Business / Tip
Vera Project Is Offering a Class on Music Journalism
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM
Do you have a yearning for a life of poverty, opprobrium, and a ceaseless bombardment of emails from publicists? Do you want to express meaningful thoughts about sound waves organized into something scientists call "music"? Do you desire to coax words out of recalcitrant, unreliable musicians with dubious gifts of gab and then shape said words into "features"? Do you want to go to live shows 5 times a week, month after month, year after year, until you've lost 37 percent of your hearing? If you answered "yes" to these questions, then you probably would enjoy a career as a music journalist. Vera Project may be able to help you realize your ambitions.
(I jest, although there's a grain of truth in the above paragraph. I've been a music journalist for 30 years and it unquestionably can be very fulfilling. It can also be a tedious grind. Whatever you do, don't get into this business unless you have an unquenchable hunger and love for music and writing. You probably ain't gonna get rich at it.)
The Vera course—which happens on Mondays from Jan. 28-March 4, 2013—goes something like this:
This comprehensive new 6-class course focuses on practical musical journalism. Through readings, lectures, assignments and discussions, students will explore the history of popular music journalism, learn the craft of writing and begin developing the tools needed for a career writing about music and the arts.
Last semester's class was taught by City Arts Magazine editor Mark Baumgarten. Contacted by email, he elaborated, "The fall class was a pilot to test a few things out. This class will (fingers crossed) be larger and the syllabus will be refined. There will also be a journal published at the end of this session with works written by participants in both the fall and winter sessions. I'm planning on having guest journalists in each class." [Disclosure: Baumgarten kindly invited me to speak to his class, which I did.]