb wanted to use the major to expand on his talent and learn more about the music on the production side.
Caleb has enjoyed the hands-on experience he has gotten through his classes thus far. In his Introduction to Audio and Audio Recording Technique classes, he had the opportunity to work in the studios in Lincoln Hall. This gave Caleb another avenue to express his musical creativity while he also gained his education.
Also, he appreciated the networking opportunities this major affords. For instance, his professors Dave Mattock and Steve Popomi run a studio in his hometown of Haddon Heights. His favorite class thus far is Fundamentals of Music with Professor John Shaw. In this class, Caleb learned about chords, notes, song structure, song writing and music production.
“That class just resonated with me more,” Caleb stated. “It’s a lot less of the technical stuff.”
Caleb also took a music business class, which he felt was a good learning experience.
“I learned from that class that you really have to put your best work first,” Caleb said. “First impressions are important.”
Caleb’s father said he has seen Caleb’s efforts advance. “Caleb has always had an interest in music,” his father, Steve Sharp, said. “Going to Camden County College seemed to help point him in a much more focused direction.”
Caleb’s classes have pushed him to want to do more for his music aspirations on his own. He has a room in his home dedicated to creating new music.
“Going to Camden County College gave me the answers to questions I would ask,” Caleb said. “I’ve learned that music is not just about the standard, it’s about what you want. You have to do your own process. Personal preference is key. I feel like I was pushed to worry less about other’s opinion, outside of constructive criticism. I just like to have fun, enjoy the process and enjoy the work.”
Caleb doesn’t know if he will continue at a four-year university once he is finished at Camden County College. However, he looks forward to what he will continue to learn in his time at the college.