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Drake Class Helps Students Start a Career in Music Industry

DES MOINES, Iowa – Drake University students are getting real world experience in music class learning about the industry.

Taught by the Executive Director for Station 1 Records, Tobi Parks, the Recorded Music Industry class is meant to give students an “in” to the music industry.

“I want them to be able to have a Rolodex of contacts that they can communicate with after the course is over. One of the things that is so hard about this industry is finding ways to break in, and this is a way for students to have one-on-one contact with people that are actually working in the business,” Parks said.

The class teaches students about the different fields within the industry. It is broken up into three parts: publicity, promotions and booking.

At the end of the course the class is assigned to a group and as a whole are required to put on a concert.

Junior Liz Bregenzer said the students are calling the event Venus Rising.

“We started from scratch. So finding the name and what we wanted to sell tickets for. All the stuff we had to plan,” Bregenzer said.

Bregenzer said she didn’t realize how much work it takes to put on a production.

“At first it was very overwhelming, because it is so many details that you don’t normally think about. When you go and attend a show, you’re just like 'oh that was fun.' You go and buy a ticket, but we had to go do everything with setting the price to choosing the name, to making sure that our acts have hospitality needs and all of that,” Bregenzer said.

During the class, students would use Skype to talk to other labels and artists about the industry.

“At the end of the course they can go with a portfolio and say ‘hey I’ve done this. This is the work I’ve done. I’ve put on a show. I know how to do a presentation. I know the in’s and out’s and the economics of the music business’,” Parks said.

Venus Rising will have three acts perform Friday at Lefty’s Live Music. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will end around 9 p.m. Tickets can be bought at the Olmsted Center for $5 ahead of the show or $7 at the door.