In any music business course, Associate Professor of Music and Department Chair Brian Felix likes to keep a flexible itinerary, but this semester that’s proven to be a pivot point for his Music Business II class.
“The music business is always changing. It’s always in flux, no matter what. If you make all of your assignments at the beginning of the semester, it’s guaranteed that something will be out of date at the end of the semester,” said Felix. “This spring, it was clear COVID-19 was going to re-write the entire music business.”
So this spring the class decided to re-write the resource guide.
After spring break, the course shifted from an in-person seminar to a twice-a-week online class meeting plus a blog, created by students and edited by Felix. The format was already in place from their discussion posts, but together they decided to make it public. It’s now available at: https://musicbusiness.wp.unca.edu/.
The guide covers a wide-range of topics including applying for unemployment and working and performing from home, and each post is thoroughly researched, resulting in a practical resource with multiple points of view.
“After taking the first music business class, I wanted to continue my knowledge of the industry that I want to work in,” said Kayla McKinney, a sophomore pursuing a BFA in jazz and contemporary music. “The music business has been put on halt in many ways due to the virus. Most of us in the class have lost our jobs in the industry. We aren’t able to perform live shows, which is where the main source of many of our incomes come from. Artists have had to get creative to support themselves through these hard times. I believe the website is a good resource for other artists, but also for those who want to support the out-of-work musicians.”
The students have all completed Music Business I, giving them a good groundwork, and they are all professionals in their own right, performers and studio engineers, who before COVID-19 spent their out-of-class time working and performing in Asheville. Now they hope to continue this resource even after class ends in May, and many have committed to continuing this work during COVID-19.
“This is going to be something that everybody remembers for the rest of our lives. It’s been difficult to transition to online education, but what I want the students to take away from it – right now – is that they are helping people sift their way through the mountain of information and to engage in something practical,” said Felix.
Get the Music Business Resources for the COVID-19 Era at https://musicbusiness.wp.unca.edu/.