Michael McArthur

Michael McArthur

Faculty Spotlight: Michael McArthur

As a lecturer on Music Business and president of Rowan Music Group (RMG), a professional recording label providing cutting edge music industry education, Michael McArthur is all about following trends…as an entertainment executive, an entrepreneur, and an educator. The current reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has added some new twists to that thinking.

Virtually, he’s met with students in his classes as well as those he supervises for internships and capstone projects. He’s worked with RMG staff on searching for new artists and material, streaming performances and fundraisers, and developing new releases.

“The students have been really great,” he says while recognizing that “it’s pushed my creativity.”

With that energy in play, McArthur collaborated with Rowan’s Office of Career Advancement this past fall to launch the Let’s Talk Music series. What started out as “kicking around ideas” at a Spring 2020 career fair led to this new program focused on outreach and education.

The sessions – offered through the Zoom platform – connected panelists from the professional world with students to explore specific topics related to the music/recording industry, such as business, touring, and the “indie” market.

“This format let us get some really good people we might not have been able to get,” McArthur said of panelists who now could participate without having to travel to Glassboro. “We’re seeing the birth of new opportunities with this technology.” In this case, voices from WMA (the global digital creative & marketing agency), United Masters record company, Quadio music platform, Live Nation, Morgan Stanley, Spirit Music Group, ICM, and more have shared their expertise and experience.

“The feedback from students has been that they really loved it,” he noted. The chance to talk and share has been rewarding for both as McArthur notes that the panelists have welcomed the chance to “see and hear what the next generation is thinking.

Another “Let’s Talk Music” series is in the works for the Fall 2021 semester and there are plans for a second virtual Career Networking Fair.

With his RMG hat on, McArthur shares the positive side of the record label’s work in the current climate, developing new ideas and goals. For example, the annual Snowcase winter showcase happened via Facebook Live this past December, but it also was employed as a way to generate donations for the National Independent Venue Association’s #SaveOurStages campaign.

The RMG team is, as always, on the look-out for artists and music, learning and perfecting their understanding of new and different technology, expanding online promotion, and preparing a few releases in the spring. They’re just making the most of the circumstances they face to revisit how they do it all.

“We’re learning to use all of these skills and this technology better and to do even more things more creatively with what we’ve got,” he says.