Friday, April 5th, Cab Calloway School of the Arts had the opportunity to have Mark Schulz, the Executive Director of the Grammy Organization for the Philadelphia region, come speak to Cab students about an overview of GRAMMY Awards process, how social media and the internet makes it easier for them to find an audience and release their work without the traditional label model. The Recording Studio Committee of the Cab Fund graciously made this possible to students, which ran largely on an invitational basis.
Mr. Schulz spoke about his background in the fine arts – photography, his experiences as a musician, and a long career – most recently 15 years with the Grammy Organization, Philadelphia region, but a longer career involved being both a creator (artist/songwriter/performer) and on the business side (lawyers, managers, recording engineers). He emphasized the importance of positive relationships and networking, having a team of people that encourage you to be your best while also holding you accountable. He described the need to have a business plan, to commit to lifelong learning & qualifications, and to invest the 10,000 hours in cultivating an art. He talked about the needs of understanding music as a business (supported by Dr. Cannon’s Music as a Business class, and Digital Audio programs), and the choices as an artist between staying independent and signing on to a label. He was interested in what the students are listening to in music today, and who or what influences their choices in exposure and information.
The Grammy organization has many facets, not just the program people see on TV once a year, but a complex network of 27,000 + annual entries that are voted on by working professional members of the music business. This has also led to support from within with programs such as Music Cares, which supports health needs and business natural disaster recovery for professionals. There are annual Grammy Camps for students – both weekend long and a week span version in the summer; Grammyintheschools.com/weekend and grammycamp.com. Music Educators can be awarded recognition and possibly funding at grammymusicteacher.com. The Grammy organization also has museums on each of the US coasts, and professional development for educators, as well as supporting careers through music.
The program today identified the desire by these committed young people to have direction from working professionals on broadcasting and cultivating a following, and also on publishing and distributing their art. About 50 students were able to attend, we hope to address these needs in future presentations.
Cab Calloway School of the Arts holds many master classes throughout the school year to give students real industry perspectives coming from successful professionals in the arts.