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Musikfest Music Industry and Education Conference Session Descriptions

Thursday, August 1

10-11 a.m. Alain Barker: An Abundance of Opportunity: Navigating New Directions in Music Performance and Production Presentation
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

We live in a daunting time in which traditions of creating, performing, and producing music are morphing before our eyes. That’s challenging for many of us. The good news is that, in many ways, the disruption of our practices also opens up extraordinary creative opportunities. Advances in technology and new ways to collaborate are making it possible for millions around the world to join creative communities. A vast democratization of musical creativity is underway.

11:15 a.m. – Mike McCreary & Curtis Johnson – Authentic Marketing in an AI World, Human Connectivity Presentation
Blue Cinema, 1st Floor

Technology is changing our world faster than ever. It is impacting our experience, changes what we see through marketing efforts as well as changing how we approach everyday life. How do we find balance as a business owner to connect to our customers and provide a quality experience with and without the use of technology.

11:15 a.m. – Lawrence Grey – Preparing Students for Creative and Technical Careers in Music and Audio Presentation
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

Lawrence Grey interviewed some of today’s top producers, engineers, and behind-the-scenes operators about their work and how they fit into the larger music industry. GRAMMY-winning YPG alum Jasper Harris discussed the creative process in the industry. Lil Nas X’s vocal engineer Drew Sliger talked engineering and mixing. Music manager Hannah Hicks used copyright as a lens to understand the modern music industry.

While their skill sets differ greatly, the interviewees all highlighted the importance of human connection, selflessness, and creative vision in their careers. Lawrence will share what creative and technical competencies are needed for their different career pathways and what universal skills are essential for all music and audio professions.

Lawrence will also break down the business dynamics that determine if a career can sustain over the course of decades. This information gives students a crucial perspective on the industry and where they want to make their first moves.

Lawrence has taught music production in K-12 schools for over a decade and leads Young Producers Group. After thousands of hours in the classroom, YPG knows how to get students to engage in a creative community, manage highly technical software, and relish the joy of making music.” Lawrence Grey is a lifelong musician, a dedicated educator, and a tireless proponent of music education in schools. Lawrence is the founder of YPG and serves as the head of curriculum development by designing innovative, engaging curricula that reflect the interests and lived experiences of students. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition from New York University (NYU), a Masters Degree in Education from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and as an Ableton Certified Trainer, Lawrence’s unique position singularly qualifies him to create curricula and lead a team of forward-thinking educators.

11:15 a.m. – Kevin Longwill – Redefining the School Music Community through Music Industry Programming: A Live Student Demonstration Presentation
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

How can your music department better reflect your school’s community, community at large, and student’s interests and identities? Examine culturally responsive opportunities for students, and explore new music making options through modern band and music technology. Observe the accompanying demonstration featuring students from Abington High School, a socio-economically diverse school in the Philadelphia area, exhibiting a live music experience aligned with the greater music industry. Kevin Longwill is an educator, musician, and producer based in Abington, PA. He is a member of the music faculty of the Abington School District, where he serves as the director for the district’s music industry program, M3; as well as student-run record label, M3 Records. Additionally, Kevin is an adjunct faculty at the University of the Arts, focusing on music education and music industry programming for graduate students.

11:15 a.m. – El G.Nie – Mastering Hip Hop and Spoken Word: Crafting Powerful Lyrics
Fowler Blast Furnace Room

Join El G.Nie for an immersive session on producing Hip Hop and Spoken Word, where you’ll learn to create and deliver lyrics with prowess and conviction. This workshop emphasizes the artistry of lyricism, guiding aspiring artists through the nuances of crafting impactful words and performing them with authenticity and power. El G.Nie will share his expertise as a performer and producer, providing practical techniques and creative insights to help you elevate your lyrical game. Perfect for those passionate about Hip Hop and Spoken Word, this session offers the tools and inspiration needed to make your voice heard in the music industry.

1:30 p.m. – Barry Atticks & Dain Estes- Preparing for a Career in the Music Industry: Why Music, Business, and Technology courses in college are not enough for success 
Blue Cinema, 1st Floor

In this presentation, we will explore the exciting opportunities in the music industry and how to prepare for a successful career. Beyond taking classes, you’ll learn how to differentiate yourself from the competition and thrive in today’s dynamic music landscape.

1:30 p.m. – Maija Rowland & Joe Belardo – Understanding the Obstacles Artists Experience Presentation
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

The basis of our discussion will bring awareness to the obstacles artists face and the practices we use to provide solutions. The music industry has shifted greatly which has impeded an artists’ access to necessary tools to strive. With artist development being at the top of the list, we will expand on how we conduct our consultations to identify their strengths/weaknesses, define ways of improving their brand, and discover resources to enhance their skills. “Joe Belardo has been musically active since the 1990’s. He has been involved in artist management, development, production and even spent time as a freelance writer. He now dedicates his energy to sharing the knowledge and experience accumulated over the years for the purpose of enhancing the careers of a new generation of artists.

1:30 p.m. – Sarah Gulish – Teach Music Tech and Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of the Music Industry Presentation sponsored by F-flat Books
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

What can we learn about entrepreneurship through the history of the music products industry? From advertising to launching new technologies, the music industry has long relied on visionaries and impassioned entrepreneurs. In this session, teachers will learn how to connect history and culture to music technology through projects centered on entrepreneurship in music.

1:30 p.m. – Consultation Session with Dr. José Valentino & El G.Nie
Fowler Blast Furnace Room

Dr. José Valentino and El G.Nie offer personalized consultation sessions for educators and attendees seeking expert advice on enhancing the legitimacy and viability of their music industry education programs. These sessions provide tailored recommendations to implement strategies from his keynotes and workshops. Dr. Valentino will evaluate your curriculum, share strategies for becoming an industry-leading professor, offer practical approaches to integrating business acumen, suggest methods for teaching adaptable skills, and provide guidance on building industry connections. Ideal for educators, academic leaders, and industry professionals, these consultations will equip you with the tools to enhance educational value, foster innovation, and empower students. Come and hang!

2:30 p.m. – Jeremy dePrisco – AI in the Music Industry Presentation
Blue Cinema, 1st Floor

The past two years have seen an explosion of generative art in many forms. How are musical artists embracing this AI technology? How much of what we’re seeing now is truly new… or just an extension of old techniques that have been around for decades? How is AI impacting the the various levels of the music industry, including the business side?

2:30 p.m. – Jose Valentino Ruiz – From Notes to Dollars ($$$): Strategies for Monetizing Arts Business & Entrepreneurship Curricula
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

Dr. José Valentino Ruiz will offer effective strategies for professors to monetize arts business and entrepreneurship curricula. The focus will be on how educators can balance and strategically manage their creative projects to garner greater support and financial success. Attendees will learn practical approaches to integrating business acumen into arts education, ensuring that students not only develop their artistic talents but also acquire the skills necessary to thrive financially. The session will offer concrete examples and case studies of successful monetization, illustrating how professors can create curricula that attract funding, partnerships, and market opportunities. This workshop is ideal for educators seeking to enhance the financial viability of their programs and empower their students with essential entrepreneurial skills in the arts.

2:30 p.m. – Jen Alpha – Lehigh Valley Girls Rock: Show Us Your Gear!
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

Lehigh Valley Girls Rock (LVGR) is dedicated to empowering cisgender girls and women + nonbinary and transgender folks through music and art. LVGR is honored and excited to partner with ArtsQuest on our new workshop series, “Show Us Your Gear!,” and thrilled to launch it as part of the first Musikfest Music Industry and Education Conference. Inherent to LVGR’s mission is the goal of making music more accessible to folks throughout our community. Gear, in particular, is often a barrier to musical experimentation as it feels overwhelming and inaccessible at times, especially for new musicians and those who historically haven’t been given space in the mainstream music industry. “Show Us Your Gear” aims to share knowledge in a way that is compassionate, not intimidating! The goal is to create a safe space for folks to learn more and be inspired to experiment on their own! 

This inaugural session of “Show Us Your Gear” will focus on effects pedals. The session will include a brief introduction to pedals followed by Q&A and demonstrations by two musicians on how they use pedals in their own music.

3:30 p.m. – Mike Gruver – Integration of Music Industry Courses and Pathways into High School Music Education Presentation
Blue Cinema, 1st Floor

In today’s digital age, the music industry is evolving rapidly, offering diverse career opportunities beyond traditional performance and composition. To equip students with essential skills for success in this dynamic field, we propose integrating music industry courses and pathways into our high school music program. This initiative aims to enhance students’ educational experience, preparing them for future careers in music production, management, marketing, and more. By integrating music industry courses and pathways into our high school music program, we aim to empower students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today’s music landscape. This initiative not only enriches our curriculum but also fosters creativity, entrepreneurship, and career readiness among our students. Integration with Ensemble Courses:

  • Cross-Curricular Activities: Create opportunities for collaboration between music industry students and those in traditional ensembles (e.g., recording ensemble performances, organizing concerts).
  • Balanced Scheduling: Design schedules that allow students to pursue both traditional ensemble and music industry courses without conflict.

3:30 p.m. – Shane Colquhoun- Building a Bridge: Strategies for Unifying Music Education and the Music Industry Presentation
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

With the advancement of technology, many students enter our classrooms with a vast interest in music and in music professions not commonly taught in the academy. In this presentation, I will share strategies for making music education classes more student-centered and culturally relevant. I will also share ideas for better-aligning music education with the music industry and creating pathways for students who have an interest outside of traditional music education to participate in music.

4:15 p.m. – Networking Happy Hour & Poster Session: Palette and Pour

Friday, August 1

10 a.m. – Jose Valentino Ruiz Keynote: Ensuring Legitimacy and Viability in Music Industry Education
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

In this keynote address, Dr. José Valentino will discuss the essential balance required for music industry education to remain both credible and relevant. With a focus on bridging the gap between academic rigor and real-world application, Dr. Valentino will share strategies for educators to lead and innovate within the field. He will discuss how to develop curricula that not only meet industry standards but also equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for sustainable, fulfilling careers and a high quality of life. Attendees will learn how to foster meaningful industry partnerships, incorporate cutting-edge technologies, and create experiential learning opportunities. Additionally, Dr. Valentino will offer suggestions on teaching students to develop adaptable, malleable skills that allow them to thrive amidst the continual changes of the industry. Emphasizing adaptability and forward-thinking, this keynote will provide practical insights to help educators prepare students for long-term success and empower them to push the field forward with their innovative ideas.

11:15 a.m. – Devin Arne – Finding the Signal Through the Noise: Integrating AI into Music Curriculum Presentation
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

This workshop presents methods for incorporating Generative AI into music curriculum, focusing on discussion and experiential learning as pedagogical strategies to deepen students’ understanding and critical engagement with AI in music. I will discuss results and data from student surveys on Open Labs 2024: Music and Artificial Intelligence, a lecture and discussion series presented at the Center for Music Technology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Insights gleaned from these sessions underscore the importance of integrating AI education into music curriculum, equipping future music professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the increasingly AI-driven landscape of music production and studio composition.

11:15 a.m. – Mike Hunter – Synthesis and Sound Design Presentation sponsored by EMEAPP
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

Learn the fundamentals of synthesis, demonstrated via a large format modular synthesizer. Explore the basic waveforms, control signals, patching strategies, and the history of synthesis. (Skill level: Beginner to intermediate.)

11:15 a.m. – El G.Nie- From Global Hip Hop to Artist Management: Lessons Learned & Implications for Aspiring Music Industry Students
Fowler Blast Furnace Room

El G.Nie will share the intersection of global Hip Hop culture and artist management, sharing invaluable lessons from his extensive experience as a GRAMMY® Award Winning album executive, performer, producer, and entrepreneur. This session will explore how the principles and ethos of Hip Hop have shaped his approach to artist management, enhancing his effectiveness in the role. El G.Nie will discuss how he seamlessly balances and fuses these two realms, offering insights into the unique strategies and skills he has developed. Aspiring music industry students will gain a deeper understanding of how to leverage cultural influences and entrepreneurial spirit to excel in artist management. This session is a must-attend for those looking to bridge creative artistry with strategic management in the music industry.

1:30 p.m. – Mark Despotakis – Consider A Career in Music! Presentation
Blue Cinema, 1st Floor

When most people think of careers in the music, they think of a music teacher, performer, or producer. The reality is there are so many other careers in the music industry that students and teachers should be aware of and promoting. In this session, we’ll discuss the role the arts sector plays into the economy and provide on overview of ways we all should be re-thinking what a career in the music industry can look like and provide examples of varied career paths.

1:30 p.m. – Gerard Longo – Perfect Your Pitch: Building Authentic Connections as an Independent Artist Presentation
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

Building a successful music career takes so much more than talent, a hit song, or a viral moment.

Sounds change. Trends come and go. Talented musicians are everywhere. The artists who have an enduring impact in the industry’s ever-evolving landscape bring something unique to the table.

Their authentic selves.

There is only one “you,” and Perfect Your Pitch is here to inspire you to lean into your story, fully and fearlessly. This session illustrates why your perspectives and ideals hold the key to unlocking lasting artist-to-audience connections. We will spark new ideas, empowering you to communicate your unique value, and build genuine relationships with fans, collaborators, and industry tastemakers alike.

Your story is important, and your audience is waiting. How will you give them something to remember?

1:30 p.m. – Sarah Gulish and Kimberly McGlonn – School of Disrupters: Approaching Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Equity and Disruption, A Live Podcast Taping Presentation
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

What can educators learn about entrepreneurship through the lens of social impact? In this live taping, Philadelphia entrepreneurs Drs. Kimberly McGlonn and Sarah Gulish will break down the concept of what it means to be an entrepreneur in this ever-changing landscape. The live taping will include a brief discussion followed by a Q and A. 

1:30 p.m. – Jose Ruiz – Industry-Leading Professor (ILP): What Does This Mean, How Do We Become It, and Intra-preneurial Implications in Higher Education
Fowler Blast Furnace Room

The role of the professor is expanding beyond traditional academic responsibilities to encompass industry leadership. This session aims to explore the multifaceted nature of professors who simultaneously excel in their academic careers and lead in their respective industries. Participants will gain insights into the defining characteristics of an Industry-Leading Professor (ILP), a concept introduced by Dr. José Valentino Ruiz, and understand the unique blend of skills and strategies required to balance dual roles effectively. The session will cover the concept of ILP, practical pathways to becoming an ILP, and the INTRA-preneurial opportunities and innovations ILPs bring to higher education institutions. By attending, participants will learn how to navigate the dual responsibilities of being an academic and industry leader, and how to leverage this unique position to foster innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within higher education. This workshop is ideal for educators, academic leaders, and industry professionals interested in the dynamic intersection of academia and industry leadership.

2:30 p.m. – Zack Clark – Wellness and Mindfulness for the Working Musician: On the road and in the classroom Presentation
Blue Cinema, 1st Floor

In this session we will consider the unique mental and emotional challenges of having our passion as our job and how mindfulness principles can help maintain balance in our lives. We will discuss how to stay grounded in the daily and monthly grind of gigs and lesson plans as well as how to use mindfulness to enhance musical performance.

2:30 p.m. – Phil Joly, Jon Markson, & Matt Molchany – Sound Imagination: Bringing imagination to life on records through mixing and production Presentation
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

A round table conversation around music production, mixing and recording practices and experiences including local professionals.

2:30 p.m. – Clint Randles & The Holly Drive Collective – Exploring the Intersection of Music Industry and Music Education
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

This presentation is the reporting on decades long case study research into best practices for recording student original songs in classroom as studio settings (Randles, 2022). The presenter has been a part of developing a classroom environment where seven bands work in headphone hub environments to cover and write original songs for both live performance and recording.

Presentation topics will include: (1) defining a music teacher’s role in the classroom as someone whose primary role is to bring out the original music that exists within the students’ that he or she serves, about (2) giving them background knowledge and understanding on how to start setting up a classroom that nurtures student musical creativity in this way, and about (3) providing them with resources on how to record, mix, master, and engineer live and studio audio performances.

3:30 p.m. – Jim Della Croce – Breaking Into the Music Business on a National Level Presentation
Blue Cinema, 1st Floor

Jim Della Croce is regarded as one of the music industry’s versatile professionals: a producer, artist manager, record executive, publicist, concert promoter/talent buyer, music publisher, journalist and music industry consultant. He steers the careers of major artists, represents important concert venues, record labels and produces hit records, award-winning TV shows, documentaries and videos. He owns Pathfinder Artists Management, The Press Office PR firm and Pathfinder Productions. He’s been featured in Rolling Stone, Forbes, The New York Times and appeared on ABC TV, Fox, TNN/The Nashville Network (with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson), Charlie Daniels’ Talent Round Up, VH-1’s Behind the Music, PBS and RFD-TV and major syndicated radio outlets worldwide. He is a native of the Pocono Mountains in PA and is headquartered in Delaware Water Gap, PA.

3:30 p.m. – Keith Quelet – Future Proof Your Music Classroom or Studio Presentation
Red Cinema, 1st Floor

My presentation will illustrate music technologies that enhance learning within the school setting and other areas of music education, including private music studios and related educational facilities. I will focus on audio recording technologies, including DAW programs such as Avid Pro Tools, that can be extremely useful for applications such as recording student performances, and giving performance feedback to students in near real time. As a career music educator and professional musician, I have had the opportunity of performing and directing school students numerous times and in various settings. Music technology improved rehearsals, increased efficiency, and helped enhance concert performances for our audiences.

3:30 p.m. – Sarah Gulish and Kat Reinhert – Releasing Music: A Guide for Launching Creative Works at any Level Presentation Sponsored By F-flat Books
Musikfest Café, 3rd Floor

This presentation will provide insight into the logistical steps needed to release or help others release music. From creating the actual song to submitting it to all the streaming platforms, it will provide information on how to navigate the sometimes confusing world of releasing original music.

4:15 p.m. – Networking Happy Hour & Poster Session: Palette and Pour

Posters:

Robert Freeman – MOOCs as Viable Alternative Options for Performance-Based Music Educator Professional Development

This study explores the potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as an innovative alternative approach to address the professional development needs of performance-based music educators. Traditional professional development (PD) methods only sometimes meet these educators’ unique challenges, including isolation and limited administrative support. The literature review discusses the unique nature of performance-based music classes, calling for a specialized approach to PD, drawing on insights from conferences and the advantages of MOOCs, and proposing a paradigm shift towards more flexible, individualized, and cost-effective alternatives. The research problem investigates whether performance-based music educators would opt for MOOCs to personalize their professional development. Methodologically, a qualitative case study employing reflective journals, semi-structured interviews, and a focus group will be conducted. The study aims to address pre-study, during, and post-study questions, focusing on performance-based music educators’ perceptions, experiences, and the feasibility of using MOOCs for PD. This research would contribute to the evolving professional development landscape, emphasizing the need for tailored approaches in performance-based music education.

Jacob Gibson – Exploring Relationships Between Music Stores and School Programs: A Review of Literature

The purpose of this literature review was to explore the relationships and interactions between K-12 music constituents and music retailer constituents. This literature review was guided by two central research questions: 1.) What different types of relationships are formed between constituents of the K-12 music program and constituents of the music retailer? 2.) What are common interactions amongst these relationships? The data collection procedure for this literature review had the researcher scan for primary sources and peer-reviewed scholarly writings in a variety of different databases. Google Scholar and JSTOR were heavily utilized in this primary data collection phase. Upon scanning multiple databases for literature related to the research questions, few results were found as was anticipated by the researcher.

The literature outlined relationships (research question 1) between the school music teacher and the music store road representative, school music teacher and music store owner , music student/parents and private lesson teacher , music student and sales staff, music program parents and road representatives, music program parents and sales staff, music store repair technicians and parents/students, and music store repair technicians and school music teachers (Averwater, 2021; Guest-Scott, 2008; Gearman, 1951; IBISWorld, 2022; Schiemer & Dusold, 2020; Schoell, 2019).

Jamey Roberti  – Writing a book about a rapper: MF DOOM Poster

This is Allentown native Jamey “Numoon” Roberti. I am a graduate of Lehigh carbon community college and Bucknell university as well as Kutztown University with studies of musicology and education. I am a hip hop artist and journalist who has had multiple published articles and is now released a book about infamous rapper MF DOOM.This is one of the first academic writings about his lyrics, legacy, and connection to Black art history. Jamey “Numoon” Roberti is a creative and artistic rapper and author of Hip Hop content. He holds professional experience in education and corporate America along with a Master’s Degree in Education. His music is largely influenced by theatric and lyrical artists such as MF DOOM, Janelle Monae, and Talib Kweli. Along with his book about MF DOOM, he has had multiple articles published on the blog “Hip Hop Since 1987”.

Gerard Longo – Perfect Your Pitch: Building Authentic Connections as an Independent Artist

Building a successful music career takes so much more than talent, a hit song, or a viral moment.

Sounds change. Trends come and go. Talented musicians are everywhere. The artists who have an enduring impact in the industry’s ever-evolving landscape bring something unique to the table.

Their authentic selves.

There is only one “you,” and Perfect Your Pitch is here to inspire you to lean into your story, fully and fearlessly. This session illustrates why your perspectives and ideals hold the key to unlocking lasting artist-to-audience connections. We will spark new ideas, empowering you to communicate your unique value, and build genuine relationships with fans, collaborators, and industry tastemakers alike.

Your story is important, and your audience is waiting. How will you give them something to remember?

Mike Gruver – Integration of Music Industry Courses and Pathways into High School Music Education

In today’s digital age, the music industry is evolving rapidly, offering diverse career opportunities beyond traditional performance and composition. To equip students with essential skills for success in this dynamic field, we propose integrating music industry courses and pathways into our high school music program. This initiative aims to enhance students’ educational experience, preparing them for future careers in music production, management, marketing, and more. By integrating music industry courses and pathways into our high school music program, we aim to empower students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today’s music landscape. This initiative not only enriches our curriculum but also fosters creativity, entrepreneurship, and career readiness among our students. Integration with Ensemble Courses:

  • Cross-Curricular Activities: Create opportunities for collaboration between music industry students and those in traditional ensembles (e.g., recording ensemble performances, organizing concerts).
  • Balanced Scheduling: Design schedules that allow students to pursue both traditional ensemble and music industry courses without conflict.

Keith Quelet – Future Proof Your Music Classroom or Studio

My presentation will illustrate music technologies that enhance learning within the school setting and other areas of music education, including private music studios and related educational facilities. I will focus on audio recording technologies, including DAW programs such as Avid Pro Tools, that can be extremely useful for applications such as recording student performances, and giving performance feedback to students in near real time. As a career music educator and professional musician, I have had the opportunity of performing and directing school students numerous times and in various settings. Music technology improved rehearsals, increased efficiency, and helped enhance concert performances for our audiences.

Anya Barrett – To Learn from All

Anya Barrett attends Penn State University and is a junior Music Education major with an emphasis in flute. She is a member of the Penn State Blue Band where she plays the mellophone. Anya is a member of NAFME, Flute Club, Women* in Music, and President of the Penn State Drum and Fife Corps. The goal of her research is to show that every educator has knowledge and experience to learn from. A first year P.E teacher can teach you just as much as a band director that has been teaching for twenty-five years, you can learn from all. 

Tanner Deyo – Learning Music without Learning Music

Tanner is currently a 3rd year Music Education major at Penn State University. He holds the position of principal trumpet player in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and serves as a Music Section Leader and Treasurer for the Penn State Marching Blue Band. Additionally, Tanner is the Founder and President of the Trumpet Choir at Penn State. Beyond his musical pursuits, Tanner is passionate about utilizing 3D design software. In the past year, he launched ConcertOrder LLC, a small business dedicated to creating affordable and accessible products from 3D plastics. His initiative aims to enhance music education quality, particularly in under-funded communities across the nation.

 

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