I just heard a short radio program on some music school where supposedly the students are required to learn to program. At first I thought the use of the term "program" was probably inappropriate, then the prof came on and said (literally), "I think simply learning how to use someone else's software package is simply learning someone else's approach to music on a computer, so I want them to learn to write software for themselves" (!)
They apparently have done quite a job of it, including making robots and programming micro-controllers to play acoustic music. Some of them are pre-programmed, some of them are controlled directly. Sounded good.
Anyway, for anyone else who finds that interesting, here's a Wired article I found on them:
Machine Orchestra Features Hacked Guitar, Trampoline-Triggered Music Cues | Underwire | Wired.com
I actually didn't read that, but check out the photograph of what some dude did with a guitar. Looks like this is their homepage:
Labs | KarmetiK
If I could go do a few years of classes somewhere for free with no goal in mind (methinks the employment potential here is very limited -- I can just see these people ending up as improvised oddballs with with living rooms full of junk), I think this would be one of my first choices.