The stereotypical idea of research, that of a group of scientists in white lab coats working on complicated equipment, may seem as far from the creative arts as any two different branches of study on a university campus. The creative arts, however, may offer what are perhaps the most diverse, unconventional, and liberating forms of research a university can provide. Creative projects, such as filming or editing movies, performing a piece of music either solo or as part of an ensemble, creating a portfolio or gallery presentation, or performing play or musical, all fall under the purview of research endeavors at Vanderbilt. In addition to these creative experiences, research in the creative arts also encompasses the more traditional. Students of music and the arts routinely participate in conferences to present their academic research related to the history or theory of their fields.
In music, the Blair School of Music has countless opportunities both for majors in musical art, musical performance, or musical composition, as well as opportunities for members of the Vanderbilt community who just want to stay engaged with music. The Blair School of Music presents over three hundred concerts in a given school year, so students have ample opportunities to perform solo, as part of a chamber ensemble, or part of a larger ensemble. The Blair School of Music also offers numerous classes and lesson opportunities for non-music majors to pursue their creative side.
In the visual arts, students can pursue creative endeavors through a variety of media, whether it be painting, sculpture, photography or something else. Students in the visual arts have the opportunity to showcase their work at the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery and the Sarratt Art Gallery.
In the performing arts, Vanderbilt offers opportunities for any student interested in acting, dancing, directing, choreographing, playwriting, or set designing. The Department of Theatre offers classes for students not majoring in theatre and many productions cast roles to anyone in the greater Vanderbilt community who pass an audition. For those looking to pursue a major in theatre, the department presents numerous productions in any given year from a variety of genres and from numerous directors.
In Cinema and Media Arts, students can create and present their films at the Sarratt Cinema. As with other creative arts at Vanderbilt, non-majors are encouraged to pursue opportunities in this field and have ample opportunities to pursue and showcase their work. Students in the major have considerable options and outlets for their creative experiences.