To move up in the world of music, one key is what you know; the other is whom you know. And who better to tell Maine the tales of rock and roll than someone living it for nearly three decades?
Two-time Grammy nominee Cindy Bullens has worked with Elton John, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and Lucinda Williams. Beginning this winter, she’ll be working with some new faces — students at USM’s Center for Continuing Education, where she will teach "The Music Business: The Artist’s Experience," a six-week course. And on May 3, she'll talk about her experiences for people not enrolled in the class.
“It is an overview and an insight of how the music business works,” Bullens explains. “We’ll go through all the facets of music business: songwriting, publishing, making a record, record companies and how they work, radio and how it works — all the intertwining facets of the music business.
“People don’t really realize how many facets there are in the music business and how many things you have to take into account when you want to be a rock and roll star, what it really means, and what kind of hoops you have to jump through.”
The course is designed for students wanting to become music-business professionals, as well as those who are just curious about what it’s like to be famous and work with famous people. “It’s a course that can give you a better understanding about how the music business works, but it isn’t how to get in the business,” she says.
“It is a history — what it used to be like in the ’60s and ’70s, and what happened and what it’s like now . . . It’ll be insight into what goes on inside, and my own experience.”
Bullens’s stories of her experiences — like how she claims to have broken into the business by crashing a party; how she tours the US, Europe, and Australia; and how she wrote the music and lyrics for the musical Islands (performed once on Broadway) — are reasons enough to enroll.
The wisdom of other big names in the biz will be tapped in the class as well. “My guests are national figures in the music business that just happened to be based in Maine,” she explains. Some guests are slated to include Bob Ludwig from Gateway Mastering & DVD, her ex-husband and longtime music publisher Dan Crewe of publikmusic.com, and Mark Lourie, a music management veteran now with Skyline Music.
"The Music Business: The Artist’s Experience" | six Mondays, February 26 — April 2, 7-9 pm | at USMCCE | $150 |
An evening with Cindy Bullens | 7-9 pm May 3 | Abromson Center, USM, Portland | $15
On the Web
Center for Continuing Education: www.usm.maine.edu/cce
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