Every February celebrities line the red carpet and music lovers gather around their televisions to enjoy the performances and see who will win the night’s big awards. You probably figured out that I’m talking about the GRAMMY Awards, but did you know that the same organization responsible for those illustrious statuettes can also help your career?
The GRAMMYs are held by The Recording Academy, a trade organization of the music industry. GRAMMY U is the college branch of the academy and allows college students to enjoy the benefits of a regular academy membership with additional benefits from GRAMMY U itself. I interviewed Caitlin Vivian, the GRAMMY U Rep in Philadelphia, to get some more info on the program, its benefits, and how you can join. She described GRAMMY U as “a network of college students pursuing careers in the music industry” and explained that it provides “events and tools geared towards networking and providing information about what students can do to jumpstart their careers.”
GRAMMY U membership costs $25 a year or $50 for the span of time you are in school. You can be a member for up to two years after you graduate college. Chapters exist in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Texas, Atlanta, Chicago, Florida, Memphis, Nashville, Washington DC, San Francisco, and the Pacific Northwest. Each Chapter holds events for its members and special events specifically for GRAMMY U. “We host SoundChecks,” Caitlin explained, “which are the opportunity to see a professional artist-we have done John Legend, Vampire Weekend, and OK Go among others- sound check before their concert with an open Q&A session afterward to pick their minds about the music industry. We have speaker events about specific topics,coming up we have “Smart Business Practices for Independent Artists,” where we invite music professionals to speak. Workshops and conference calls are also common. We just had a conference call with Ariel Hyatt, a successful music publicist, and students got to discuss effective online marketing with her!” In addition there are regular networking events and opportunities to mingle with the professional members of the academy.There are also yearly viewing parties for the GRAMMYs. In fact, Caitlin highlighted the people she has met as the best part of her GRAMMY U experience so far. “I already have made connections all over the city,” she explained, “with such a wide array of individuals, producers, educators, DJs, photographers, musicians, songwriters, and more, doing so many different great things in the industry. I think at this point, you name it, and I’ve met someone who does it because of GRAMMY U.”
GRAMMY U provides opportunities regardless of what specific area you’re interested in working in: performance, recording, law or business. Caitlin explained that GRAMMY U can gives musicians the chance to play at various events and meet other musicians, gives those interested in audio a chance to be a part of the producers and engineers wing, lets business students learn about industry practices, and lets future lawyers meet and learn from established entertainment attorneys. “It’s not just for musicians,” she said, “but for those who love and work with music.”
Check out the GRAMMY U site www.grammy365.com for more info or get more join or contact Caitlin in Philadelphia at GRAMMYUPHILLY@GRAMMY.COM
Thanks for the interview, Caitlin!