Dr. Steven P. French, dean and John Portman Chair of the College of Design at Georgia Tech announced on June 14, 2018, that Dr. Jason Freeman has been named as the new chair of the School of Music. The appointment will take effect on July 1, 2018.
Freeman is an exceptional scholar and artist. He has been a leader in the arts on campus and in Atlanta. “He has the skills and vision to forge the links between music and technology that make the Georgia Tech School of Music a world leader,” Dean French said.
As the chair of the School of Music, Freeman aims to grow the music technology degree programs, and help students find new ways to connect their passion and talent for music with their study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
“Part of what’s important to the School is to be a really inclusive place,” Freeman said. “I want to celebrate and expand the many different ways that Georgia Tech students engage with our School.”
The School of Music has long supported Georgia Tech students who are interested in music through the orchestra, marching band, choir, and other ensembles. The Georgia Tech Glee Club is one of the Institute’s oldest student organizations, founded in 1906.
“You don’t have to choose between a career in music and a career in engineering or computing,” Freeman said. Georgia Tech’s music technology programs teach students the engineering and musical skills they need to transform the ways we listen to music, share music, even build musical instruments, he said.
“We have alumni working at some of the best-known companies in the music and tech industries – Bose, Spotify, Apple, Ableton – that are building the next generation of technologies right now,” Freeman said.
The curriculum he will lead challenges students to build new music technologies before they leave campus.
“Students learn these skills in the spirit of what I think Georgia Tech is really about: learning practical skills, working in teams, and trying to solve real-world problems in the classroom,” he said.
Freeman is the Principal Investigator of EarSketch, a nationwide program that uses music to teach middle school students about computer science. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Google, Dolby Labs, and The Arthur Blank Foundation.
“Music technology is no longer only for composers and audio engineers. This academic discipline now includes computer scientists, psychologists, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers. These new fields inform the future of music technology, and music technology is making transformative breakthroughs in those fields as well,” Freeman said.
“Where Georgia Tech's School of Music is leading the way is establishing the standards for rigor in scholarly research,” he said. “We’re setting the bar for interdisciplinary training at all levels of study, from K-12 all the way to Ph.D.”
Freeman joined Georgia Tech in 2006 as an Assistant Professor of Music. He was promoted to Professor in 2016. He was a Research Laureate at the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM) at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris from 2014-2015. He teaches courses in music technology and computer music composition.
His students are a renaissance generation, Freeman said. They are able to write MATLAB code, get in front of an audience playing violin, and everything in between.
Freeman, himself, is an accomplished composer. His works have been performed in Atlanta and around the world.
Freeman received his D.M.A and a Master of Arts in Composition from Columbia University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Yale University.