Photo Courtesy of Oakland University
Oakland University noticed Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME) because they were in the top commercial music degree program in “Billboard” magazine for the past two years. Kevin Corcoran, the Dean of the College or Arts and Sciences, reached out and initiated the partnership. DIME has always wanted a partner in Michigan, it was a mutually beneficial collaboration.
This partnership is giving OU students the opportunity to study more modern music, since OU usually offers a traditional standpoint. DIME opens up the different types of degrees music majors can consider.
DIME has been providing their students with music classes in Detroit for six years. They are built for students interested in being serious musicians. Since opening, they have graduated two classes of professional musicians in modern and commercial music.
“The beauty of DIME is that they offer degrees in commercial music,” professor of music Amy Tully said “The student that wants to be a rock musician, the student that wants to be the music producer, that’s the kind of student that is interested in the degrees that DIME offers.”
DIME’s students will now be considered OU students and be able to access all university resources. They can have access to things such as the faculty, housing, advising and financial aid. DIME students are allowed to transfer to OU, and OU students are allowed to take DIME classes. The partnership is beneficial to both types of students.
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for both OU and for DIME but also for the students in Detroit,” Co-Founder of DIME Sarah Clayman said. “Partnering with a local university where the main campus is 20 minutes from downtown Detroit is going to make a big difference to the students’ community.”
Oakland University has opportunities for students interested in jazz, classical music, theater and dance already, but by partnering with DIME, it offers more commercial, modern music-industry perspectives.
DIME has a 200 person venue, where they would like to hold collaborative events with OU’s music department. DIME suggests holding a masterclass with both students.
DIME’s programs include students from 27 countries around the world. This is possible because DIME has been providing online programs for six years now and plans to increase online learning throughout the pandemic.
“We use virtual learning environments, which is very collaborative, and the students can communicate with each other through community areas,” Clayman said. “So it’s asynchronous learning but also the faculty will be holding real time classes via Zoom or Canvas.”
DIME has classes in commercial music performance, like the guitar, bass, drums and vocals, commercial songwriting and music entrepreneurship.
“We’re really focused on helping students get the skills needed to go and work in the modern music industry,” Clayman said.