How to Break Into the College Market

Colleges and universities are a few of the best places for rising musicians to perform. Each stop offers a couple thousand potential fans looking for something to do on a Friday night. Colleges often come equipped with ready-to-go venues and teams of techs and backup musicians looking for work experience.

Here’s how you can break into the college market.

1. Teach a masterclass.

Many professors are looking for ways to get their students connected with the real world. Research a few universities that have classes in line with your skills set and reach out to the department heads. Offer to teach a masterclass about what you do best.

For example, if you’re a singer/songwriter, then you could offer to teach English students about writing lyrics. If you’re good with sound equipment, volunteer your time with the school’s theater department.

Pharrell Williams taught a masterclass at NYU.

2. Submit your music to college radio.

College students listen to college radio. To get airplay, submit your music to the university DJs via email. If they like what they hear, you might even get an interview.

Check out this video on how to get your music played on college radio.

3. Get connected with the campus activities directors and student government.

In order to book your show on campus, it’s ideal to already be connected to those who do the booking. Find out who runs the campus activities program or the student government and reach out to them. If the university has a concert series or another music-based program, then these students may be able to help you get a spot on the set list.

Watch Ed Sheeran play Ex’pression College for Digital Arts.

The college market is a great audience for any musician to appeal to. Follow these tips to get your music heard by avid music fans in universities everywhere.

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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.

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