March 20, 2023


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Music Business College Graduates Stay Enthusiastic Despite Serious Job Market – Variety iety

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Jenna Batson, who graduated last month with a degree in music business from Syracuse University’s Bandier program, was almost ready for a career in the concert industry as a senior without any neoplastic benefits. Early in college, he focused on the touring business, served as a talented shopper and co-director of the school’s concert board, and did internships in art-titled Live Nation, Red Light Management, and Superfly, where he did an internship last summer for an outdoor land festival in San Francisco. . He earned a contract position this summer and a permanent job looks promising.

But then came the epidemic, which in a matter of days flattened the entire concert industry – the financial engine of the music business, the tour business that Polstar estimated to earn 12 12.2 billion at the box office this year. Every major concert tour and festival has been canceled or postponed indefinitely; Trimming, furloughs or pay cuts have fallen on every major live entertainment company. Polstar estimates that the concert industry could lose $ 9 billion by 2020 alone. Needless to say, many music businesses have a rental freeze, and live entertainment is a universal-universal one.

“I hope the industry returns directly,” said Batson, 21, who averaged 3.7 percent and graduated with a minor in marketing and music history. “But now it’s going to be flexible and adaptable and I’m looking at different sectors like record labels and publishing. But I have enough education to feel comfortable taking risks and I feel very supported by the Bandier program – they send work leads every week. “

Thirty years ago, it was very difficult to find a handful of colleges offering classes in the music business; Dozens of universities now host full-scale programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees. Some grew up from formal music schools, such as Syracuse and Berkeley in Boston, but others across the country ranged from long-term programs at Belmont University in Nashville to Drexel in Philadelphia and Loyola in New Orleans; There are several in Southern California and two at New York University alone, including the Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music. With guest interpreter Selvia Ron and CEO Justin Bieber / Ariana Grand Manager Scooter Brown (pictured above in a Syracuse Zoom class above) as guest lecturers, these programs provide students with the kind of experience they have had before. Years, and the number of graduates each year in the wild they deliberately small from 25-30 in Syracuse to other large schools in the general total of 100-200. (Published: The author of this article was a guest speaker on Syracuse and NYU programs)

Like most colleges, during the spring semester of 2020, there were only a few days to determine how programs could teach online, how to prepare their graduate seniors for the risky job market they were about to enter.

“I was reading a book about Winston Churchill during the war in Britain, and I think there’s something about his pragmatic but optimistic leadership that we can all take a page on,” said Larry Miller, director of NYU’s music business program at Steinhart School, a stern laugh. With “we had [WME head of music] Mark Version spoke to our graduates at the beginning of Virtual and he said amazing things about not giving up on your dreams, even with the world as it is now. “

Although many programs help graduates make connections and find work, Belmont has doubled the process. “We’re not a placement agency,” said Nina Williams Woodard, a senior career development specialist at the university’s Mike Carb College of Entertainment and Music Business, but we have a number of programs to help scholars who have lost their jobs, as well as scholars. . He lists workshops, seminars, coaching sessions, career-development programs (including one titled “How to Investigate an Epidemic”) and even an eight-week mentorship program this week that connects more than 100 students and industry professionals to 2020 grades. With. “We try to make sure that graduates focus on what is in their control and think about what makes it possible rather than what is lost.” “Now is the right time to research and build skills on when the market will open. “

Some schools have used the epidemic as an extreme example of some of the challenges facing the music industry, which stemmed from decades of illegal-download-induced financial devastation a few years before the coronavirus hit “The music business is a very competitive place – even in good times. There are 300 resumes that need to be separated, ”said Bill Ward, director of Syracuse’s Bandier program. “We have always focused on resilience, wealth, the fluid nature of trends and the dynamic nature of business models, and Covid-19 has made the focus of this conversation even lighter. So we say, ‘Do you wait anxiously for a job, or do research on the companies of your choice and the executives needed to build relationships with you, and go to them – and even wait for a job posting? “We try to set people up for careers.”

Tony Butler of Berkeley was in favor of the same national entrepreneurial approach, becoming chairman of the school’s music business / management department the following month. Although its program is limited to music students, it focuses on ways in which musicians can run their own business, with an emphasis on marketing, branding, imaging and developing a fan base. Just days after the epidemic set in, Professor Jeff Dorenfield of Berkeley moved a concert program from the school to a live stream, complete with virtual tip jars and other means of monetization. “We’re trying to see musicians see themselves as a business,” Butler says. Although the current industrial climate is the most difficult for immediate musicians, whose entire source of income has dried up, “we try to convince students that they are not alone and will not take it personally,” he said. “We work to set them up for change over time, and fluid enough to adapt to the curriculum – I always say,‘ What I tell you today may be different in a few months. ‘

Linde Ferguson (2) received her master’s degree from Steinhart in May and is working part-time on the music publishing rights platform Sonsrast – remotely, from her parents’ home in Pennsylvania – and she is also a singer-songwriter. “I was totally looking forward to living in New York and working in the industry,” he said, “but when I was in a separate room I felt a sense of peace and it gave me time to think. “Some lyricist friends have moved to Los Angeles and he has started making connections and collaborating remotely with other musicians.” I’ve seen a lot of resources and innovations from my colleagues – even if they don’t get jobs and we’re not in classes or internships. They’re finding ways to get things done, “he says.” They’re making songs or videos and making connections – and I’m also seeing a lot of activity for Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ. [causes]. We are using the time to stay calm, but there is a lot of inner creative movement in our silence. “

Considering his options, another Steinhart graduate is 22-year-old Matt Rose, who by March had hoped that Paradise Talent could be a direct internship at a successful internship company or elsewhere. “I really wanted to work for an agency but now I’m looking for something in music, film / TV or both,” he said. She is doing an internship at the Manhattan Theater Club from her parents ’home in Philadelphia and is working on theater projects in music supervision and composing freelance songs, including a podcast. “It’s easy for me to say that I hope the school will do more,” he says, to help her find her job, adding, “But NYU has really prepared us and given us a wide set of skills, so I can’t really complain. “

Indeed, the key to a career, and the mental preparation for it, is a survival skill that most programs emphasize. “If a student’s direct attention to industry or agencies is respected, we say, ‘Why aren’t you looking at management?’ And reassure them that just because they’re not directly entering the business right now doesn’t mean “never will,” Ward says. “Keep your foot on the door, how to be a skilled professional, build your knowledge and relationships and it will work.” ‘I think people put too much emphasis on the career path to be a straight line, and we all know that’s not usually the case. For students, this year’s events are certainly disappointing, but we advise them to take a longer look, and I’m not overly concerned about the prospects for graduates.

That optimism has been echoed by Miller. “Our students come from all different backgrounds, but many are very involved or even helicopter parents – and if those students didn’t have a strong attitude before, they are definitely becoming that way now. I see it happen right in front of my eyes … my virtual eyes, “he smiled.” The way they talk about their situation gives me confidence that they will get it. “

In fact, Batson and the Syracuse Concert Board were making lemons out of lemons before they graduated. The university held a blockbuster “block party” on campus at the beginning and end of each school year, but apparently the spring of 2020 was canceled. To replace this, Batson and the team booked an online concert on Zoom, a virtual acoustic set by singer King Princess (who played from Hawaii via iPhone) and a DJ set by Kaitarnadar, whose livestream setup was not compatible with Zoom. After several hours of knotting technical hurdles, the students and the Toronto-based crew set in Kitaranada found a job streaming live over Twitch and then streaming the live stream over Zoom.

“It was all unobstructed territory, and setting it up was really exciting,” Batson said.

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