Worship Arts Director Dr. Jeremy Perigo used Dordt’s recording studio as a classroom for his Elements of Worship Praxis course during the spring semester. The class included a unit on recording, in which students learn good microphone techniques and how to use recording software. They then demonstrated what they had learned by recording a song.
“Churches are always in need of passionate, Jesus-loving tech people,” says Dordt Worship Arts Technical Director Alex Priore, adding that students with studio experience will be well-positioned for getting such jobs. The need for technologically skilled people serving in local churches has become especially apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In March, Perigo and Priore worked with each of Dordt’s seven worship leaders to record live music videos and songs for an acoustic album, which they plan to release on YouTube and as an album in the near future.
Junior Worship Arts Major Kira Waite was a contributor to this music video project. “It was fun to work with talented people who are both passionate and dedicated to their craft,” says Waite. “I am thrilled to see the finished product of this masterpiece!” Waite also used the studio when she recorded a four-song EP with her roommate and two friends in her freshman year.
“Studio experience helps to train a musician’s ear to understand what sounds good and what doesn’t,” says Priore. “In the studio, you learn how to be flexible and creative on the spot, how to come prepared for the session (much like coming prepared for a worship practice), how to record and play to a click track (essential for staying in time), and so much more. Not only is it fun, it adds to the well-roundedness of a musician’s skills and abilities.”
Perigo says that students studying worship arts at Dordt can build their own profile and portfolio so that they leave Dordt with a collection of songs to show who they are as artists.
“Today, artists often produce their own music, and our students leave with the skills needed to do that,” says Perigo. “In the Worship Arts program, we hope to equip majors and minors to be discerning theologians, skillful musicians, confident and humble leaders, and creative media messengers. Using the recording studio helps our students to become more technically skillful.”
Students appreciate these opportunities for hands-on experience. “Dordt’s worship arts program has broadened my understanding of what it means to be a worship leader,” says Waite. “I have learned a lot by being a worship leader on campus and have gained knowledge through practical experience that was outside of what any textbook or classroom experience could have given.”