Referencing Jack Black aside (who is more Rock than Metal), as of September this year, students at the New College Nottingham can academically study a two-year foundation course in Heavy Metal Music, being the first of its kind in the world – fittingly, near its birthplace. And why is it a tribute to the greatest degree in the world? Carry on [my wayward son]…
The town of Nottingham, according to the New College Nottingham website;
Heavy Metal has huge cultural significance in Nottingham, nationally and internationally and this will be explored during the course.
Ian Paice, drummer from Deep Purple anyone?
The course will incorporate the study of the history and social effects of the music, as well learning how to compose and play the different styles of Metal. The course is also a university level college course. It’s cheaper than a university course, so one can worry less about the money.
Comments have arisen already, including damning criticism from Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, who stated,
There are too many degrees being offered that lack credibility in the marketplace. It might seem an attractive, easy option to some people. But you don’t need to do a degree in heavy metal. It’s a waste of time.
Liam Maloy, the creator of the course (a seven month project that is still ongoing), has defended these comments, saying:
In the past, heavy metal has not been taken seriously and is seen as lacking academic credibility when compared with other genres such as jazz and classical music. But that’s just a cultural construction.
Perhaps Mr McGovern has a point; after all, those who study less traditional subjects receive enough criticism – why feed the trolls further? But then, why do those who DO do these less traditional degree subjects that receive a lot of criticism (Film, Corporate Management, Beauty Salon Management – or perhaps the last one is deserved?) have to continually defend their academic integrity? Sometimes a student’s motivation for a degree might not be career orientated; maybe they just like the course.
Saying that a degree is “a waste of time” is actually belittling other people’s choices entirely; criticising with opinion yet little basis of fact is actually bullying, as opposed to healthy criticism. Perhaps this course, as with many others, is not the traditional, clear-idea-for-the-future type of degree. Perhaps it has simply taken because the student has made the choice to enjoy relative freedom, and is happy to take the hit of unemployment afterwards. Not all of us are worker bees: some of us prefer to observe the bees work.
A degree reflects who the person is, and what interests them. Very few degrees guide us to a career, and these are often vocational; Medicine, Engineering, Social Work, etc. A degree is a tool at most; wait as long as you like, but a hammer won’t hammer the nail for you. One has to use it if one has it, and take advantage of what one can learn from it; not just how to make money, but how to learn something (and, I daresay, pick up attractive men/women, in the case of a Metal Degree). Hence, this is a tribute to the best degree in the world, for it’s someone’s interpretation of a great degree, for it suits them.
Besides, the spirit of Metal is to spit in the face of society. A degree is a great way to smother the phlegm over the steaming Daily Mail readers. They may just be jealous.
But what about the flip side? Why a degree in Heavy Metal? Why can’t a degree become Metal? Steam Punk Society, I know you’re out there; campaign to make the University of Southampton degrees truly metal. Stick your School of Rock, Mr Black.
What do you think about Heavy Metal degrees? Let us know, comment below!