Fine Arts students learn from music industry leaders at Grammy Career Day

Find people who support you. Set attainable goals. Reserve the right to change your mind. Be motivated by doubt. That was just some of the career advice imparted by music industry professionals to Northside Fine Arts students during Grammy Career Day.

Almost 250 students from all high schools were selected to participate in the day-long experience held at Stevens High School. Northside ISD was the only school district in Texas, and one of only five districts in the nation, selected to host a Grammy Career Day this year. The application to participate was submitted two years ago through a highly competitive process.

“It was really inspiring to have the opportunity to meet with these artists who have such an incredible background of experience,” said Gabe Ortega, Warren High School theatre student. “I’ve learned a lot, not only about the music industry, but also being a leader in general and finding motivation from the speakers to pursue my passion in life.”

Students attended four workshops, each focused on a different facet of the music industry – business, creative, production, and technology. The panel discussions were led by executives, agents, songwriters, producers, musicians, engineers, and digital music experts.  

“I learned that while the performance industry, the music industry specifically, may be tough, the experience you get out of it is well worth it,” said Julietta Zarate, Warren High School theatre student. “All of the participants taught me that I should be confident in my future and step into it without hesitation.”

At the end of the day, students were treated to a private concert by songwriter/musician (and former NISD student), Mobley.

“Have people around you that support you and keep you grounded in good and bad,” Mobley told students. “A lot of the work is emotional, but I know this is what I want to do. You have to set small obtainable goals, not ones that are too big like, ‘I want to be famous and win a Grammy.’”

The exposure to a variety of industry leaders also opened students’ eyes to career possibilities that they didn’t even know existed.

“The experience has shown students another avenue to pursue in the music industry, other than the performance side,” said Rod Herrera, assistant band director at Holmes HS.

For more information on Grammy and Recording Education programs, visit the Grammy Museum Education website.

For pictures of Northside’s Grammy Career Day, visit the NISD Facebook page for an album of pictures.