Sunday, September 6, 2015

All That's Old Is New Again ... And Vice Versa

Two weeks into the Fall 2015 semester at Converse College and, well, just speaking for me, we're having a blast At least, I am, anyway. I see passion, energy, and excitement fill the classroom at Blackman Hall, as we all just begin our individual and collective search for ways to:
Build our own brands as we chase the careers that will make us happy and even one day make us money. Our aim is to exploit those carefully built and highly desirable brands, along with what we learn, question, and experience, to market not just ourselves as we navigate an entrance into our new and chosen professions, but to leverage those same brands into ways to ...
Help recreate, even rebuild, an industry whose tectonic shifts, adaptations, and new power players and power centers change at mind-bending speed. As we learn the foundations of what the music industry is, what it does and how it works, we grow to understand the core fundamentals, those things that really don't change much. Once we grasp that, we understand enough to know what works, what doesn't, what should be changed, what shouldn't, and how all of it might or might not apply to us. And that way, we ...
Can explore the vast opportunities that await us in a vibrant industry that offers more options than we can consider, think about or even, given the rapid and relentless changes, know about today.
Just so happens that we've just started out with one great opportunity: this class. And our eight fantastic students heard the knock on this opportunity's door and are taking advantage of what could very well be the funnest, best class at Converse College.
Already, we witnessed our first "show" at Daniel Recital Hall on the first day of class with the amazing and accomplished Charlie Jennings, a young promoter who helped shape the huge Bonnaroo festival, who started at Wofford, became and intern at The Handlebar, and who just recently moved on to incredible success as a Vice President at national promoter Danny Wimmer Presents in Los Angeles.
We talked with Joe Brauner, mega-agent for the likes of Norah Jones and Matthew Mayfield, among others. Each student asked important questions that demanded thorough and honest answers, answers that Mr. Brauner filled with Big Names, important contacts, and the rich and important evolution of the music business in Joe's experience of the last 29 years. He told us the importance of relationships, including Putting Those Devices Down and interacting with those who will ... yes ... one day help us build our brands and our lives.
And we studied the text and other materials -- some online -- that have helped us understand in greater detail, with deeper perspectives, what this business is all about and can be about.
I'm thrilled to be part of this amazing, promising adventure with students who care so much and are already so engaged. And we've only just started having a blast. At least, I am.