Music program offers students freedom to create

Music program offers students freedom to create

Elliott Miles McKinley is passionate about what he does.

McKinley, an assistant professor of music at Indiana University East, has been instrumental in developing the music major and minor offered at the university since fall 2008. Students can major in music through the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities or minor in music performance, music composition and electronic composition or music theory.

A recent video featuring the music program and McKinley has been released on the IU East YouTube Web site at

“A healthy and vibrant music program on any campus is just a natural and living part of campus life for students and faculty, and any visitors who come here,” McKinley said.

The music program is part of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students can explore music and the department welcomes all levels and abilities, including those who have had little or no prior musical training and experience. McKinley said the purpose of the music courses are to provide students with the tools and knowledge to use those tools, and then to “set them free to make their own creations.”

“There’s a whole world of music that a lot of people don’t know exists,” McKinley said. “It’s my passion to expose people to the world of music.”

McKinley joined the faculty at IU East in July 2008. He previously taught fundamentals of music at the University of Minnesota and was a guest lecturer at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

In addition to his teaching, McKinley has composed music that has been performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Minnesota.

Coming up in July, The Chanticleer String Quartet will play a movement from McKinley’s fourth string quartet. The quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31 in Vivian Auditorium, located in Whitewater Hall on the IU East campus. The community is welcome to attend this free event. The rest of the program will feature works by Mendelssohn and Brahms.

For more information about the IU East music program, contact the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at (765) 973-8219 or visit

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