Published on April 20th, 2017


Hoot/Wisdom was created to provide students with the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom in a real setting,” says Jennifer Appel, Faculty Advisor to Hoot/Wisdom Recordings. “This year we had the pleasure of releasing the CompOWLation 5 consisting of a multitude of tracks covering a wide net of genres where the students were given the opportunity to produce from start to finish.” Established in 2003, administered and operated by faculty-supervised students as Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) record label, Hoot/Wisdom is the Music Department’s Commercial Music Program in which students supplement their musical skills with real-world experience of the industry.

“The students began by searching for talent, develop the talent, record every song, and devise a proper marketing plan of attack with social media support, publicity, and an end-of-semester album release party,” says Appel of the process. To date, the enterprise has released over 20 projects, including full length albums, Eps and five compilations of FAU talent, the aforementioned CompOWLations (the Boca Raton school’s mascot is Owlsley the Owl).

Back in 2015, Professor Alejandro Sanchez-Samper and his students produced the Latin Grammy-nominated tango album Bogot· ñ Buenos Aires for Colombian band Quinteto Leopoldo Federico. The Department’s pragmatic approach to preparing their music students for life after school is noted for concentrations in Commercial Music Composition, Music Technology and Music Business. Professor Michael Zager offers one reason behind this approach, “it’s a singles market and songs are shorter. This affects the way songs are produced. A listener’s response occurs in the first seven seconds!”

Like real life, running a program like this faces certain challenges like coursework/study loads, timing but finds that meeting these real world timetables, they “ensure the students understand the process it takes to complete a full album cycle from start to finish. We believe the outcome is professional and rivals the quality and artistry of professional record labels.” This gives FAU students a solid understanding of the industry and prepares them for one of the toughest industries out there. Adding a strong work ethic into the mix along with a sense of perseverance helps students understand the key to success: adapting to ever-changing trends.

For more information regarding this program, visit hootwisdom.com and fau.edu/music.
~ Abel Folgar

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