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Rapolla Moderates College Marketing Panel at Music Business Association NEXTGEN_U Student Summit

Monmouth students attended the virtual NEXTGEN_U Student Summit hosted by the Music Business Association (MusicBiz) on Aug 11-13, which connected participants with leaders in the music industry to discuss trends and strategies for breaking into the business. Joe Rapolla, specialist professor and chair of the Music and Theatre Arts department, moderated a panel on college marketing programs and how they can be effective launching pads for careers in the music industry.

Rapolla’s session included representatives from Sony, Universal, and Warner Music, and was attended by more than 100 students and recent graduates from over 40 schools internationally. The group discussed how each major label approaches their programs, how students can get involved in these programs, and how they can be great foot-in-the-door paths to other roles in the business. Label representatives stressed the importance of taking initiative and how getting involved with a college marketing program can lead to other career opportunities, not only at the record labels but across the industry.

“It was encouraging to see so many students, the majority of them female students, from all over the world take part in this event,” said Rapolla. “I’m so glad that our students took the initiative to attend and participate in this summit.”

Senior music industry student Alicia Monus was inspired by the summit to propose the creation of a college marketing representative position at Monmouth. “There’s a lot of organizations that I didn’t know existed in the music business to support women, like Girls Rock Show and Women In Music, and I think that’s really cool,” she said. “I took so many notes of things I can do to make myself stand out, and how to create opportunities for myself.”

Other topics covered during the three-day virtual event were building your brand, networking in today’s business, and mental health, mindset, and mentorship.

“The MusicBiz NEXTGEN_U Student Summit was an informative and effective way to connect music students across the globe while giving us insights from current professionals who are involved in the constant growth of the music industry,” said music industry junior Kayla Booker. “It was also such a great way to connect people currently involved in the business.”

After the event, Booker leveraged her new connections and consulted MusicBiz Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator JJ Farrell for advice on her artist management website.

MusicBiz members include major and independent record labels including Sony and Warner Music; technology companies such as Apple, Spotify, and Google; agencies; managers; producers; publishers; artists; and now universities. The MusicBiz association regularly produces workshops and seminars as well as an annual convention for professionals in the business, which Monmouth University students attend each year.

In 2014, Rapolla worked with executives at MusicBiz and faculty at peer music industry programs, including New York University, Miami University, and UCLA, to develop the Academic Partnership Program with the trade association. Rapolla, with Monmouth adjunct professor and then-MusicBiz president, Jim Donio, established Monmouth as a charter member. As a result, students and faculty at Monmouth have access to MusicBiz content, resources, and events, and are eligible for the scholarships that the association awards each year. To date, Monmouth has already had two MusicBiz scholarship recipients.