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GRAMMY in the Schools brings career lessons to Therrell High School

by talkupaps

High school students from Carver School of the Arts and Therrell High School with career interests in the music business, had the rare opportunity to receive advice from industry heavy-hitters and participate in a behind-the-scenes tour of a nationally televised music awards show.

Students were given an intimate behind the scenes tour of of the 2011 Soul Train Music Awards by GRAMMY in the Schools

Early in the week, Centric TV, producer of the Soul Train Music Awards, teamed up with The GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY in the Schools program to host an entertainment industry panel for students. The panel, moderated by Centric’s The Hot 10 countdown’s Chuck Nice, consisted of a who’s who of notables of the music business including, singers Melanie Fiona and former North Atlanta High student Bobby V; GRAMMY winning producer and Bunche Middle School/Therrell High School graduate, D.J. Toomp, artist management executive, Chaka Zulu; and Executive V.P. of Centric, Paxton Baker.

The event, created to inform students of the many career paths within the entertainment industry, taught students about songwriting, music engineering, performance and producing.  “You don’t have to know what you want to do at this age, but you have to believe in your dreams,” executive Paxton Baker told the students.

Hammering home the importance of understanding the business side of the music industry and how a love of the arts can translate into careers in other fields was veteran music manager Chaka Zulu. “We are in the culture business,” said Zulu, manager to GRAMMY award winner Ludacris and former accounting major at Clark Atlanta University.  “Music is only one part of that culture,” he told the students.  When asked about getting into the industry, he explained that talent was already in the room and students should start now, in high school, collaborating with one another to produce and promote their own music.

Two time GRAMMY nominee and performer Melanie Fiona was a crowd favorite.  Speaking candidly about her struggle towards success, she confided, “Some of the best songs I’ve written have come from adversity and rejection.”

Looking to continue the mentoring established during the panel session, The GRAMMY Foundation invited several students to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Soul Train Awards at Atlanta’s Fox Theater.  Students were given unprecedented access to the producers, production space and artists.

Participants had the opportunity to meet several award show writers and producers, tour the production vans, listen to sound check and rehearsal and

A star-studded panel answered questions from students at Therrell High and Carver School of the Arts

visit briefly with three-time GRAMMY winner Cee Lo Green along with popular boy band Mindless Behavior.  View the full photo gallery of events here:


About GRAMMY in the Schools

GRAMMY in the Schools is a part of the GRAMMY Foundation, which works to make a difference in the lives of young people through music.

Through our GRAMMY in the Schools programs, we create opportunities for high school students to work with music professionals to get real-world experience and advice about how to have a career in music. And that includes any kind of music career – audio engineer, concert promoter, electronic music producer, manager, musician, music journalist, singer, and songwriter. We also shine the spotlight on schools and students who are doing really cool things with music.

For more information and to apply for our programs, please go to

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