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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Record label owner to teach the in’s and out’s of music business

Musicians are often confused by copyrights, baffled by bookings and duped by the intricacies of record deals. Everyone has a friend who’s “been screwed.”

But Tim Boris, instructor of the new business of music class for the spring 2011 class schedule, disagrees.

“I don’t think most musicians get screwed over, just to be honest with you,” Boris said. “I would say that most musicians don’t know what they don’t know. In other words, they don’t know how the industry actually works.”

Boris’ class, which will be held Wednesday nights from 6 to 9 p.m., will give students the knowledge they need to navigate the music industry comfortably, covering topics including copyright law, distribution, publicity, managers, live touring, agents, publishing deals and the future of music consumerism.

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But the class isn’t only for musicians. “A career in music is a difficult thing to make happen,” said music department chair John Clark. “So I feel like it’s good to know about all the options. There’s lots of jobs in the industry that are not performance-related.”

Boris knows this well. As a lawyer, record label owner and co-founder of New Noise Santa Barbara, he has played almost every part in the music industry, except musician.

“Music business is the new artist. You cannot go and just be an artist anymore, it’s being multifaceted,” said music business major Dakota Gartner.

Gartner and classmate Kyran Million have already had a chance to work with Boris. A year ago, the two students founded and now run Black Mamba Booking and had the opportunity to work with Boris and his partners at the New Noise Festival and conference this past month.

“Before we got to New Noise we were not legit. Nobody knew about what we were really doing, we were just setting up shows that were very miniscule,” Gartner said.

“But with their guidance and with a lot of the skills that they were able to instill in us, we’ve really been able to make some huge strides in the last couple of months,” he said.

Boris hopes to expand student involvement in the festival. He also plans to use his connections to bring guest lecturers into the classroom.

Boris plans to lead a hands-on interactive class. Besides having speakers, he is working on developing a curriculum around either a fictional or local band. The class could then practically apply their lessons by creating marketing materials for them or putting their music on Pandora.

Not only does the curriculum explore the latest progress of a growing industry; the class itself is a work of enterprise. Clark and Melissa Moreno, directors at the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, wrote a grant that will fund the class for two semesters.

Afterward, the class will be reviewed. If there is a cumulative agreement it will be funded by the college.

“We have to have 20 [students]. I think we’ll have 40,” Clark said. “I’m very confident that the class will be continued. I think is going to be a big success.”

The success Boris hopes to see in his students is the ability to navigate the quickly-changing music industry.

“For the most part you’ll walk out of the class having a pretty firm grasp of what the entire industry looks like, what the industry may look like in two years, nobody knows.

“It’s really the wild wild west right now,” Boris said.



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