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Event Recap: Nashville Alumni Reception

On November 7th, NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) was home to the Nashville Alumni Reception. The event acted as a meet and greet for Nashville alumni, but also had an educational spin to it. Eric Normand ’89 and Rhett Akins were present to talk about their experiences in the music industry in Nashville and to answer questions.

Normand ’89, is the author of the Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide, gave great insight on his areas of expertise, which include touring, gigging in Nashville and recording. Many alumni wanted to know which clubs they should be going to in order to sit in on jams and meet more people. Normand was able to give our great specific information about which clubs host which genres and on which nights.

The night followed with a talk from Nashville hit songwriter, Rhett Akins. Akins is one of the hottest songwriters in Nashville and spoke about his experiences in Nashville and the evolution of becoming a songwriter. Shantell Ogden ’05 summed up the discussion with these highlights.

• For every 500 songs that Akins writes he’ll come out with about five hits that actually get recorded

• The approach of writing “good and commercial” works best for Akins

• You may write a song on your back porch and love it, or you might write a song on your back porch that will end up on everybody else’s back porch.

Both Shantell Ogden ’05 and Eric Normand ’89 wrote about this event. Visit Shantell’s blog here and Eric’s here.

Berklee will be back to Nashville on December 12th, for the annual holiday party at Flyte!


Josh Kipersztok: Newfound Confidence


Reunião anual do departamento de Music Business (The Music Business Department yearly meeting)


  1. Chris

    Kudos to Eric if he’s making a living in the Nashville area. Nashville – “Music City” should be renamed “unemployed musicians city”… or “bad musicians city”.

    I say this for 3 reasons:

    1) Nashville does not have anywhere the near the oppportunities for local gigs that PAY compared to cities like Miami, Boston, Atlanta, etc… For example, there is no tradition of musicians preforming in hotel lobbies, fine restaurants, or conventions/tourist venues, etc… like other major cities. Most of what you get are low paying country gigs … not exactly what a trained musician would endeavor to do for a career.

    2) Club owners are jaded because so many musicians will play for nothing or very little, there are just a lot of musicians, and a lot of bad musicians.

    3) Nashville isn’t driven by the big label studios it once was.

    Been here for over 20 yrs, thank God I earned the terminal degree and a tenured academic position. Very happy to be here, making a living in music but in no way connected to the fickle ‘music industry.’

    Nashville is not music city. Head to Miami.

  2. Thanks for hosting this event- and posting the re-cap!

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