CHADRON – Chadron State College music faculty member Dr. McKay Tebbs represented the Great Plains region in the inaugural class of the College Music Society (CMS)-National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Summer Fellows Program in Nashville July 12-15. One college faculty member from each of CMS’s nine regional U.S. chapters was selected to attend and receive a $1,000 travel stipend.
Tebbs, who joined the CSC faculty in 2015, directs the guitar major program and the guitar ensemble. In addition, he teaches music business, music theory, music appreciation and private guitar lessons.
“CMS has partnered with NAMM to create this program to engage college music educators and help them realize the importance of music business. Then, we can prepare future generations of music students for careers in the music industry,” Tebbs said.
Networking with other faculty during the conference was a great experience, according to Tebbs.
“It was enriching and helped me develop professionally. I got a lot of ideas from conversations with others who have years of experience teaching music business,” Tebbs said.
In addition to seminars and panel discussions, the agenda also included music vendors' presentations.
One company, iCadenza, offers services to musicians, faculty and students, designed to improve their networking efforts. Tebbs said he plans to use some of their resources in his music business course this fall.
“Their representative made an excellent point. Musicians spend hours and hours in practice but often none in making connections. It needs to be at least half and half, which a lot of us forget,” Tebbs said.
Tebbs also took advantage of a behind-the-scenes tour of several Nashville music businesses.
“I didn’t realize what a big music city Nashville is. There was a lot of live music. Bands were playing next door to each other with the doors open. Every business and even my hotel had guitars on the wall,” Tebbs said.
Tebbs was impressed with student internship opportunities and artist relations described by officials with Naxos Records, the largest label for classical music in the world.
He found a case study featuring FlyteVu, promoters who connect artists with companies, quite interesting. They paired a national restaurant chain, in a slump, with a band and then the two entities promoted each other using YouTube videos and other social media.
“It was fascinating to learn how FlyteVu used their creativity to help the band find a niche, revitalize Cracker Barrel and make everyone a lot of money in the process,” Tebbs said.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator