The Music Industry Association is a student-led organization that provides workshops, panel discussions, and mixers to help aspiring artists succeed in the music and entertainment field.
Over the past several decades, the music industry has drastically evolved—from the way artists are discovered to the way consumers receive and enjoy their favorite songs. A social media presence has become practically mandatory and today’s artists—local and global—are able to record and upload their own music onto various streaming platforms for instant sharing.
Lucy Barnard, a senior double majoring in marketing and legal studies, said one thing that seems to remain constant in the field is the talent. And at the University of Miami, she states, there’s “so much of that to offer.”
Barnard, who hails from the greater Boston area, is the president of the Music Industry Association (MIA), a student-led organization that connects educators and professionals involved in the music and entertainment industries with students who are actively seeking to launch professional musical careers. The association was founded in 2016 and now has more than 150 members who regularly participate in events and programs offered throughout the semester.
“MIA hosts guest lecturers, panel discussions, conferences, field trips, and volunteer gatherings to help our members build their network and work on their communication skills,” said Barnard. “We also help our members locate and secure internships and employment opportunities in the music industry.”
Recently, the organization hosted a discussion with musician Avery Lynch—“Avery Lynch and Team: A singer/songwriter’s newest EP and industry insight.” Lynch uses TikTok to post original songs and has received 6.2 million likes on the app. During the discussion, she shared with students how critical it is to maintain a social media presence to promote music and videos. Lynch said she consistently posts original content and makes sure to engage with her followers.
“Every morning I would wake up with new views and comments,” said Lynch. “I would write it and then film it in like 20-30 minutes. I did that every day during the summer. It was a lot of songs to be pumping out, but I kept at it.”
Barnard said firsthand knowledge and experiences such as the advice Lynch shared is what students can expect from MIA, because the organization is interested in creating more intimate networking opportunities to optimize relationships and connections.
“We are currently building a platform on Facebook to foster creative partnerships between student artists and aspiring industry professionals,” said Barnard. This will essentially connect the musician with a potential manager, producer, or videographer. “This year we are trying to do more to empower the entrepreneurial spirit within the students who want to thrive in an industry with so many closed doors,” she added.
MIA members said they look forward to partnering with more University departments such as the Toppel Career Center to help with crafting music industry-specific resumes and portfolios.
Barnard, a self-proclaimed music fanatic, said that although social media has created a new avenue for artists to be discovered, it’s not sufficient.
“It is enough to get the attention of the initial desired audience, you also have a responsibility to then develop and nurture that relationship. And that takes an intentional, consistent effort,” said Barnard, who is currently an intern with SoCast Digital, a music and entertainment technology company, and IN2UNE Music Inc., a digital promotion and marketing agency. “You also then have to tap into who it is that is paying attention to you and learn about who they are and what they are interested in, in order to keep creating content that delivers value consistently.”
Next semester, the organization has several events already planned for its members, including one with singer and songwriter Sara Kinsley, a New York-based alternative pop artist.
For more information about MIA and how to join the student organization, visit their Engage webpage.