Butler School of Music Announces UT Academy of Music

March 2, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin today announced plans to create The UT Academy of Music, a comprehensive music school for community learning.

The academy will provide a diverse range of music instruction to the Austin community, including early childhood music and private and group instruction for children and adults of all ages.

At the center of the plan is a new 60,000-square-foot facility to house the academy and all of its programs. Plans are for the facility to be built east of I-35, near UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Plans for the building include classroom and rehearsal space, practice rooms, administrative space and a 300-seat concert hall.

With this new facility, the Butler School will offer comprehensive music instruction to the community, based on the success of its String Project. The award-winning String Project has provided non-credit instruction in violin, viola, cello and double bass to children in the Austin area for more than 60 years, and has been a model for more than 30 similar programs around the nation.

Students receive private instruction, ensemble experience and courses in musicianship, most of which are taught by graduate students at the Butler School of Music under the supervision of the faculty. The program provides music instruction to the community while supplying practical training and financial support to graduate students at the Butler School. The String Project meets in the Butler School's facilities on the main university campus, and enrollment is capped to just more than 250 students because of space limitations. The waiting list for the String Project averages about 700 children.

The new academy will not only provide space to grow the String Project beyond its current enrollment, but will also allow the school to offer new programs in early childhood music, harp, guitar, piano, voice, brass, woodwinds and percussion, as well as a range of enrichment courses for adults.

In recent years, the Butler School has piloted several of these programs on a small scale and demonstrated a demand for such services to the community. The academy will also become the new home for all of the Butler School's non-credit instruction. These programs include Informal Music Courses, which provide private and group instruction to adults in the Austin community, and The Austin Live Music Academy, a program for musicians seeking careers in popular music.

The UT Academy of Music will allow the Butler School of Music to further expand its educational mission into the Austin community, reaching a projected enrollment of more than 3,000 within five years. The academy will also expand the String Project’s practical experience to a wider range of graduate students and provide a significant increase in financial aid.

The Butler School of Music plans to raise support for the facility through private and corporate donations. No state funds will be used to build the facility or run the academy programs. Construction will begin once the funds for the building have been raised.

7 Comments to "Butler School of Music Announces UT Academy of Music"

1.  D Elder said on March 3, 2011

What thought has been put into assessing the impact and protecting the livelihood of Austin's local music teachers?

2.  pebbles wadsworth said on March 4, 2011

simply a giant thanks to all involved for taking on this great need and great responsibility, especially at this important period of need during the sad history of education in/of the arts in texas. i especially applaud the exceptional leadership of the chairman of the butler school of music - glenn and also the extreme generosity of the butlers.

bravo to all the faculty, staff, students and donors to the butler who are making this possible against all odds.

with respect, pebbles

3.  ub said on March 6, 2011

Thanks for this great effort for the contemporary music and bringing music close to the people. Hope that the local talented musicians will also find this a great platform to collaborate with ...

4.  Frank Abernathy said on March 17, 2011

Will this new 'COMMUNITY' interest include modifications to UT's Ability to promote, passively, on-going music related services for Veterans with PTSD and TBI injuries? This in my mind would be a PLUS FOR THE COMMUNITY. Music in its on right is a good thing; but doing REAL good with it would be WONDERFUL. I wish the BEST to this project.

5.  Anthony Palomba said on March 17, 2011

I would like to applaud this decision! I think it has been long overdue. The UT music department is a great institution, but has really isolated itself from the community of non-student musicians/composers living in Austin. I hope this is the first step in changing that.

I for one would like to see more workshops in various forms of composition. Seeing as how Austin is a great city for innovation, I would love to see more music technology workshops. Similar to what the CCRMA or CNMAT provides.

I would also like to see workshops on film scoring and sound design. This would benefit the community greatly as we have thriving film and video game industry that always needs music and sound.

I am very excited about these developments and hope that this program really takes off. I think education is
the greatest investment one can make in the community,

6.  DeJean Miller Melton said on March 17, 2011

Super idea -- particularly if small ensembles are included in the instructional arrangements. There are public schools (for example, Del Valle ISD) that do not provide instruction in strings or vocal music -- not even choir at the middle school level. There are also many alums such as myself who would like to polish their skills.

7.  Dianne Whitehair said on March 17, 2011

This is GREAT!!!