When Tyler Dunavent of Pope came to Northwest Mississippi Community College, he probably never thought he would end up being the first graduate in one of the college’s new programs. Dunavent will graduate on May 15 as the first person to complete the Music Business/Industry curriculum, which provides instruction designed to prepare a student for a career in the music business.
Dunavent was born in Clarksdale, moved to Pope at 9 years old, and graduated from South Panola High School. He started his career at Northwest studying accounting, merely driven from his love of numbers. His mother and stepfather both work in accounting as well.
“I’ve always had a passion for music, but more from a consumer standpoint than performance,” Dunavent said. “I listened to a lot of hip-hop and more electronically produced music, and I started becoming more interested in how easy I thought it might be to delve into technology-based music.”
He bought a Macbook, which had the digital audio workstation software, GarageBand, on it. “I was basically teaching myself how to use it and was running into complications with it,” he said. “There was just more I needed to know.”
Dunavent was meeting with Leah Arrington, division director for Business, who was his adviser at the time.
“I asked her if there was anything like this at Northwest and she happened to know that Mr. Jeff Triplett was starting this program. It was not even in the Bulletin yet, but she helped me get in touch with Mr. Triplett,” Dunavent said.
He said that switching from Accounting to Music Business/Industry was not a difficult transition because the courses he took in the Business Division were the same he needed for the Music Business/Industry curriculum. Some of the music business/industry classes in the curriculum include basic computer skills for musicians, audio engineering, survey of popular music and computer recording. He and his fellow students had hands-on training by helping Triplett record live performances in the Fine Arts Auditorium. He also took basic piano and fundamentals of music courses as electives.
“I’m still in the dark about some things, but these two classes really helped me gain a lot of knowledge. I felt like I have been trapped in a bubble of what I was listening to, but now I have expanded my tastes and can now find the beauty in other types of music,” Dunavent said.
He says he has not been disappointed in the curriculum at all.
“I didn’t know anything about any of this before I started here, and anything that I know how to do has been 100 percent what I have learned from Mr. Triplett in this program,” Dunavent said.
He feels that he learned exactly what he needed so that he could move forward to Delta State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Music Business. He would like to either go to work in the west or to go to London for a couple of years and work in the business. He has not decided exactly what he wants to do, but he likes studio engineering and mixing board work. Dunavent feels like he is something of a perfectionist, and that is one thing he enjoys about being able to manipulate the sound.
“You have such finite control that you can be as much of a perfectionist as you want. I enjoy the science and physics of sound and I want to learn more,” he said.
“Tyler was the first student to register for the then-new music business classes in the Fall of 2013. Looking at his academic record up until that point, I was highly encouraged that he would succeed, and succeed he has,” Triplett said. “Tyler has done very well in all of his classes and has been a real asset to this new program. He is a quick study and has a personal passion for music and music technology. I am confident Tyler will be very successful.”
The Music Business/Industry pathway was implemented into Northwest’s curriculum in the Fall 2013 semester. Beginning with the Fall 2015, the pathway will be called Entertainment Business. The curriculum can be adjusted to comply with the senior institution the student may be transferring to. Completion of the pathway leads to the Associate of Arts degree.
For more information on the Music Business/Industry (Entertainment Business) pathway at Northwest, contact Triplett at (662) 562-3922 or email email@example.com.