|MTSU recording-industry students are revealing “Rock Prophecies”—and a young musician said to be fulfilling them—on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in a free film screening and concert in the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus.
The event also is an opportunity for students who attend the concert to win a Fender Stratocaster guitar, a new Samsung Gravity™ 2 cell phone and Bluetooth.
Dick Williams’ MTSU Record Label course (RIM 4810) guides students into the music business by giving them hands-on experience in recording, songwriting, music publishing, artist management, business affairs, A&R, Internet marketing, record promotion and music history.
This semester, students are helping to promote the MTSU appearance of 18-year-old Texas guitar virtuoso Tyler Bryant, discovered by veteran rock photographer Robert M. Knight and featured in the award-winning documentary on Knight’s career, “Rock Prophecies.”
The Tyler Bryant Band, which cut several demos in MTSU’s Studio B in August, will perform in Hinton Music Hall directly after the 7 p.m. film screening.
“Whatever happened in class the previous day dictates where we go the next day,” explained Williams, a 35-year entertainment veteran who makes use of his industry ties to nab special classroom speakers and opportunities for his students.
“I teach some things that can’t be found in a textbook, and the results are almost Pavlovian: the students come into class saying, ‘Do you know about this? Can we try this in the studio?’ It’s exciting for me to be able to impart some practical knowledge to them as the music business continues to evolve.”
The course also relies on the expertise of faculty and staff in other university departments, including the School of Music and the Department of Electronic Media Communication, as well as the existing talents and interests of students in the course. Tim Hall, a graduate student and musician who served as president of Williams’ spring 2009 class, has produced several MTSU Records artists’ cuts as well as Bryant’s demos.
“What’s great about my involvement in this is that people ask me to record great musicians, and I get the opportunity to sit with ‘em in the studio and make ‘em sound awesome while having a blast at the same time,” Hall said. “Who wouldn’t love that?”
“I talked to the MTSU students in Mr. Williams’ class this spring to promote ‘Rock Prophecies’ and really enjoyed it,” added Bryant, who now lives in Nashville and is on a national tour promoting the documentary. “This has been pretty crazy; I went from being in high school to living in Nashville and touring, but it’s big fun.”
Williams, whose wife and son are MTSU recording-industry graduates, said the RIM 4810 class ultimately could tour as well, taking its training on the road for record executives without a formal music-business education.
“I could clearly see several of my guest speakers and some faculty members taking this instruction to New York or L.A. over the summer and making it a class with certification,” the adjunct professor said. “I think it’s paramount for anyone in a senior executive role to have a complete knowledge of their business. … In my class, we try to convey personal experiences to illustrate how students can become highly successful through hard work and determination.”
For more information about the MTSU Records class, visit www.mtsurecords.com. To learn more about “Rock Prophecies,” visit www.rockprophecies.com. Listen to and watch the Tyler Bryant Band at www.tylerbryantmusic.com.