I came to the CMC as a capstone of my Music Production studies at the tail end of my time at Malone University. Being deeply involved in the constant production of full-scale live shows on a weekly basis has been challenging musically and emotionally, but has grown me immensely as a person.
I’ve been able to implement my various industry-related skills in the most tangibly-relevant way possible for someone who wants to work in the music industry. I’ve also made incredible friendships, many of which I believe will continue on for the rest of my life, full of incredibly talented people, each with dreams and goals that I am looking forward to seeing them pursue.
I think the biggest takeaways from my time at the CMC have been the value of hard work and being present. I’ve always been told by friends and family how “talented” I am, and there certainly are some things musically that come naturally to me. However, I’ve never felt like there was enough “talent” in me to make a career work.
Now, of course, this isn’t to say I’m going to become a multi-million dollar platinum artist if I work hard enough, and I don’t aspire to be. You can’t just manufacture artistic success.
What I HAVE learned is this: the music industry is full of working people of all talents and abilities (all of them essential to making it work). The only thing that separates them from the talented hobbyists across the country is grit and presence. That is to say, they are here in Nashville, and they are willing to work hard.
Our director, Warren, speaks of this often. He ensures us that if you are here in town and can keep connections growing, you are biding time for opportunity. In that time, he says, you must be putting in the work to hone your craft and build rapport. If you do this, you will be prepared when the right opportunity comes, and THAT is when you seize your shot.
I am excited to take these lessons with me as I leave and graduate this spring, and prepare to start my own career. I look forward to watching with great excitement and anticipation as many of my classmates and I try to reconcile what we’ve seen and experienced here with our dreams and passions.
– Benjamin Mariano
Photography by Ashley Mae Wright