By Angel Feliciano, News Staff
Northeastern is all about real-life application. Its famed co-op program has brought the school up in national rankings. So when music industry professor David Herlihy took a project from his record industry class and made it a student-run club, he knew he was onto something. The club is now collaborating with music faculty to integrate more practical training into music curriculum.
Green Line Records, Northeastern’s non-profit student-run record label, gives students the hands-on opportunity to participate in all functions that a label in the real world has. President Joey Lafyatis, a sophomore music technology major, said the club is re-organizing with new goals despite past successes. In previous years, artists were recording but they were not specifically instructed what to do.
“What’s different is that this term, we’re starting to put together a structure into a new recording department,” he said. “We had artists in the past, but we weren’t helping them. And that’s what we’re trying to change. The way we see it is that we can benefit artists and we can benefit students who join Green Line, by giving them that real experience.”
Matt Kersey, a sophomore music industry major and vice president of Green Line Records, said some classes that incorporate the club into their curriculum are Music Industry II, Songwriting and Music Supervision.
“They all focus on the idea of music supervision, which is taking music and putting it into film and television,” he said. “We all work as one system in that, within all four classes together, where the music supervision class will seek out artists and the Music Industry II kids will learn how to license and create contracts.”
Lafyatis believes students can experiment and gain experience from Green Line before even applying to co-ops. The non-profit student-run record label is a big club with many different aspects that cover every feature of music industry. From events to artist promotion and recording, it’s a good club to get involved with, he said.
“I sat down with members of the faculty last year and we just went through a list of classes and how can we integrate Green Line into classes,” he said.
Kersey said some of Green Line’s previous efforts were working with afterHOURS for their shows, but “our studio sessions are done using our own equipment in Snell Library studio.” They also have had Council for University Programs (CUP) and Northeastern’s radio station WRBB, co-sponsor a show.
According to music industry professor and Green Line Records advisor Herlihy, a “classic experiential education” is exactly what students need. Herlihy, who teaches the Record Industry class, is all about integrating classroom work into real life situations.
In the class, there are groups that create a hypothetical record label. “Each record label has to find an artist and sign that artist for a recording deal,” he said. “And then they actually work with the artist and pick a song and work with a student engineer producer to record the song in Northeastern studios.”
Herlihy, who’s had experience working for record labels and entertainment industry companies, said his students got jobs just by having experience from his Record Industry class working with Green Line Records.
“A lot of students in my class have been looked at favorably by employers because of the experience they had,” he said. “They had a good understanding of the music business; they got their fingernails dirty.”
And it’s not just about recording artists and getting them signed. Another component of Green Line is their marketing team. Lafyatis said that students who are more interested in the business aspect of the music industry can join this part of the club and get some hands on experience.
“There’s so much talent in Northeastern – both musically and behind the scenes,” he said. Aside from musicians, “there are lots of kids who would want to work with artists. We got both sides of it. Green Line can be the catalyst to make those happen.”
Lafyatis said people who are involved in the business aspect are the ones who will be doing the marketing themselves.
“People who join our promo teams are the ones who are going to be creating the updates, creating promotional materials for that kind of thing to get the word out about the music,” he said. “People who join our events team are going to put together events like release parties, shows that coincide with the release of an album or single, things like that.”
Kersey and Lafyatis both agreed that this semester, there were massive initiatives to be proud of.
Lafaytis said for this term, the first initiative was the recording department. Getting a space for a studio as soon as possible was crucial. They also found a web designer and a graphic designer to produce a website.
This semester, Green Line was not only able to record three independent artists and help out with four shows; they were also able to acquire space at Snell Library for a digital recording studio and are looking forward to where the club goes from here.
“We understand that not everything happens right away,” Lafyatis said. “I think the idea is that change is coming up and the wheels are slowly starting to turn and they’re not at the point where they’re going all that fast. It’s something that we see exponentially. We see ourselves getting bigger and bigger.”