Leadership Music Is… a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization founded in 1989 providing programs designed to further communications and understanding among facets of the entertainment business and to assist established leaders in their roles as decision makers.
Leadership Music Explores… how all elements of the industry operate, individually and cooperatively – performance artists, songwriters, musicians, producers, engineers, music distribution, management, studio production, music publishing, live music, touring, media, technology, marketing, brand integration and more.
Leadership Music Promotes… teamwork, camaraderie and dialogue among industry leaders; expanding the talent pool of leadership in the community; and exposing class participants to varying points of view and philosophies.
THE PROGRAM – Each candidate selected to participate is thought of as an established leader in their given profession. This distinction separates the selection-based program from other leadership organizations nationally, most of which are tuition-based and teach emerging talent to become leaders. Candidates come from very diverse professional and personal backgrounds and all genres of music within both the creative and business segments of the industry, as well as some community partners from the non-profit, business, educational or legislative communities. Participants make an extensive time commitment: attendance by the approximate 45 class members is mandatory for the eight-month program, which begins in the fall. The first and last meetings are weekend retreats; between these retreats are six monthly meetings, which average 12 hours each. The participants make on-site visits around the community, focusing on specific themed days; Songwriting/Publishing, Artist, Live Music, Production, Record Company and Media. They hear from numerous speakers considered experts and leaders in their field, hear music from diverse artists, tour various music related landmarks and participate in hands-on exercises.
The education does not stop where Music Row ends. Fresh ideas meet experience: The graduating class plans and executes the Program Days for the next year’s class, with the assistance of past alumni who volunteer to serve on various planning committees. This process provides continuity, as well as merging members of all graduating classes.
- Post-Graduation – Fundraising and educational event committees are made up entirely of alumni volunteers, offering continuing education, community service and building new relationships. The popular Leadership Partners program pairs Leadership Music alumni with Leadership Nashville alumni to facilitate growth and communication between the music industry and the greater Nashville business community. The Dale Franklin Award is one of the crown jewels of Leadership Music. Honoring individuals who make extraordinary contributions to and are leaders in the music community.
Leadership Music is embarking on its historic 28th year, with alumni totaling more than 1,100, including nearly four dozen current and former heads of record labels; executive directors of the CMA, ACM, GMA, CRB, CMF, Folk Alliance, Americana Music Association, International Bluegrass Music Association, International Entertainment Buyers Association and NSAI; executives from The Recording Academy, the National Endowment for the Arts, RIAA, the First Amendment Center, Nashville Symphony, BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, SoundExchange, CMT, GAC; the Country Music Hall of Fame; Microsoft; Samsung, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, Pandora, two Nashville Mayors, a U.S. Congressman, editor of USA Today; deans of three universities, attorneys, business managers, publishers, publicists, journalists, booking agents, promoters, venue operators, artist managers, artists, songwriters, musicians, radio executives, entrepreneurs, record producers and engineers, video producers, marketers, brands, music educators, music related non-profits and bankers.