Athens, Ga. -David Lowery, co-founder of rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, is the instructor of a spring semester course for the University of Georgia Music Business Certificate Program in the Terry College of Business.
Lowery is teaching the Fundamental Concepts in Music Business course. According to David Barbe, director of the UGA Music Business Certificate Program, Lowery’s knowledge and experience make him the perfect fit to teach this class.
“He’s the real deal. A platinum-selling producer with a great career as an artist who also has run a label and does a lot with publishing,” said Barbe, who explained that Lowery embodies the program’s ideal of finding lecturers who are active professionals and embrace change within the industry. “When you combine this with his detailed knowledge of financial markets, I don’t know if there is anyone else like him.”
The Terry College of Business got a glimpse of Lowery in the classroom in 2009 when he was a guest lecturer for the Music Business Program. Lowery told his students, “Virtually all successful individuals in the music business unconsciously adopt the same strategy to ‘harvest’ luck,” and based his instruction on theories more commonly applied to financial markets.
Barbe said hiring Lowery was a serendipitous moment, because he was looking for an instructor for the Fundamental Concepts in Music Business course (MBUS 3000) when Lowery contacted him.
“David was telling me that he had lectured here in the past and thought it would be fun to teach class one day. Then he shared with me he was writing a book called ‘Highly Volatile: How Your Band Taught You Everything You Need to Know about Economics and Finance,’ and at that moment I asked him what he would be doing spring semester,” said Barbe, who brought Lowery to Athens to meet with Dean Robert Sumichrast and Associate Dean for Academic Programs Mark Dawkins. “Everyone thought it was a great fit.”
Lowery is a compelling figure in the music industry as an artist and producer. He came to prominence on the music scene as the founder of the alternative rock group Camper Van Beethoven in 1983. The band’s song, “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” served as the title track for the filmmaker Michael Moore’s 2002 Academy Award-winning documentary “Bowling for Columbine.”
Both Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker are known for drawing upon a variety of musical influences, including rock, punk, country, folk and blues. Lowery has successfully translated his experiences and influences as a singer-songwriter into artist production. As the co-founder of Sound of Music Studios in Richmond, Va., he has worked with numerous artists, including Sparklehorse, September 67 and Counting Crows.
The UGA Music Business Program, which is a certificate program housed within the Terry College of Business, prepares students for careers in the music industry. Students can earn an interdisciplinary certificate in music business by receiving a hands-on education about subjects such as music and business fundamentals, copyright issues, creative content, artist management and production and technology.
In addition to guest lectures featuring prominent figures in the music industry, students gain real-world music industry experience through internships with record labels, promoters, studios and other companies. Students also are asked to find local artists with potential and promote them through their student-run record labels.