Bachelor of Fine Arts
Major in Music
A musical education beyond borders
Playing music across genres and across borders prepared Tim Charman for the life he dreams of as a musician
As a self-taught musician from Vancouver, Tim Charman enrolled in the Music program to develop and diversify his existing skills.
What drew you to Concordia?
Music school gives you an opportunity to diversify your network of contacts and build interpersonal skills, and obviously you get better as a musician.
Concordia had the kind of flexible program that I wanted. At a lot of the other universities I looked at, you do just jazz or just classical — there’s no real blending of the two. But Concordia had the kind of mix where I was able to take classes in jazz, classical and sound design.
If you could describe the Music program in three key terms, what would they be?
Flexibility. Although you do have to take some core classes, once you’ve fulfilled those, there’s a lot more freedom to study other things.
Self-direction. It seems like Concordia is quite self-guided. There’s a lot of room for setting your own pace.
Passion. The program is very small, especially compared to other universities in Canada, but the professors are very passionate about music and, despite the heavy workload, they still impart that passion to their students.
You did field school in Colombia. Tell us about your experience.
It involved talking about local societal problems and sustainability issues. In addition to classroom learning time, we went out and met artists in the city and saw different cultural spots.
I got recruited along with one of my friends to do a song that we wrote very quickly and it was performed at a big theatre during a keynote address.
Then a few of us also got invited to do a telematics performance where we played live music with people via the internet in other cities far away. It was all free improvisation but it worked really well.
What are your goals post-graduation?
I’m going on a cross-country tour in a band. Then I’m moving to the West Coast to do a mixture of teaching and performance. I’m also going to be doing some online teaching, and I’ll be doing my own lessons as well.
In B.C., there’s a huge need for music education. Because of budget cuts, there have been music programs removed from almost every school so it would be good if I can work in the schools. I think one of the best things you can do is to get kids to be passionate about music from a young age. If you can foster their creativity, it makes the overall learning process so much better.