It’s strange to think that only two years ago, Open Mic Nights were small enough to be held in Jazzman’s Café. Now with Open Mic nights such as the Feb. 21, Open Mic “Mike’s Night,” which was held to benefit Cabrini’s own student, Mike Dunphy and family, it seems that even Grace Hall is becoming too small to hold the monthly events. But is there more to these Open Mic Nights then meets the audiences’ ear?
In my opinion, Cabrini College has done a great favor for its aspired songwriters by not only holding Open Mic Nights, but also promoting them all throughout campus. By doing so, we, the musicians, are forced to push ourselves either into embarrassment or a transcending creative formula of philosophizing, writing and performing, which are three of the toughest areas for any song artist.
By holding so many per year, each artist has the chance to see what the other artist is doing, noting musical techniques, melodies and messages that one can then incorporate and possibly use in their own works.
It seems to me that Cabrini’s CAP Board is unconsciously educating the college’s musicians on core musicianship that is not being taught in any of our classrooms. However, these Open Mic Nights are not just a lesson in musicianship; they are a lesson in public speaking and confidence as well. One must be self-taught in the art of good stage presence which, for some, is a much harder concept to grasp than any communications or business theory.
The college itself also helps its musicians in several other ways, one being the offering of musical instrument lessons including piano, voice and even guitar. I, myself, am in the process of taking piano lessons this semester and I am finding class credits to be a motivation tool that would have been useful five years ago when I quit after two months of guitar lessons from a private store.
In the future it would be nice to see the college help its songwriters even further by offering more music classes such as more digital audio production courses, more than two poetry workshop courses and maybe a music history class that involves genres more involved with today’s culture such as rock, R&B and pop music. After all, with such a beautiful campus, a few more classes aimed toward the education of songwriters would not only create yet another offered major, but also widen the muses of Cabrini College’s music artists of the future.