Mark Bryan, lead guitarist and founding member of Hootie and the Blowfish, is teaching the Arts Management Program’s Introduction to Music Management course at the College of Charleston’s School of the Arts this fall. The class was created when both music and non-music students expressed an interest in understanding the workings of the music industry and the process involved in producing music.
Arts Management major/Music minor Clair Long says, “The music industry has always interested me, and the combination of arts management and music in this class is perfect. The class reinforces a lot of what I’ve heard about music management – that it takes a lot of hard work, timing, connections and luck.”
When approached by Arts Management Program Director Scott Shanklin-Peterson, Bryan viewed the teaching opportunity as a way to give back to the community. Bryan explains, “I have been very fortunate with my career in music so far, and it feels right to give back where I can. Teaching this class is a way for me to relate 20 years of experience in the music industry to aspiring students, from an artist’s perspective.” His commitment adds to his growing list of enrichment projects exploring the process of writing, producing and recording music. Recently, this includes his position as Chairman of the Board of Carolina Studios, a non-profit, after school music recording and technology program for kids, ages 8 to 18.
At the college level, Bryan teaches his students how to work within the industry starting with the actual music, then the production process and gaining music rights, publication of the music, and finally representation, marketing, and touring. The semester course follows a “real world” format; at the beginning of the week class discussion on a specific industry topic takes place. At the end of the week, a special guest related to the topic addresses the class. Bryan expounds, “Obviously as an artist, I never spent time day to day with booking shows, or publishing, etc. That is why I’ve invited those who have, to be guest speakers on those topics. It gives us first hand knowledge of every part of the industry.”
Past guest speaker and singer-songwriter Danielle Howle discussed the process of song creation. One of the upcoming speakers is Richard Gusler, attorney for Hootie and the Blowfish, who will tell the class about record deals, loyalties and licensing.
Mark Bryan received his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina. He spent the last 20 years recording and touring as a founding member of Hootie and the Blowfish. He also recorded two solo albums. In addition to producing five full-length albums, Bryan has co-written and produced countless songs for other artists and was instrumental in developing the College of Charleston radio station. Recently, he formed Chucktown Music Group in order to release the material he is writing, producing and recording, and to help promote the Charleston music scene.
Bryan will continue to teach during spring semester, however vital financial support is needed to progress the program by attracting and hiring more faculty; bringing in guests, performers and speakers; and acquiring recording studio equipment for specialized classes. For more information or to contribute please call 953-5348.
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