This fall, Las Positas College (LPC) will offer two new music certificates to students: Scoring for Film and Visual Media, and Jazz Studies.

Scoring for Film and Visual Media is designed to prepare students to enter careers related to film scoring and video game music. "In my research of other schools, I wasn't able to find another community college that offers a program like this," said LPC's Director of Composition, Music Theory and Piano Dan Marschak.

The certificate was developed partially due to the success of LPC's music technology program and will fall under the umbrella of the college's commercial music programs, which also include Teaching Beginning Piano, Teaching Intermediate Piano, Music Business, and Music Technology Fundamentals.

"When I joined the faculty four years ago, one of my top priorities was to make composition more prominent for us," said Marschak. "I started with the Music 19 Studies in Music Composition class and we've offered that in the spring for the past two years. It's rare for a community college to focus so much on composition, and that's another thing that makes us unique. This new certificate in Scoring for Film and Visual Media seemed like a natural next step for our Composition and Music Technology students, as many are experimenting with film scoring on their own, and would like a more formal approach to learning this craft.

In addition to formal studies in music composition, music business, and music theory, students will learn how to use industry-standard software including Sibelius, Logic and ProTools in addition to receiving training on condenser microphones, MIDI interfaces and pre-amps on their way to obtaining their certificate.

Program graduates will receive the skills they'll need to start scoring projects in the real world," said Marschak. "It's thought of as a Los Angeles-based career, but that's starting to change, and with Silicon Valley so close, there are several new and exciting opportunities like doing music for YouTube or an app or video game. One of the core courses is Music 37, Music Industry Career Development, so students have a solid understanding of what it takes to make a living as a musician in the modern world.

For students more interested in performance, LPC will now offer a Jazz Studies certificate.

This certificate was developed because Marschak and faculty Ian Brekke and Cindy Browne Rosefield are jazz musicians and saw the opportunity to expand LPC's offerings. The Jazz Studies certificate is offered as part of an articulation agreement with California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), ensuring that every class taken as part of the certificate transfers and applies to a bachelor's degree in CJC, pending an audition.

"It's unusual for a community college to be so focused on jazz but it worked out that way because our three full-time faculty are professional jazz musicians, " said Marshak. "In addition to courses like jazz/pop piano, jazz combos, jazz ensemble, and vocal jazz, we've added a new course, MUS 48 Improvisation Lab, that will be taught for the first time by Tim Devine.

The purpose of this certificate is to provide a well-rounded education for instrumentalists or vocalists who want to pursue a career in jazz performance or education. It allows students to transfer into CJC as a sophomore or enter closer to a junior if they get the full associate in arts degree here at LPC."

Each of LPC's six certificate programs, including Scoring for Film and Visual Media, and Jazz Studies, is stackable and structured in a way for students to easily earn certificates on their way to obtaining an associate in arts for transfer degree in music. Visit for more information.