Nashville - GRAMMY U Mentorship Spring Program

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By: Garrett Lee / GRAMMY U Nashville Student Representative

This semester, the Nashville Chapter hosted a GRAMMY U Mentorship Program for the Spring term, dating January to April 2017. The mentorship program was created to pair the student membership with industry professionals in the Nashville Chapter, in an effort to assist in the professional development of both parties. This semester’s program amounted to 47 mentors and 47 mentees, and everyone was invited to attend both an opening and closing breakfast ceremony to meet other attendees in this semester’s program.

At the closing breakfast on April 24, we invited mentors and mentees to speak about their experiences with the mentorship program, share some insight on what they learned, and discuss how the program changed their view on their future careers in the music and entertainment industry. Nashville Chapter President, Shannon Sanders, specified that his experience with Belmont sophomore, Josh Birdsong, was positive and that he felt “music is safe with the future generations” after his encounter with Josh, who is a songwriting major. Josh then spoke about how Shannon helped him see where he could see himself artistically and discussed how inspirational Shannon’s words have been in shaping his musical endeavors.

Many other mentors and mentees felt comfortable sharing with the group about their own memories from the program. Mentee and senior Entertainment Industry Studies major, Blake Rackley, said that he wanted to get “real advice” from an industry executive, so his mentor, LandStar Entertainment’s Sam Foutz did just that. “He invited me to the office, which was really great! I wanted to know his daily job. I wanted to know how to register my songs and all of that too,” Blake stated. “Sam [Foutz] even came to my writer’s round, which showed me that he really cared and was invested in our relationship from this program.” Other mentees were taught “the power of showing up” as mentee Emily Falvey discussed she was taught from her mentor, business manager Lainie Allbee of Martin, Allbee & Associates. Sophomore and songwriting major, Kory Shore, was being mentored by Nashville Chapter board member Nick Palladino, who helped him “realize that you’re not alone going into this industry alone.” As a young student of the industry, Kory was nervous about getting involved in such a heavy-hitting music town, but Nick Palladino helped him out by introducing him to his songwriter friends and eased him into the industry. Word Entertainment’s John Clore met his mentee, junior Music Business student Ashley Briggs through the mentorship program, and the pair got along so well that John eventually hired Ashley to be Word Entertainment’s summer intern!

It was a wonderful breakfast full of reflection on this past semester’s session, and with the praise from the students and industry mentors, the Nashville Chapter looks forward to mentorship programs in the future! 

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