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Spring on the York College campus

Hands-On: Shawn Young, Ph.D.

By Colleen Karl
"Students see firsthand that, to put on a show, it's not as easy as going in and setting up." - Shawn Young, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Music and Director, Music Industry Studies (MIS), Shawn Young, Ph.D., knows all too well how important his role is in fostering young music industry professionals in the business. His connections in the field have directly influenced many students in the MIS program and helped them build the experience and networking they need to succeed.

“People who would hire them want to see that they were already working in the industry while they were at college,” he says.

Over the course of his career in the music industry, Young has built relationships with big names such as manager of Destiny’s Child, Mathew Knowles (Beyoncé’s father), attorney Jay Cooper, who has worked with artists such as Katy Perry and Sheryl Crow, and producer Steve Lillywhite, who has worked with the Rolling Stones, U2, and the Dave Matthews Band.

Young is always looking for ways to use his connections to benefit students. He’s persuaded Mathew Knowles to become involved in the College’s MIS program, and Knowles now serves on the board of advisors.

In addition to a state-of-the-art recording studio on campus, in partnership with Think Loud Studios, students learn techniques of music production, sound design, and live/field recording in this multimillion-dollar facility located in York (shown above).

Each spring, the LAUNCH Music Conference and Festival is held in nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. MIS students have the opportunity to strengthen their skills by working at the festival.

“Students see firsthand that, to put on a show, it’s not as easy as going in and setting up,” Young says. “It’s a great opportunity for hands-on learning. They’re hearing from professionals in the industry about what those industries look like.”

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