New professional music program drives change in Canadian music landscape

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This story is sponsored by The Creative School at Ryerson University.


Over the past decade, it has become evident that the music industry is constantly evolving, requiring music professionals to be flexible and versatile.

Producers have already discovered new talent by sifting through artist mixtapes sent by mail or attending local shows. But now industry professionals can find their next breakthrough artist by browsing self-produced TikToks and trending YouTube videos from their bed.

Because of this shift, educational institutions must focus on creating the next generation of musical change actors and leaders, those who are savvy in analytics, audience intelligence, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Ryerson University Creative School launched the very first interdisciplinary program in Canada undergraduate program in professional music, bringing together three essential elements that are shaping the direction the music industry is taking: studio production, live entertainment and the music industry. This includes new ways to reach and engage audiences, identify and forecast trends, and cultivate cutting-edge digital marketing skills. He is deeply connected to both the world of Canadian music and the global industry.

The creative school is a faculty that encompasses nine professional schools and three transdisciplinary poles in the media, design and cultural industries. The Professional Music Program is his latest unique offering and is reinventing the music industry for today’s diverse landscape and is open to everyone, not just musicians.

“Students should be musicians, but it can mean a lot of things,” says Dr. Steven Ehrlick, associate professor at the RTA School of Media and director of the professional music program. “You don’t necessarily have to play or play an instrument. Students benefit from a combination of academics and hands-on learning opportunities in the professional music program that they won’t be able to find anywhere else.

The Creative School’s blend of academic depth and strong industry connections separates it from other art schools and recording programs. Distinct from traditional music diplomas, the The Professional Music Program aims to nurture Canadian talent, helping them develop their authentic and creative voices. Through a varied curriculum, experienced instructors help students develop the agile skills required for the modern music world.

“The industry is completely different from what it used to be. A&R coordinators don’t have to bother in clubs anymore, it’s completely dominated by hip-hop and artists can check in in basement studios, ”says Ehrlick. “So the graduates of this program will be the professionals with an agile toolset to not only stay in the industry, but also revolutionize the industry. “

Students enrolled in the Professional Music Program will learn about digital and technical production, audio recording, distribution, commerce, contracts, audience engagement and more. They will also gain valuable insight into the booming music industry in Canada, specifically Toronto.

“The program is very tied to the city of Toronto, as there is an office that is solely responsible for nurturing the city’s music scene,” says Ehrlick. “It is also the most central site for the music industry in Canada. In Toronto we have the three major record companies and they even act as program advisers. “

Once graduated, students will find themselves well connected to the major players in the city’s music industry. The program prioritizes connecting students with the diverse and inclusive music community, as it is connected to a network that shapes the direction of the music industry.

“Music is not just an artistic product, but more importantly it is a public good,” says Salman Rana (YLook), music lawyer in Toronto and assistant professor who teaches in the program. professional music.

He is also a member of Toronto’s hip-hop community and a founding member of artist collective The Circle, along with artists Kardinal Offishall, Saukrates and Jully Black. He is widely credited with globalizing Toronto’s hip-hop sound throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.

“Tomorrow’s music industry professionals will need to understand the disruptive and evolving nature of technology and the public policy issues that result from a rapidly changing environment that demands creative and practical business outcomes,” says Rana. “At the Creative School, a diverse and enterprising student body will participate in forward thinking that places professional musicians and the creative economies they produce at the center of their thinking.”

Carina Bianchini, a freshman in the Professional Music Program, chose The Creative School over other music and recording arts schools in Canada because it encompasses a variety of disciplines.

“The program stood out to me because it is the first transdisciplinary undergraduate program for professional music in the country. It’s a cross between RTA Media, Creative Industries and the Performance Production & Design diploma, ”she says. “I’ve been playing for many years, but there’s a lot I’m learning about other aspects of the industry. Personally, I consider myself an artist but in my class I see a lot of future producers, music engineers, managers, booking agents, and more. I believe we are the future of music.

Learn more about the Creative School Professional Music Program at ryerson.ca/music.


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