From UNH to Music City, USA

Shannon Livewell

The Nashville Initiative: A Semester Study Away Program 

Nashville, Tenn.: the center of the American music business and a source for artists, songwriters, producers and engineers across the musical spectrum (Photo obtained via
Nashville, Tenn.: the center of the American music business and a source for artists, songwriters, producers and engineers across the musical spectrum (Photo obtained via

The University of New Haven has outdone itself again, but this time it’s catering strictly to students in its music programs, and traveling south to Nashville, Tenn.

Nashville is the home of American music and the hub of today’s music industry. UNH juniors and qualified seniors in good standing will be given the opportunity to work and live in Music City, USA.

The program will be comprised of fifteen credits of academic courses and internship experiences fastened by UNH’s partnership with the world-renowned Blackbird Studios and Academy. This studio has been considered one of the finest in North America, and UNH students will be given the opportunity to learn from, observe, and interact with Blackbird’s staff on a daily basis. Not only will students be immersed in the industry and have the opportunity to access cutting-edge sound recording technology, but they will also be able to interact with Blackbird’s artists, producers, and engineers.

Michael Kaloyanides, a professor in the music department, explained that students will also be taking courses while in Tennessee. These courses include Introduction to Music Publishing, Entertainment Entrepreneurship and Career Development, Advanced Recording I, and Music Production and Studio Techniques. The internships will be at companies such as Sony ATV/ Music Publishing, Big Deal Music, Vector Management and Rounder Records—plus additional UNH courses online.

Kaloyanides explained the incentive behind the program and who headed its development. “We wanted to get music majors more involved in study abroad,” he said. “We started the development of the program in the 2013-2014 academic year. We had set our sights on having this program official and ready for enrollment by Spring Semester of 2015, and that’s exactly what we did. The process has been fairly quick.”

Students can apply for this program by filling out the application available in the Department of Music Office. They also will be required to write a 300 to 500- word essay answering the question, “What are your life and academic goals, and how will the Nashville study away program help you achieve them?”

The application deadline will be October 15, 2014, and students should be aware that this will be a competitive activity: only fifteen to twenty students will be accepted by the end of the application process.

Kaloyanides strongly emphasized that, “this program will not only expose students to state-of-the-art recording facilities and incredible industry professionals, but it will also allow them to have the opportunity to network and be enveloped in great American musical traditions.”

A student’s existing tuition will be applied to the courses and internship while studying in Nashville.

“Students will be expected to find their own housing for the program,” Kaloyanides said. “However, the university will help them in ways of pointing out ideal areas or locations. While we are still working out transportation kinks, we think it would be ideal if students could bring their own vehicles,” he continued. “Although board will also be up to the individual student, it is best to think of this program as attending UNH in Nashville and living as a commuter student.”

If you are interested in this program, the music department, or just music in general, you may also want to attend the music department’s guest speaker series where John McBride, the owner of Blackbird Studios, will speak in Dodds Theater about the program, his studio, and his experience in the industry.

By supplying music students with abilities to network in the music capital of America, UNH is opening countless doors for the bright futures of its students.