After hearing so much great response from our profile of Drexel’s campus-based music business program, I’m noticing more stories about schools that model their student-run record labels and booking agencies along the same principles. This week, the Los Angeles Times profiles a school that’s offering the same kind of real world experience, only at a high school level.
Students attending the Music Academy at Hamilton High School launched A6 Records, a production collective that evolved into a full-fledged and profitable record label. Promoting releases required marketing gigs, so students started booking shows for their signed acts. And the label is starting to have an impact on the neighborhood’s micro-scene: winners of a recent Battle of the Bands won a working trip to Ireland and a record deal.
Technology levels the playing field in so many ways, and it amazes me every time I talk to kids who are fourteen or fifteen years old who don’t know that the gear they got for their birthdays used to cost more than a Maserati when I was their age. Because they know the gear so well, they know that they’ve got to work harder to get their material noticed. Every time I hear an artist complain about how hard it is to get a record made or a show booked, I’m starting to wonder if I need to refer them to a group of these very eager high school kids.