The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Lessons in the Music Industry at Grammy U

Future recording artists, entertainment lawyers and record label management teams have the opportunity to gain insider information into the music industry through Grammy U.

Grammy U is an outreach program designed to help students break into the recording industry. Created by the Recording Academy — the same organization that chooses the nominations for the Grammys — Grammy U prepares students for the music industry.

Daniel Rojas, Grammy U Representative for Los Angeles, said Grammy U “gives students behind-the-scenes access to the music industry.”

According to Rojas, Grammy U is a student-run program that is not limited to music or performing arts majors. To join the program costs $25 for the year, or $50 for four years for those signing up as freshman.

Rojas said Grammy U is “focused mostly on music,” but the music industry itself is multifaceted. He said that there are legal, marketing, public relations, publishing and management aspects as well.

Krystal Johnson, CSUN Grammy U Representative, said anyone is welcome to join, even those who just want to take advantage of going to events and concerts for free.

“If you’re a fan of music, interested in all the different aspects of the music industry, or even if you just wanted to attend free concerts,” Johnson said. “It’s $25 and that’s a bargain considering the cost of events that pop up during the year.”

Some Grammy U events members have exclusive access to the sound checks before concerts, and screening events where Grammy U members get to sit in on the Grammy nomination process.

During sound checks, Grammy U members can meet artists and ask them questions.

Johnson said some of the tips artists give are about “protecting your rights as a music artist, and that’s helpful for anybody — regardless if you’re an artist, a songwriter or a manager … it’s not something that is going to be explicitly written in a textbook.”

Meisha Morse, another CSUN Grammy U Representative, said she recently had the opportunity to see the Grammy screening process.

Morse said that some Grammy U members work as the runners who run the recordings from the Recording Academy members — who are among some of the biggest names in the music industry — to the DJ who plays the tracks submitted for the nomination process.

Morse said internship opportunities are also available that nonmembers would not otherwise be exposed to. Morse said that because of her involvement with Grammy U, she was able to get an internship opportunity with Warner Brothers studios.

“It’s very personal, very intimate. You get to speak face-to-face with these executives and they give you [their] personal experiences,” Morse said.

Johnson said it’s important for both students and executives in the music industry to work together. Johnson said that the Recording Academy executives want “to simply give back.”

“They really do care about the future of music, especially with publishing rights and battles for artists as far as not getting paid, and they really care about these things and they want students to have a place where they can learn and appreciate music and have an appreciation for the integrity of the academy and for the music business in general,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that the Recording Academy executives benefit by teaching the students because they get a fresh perspective on the future of the music industry, since the main consumers of music are the students.

“We are the next generation of music-makers and the people who are going to carry on the legacy of the Recording Academy. They want to know what we’re thinking.”

Students interested in learning more about Grammy U can visit or visit the Career Center.

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