Steinhardt freshman John Meurer has a confession. Whenever he hears someone play music off-pitch, he can’t help but cringe.
“I don’t have perfect pitch, but I can tell,” Meurer said. “If it’s out of tune, I can’t listen.”
Meurer majors in music technology at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, plays three instruments and interns at Indaba Music, a music networking company. The contents of his bag prove he’s a qualified judge of sound.
reel and toolkit
Meurer’s major, which focuses on the relationship between electricity and music, requires him to take classes like Electronic Music Synthesis, Computer Music Synthesis and Electronics. The quarter-inch tape reel, which was needed for recording on analog tape machines in the ’70s, was required for his Electronic Music Synthesis class last semester. The course covered topics like generation of sound and voltage control. With the toolkit, Meurer learned to build circuits with his laboratory section in his Electronics course.
Sheet music and guitar picks
Even though Meurer has not had vocal training, he sings and plays the piano, guitar and drums. His band in high school even headlined the little stage at Summerfest, one of the world’s largest music festivals. The sheet music and guitar picks in his bag are from his most recent gig at The Red Lion on Bleecker Street, where Meurer played keyboard for fellow Steinhardt freshman Andrew Weiss’ band High Fascination.
“I’ve tried everything … singing, playing, recording, producing,” Meurer said. “I try to always learn new music, and I like being able to change it up when I perform, going from guitar to keyboard to drums.”
Many people bring a notebook, a planner or a laptop to their internship, but all Meurer packs is a pair of Audiotech headphones. The company he interns for, Indaba Music, is a social media site with over 700,000 profiles of aspiring musicians. The site partners with recording artists to offer contests that require users to submit remixes to songs. If a remix is selected, an artist can win gigs or releases on an album. Meurer’s job is to sift through the submissions.
“I like hearing a version of the song done different way,” Meurer said. “My internship gives me the ability to see what other musicians can do and are doing, and as a musician, that’s a great thing.”
Meurer, who said he is forgetful at times, has learned to prepare himself for class by keeping a stapler in his bag. With such a busy schedule, juggling an internship and labor-intensive classes, it is no wonder that little things like a stapler slip through the cracks.
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