Sustaining the Crescendo


(Ryan Kofman | Photos courtesy of Cascade School of Music)

The Cascade School of Music’s New Introduction to the Music Industry Course

Like music itself, the Cascade School of Music (CSM) is a dynamic entity offering an impressive range of educational opportunities that resonate with its audience in unique and meaningful ways. With no apparent coda in sight, CSM appears to be experiencing a sustained crescendo, continually adapting and expanding its programming to meet the desires and needs of the Central Oregon community. The latest contribution to this feverish pitch comes in the form of an exciting new course, Introduction to the Music Industry: Supervision, Licensing, and Publishing, taught by the Creative Director of Music at Fox Entertainment, Ryan Kofman.

Hailing from Los Angeles, having worked in both New York City and L.A., and now living in Bend, Kofman brings over 14 years of music industry experience to CSM. His areas of specialization include music licensing, music supervision, creative direction, and music strategy. Having managed, negotiated, and secured sync and creative licensing deals for a diverse roster of artists, labels, and publishers, Ryan has also taught music supervision, music licensing, and song placement courses at UCLA Extension and Los Angeles College of Music. Excited to bring his big city expertise to the Bend community, Kofman is quick to acknowledge the ever-changing demands of the music industry, particularly in terms of the myriad ways music is consumed, while emphasizing the fact that success can happen anywhere “as long as one knows the language of the business.”

For CSM, Introduction to the Music Industry is yet another important addition to the school’s strategy that seeks to provide new pathways of learning that are meaningful for its students. Introduction to the Music Industry invites current students, former students already on a musical career path, and music educators including CSM’s faculty, to explore five fundamentals of the business: 1. The intricate facets within the world of music supervision in TV & Film, 2. The art of composing music tailored to visual media, 3. Methods to navigate collaborations with record labels and music publishers, 4. Best practices on solicitation, and 5. What to expect from a record deal. Through these explorations, course participants will ultimately gain the requisite knowledge to control their own musical destiny.

Blake Lowrey-Evans, a teacher at CSM specializing in guitar, ukulele and piano, is one of four faculty members taking Kofman’s course. Although the course is still in its early phases at the time this article was written, Lowrey-Evans can already see the many advantages it will provide. “Like many artists, musicians often prioritize the making of the art itself and not how to make a living from it,” Blake notes. “Ryan reassures us,” he continues, “that we can make money from our music if we know how to market it, and he provides us with the tools and the language to do so.” “Plus, Ryan is both humble and approachable, and if he doesn’t know the answer to a question, he will find someone who does, and that’s incredibly helpful,” Blake concludes.

Current CSM vocal student Drake Walker echoes Lowrey-Evans in his appraisal of the course: “I’ve never experienced a class like this, one that provides complete, insider information about the music industry. It has changed my whole perspective in terms of pitching your music. There are so many other opportunities than just going on tour. It’s really opening up a lot of different paths for me.” Just 17, Drake not only sings but also writes and records music, plays multiple instruments, and is involved in theatre. This highly motivated young man has already released one album, Casino Jukebox, and will release his second later this year. Introduction to the Music Industry is clearly a timely course for this rising star on the cusp of important life decisions that will shape his future career. Of his involvement with the course and CSM in general, Drake shares that “The Cascade School of Music has been such a blessing as it has given me many opportunities to share my talent and shine.”

CSM’s Executive Director Robert Lambeth couldn’t be more pleased with Kofman’s willingness to offer such an important and potentially life-changing course to the Central Oregon community. Lambeth shares that Core to our nonprofit school’s belief and mission is providing access to education that promotes a lifelong engagement with music and knowledge that helps our students achieve their musical dreams.” He continues, “Ryan is certainly providing a great deal of very valuable knowledge for our students, and we are so grateful to him for his support.” Nor could Robert be more encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive responses the course has already received from teachers and students like Blake and Drake alike. I am genuinely very excited for our students and teachers, and we look forward to offering the class again in the fall.” Kofman, in turn, relishes the opportunity to do what he loves, which he describes as “helping musicians figure out the industry and understand that their goals are very achievable.” Summing up his motivations, Ryan states, “Ultimately, I want to empower artists so that they can make money and continue being artists.” What more could an artist hope for!


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