President Andrew Hamilton announced the university will be expanding its presence in Los Angeles on Nov. 6. Though currently dominated by Tisch students, the less-talked-about Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development might make up a significant portion of the 40-student cohort come 2019.
At an Administrative Management Council event, Hamilton said that LA will be a place to watch, with NYU Spokesperson John Beckman confirming that NYU will be looking for space to house student dormitories, classrooms and an academic hub. Although Tisch has been mentioned by administrators as the catalyst for NYU’s expansion, Steinhardt students in the Music Business program have as much of a stake in a more robust LA presence.
Senior Vice Provost for Global Programs and University Life Linda Mills referenced the large number of Tisch students, who are often involved in LA’s film industry, as being a deciding factor in the expansion.
“Given NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ existing experience in Los Angeles and the degree of interest in LA among faculty in Tisch and other NYU schools, it became obvious that this is a natural location for NYU to establish a larger presence,” Mills said in a press release.
This isn’t to say that other schools were ignored. In his first mention of the expansion, Hamilton noted the potential for Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Stern School of Business and Steinhardt students to be involved in the next study-away site. But with Tisch’s mentor program and previous study away offerings in LA, it is clear the art school is a key focus of the university’s habituation in the City of Angels currently — although after speaking with students, it seems like the site’s appeal extends beyond film and drama majors, with those in Steinhardt’s Music Business program expressing interest in studying at the campus.
The Music Business major is for students pursuing careers in the music industry, from future producers to managers to artists and repertoire — which encompasses the scouting and development of artists for a record label. Steinhardt sophomore Isa Bruder hopes to be a singer herself, but took the major over a more performance-focused one because she feels that “succeeding isn’t solely based on talent.” To her, business knowledge is just as important, and a new program in LA would allow her to not only expand that knowledge but also make connections in a city she expects to live in at some point.
“If we had relevant faculty and professors who are working in the LA music scene giving classes catered to how that specific music business environment works, it would be an incredible resource,” Bruder wrote in a Facebook message to WSN. “As a singer, I will probably be in LA at some point and I do feel like there is somewhat of a gap in what I know in New York [versus] LA.”
Steinhardt junior and Music Business major Bebe Howell said she had wanted to go to LA in the past, but found the logistics difficult. With neither an NYU liaison nor the structured program that Tisch has, Howell said most students in her major that do intern in Los Angeles are from the area. A more structured program would help students decide which major hub for the music industry they’d prefer to explore.
“Everybody knows that if you want to be in this business, you either go to [New York City], LA or Nashville,” Howell wrote in a Facebook message to WSN. “So now that I’ve gotten a good feel for the New York scene, it would be cool to explore elsewhere before making a decision about where I want to end up working after graduation.”
Knowing the different industry hubs is important, according to students, especially for those who do not know yet where they would like to work after graduation. Partially because of the emphasis on Los Angeles and New York as epicenters of the music industry, the University of Southern California is a rival of NYU’s when it comes to the Music Business program. If NYU were to be able to offer both cities to students, it might edge out the Golden State university, according to Howell.
“A campus in LA would definitely be of help since the other main competitor for music business programs around the country is USC,” Howell wrote. “So all the resources that I could’ve gotten by studying in LA are now being possibly offered to me through NYU.”
For students looking to intern at the study-away site, it may easier than at first glance: Steinhardt sophomore and Music Business major Bridgette Kontner said that because of the emphasis on LA and New York City, many companies have sites in both cities.
“What’s interesting is that a lot of music businesses have offices in New York City and LA so it would be super easy to find an internship in basically anything you’d find one in New York City, like a record label, a recording studio, a music publishing house, a booking agency or anything,” Kontner said.
Steinhardt first-year and music business major Giulia Delle Femine has interned at music publishing companies as part of their marketing and licensing teams. For her, a campus in LA would bring her one step closer to her goal of working on music supervision for films or TV. The city provides particular opportunities for those whose work crosses over between music and film and would be an opportunity to meet members of the industry.
“One of the best parts of the music business major is the connections made through it, so an additional campus would just allow more opportunities to expand our networks,” Delle Femine said.
A version of this article appeared on the Monday, Nov. 19 print edition. Email Victor Porcelli at [email protected]