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by Stephanie A '11

Future Music Moguls At NYU

New York University is known as an over-priced college spread out through most of downtown Manhattan. Although it lacks the traditional campus and frat-bonding experience, it is still on most seniors’ college list. Surrounded by clubs, restaurants, and many high-fashion clothing stores, NYU has attracted many music fans because of the endless opportunities the city holds. As the music industry grew, the Tisch School for Recorded Music formed. An email from our very own Ms. You informed me about a special program called The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, which was holding a program called Future Music Moguls. The program introduces all aspects of the contemporary music business to students, with a special focus on developing entrepreneurial skills. Learning about what makes a hit song, marketing, promotion, touring, publicity, branding, how the Internet and mobile devices affect the delivery and distribution of music, producing using basic Pro Tools software, and what it means to be a Music Mogul are just a few of the things one will learn in this program. And the best part? It was FREE.
But NYU would never open a free program to high school juniors in the tri-state area without making the application difficult. Prospective students must apply online and retrieve 2 letters of recommendation, one from a guidance counselor and one from a teacher. On the online application form, students are asked to explain how they are misrepresented in the music industry. This may be because of gender, orientation, ethnicity, and even religion. Next, two short responses of your favorite 2 albums need to be briefly described. This might seem like a lot, but there’s even more. If you are accepted, you will be called in for an interview at one of the NYU buildings. I was placed in the biggest recording studio NYU has. In the interview, you are broken into a group by random. With your group, you all must come up with a movie plot, actors who will play the lead roles, a soundtrack for the movie (this includes the genre and artists), and how you will market and finally promote this movie and soundtrack together. After agreeing on what the group wants to do, everyone will present in front of a few alumni of the music industry. Also in the interview, everyone is asked to write down two facts about themselves, and one lie. The whole room has to figure out which one is the lie. Some of you may be wondering what this has to do with the music industry; let’s just say this business isn’t the most truthful.
About a week or so after, you find out whether you made it or not! If you were one of the 15 lucky few out of the total applicants who did, you’re in for a new, and most importantly, real, experience. This program is a 12-week session that takes place in the springtime. Attendance is expected every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a 1 hour lunch break in between. More than 2 absences will get you kicked out of the program. But trust me, 6 hours a week is nothing when you’re learning about what you love. None of us wanted the program to end, and it was largely due to our phenomenal instructors.
Jayson Jackson, leading music executive (Bad Boy, Virgin Records) and Broadway producer (Bridge & Tunnel), who manages platinum-selling recording superstars ranging from Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, Q-tip, Spank Rock and Santigold, was one of the instructors of the program. Oh, and he’s tight with Diddy.
Our producer tech, Ramon Ibanga Jr. (aka !llmind), worked with the biggest names in Hip-Hop and Rap. Ibanga has produced songs for artists such as 50 Cent, Eminem, G-Unit, Redman, Scarface, LL Cool J, Talib Kweli, KRS ONE, and Jay Electronica. And maybe you guys have heard of the Jabbawockeez? Well, guess who produced the original music for the dance crew? It’s obvious that both Jayson and Ramon are professionals in the cut-throat music world.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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