Don’t Look for Experience, Look into Yourself and Take the Ride

 

Hey! My name is Dana Lyons, and I will be graduating in less than two weeks from Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication. This semester, I served as an intern at Newett Music Studios. The decision to work with this company was not easy due to the nature of the business and the fact that my curriculum had not been particularly centered around musical ventures. Not to mention, the current state of the world has made it more difficult to work and communicate directly with anyone. However, the passion I share for music and the desire I have to learn helped me find my place there.

In addition, my connection with Newett Studios is a direct reflection of my musical interests.  Owner and producer, Anthony Newett is the son of “Jimbo” Newett.  I had the privilege of meeting and taking guitar lessons with Jimbo during my high school years. Anthony and I knew of each other at that time, but we did not connect until more recently. Anthony’s father left a positive impression on me that has continued into adulthood. The idea of now working with his son is both nostalgic and somewhat ironic. Needless to say, this experience was meant to happen.

So, I got on a Greyhound bus from Philly to Allentown. First, I will say that while this did not involve a major travel plan it felt like a true mission. The pandemic has also interrupted routine transportation routes and services. The bus schedule was irregular, but I managed to get to Allentown at a decent time although late. Hotel reservations were limited, and accommodations were less than par. But this was not a vacation, as much as I would have liked it to be.

Upon meeting Anthony, I felt relieved that I had made it out there and was given a warm welcome. Seeing his work environment in-person gave me a better perspective of the business and we began to unravel and focus on the Newett brand for which I needed to develop a plan.

After getting reacquainted, we reviewed current services and projects for the studio and began to pinpoint which area needed to be worked on most. We learned that maintaining a social media presence can be difficult but is necessary to attract new clients. The other interesting fact is that copyrighted music has a delicate set of rules to protect artists in almost every possible way. That said, even educators need to be careful not to blur the lines of “fair use” music.

As I observed the interactions between Anthony as an educator and clients as students, I came to understand the narrative a music instructor needs to create with everyone. It was expressed in a sincere and lighthearted manner, but with constructive criticism that was neutral yet, honest. This ability shed a positive light on the benefits of music education.

I had the opportunity to witness these interactions in the studio, although most sessions were viewed via Zoom, Anthony’s ability to be personable was not diminished. I found a greater respect for Anthony as he was the sole instructor, producer, and operator of the studio. One client who immediately grabbed my attention was a singer/songwriter named Dan May. He had a southern style with a deep tone and meaningful lyrics. His music was something I had not heard before. Anthony recorded and played along with him as if they had known each other their whole lives. Several others added to fun of learning about new artists and ever-changing genres.

Overall, I learned things about myself through this experience. The internship itself was not as hands on as I would have liked it to be. Between the restrictions with COVID and the need to communicate and be heard clearly regarding marketing was difficult. But all things considered I made the best out of it. In between periods of observation and brainstorming, I spent time at a nearby hotel where I did research and planned a strategy that would best serve the needs of Newett Studios. This time also allowed me to put my current position as an intern and soon to be graduate into perspective.

I accepted this internship as a great way to learn something about the music business and to find out how I can use my skillset to create a career in this industry. Ultimately, I ended up learning more about interpersonal relationships and prioritizing time, which speaks volumes for someone who has chosen a career in media and communications. My experience was indeed rewarding, but not in the way I expected. I am happy it turned out the way it did.