MTSU students took advantage of an opportunity to ask questions of several recording industry executives during a special workshop conducted on campus by digital music distributor TuneCore.
The event, coordinated by Shelby Kennedy, TuneCore vice president of executive relations, brought three more industry professionals to the Bragg Mass Communication Building to advise student singers, songwriters, musicians and future executives.
Kennedy, Chris Oglesby of BMG/Chrysalis, Carnival Music's Courtney Gregg and publisher/artist manager Scott Gunter sat down with students nearing the end of the spring 2015 semester for a "New Artist Consultation" workshop.
"With MTSU having so much talent on campus and TuneCore's passion to educate, equip and empower today's recording artists and songwriters, I wanted to take the opportunity to assemble generous professional executives to provide industry expertise and feedback for the university's artists in development," Kennedy said.
"The exchange was personal in addressing the specific concerns and questions of each artist that often go unanswered. It was a special event where executives shared information as 'catalysts' more than 'gatekeepers.'"
MTSU's College of Mass Communication has its own student-run label, Match Records, which showcases and develops artists. An increasing number of students also have been working toward their own publishing and recording careers.
TuneCore and its competitors, which include CDBaby, Reverbnation and OneRPM, distribute an artist's music to digital music stores like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, Rdio, Pandora and Rhapsody for a fee. Some distributors also charge a percentage of music sales. TuneCore also operates a music publishing administration arm to license artists' work and collect royalties.
"We are so grateful to TuneCore and to Shelby, Chris, Courtney and Scott for the time they spent with our students," said Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU's Department of Recording Industry. "They were enthusiastic, patient and thorough as they offered advice to our singers, songwriters and musicians.
"They'll never know the true influence they had on our students. This is just another example of how special the Nashville music business is."
MTSU's Department of Recording Industry was included last fall on the international "Top 25 Music Schools 2014" list of acclaimed schools touted by The Hollywood Reporter that includes Juilliard, Berklee, Yale and London's Royal College of Music.
Almost 20 MTSU alumni or former students and faculty from around the university have been nominated for Grammy Awards in the last five years. Nine have won Grammys so far, including some repeat recipients, in categories from classical to gospel to bluegrass.
You can learn more about MTSU's recording industry program at http://recordingindustry.mtsu.edu.