Groove U helps teach the ins-and-outs of the music business


DUBLIN - Nestled inside a quiet building in Dublin, Ohio is a world-class recording studio. It's part of Groove U -- a two-year school that teaches the ins-and-outs of the music business.

Groove U offers a "music industry entrepreneurship program" with areas of study in audio production, live sound, the music business and more.

Director Dwight Heckelman founded Groove U out of frustration that educators weren't keeping up with an industry that is constantly evolving.

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"I had seen other educators talk about educating for music and I felt they were getting it wrong," he recalls.

"If you teach young people and students to think like entrepreneurs, even if they're never going to be one, then they're flexible, agile, ready to move through the constantly changing industry that we are now a part of."

The school has an advisory board made up of recording engineers, live sound people, booking agents, promoters and others. Heckelman and his team keep in constant contact with them, asking what qualities they would like to see in graduates.

"Universally," Heckelman says, "they tell us they want to have apprentices. They want people who have quality relationships, and they want people who are creatively engaged."

While Groove U's facilities offer the latest and greatest audio technology - the building itself used to house a professional music production facility - Heckelman says that's not what the school is all about.

"The technical things are great," he says. "I mean, we have this beautiful, shiny building. All these technical things. That's not what distinguishes us from anyone else. It's our capability, and my students' capability, hopefully moving forward, to create and maintain quality relationships."

Second-year student Maddy Slimak can't believe what she's accomplished in a relatively short amount of time.

"Coming in and knowing nothing, and then I recorded an album over the summer. It was kinda cool."

Since its inception, 96% of Groove U students landed a job upon graduation. A big part of that is building relationships during internships and the school's involvement in the community.

"It helps, I think, with me having to get internships coming up, with studios, I'll get in there and know what I'm doing, basically," says first-year student Jared Huntley.

Tuition to Groove U is $28,999. That includes all fees and instructional materials, a new Apple laptop computer, hardware, software, and also an admission badge, airfare and hotel for the South-by-Southwest music conference. Financial assistance is available.

For more information on Groove U, click here.