The SIUE Department of Music is experiencing growth, but cannot narrow the increase down to any specific area. “This is a very complicated department because of all the different areas: Music Education, Performance, Jazz Performance, Music Business, Theory/Composition and History/Literature,” said Audrey Tallant professor of music and chair of that department.
Tallant can, however, trace some of the increased enrollment to a recently introduced change in tuition for some students. “The new GEO award gives students who are not Illinois residents a tuition rate of 1.2 times the in-state rate,” she said. “Before this award was developed, out-of-state students were charged 2.5 times the in-state tuition rate. You can see how this has made SIUE very appealing to out-of-state students.”
The Geographical Enhancement Award program started at SIUE in 2009 and focuses primarily on student athletes and fine arts students and can also be awarded at the discretion of the Office of Admissions. Tallant said the music department has been working closely with SIUE’s Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Management offices to coordinate these tuition waivers and scholarships.
The Department of Music has also been focusing on outreach to prospective students. “We have developed new efforts in recruiting by advertising in specific journals and magazines,” Tallant said. “We have also focused our efforts on increasing high schools visits to give master classes and lessons and coach prospective students. This year our string faculty and orchestra conductor visited schools in the Chicago area doing that specific thing.”
Tallant also believes that the passion of the music faculty for their profession plays a role in attracting students to the SIUE music program. “We have a world-class faculty who work tirelessly to see this department's goals come to fruition,” Tallant explained. “I personally feel that when students see the incredibly deep commitment the faculty has to their art and to their instruction, the students want to emulate that same commitment. It is almost like osmosis! There is something to say about positive energy being contagious! Our faculty feels it, our students feel it, and it is seeping out of the walls in the Music Wing (in Dunham Hall). There are students practicing here from 7 a.m. to midnight. There is always music, music, music.”