The Segue 61 curriculum has been created in close collaboration with key music industry figures in Nashville and beyond to formulate a music school like no other.
We began by asking a range of successful performers and songwriters, engineers/producers, and music business professionals a simple question: What do you think stands between young adults trying to enter music as a profession and success? What we learned surprised us enough to build a music school curriculum that is tailored around the actual professionals’ real-world, evolving experiences.
Undergraduate programs in popular music, audio engineering, and music business do a good job helping students develop their “hard skills.” However, even the best music school out there falls short in preparing students adequately regarding their “soft skills.”
What are soft skills, anyway? They’re not specific to music and include
- enthusiasm and attitude
- problem solving & critical thinking
- tenacity & perseverance
Without them, no amount of knowledge or talent guarantees professional success. With them, your potential increases exponentially.
Truth told, it’s difficult to teach soft skills at the undergraduate level. First, they require a certain degree of maturity. They’re also best learned after a student has developed strong hard skills.
In addition, it’s extremely helpful to develop soft skills in a real-world setting under the supervision of experienced, trusted mentors.
Real. World. Real. Tools.
That, then, is the mission of Segue 61. The program helps young individuals of exceptional potential poised to begin their careers in music develop the soft skills essential for success. They do so in the context of the Nashville music scene, perhaps the most dynamic in the world, under the close, caring mentorship of leading professionals. (Take a look at the list of mentors who’ve signed onto Segue 61 to see what we mean.)
It doesn’t mean that Segue 61 ignores your hard skills. You continue to develop those through our recording and live performance workshops, as well as optional lessons with top private teachers. The difference is that S61 also emphasizes the development of your soft skills.
You not only work on recording and performing music but also being a successful musician. You also learn about today’s music business on the front lines of that industry while developing as professionals.
Let’s Be Real
Making things real—as in the real, not academic world—is another fundamental aspect of Segue 61. We accomplish it in a couple of different ways.
First, you learn about today’s music industry from active professionals who’ve helped develop Segue 61’s curriculum and help teach our courses.
Second, you create your Segue 61 projects for real-world deployment under the mentorship of the same professionals. That means working together with other Segue 61 students in interdisciplinary teams on the complex processes at the heart of projects central to the music industry. Projects like
- creating a web presence
- developing a social media following
- recording and releasing original music
- booking a real tour
- performing live in Nashville venues
- effectively marketing all of your projects
In this sense, Segue 61 serves as an important incubator for young professionals starting their careers.
And don’t think that a musician or producer doesn’t need to learn about the non-musical aspects of the industry. Knowing the fundamentals is essential for success in this day and age. Even if you don’t plan to have a DIY career, you’ll be interfacing with a variety of professionals as you build your success in a music school with real-world atmosphere. The more you know about what they do and how they do it, the more empowered you’ll be.
Segue 61 is a two-semester certificate program of study that requires 30 credits hours of work to complete. Normally, the school year runs from August through May. However, the inaugural class begins in January 2017 and runs until the beginning of September.
SGUE 1101 Recording Workshop I
SGUE 1102 Recording Workshop II
SGUE 1103 Live Performance Workshop I
SGUE 1104 Live Performance Workshop II
SGUE 1105 Touring Workshop
SGUE 1106 Music Venture Workshop
SGUE 1111 Branding, Identity & Vision in Music
SGUE 1112 Music Industry Trends, Strategies & Technologies
SGUE 1113 Artist Development
SGUE 1114 Success Seminar
SGUE 1115 Music Ventures & Entrepreneurship
SGUE 1116 Producing with Nashville’s A-Team
SGUE 1117 Master Class
SGUE 1118 Capstone Project
SGUE 1119 Internship
SGUE 1120 Private Instruction repeatable elective
TOTAL HOURS: 30-34
SGUE 1101 Recording Workshop I (1 credit hour)
An interdisciplinary, project-based workshop that helps students develop the range of knowledge and skills to carry out all phases of audio recording projects from pre-production and production through post-production and mastering to commercial release and marketing. Supervised by professionals who first model best practices in a recording session at a commercial Nashville studio and then oversee guided practice by the students.
SGUE 1102 Recording Workshop II (1 credit hour)
A continuation of Recording Workshop I that takes students from the guided practice of SGUE 1101 to the independent execution of all phases of recording projects. Tracking for the final project takes place at a commercial Nashville studio.
SGUE 1103 Live Performance Workshop I (1 credit hour)
An interdisciplinary, project-based workshop that helps students develop the range of knowledge and skills to book, organize, promote, and execute successful live shows. Supervised by professionals who first model best practices of live performance and then oversee guided practice by the students.
SGUE 1104 Live Performance Workshop II (1 credit hour)
A continuation of Live Performance Workshop I that takes students from the guided practice of SGUE0104 to the independent execution of all aspects related to live performance. The final performance is held at a commercial venue in the Nashville market.
SGUE 1105 Touring Workshop (1 credit hour)
An interdisciplinary, project-based workshop that helps students develop the range of knowledge and skills necessary to execute a successful live music tour. Supervised by professionals who oversee guided application by the students.
SGUE 1106 Music Venture Workshop (1 credit hour)
An interdisciplinary workshop to help students develop the range of knowledge and skills necessary to conceive, design, and execute a commercial music venture. Supervised by professionals who oversee guided application by the students.
SGUE 1111 Branding, Identity & Vision in Music (3 credit hours)
The music industry has come to understand the importance of branding as key to establishing a loyal fan base, with the concept related and extending to artistic identity and vision. This course looks at the various elements of defining a musical brand and successfully establishing it in the market. Topics include brand ideals and dynamics, the branding process, brand touchpoints, and asset management.
SGUE 1112 Music Industry Trends, Strategies & Technologies (3 credit hours)
Success in the music industry often involves identifying, understanding, and evaluating, and developing strategies for pursuing new trends, strategies, and technologies. The course considers various segments of the industry from a frontline perspective, with particular emphasis placed on marketing and promotion as well as new modes of product delivery. Topics include the nature disruptive innovation, trend analysis, new channels of distribution, and issues of monetization.
SGUE 1113 Artist Development (3 credit hours)
With record labels no longer having significant resources to put into A&R (artist and repertoire), artist development largely falls to a new act and its management before signing with a major label. The course examines the various facets of such development in establishing an artist in the marketplace. Topics include A&R techniques, aspects of songwriter and performer development, branding and identity, role of the artist team, how and when to “break the act,” and alternative career options.
SGUE 1114 Career Success (3 credit hours)
Pursuing a career in the music industry extends beyond the development of hard skills to the consideration of fundamental ideas and essential questions in the areas of artistry, professionalism, competency, and the nature of success. The course explores such ideas and questions. Topics include the fundamental ideas and essential questions related to career success, the six facets of understanding, the role of soft skills, and developing grit, tenacity, and perseverance.
SGUE 1115 Ventures, Startups & Entrepreneurship (3 credit hours)
Entrepreneurship, especially as applied to new ventures, plays a central role in the music industry. The course helps students develop an understanding of what it means to be entrepreneurial and how to apply such entrepreneurship to an industry-related startup. Topics include entrepreneurial skills, venture funding, business planning and operations, networking, and the leveraging of resources.
SGUE 1116 Producing with Nashville’s A-Team (3 credit hours)
Award-winning music producers as guest instructors work with students to oversee the production of their original recordings. Topics include song and performance, preproduction, production, mixing, postproduction, and mastering.
SGUE 1117 Master Class (1 credit hour)
Professionals from across the music industry, from performers and songwriters to producers and music business figures, share their perspectives on music and reflect on the fundamental ideas and essential questions that all professionals in the industry face.
SGUE 1118 Capstone Project (3 credit hours)
Individually designed and implemented project that demonstrates knowledge and skills the student has acquired as part of the Segue 61 program.
SGUE 1119 Internship (2 credit hours)
A supervised application of theory to practice in a functional area with a music organization or professional in the Nashville market.
SGUE 1120 Private Instruction (2 credit hours)
Individual instruction in advanced aspects of performance on the student’s instrument with a professional Nashville musician or vocal coach taken as an elective. Course may be repeated for credit each semester. Private lesson fee is assessed. Elective. Can be repeated.
Got What It Takes?
We’re currently taking applications for September 2017 – May 2018. Limited spots are available.
So, if you’ve got the talent, skills, maturity, and motivation to make it in the music industry, if you’re poised to begin your career, if you want to work closely with top music professionals as mentors and faculty, let us know.