Leg in, Leg Up Strategy: Music Business Students Avoid Catch-22 Syndrome

music business program, Catch Kid

Instructor Jim Brandmeier listens to students Amanda Jones and Elliott Christensen during a brainstorming session for the band Catch Kid.

There’s always a Catch-22 when it comes to getting a job in music. You can’t land that dream job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. From internships to extra-curricular activities, students in the music business program at Globe University-Madison East have found a way to hammer through the Catch-22 syndrome through a series of leg in, leg up strategies in and out of class. An artist management class project is one of those tools.

Students in the Artist Management class are using applied “real world” learning to hone their artist development skills and boost their resume. They’ve transformed the class into an artist management company, and scoured the state in search of their first potential client. After looking at countless bands and artists, they decided on a local band called Catch Kid.

Students Amanda Jones, Trisha Alt, Elliott Christensen and Breyon Sommerville went to The Brink Lounge in Madison to catch the band’s live show and pitch them on the project. Not only did the group enthusiastically agree, another musician at the Brink wanted the class to work with them as well.

Student Elliott Christensen reflected on the experience saying, “It was great to go see a band for business, not just for pleasure.”

The mission for the class/company “MB155 INC.” was to develop a five-year business and marketing plan for Catch Kid, based on the group’s input. The band came to class to discuss their vision and objectives.

It was clear from the start that the band would benefit greatly from the students’ business insights. Among other things, the students will pitch Catch Kids’ music to TV and film, set up their publishing and administration, book festivals, and showcase gigs. They are developing a comprehensive, online and offline integrated marketing plan, including a full touring, OPD (other people’s data), brands and bands publishing strategy.

“We learned that Catch Kid performs as well live as on their recordings,” said student Amanda Jones. “Their sound is amazing and we are excited to develop a marketing plan to assist them with their future in music.”

From advising on business entities and performing rights organizations to educating the band on the intricacies of the music industry, not to mention creating real-world results, students are gaining valuable experience, boosting their resumes, and putting a big crack in the Catch-22 job barrier.

Written by Jim Brandmeier, Music Business Program Chair, Globe University-Madison East