Survey of the Music Industry
Survey of the Music Industry is an essential course for music majors at any university. VCU’s course addresses the subjects of copyright, business organization, music production, management, recording, freelancing, grants, taxation and non-performance careers. The course is an elective for music majors and required as part of the Jazz Studies program.
“The most beneficial, real-life class I’ve taken in my four years. … It should be required of all music students.”
— Music business class member
Though this course is not jazz-centered, many of the students’ final projects can be related to jazz careers, addressing such subjects as becoming a tenured professor, starting a music technology school in Richmond, presenting a concert, promotional packets, hosting a festival, music promotion, recording and touring, professional bassist career, commercial jingles, getting a demo picked up, booking agent as a career, opening a recording studio, film scoring and recording producer as a career.
At VCU, you’ll learn how to take care of business.
Prof. Antonio Garcia, the instructing faculty member, brings over 20 years of music business teaching experience to the class, which also receives first-hand expertise and advice from a dozen or more established professionals during the semester. Previous guest speakers have included Adam Lacy (owner, The Project Studio); Al Regni (saxophonist, freelance musician, VCU faculty); Alvester Garnett (drummer, freelance musician, alumnus); Alyssa Solomon (accountant, Biegler & Associates); Audrey Booth (executive director, The Landmark); Blair Tindall (freelance musician, author); Butch Taylor (owner, producer, composer, In Your Ear Studios); Carlos Chafin (owner, producer, composer, In Your Ear Studios); Catherine Stemple (accountant, Biegler & Associates); Charles Chambliss (attorney); Clarke Bustard (arts columnist, Richmond Times-Dispatch); David Fisk (executive director, Richmond Symphony Orchestra); David G. Russell (film scorer, alumnus); David Liebman (saxophonist, freelance musician, founder of the International Association of Schools of Jazz); Dean Christesen (RVAnews founder, alumnus); Dolly Vogt (regional general manager, SMG); Eric Hanson (president, Tree Lawn Artists, formerly with Ted Kurland Associates); Gordy Haab (composer, alumnus); Jeff McManus (Superior Production Exchange/Rainmaker Studios); Jill Sobule (composer, performer, bandleader); Jim Pugh (freelance performer, college educator); Jimmy Bland (owner, Plan 9 Music); Joel Katz (executive director, Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts); Julia Rogers (accountant, Biegler & Associates); Kristin O'Connor (Superior Production Exchange/Rainmaker Studios); Lassiter Wall (Superior Production Exchange/Rainmaker Studios); Laura Hartmann (LVanHart Artist Productions); Lisa Edwards-Burrs (vocalist, freelance musician, Virginia Union faculty, alumna); Marc Baylin (president, Baylin Artist Management); Maria Schneider (composer, bandleader); Marvin Stamm (freelance trumpeter); Mason Bates (composer); Matt Roberts (attorney); Melissa Ruggieri (Richmond Times-Dispatch); Michael Congdon (engineer/composer, In Your Ear Studios); Michael Davis (freelance trombonist, composer, publisher); Nathan Kahn (symphonic negotiator, American Federation of Musicians); Patchwork Collective (Matt White, Scott Burton, Chris Elford, and Bryan Hooten, music producers); Peter McElhinney (music columnist, Style Weekly), Peter Solomon (jazz host and operations manager, WCVE-FM Radio), Prabir Mehta (operations, Richmond Symphony Orchestra); René Marie (vocalist, freelance musician); Rhythm & Brass (quintet of freelance musicians, university professors); Richard Erb (Louisiana Philharmonic trombonist, musician's union rep, university professor); Robbin Thompson (owner/composer, In Your Ear Studios, freelance musician); Robert Fleskes (director of marketing, SMG); Robin Lawson (accountant, Biegler & Associates); Russell Wilson (pianist and freelance musician, VCU faculty), Samantha Sawyer (director of marketing, SMG); Sarah Barr (Superior Productions/Rainmaker Studios); Scot Hale (Superior Productions/Rainmaker Studios); and Susan Greenbaum (freelance vocalist, composer and bandleader).
The class has also made field trips to such sites as In Your Ear Studios, The Landmark Theatre, Rainmaker Studios/Superior Production Exchange, Richmond CenterStage and to a Richmond Symphony Orchestra rehearsal.
“This class gives me the tools to take matters into my own hands.”
— Music business class member