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Jacobs School now offering certificate in rock history


IU Jacobs School of Music professor Andy Hollinden is helping to spread awareness about the new certificate in rock history that is offered to students both inside and outside the music school. Haley Klezmer

The Jacobs School of Music has made it easier for students to embrace their inner rock star with its new certificate in rock history.

MUS-Z 203: History of Rock 'n' Roll III professor Andy Hollinden said the idea for the certificate popped up three years ago when Constance Glen, the head of the music in general studies program, proposed it to Jacobs.

"Then it just became a matter of getting the wheels turning,” Hollinden said.

Hollinden previously developed multiple required courses for the certificate and has also taught almost all of them at some point. Informing his incoming students of the new certificate, which covers music from 1920 into the beginnings of the 1990s, was one of the first things he did when classes began on Monday.

“It’s one very, very cohesive gigantic block of American music,” Hollinden said.

The certificate requires 18 credits from combined music history courses, including all of the History of Rock ‘n’ Roll courses and MUS-Z 200: History of the Blues, as well as any two specified musician courses, such as MUS-Z 401: Music of the Beatles, MUS-Z 403: Music of Jimi Hendrix or MUS-Z 404: Music of Bob Dylan.

Hollinden believes that taking a variety of classes is an essential, as it allows people to become more aware of different music and to even understand the music they're already familiar with in a better way, since "you have to understand the blues in order to understand rock ‘n’ roll.”

“I think listening to music is a skill, and these classes force people to listen to music maybe in a different way than they do as a casual consumer,” Hollinden said.

The certificate in rock history is available to students outside of the Jacobs School, which means you do not have to be a music major in order to earn this certificate. 

“I think people get better at listening to music,” Hollinden said. “As they take one of these courses and they find it exciting, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I think they’ll find all of them exciting. I think it adds to their quality of life.”

But Hollinden stresses that these courses aren't necessarily easy.

“These classes can be challenging but challenging in a way that when people are done, they are glad that they took it,” Hollinden said. “They are appreciation courses. Because people find the class enjoyable, they try hard, and because they try hard, they do well.”

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