Cogswell Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Tim Duncan, Digital Audio Technology


Dr. Tim Duncan

Dr. Timothy Duncan has been a member of the faculty of Cogswell Polytechnical College for over a decade. In addition to full-time teaching he was Dean of the College from 2005-2008. Dr. Duncan founded the Digital Audio Technology program, where he teaches many of its courses. He has synthesized his broad understanding of the music profession and the music industry to create an innovative audio program that targets both the manufacturing and the music production sides of the audio industry.

Dr. Duncan is an award-winning composer, performer and educator who is equally at home working with technology and with traditional media. He has composed and performed a body of new music compositions as well as created visual pieces and music for modern dance that have brought him recognition in the form of awards and grants from the Southeast Interdisciplinary Fund, Meet the Composer, Inc., the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, and the Mississippi Arts Commission (among others), as well as guest composer residencies in places such as the Meadows School of Music at SMU, the Conservatory at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Memphis. Dr. Duncan was music director for 14 regional and university theatrical productions, which earned him a citation (as composer) in the Shakespeare Music Catalogue.

Dr. Duncan completed degrees at the Universities of Tennessee, Memphis and Cincinnati, as well as pursuing additional study at Brooklyn College, Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. He is a member of the College Music Society, the International Computer Music Association and the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group. Dr. Duncan’s areas of specialization include sound synthesis, music composition and computer programming.

What classes do you currently teach?

This term I am teaching Sound Synthesis, World Music, Music Theory and DAT Portfolio classes. In general I teach a wide range of classes within the Digital Audio Technology (DAT) program.

Do you have a favorite class to teach? If so, why?

Usually it is whatever course I am teaching at the moment.

Have you worked for non-academic companies in the past? Which ones? How did that experience make you a better teacher?

I worked for Leapfrog, which manufactures educational “appliances”. I worked on the audio side of thir production.

What made you decide that you wanted to teach?

I have wanted to be a college professor since about the age of 16. I think that music in colleges is where it is happening.

What projects have you worked on in the past? What was your role in the project?

I have worked on a wide range of projects, particularly music projects. In some of those projects I was the composer or music director.

What projects (personal or professional) are you currently working on?

Currently I am working on a set of computer music pieces. I expect to finish them later this academic year.

What do you think sets Cogswell apart from other schools teaching similar curriculums?

There are very few schools that offer the type of audio curriculum that we have at Cogswell. I often get messages from applying students who say that they have searched and DAT is the only program that they can find which offer what they want.

How does a degree help someone pursuing a career in the digital media industries?

Employers are raising the bar, and why not? Being good at something is critical but it doesn’t set someone apart anymore. Being able to express oneself verbally and in writing, along with being able to work collaboratively are essential to the new workplace. Having a degree doesn’t guarantee these things but studying at Cogswell results in having to do all of them repeatedly over several years.

Phone: 408-541-0100 x130

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