The Department of Music offers the Nashville Study Away Program in conjunction with Blackbird Studios in Nashville. Students who are Music Industry (MIND) and Music & Sound Recording (MUSR) majors are able to apply. The program only accepts 18 MIND and MUSR students and takes place spring semester of their junior year.
Music and sound recording students have class Monday through Thursday while music industry students get Tuesday off. Each class meets for three hours once a week and then is followed by a three hour lab and all students are required to complete an internship while in Nashville.
Brandon Morgan is a double major in music and sound recording and music industry. He is currently partaking in two internships and credits the Nashville program for helping him make connections that he would have been unable to make in Connecticut. One of his internships is with a production company called CPL Audio, where he works remotely as a personal assistant to his supervisor. His second internship is with Sound Stage Studios, which he describes as a “blast.”
“I usually do typical intern stuff, so make runs and break down sessions,” Morgan said. “Our faculty down here is extremely motivated and experienced in their field. And they all want to help me.”
Three music and sound recording students are currently interning with BlackBird Studios: John Scovell, Will Turner, and Kaitlyn Doyle.
Scovell spends his days tearing down sessions, making food runs, and being constantly ready to help. He attributes his success to the experience he is getting while in the studio.
“There’s nothing better than getting real world experience,” said Scovell. “I have learned a tremendous amount of useful information from day/night managers, assistant engineers, and fellow interns.”
He added that Blackbird is specific with details of how things are done in almost every aspect, which he said provided him with “a big learning curve.”
Turner credits his experience in Nashville as the most positive aspect of his education and even his life. Turner described a typical day similar to Scovell, consisting of food runs and tearing down and setting up sessions.
“If there is an open studio any given day, we may go in to practice signal flow and different recording techniques,” said Turner. “There are also group projects organized by the Internship Coordinator so that we can learn and practice more too.”
Doyle is in charge of setting up and tearing down sessions and going on runs for the clients. She also got to edit tape and sit in on a session with Cheap Trick, both of which were a first and memorable experience for her. She mentioned that it is a lot of hard work, but an exceptional learning experience.
“It’s really an amazing experience that I recommend to others who are looking to apply,” said Doyle. “The music department, Susan Dodes, Roger Arnold, and all the faculty down here are really trying to make this the best experience and they are doing a great job.”