Curriculum

Segue 61 is a two-semester certificate program of study that requires 30 credit hours of work to complete. The current school year runs from August 2017 through May 2018 with another 30-week term starting January 9, 2018 to up to 10 eligible applicants.

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 great music schools can sometimes fall short in preparing students adequately regarding their “soft skills.”

Soft Skills

What are soft skills, anyway? They’re not specific to music and include

  • communication
  • enthusiasm and attitude
  • teamwork
  • networking
  • problem solving & critical thinking
  • professionalism
  • 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.

Curriculum

All Courses

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
SGUE 1121 Advanced Private Instruction
TOTAL HOURS: 30-34

Workshops

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.

Intensive Courses

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.

Additional Courses

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.

SGUE 1121 Advanced Private Instruction (1 credit hour)
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.

Ethan Howard

Ethan Howard

2017 Graduate

Ethan came to Segue 61 as a producer and audio engineer student from Bluefield, West Virginia. When asked about his time in the first year of Segue 61, Ethan had this to say: “It’s way less like school and more like an industry incubator. All the incredible mentors that we get to work with is just phenomenal. Plus, we’ve got this gorgeous studio in here!”

Rylie Bourne

Rylie Bourne

2017 Graduate

Rylie is a Country/Americana singer and songwriter from Divernon, Illinois. Rylie says, “The way that we’re setup day-to-day is just so different than anything I’ve ever been a part of. I wanted to see more into the real world behind the music business. We’re getting that, very much so [at Segue 61].”

Damon Atkins

Damon Atkins

2017 Graduate

Damon was a Segue 61 first year student from Mayberry, North Carolina with a focus on guitar, vocals and songwriting. Speaking on his first 2 months in the course, Damon said, “I feel like I’m at a different level naturally because I can go out [in Nashville] and see my mentors playing and they introduce me to people and people look to me differently already. It’s just a creative environment, which is nice, because a lot of people move here and don’t have that and are searching for that and it takes them a long time.”

Jennifer Pettigrew

Jennifer Pettigrew

2017 Graduate

Jennifer came to Segue 61 as a singer and songwriter from Salisbury, North Carolina. Jennifer says about her experience in Segue 61, “This is the most positive environment I’ve been in. It’s motivated me and given me the confidence to get my butt in gear and do the work that I have to do…and want to do.”

Tim Aven

Tim Aven

2017 Graduate

Tim, a guitarist and writer, came to Segue 61 as a first year student from St. Louis, Missouri. He says about the structure of the Segue 61 classes, “Everyday we come in, we’ve got whatever might be going on in the morning, recording or songwriting, then it’s that business section right after lunch, and then we’re playing, rehearsing and recording in the afternoon. I think the structure’s great!”

Issac Black

Issac Black

2017 Graduate

Issac came to Segue 61 as the youngest in the program. Isaac is a singer/songwriter from Mt. Holly, North Carolina. “Definitely being able to record for the first time, and how you record for the first time…It’s not like regular professors or a whole lot of book work. It’s like ‘Hey, this is what it is. Here’s how you do it. Do it!'”

NASHVILLE'S ONLY MENTOR-DRIVEN
MUSIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

NASHVILLE'S ONLY MENTOR-DRIVEN
MUSIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

NASHVILLE'S ONLY MENTOR-DRIVEN
MUSIC CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

The music industry needs talented young people to join its ranks.
Segue 61 bridges the gap between music industry professionals and their careers in music.

Learn from Grammy Award winners, Songwriter Hall of Fame members, Nashville recording artists, and top session players.
Our intense, hands-on, 3rd year of the Segue 61 program begins January 9, 2018!

Listen to what some of Our Mentors, Students and Master Class guests have to say about the experience, knowledge and career path gained at Segue 61.

The music industry needs talented young people to join its ranks. Segue 61 bridges the gap between music industry professionals and their careers in music.

Learn from Grammy award winners, songwriter hall of fame members, Nashville recording artists, and top session players. Our intense, hands-on 3rd year of the Segue 61 program begins January 9, 2018! Listen to what some of Our Mentors, Students and Master Guests say about the experience, knowledge and career path in the music industry.

Choose your own path, as you learn from the greats

Session/Live Performer

Not only will you work on recording and performing a wide variety of music, but also on being a seasoned player. You'll learn about today’s music business from the front lines of the industry, all while developing as a professional musician.

Recording, Engineering, & Production

You'll develop the range of knowledge and skills needed to carry out all phases of audio recording, from pre-production to post production. You will learn popular microphone techniques, how to work and edit in Pro Tools, how to produce and run a session, and how to mix different genre’s of music. 

Spotlight Artist / Performer

You'll be immersed in the writing and recording process on a daily basis. Our students work alongside inspiring hit songwriters and award-winning musicians. You’ll learn how to chart out your songs in the Nashville Number System, and read other’s charts.

Music Business / Management

You will learn all aspects of the business side of the music industry, from publishing to tour management. You’ll be able to copyright an artist's material, book a tour, and develop a web presence, all with guidance from top industry professionals.

Meet Some of Our Mentors and Staff

Pete Abbott

Pete Abbott

Music & Education Coordinator

Pete Abbott is the Music & Education Coordinator for Segue 61. He has played with artists such as Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Average White Band. Abbott uses his broad industry reach to help realize the real-world validity of the program, as well as its academic integrity. His role also includes ongoing advisement in assessing and developing the program’s curriculum.

Clay Bradley

Clay Bradley

Industry & Education Coordinator

A graduate of Alabama, Clay Bradley is the Industry & Education Coordinator for Segue 61. Bradley helps to ensure the real-world validity of the program, as well as its academic integrity by working with mentors in business-related industry categories. His role also includes ongoing advisement in assessing and developing the program’s curriculum.

Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson

Academic Director

Starting his musical journey as a classically trained cellist, Cameron Johnson has played and performed music since the age of six. After his love of rock music shoved the cello aside, Cameron spent his formative years tackling the guitar, drums, and electric bass. With a BS in Music Industry Studies, he furthered his education with a MFA in Film Music Composition from UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC in 2010. In 2011, Cameron joined Catawba College as a principal instructor for guitar, drum kit, and bass guitar

Guthrie Trapp

Guthrie Trapp

Creative Consultant

Guthrie Trapp is one of Nashville’s preeminent guitar talents. He’s currently finishing work on a follow-up to his successful first solo album, ‘Pick Peace’. The 2012 album is a showcase for Trapp’s stellar talent that long supported the careers of superstar artists and his own bands. Pick Peace served as a perfect template for Trapp’s brilliant mix of musical influences, exploring country, blues, Latin, reggae, jazz, rock and experimental music.

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Start building your future in the Music Industry

704 Longview Ave.

Nashville, TN 37211

SEGUE 61 IS AUTHORIZED FOR OPERATION AS A POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION INSTITUTION BY THE TENNESSEE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION.

CATAWBA COLLEGE IS ACCREDITED BY THE SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS COMMISSION ON COLLEGES TO AWARD CERTIFICATES, BACHELORS AND MASTERS DEGREES. CONTACT THE COMMISSION ON COLLEGES AT 1866 SOUTHERN LANE, DECATUR, GEORGIA 30033-4097 OR CALL 404-679-4500 FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ACCREDITATION OF CATAWBA COLLEGE.