How do we define “talent”? How do we discover it? Create it? Develop it? How do we assess artists for their commercial, creative, aesthetic and cultural potential? Answering these questions is the role of A&R (Artists & Repertoire) within the music business. In this course, students learn what A&R involves, key elements of the work, as well as how the work is changing. Taking on the role of the A&R professional, students learn to assess talent in the following key areas: vocal performance, instrumental performance, stagecraft, songwriting, image, identity, aesthetics, work ethic, social media performance, and intelligence. Students also learn about cultural milestones reached in the music industry—the incredibly important moments when particular recordings secured their place in the history of popular art. Students listen to, and engage with, recordings that have achieved sustained cultural relevance; and in doing so, students strengthen their ability to work with artists to create works of profound cultural as well commercial importance.
Written approval of course instructor