Tyler Sutphen ('12) | Marketing
Tyler Sutphen loves to jam - and his passion for music is reaching new audiences thanks to a Council for Christian Colleges and Universities program in Nashville, coordinated through ACU's Study Abroad program.
Tyler, a junior marketing major, is spending this semester playing in a backup band for artists in a Nashville studio while studying the business side of the music industry at Nashville's Contemporary Music Center.
One of the most important parts of music business is marketing, and the experience I've received so far from COBA has definitely given me a head start while learning about record labels, artist management and other parts of the industry.
"When I got here, I didn't really know what to expect, but I immediately realized that the program was going to be better than I could have ever imagined," says Tyler. "We have 24/7 access to a building that holds top-of-the line equipment for everything a musician could ever want."
Learning the music business
Along with the benefits of performing, the CCCU program allows students to take music business classes. Some classes focus on the ins and outs of music marketing and sales, while others touch on how to incorporate faith and Christian values into the secular music industry.
Tyler says his professors enhance their courses by providing valuable insight and unique opportunities.
"The faculty here are all pretty seasoned veterans of the music business," Tyler says. "They include professional artists, songwriters, and people who have held almost every job in the industry. You couldn't ask for better staff. They have already provided access to so many opportunities for us."
As part of the program, Tyler has visited several musical sites of recognition, such as Toby Mac's recording studio, Blackbird Studio, and the house of Kelly Clarkson's musical director; Clarkson even made an appearance during Tyler's time there.
Later in the semester, Tyler will go on tour with a band or artist, and will serve as manager as part of a class assignment.
"I can't wait to go on tour," he says. "The week that we will be traveling around playing shows is going to be as real as it gets. I'm going to be on tour with a band, and getting school credit for it."
ACU's College of Business Administration has prepared Tyler well for his Nashville experience.
"The things I'm learning in COBA have really helped prepare me for interactions with professionals in the music industry," Tyler says. "One of the most important parts of music business is marketing, and the experience I've received so far from COBA has definitely given me a head start while learning about record labels, artist management and other parts of the industry."
Through the CCCU program, Tyler hopes he will encounter opportunities for an internship that will help him reach a goal of working in music marketing after he completes his schooling.
"Although I'm not completely positive of what I want to do after graduation, my passion is music, and I would love to have a career somewhere in the music industry," Tyler says.
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