About Us

keyboard artist in concert male keyboard artist in concert
Photo Credit: Colin McKinley

The Creative American Music Program is a unique performing songwriting program built on two fundamental premises:

Respect for tradition – The CAM program is designed to develop the creative skills of talented songwriting artists by immersing them in the diverse traditions that form the foundation of modern American songwriting; the African and Anglo American roots music that all modern popular music is derived from. However, the CAM program is not about being conformed to the past, but rather about being informed by and becoming intimate with traditions that are deep wellsprings to draw from.

Commitment to musicianship – The CAM program is highly-selective and rigorous. CAM students perform at the same levels expected of all Music students in their respective disciplines. CAM students are not just great songwriters, but also great, highly-educated musicians.

Unlike a traditional major, the Frost School of Music pioneered an interdisciplinary educational model by offering a program that is available to all undergraduate music students regardless of major. The CAM curriculum is structed as a 17-credit minor that can be interwoven into any major at the School of Music. This creates a diverse and eclectic musical community of performers, producers, composers, engineers, entrepreneurs, educators, and music therapists coming together in ways that could never happen with a traditional major.

Unlike a traditional minor, the CAM program is a destination in and of itself. Students can apply and audition at the Frost School as songwriters through a Primary Instrument (Principal) in Contemporary Performance.

Contemporary Performance is designed for talented songwriters, singers, and instrumentalists who are not traditional classical or jazz musicians, and want to also pursue a professional major at the Frost School, including Musicianship, Artistry Development, & Entrepreneurship (MADE), Music Business and Entertainment Industries (MBEI), Music Engineering Technology (MUE), Media Writing and Production (MWP), Music Education (MED), Music Theory/Composition (MTC), Music Therapy (MTY), the B.M in Professional Studies (MPRO), The B.A in Music (BAM).

Contemporary Primary Instruments include:

  • Contemporary Guitar (Electric and/or Acoustic),
  • Contemporary Voice
  • Contemporary Bass (Electric)
  • Contemporary Keyboard
  • Contemporary Media (Alternate Controllers/Electronic Producers)
  • Contemporary Strings (Fiddle, Electric and/or acoustic Violin, Viola, Cello, etc.)
  • Contemporary Percussion (Drums and/or Percussion)
  • Contemporary Songwriting (Songwriters will also automatically apply to the CAM Program.)