Collegium 11/17: Music video games round-up

(MUSB Senior Stephanie Wells plays Dance Central for the Xbox Kinect)

(Joe Kristan (UG ’12) and Chris Connelly (UG ’14) play DJ Hero 2)

Collegium on Wednesday, November 17th, the last program meeting in 2010, served as the music video games round-up of the semester. Led by Professor Sam Howard-Spink, Assistant Clinical Professor and coordinator of the NYU Music Video Games Research Project, students battled it out on two of the most cutting-edge music video games of the moment, Dance Central and DJ Hero 2. The hit of the hour was the unveiling of the just-released Microsoft Xbox Kinect, a state-of-the-art gaming console in which the player’s body serves as the controller. Video games are already proving to be an increasingly viable revenue stream for artists and songwriters, and improvements in gaming technologies are beginning to allow for an interactive user experience like never before. Be sure to check out the NYU Music Video Games Research Project blog (link) for updates and happenings around the program. 

Annual MUBG walking tour takes students to West Village, Meatpacking District

(MUBG student Laura Immonen at the Mr. Brainwash exhibit; Photo by Cristine Mayer)

Becoming an annual happening, Music Business Graduates’ walking tour in Fall 2010 took the graduate students from Greenwich Village to the Meatpacking District. Walking through old graveyard and looking at places where people have been hanged at Washington Square Park, stopping at probably United States’ only intersection where a street encounters itself (Waverly Place and Waverly Place), and recognizing old town houses and their windows that once used to be the entrance to the building were just some of the “behind-the-scenes” moments.

When arriving to the district, the primal function of the area – packing meat in the industrial factories – was visible in the buildings that still contained elements of the old “Highline” train track. Seeing a railroad going through a building is something that the generations of today would never have even considered. The Meatpacking District itself was cleaned during the early 21st century, but during the past few years it has been totally refurbished. It combines beautifully old history, modern art, and personal experience.

As an outsider, the area seems to be very “New York” in that sense. The excellent tour guide Dr. David Zapotocky also took the group to Chelsea Market, which fits perfectly in its surroundings and the atmosphere of the Meatpacking District. Some rumors say that during the night the area turns into a wild disco land, almost like in the times of the gay revolution.

The tour culminated to a stunning modern pop-art exhibition by Mr. Brainwash. This exhibition combined the elements of pop culture, colours, and a message with a hint of sarcasm. That’s what modern art, and New York itself, aspires to offer; here’s the framework, experience it in your own way.

A special thanks to Laura Immonen for her report on the tour.

Welcoming Jason Menkes, Clinical Assistant Professor

The Music Business Program welcomes Jason Menkes as our newest faculty member. Jason has a longstanding relationship with the program as he earned his M.A. in Music Business from NYU in 2004. Since his graduation, Jason has been dedicated to the strategy, creation, and implementation of music for branding an advertising campaigns. He is co-founder and partner of COPILOT Strategic Music & Sound ( and was recently appointed the East Coast Chapter President for the Association of Music Producers (AMP). We are excited to have Jason on our team and value his experience in branding as an increasingly relevant licensing opportunity for artists and musicians.

VeloCity recently sat down with Professor Menkes to get a closer look into his advice for music business students and how he got his start in the industry.

Why did you decide to work in the music industry?

When I started my first band, in the second grade, I made my friends sign a contract promising to come practice and not to fight or run away… we had some teasing issues. I’ve been interested in the balance of business and creativity ever since!

What do you like most about teaching?

The music industry is constantly reinventing itself, now more than ever. I love being able to step back from the day-to-day hustle to explore the larger patterns and practices of the industry. I’m constantly surprised and impressed by my students’ eagerness and insight.

What tips do you offer to your students in the classroom?

This program in this city offer the best possible environment for you to experiment with the theories and concepts you learn in class. Produce a show. Release a record. Manage a friend’s band. Collaborate with your fellow students. Ask your teachers for help. Don’t be afraid to try new things and risk failure, you have an amazingly supportive safety net at NYU.

What career tips do you offer to your students?

Don’t wait until senior year to build your network. Reach out to alumni and guest speakers, ask them about their career paths and for advice on yours, and keep in touch with them throughout your education and career. There is no “traditional” career path, and jobs opportunities will present themselves in surprising ways.   Make sure you stay fresh in people’s minds as a proactive and eager talent.

You may also visit Jason Menkes’ faculty bio on the Steinhardt website here (link).