As a musician, Ken Wendt realized the gear surrounding him and his instruments played a critical role in presenting his craft to the world.
So Wendt, who plays trumpet and drums, immersed himself in a different side of music: the technology supporting it. As he learned more about the tech side, he developed his own home studio and picked up videography and recording skills.
“I wanted to have at least some sort of cursory knowledge of how it works so I can have a hand in how I sound,” he said.
Wendt’s newfound abilities not only shaped his music, but also helped forge a new career path.
When the position for an information technology coordinator in the Department of Music opened in January 2015, Wendt felt the job listing was created with him in mind; it perfectly melded his passion for music and technology.
In that role, Wendt addresses the department’s information technology and audio/video needs and manages the Core Mac Lab, which is open to all Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Institute of Music students, regardless of major. The lab, in Haydn Hall, features 12 27-inch Apple computers suitable for audio and video production and rentable equipment like video cameras, public address speakers and microphones. During the academic year, the free lab is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wendt also is as an adjunct faculty member, teaching two classes: Digital Music Production, an elective open to all students, and Technology Assisted Music Learning and Teaching, a required course for music education majors.
His Digital Music Production course is especially popular; Wendt is often inundated with up to 30 requests to fill just 10 seats.
“Students love that class,” he said.
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