Downtown Music Hosts A Free Virtual Summer School For Students & Recent Grads
While the ripple effect of COVID-19 has limited, if not eliminated, the possibility of hosting in-person events for some, Downtown Music Holdings has found a way to keep its commitment to providing quality education and opportunity to the next generation. In place of their on-site internship program, the company has announced its inaugural Downtown Summer School, a free, week-long series of virtual classes designed to provide insightful music business education for future industry professionals.
"We’re excited to reimagine our internship program for a virtual audience this year and fuel the next generation of music business leaders and creative entrepreneurs," said Justin Kalifowitz, CEO of Downtown Music Holdings. "Downtown Summer School will help participants understand the building blocks of the industry so we can continue to support a thriving creative class, now and in the future."
Beginning July 27, high school students, college students, and recent grads will have the opportunity to participate in morning and afternoon sessions on topics such as "How Unsigned Acts Distribute, Monetize and Promote their Music Today," "Crafting Hit Songs Around the World," "Music on Screen," "Diverse Career Paths into the Music Industry," and "The Future of Music Streaming." Guest speakers include Molly Neuman (President, Songtrust), Joe Kentish (Head of A&R at Warner Records, UK), Tracy Gardner (Head of Label Licensing and Partnerships at TikTok/Bytedance), and more.
"For many of us at Downtown, internships were our first pathways to exploring the business and developing our networks," Kalifowitz said. "We’ve been offering music industry internships at Downtown for over ten years and have had the good fortune to hire many of our interns to join us full time as the company has grown."
In addition to Downtown Summer School, the company has supported similar education initiatives such as Sound Thinking NYC. The program addresses gender and racial diversity by introducing students to the basics of the music industry and has reached over 500 students from 50 public schools in its first year.
Despite the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S., Kalifowitz sees a silver lining. The decision to utilize an online platform for their initiative creates an opportunity for Downtown to reach a wider audience than their on-site internship programs might have. Virtual or not, Kalifowitz says the company looks forward to "future iterations once we hear feedback from participants, educators, and our colleagues."
With brands such as Downtown Music Publishing (home to John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Benny Blanco, George Gershwin), Songtrust, and CD Baby under its umbrella, there might not be a better company than Downtown to extend its resources to the next generation. Rather than aim to outshine similar programs, the company looks to add a new option for future generations to take advantage of.
"Downtown Summer School is really focused on sharing our company’s unique perspective on the music business," Kalifowitz added. "It has less to do with addressing what’s missing in other programs and more to do with giving people a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re doing across Downtown every day."
Those interested in participating are encouraged to register here by July 22.