CHARLESTON - Hootie & the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan is taking a new stage, as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston this fall.
Students taking the Introduction to Music Management get to learn directly from Bryan, a member of one of the music industry's most successful rock bands.
Consider Bryan's syllabus for his class, which includes sections such as "The Tour," "Management," "Booking the Show" and "Technology/Innovation."
Bet you never had a lineup that cool.
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"Neither did I!" Bryan said recently in a phone interview. "It's definitely a chance to impart some wisdom."
Scott Shanklin-Peterson, who heads the college's Arts Management program, and C of C president P. George Benson wanted to put a music program in place, which was what Benson had done when he was at the University of Georgia.
The collaboration led to Bryan getting a call to see if he was interested in participating.
Bryan was quick to answer.
"I said I would absolutely do it," he said, knowing that he wouldn't be touring this fall.
Bryan had already been involved with the college in the past, including help getting the campus radio station up and running. During his years as a student at the University of South Carolina, Bryan was a deejay at WUSC, the campus radio station in Columbia.
Although it had been awhile since he had been involved directly with College of Charleston radio, apparently his reputation as being willing to help preceded him.
Bryan says much of the structure for his syllabus comes from looking back on his experience as a touring and recording artist, but he also looked to others for help.
"I referenced the syllabus of Stanfield Gray, who taught a similar course in the past. It was my idea to cover all the different parts of the music business. A semester is set up in a way that it works perfectly to cover all the aspects of the business."
Students in Bryan's class soon found themselves immersed in the many different facets of the music business.
They are required to attend a live musical performance and write a critical review, as well as follow the career path of an artist of their choosing throughout the semester.
They also create a business model for a local artist that serves as a sort of final project for the course, and calls for the students to use everything they have learned throughout the semester.
Guests in the class include musicians such as Danielle Howle and Jay Clifford, as well as industry insiders such as local manager Jerrod Wilkins and North Charleston Coliseum general manager Dave Holscher.
Holscher teaches a similar class for the college that focuses more on venue and event management.
Bryan tries to make the learning experience as fun and interesting as possible, which often means getting out of the classroom and into some of the actual environments connected to the music business. The semester is Bryan's first teaching the course, but he has already committed to teaching next semester as well.
Bryan is happy with the student's reaction to the course.
"They've all been doing their homework, they all have understood everything that I've brought their way so far. You can tell that a lot of them didn't know a lot about (the subject) coming in, so it has been informative, and they have had good questions," he said. "But some of them even know stuff (about the business) that I don't, so I have learned from them a little bit too, which is cool."
College students have far more resources at their fingertips today, compared to when Bryan was a student at USC. The Internet has allowed just about anyone to be more closely connected to the music business.
So has the Internet made the business better or worse?
Bryan said it's a bit of both.
"You could answer that question either way. You could say that the immediacy takes away from the nostalgia element of the music, but you can just as easily say that the immediacy has its good points.
"I'm the type of guy who says, 'This is the way it is now, so you embrace that.' You grow with it."