Student Success

MusiCounts Scholarship provides music student with week-long mentorship program

Digital Audio Arts (DAA) student Kierian Turner will kick-start his career in the music industry this fall when he joins five other senior post-secondary music students for a week-long mentorship program in Toronto, ON, after being named a recipient of the 2019 MusiCounts Scholarship.

Presented by the RBC Foundation’s Emerging Artists Project, Turner was nominated for the scholarship by Drs. Arlan Schultz, Amandine Pras and D. Andrew Stewart, all DAA faculty members.

Digital Audio Arts (DAA) student Kierian Turner will kick-start his career in the music industry after being named a recipient of the 2019 MusiCounts Scholarship.

“Kierian’s very high GPA, multidisciplinary achievements and leadership experience make him the ideal candidate for this significant scholarship program,” says Pras. “I have had the pleasure of observing Kierian in many different roles – a student, a researcher, a collaborator, and a leader. I appreciate his dedication, communication and interpersonal skills, and his efficiency in organizing and promoting events. The MusiCounts Scholarship will offer a highly valuable opportunity as he continues his education and pursues a career in the music industry.”

The MusiCounts Scholarship was launched in 2018 and is awarded annually to up to six senior post-secondary “high-potential” music students to help launch their careers through a $4,000 financial contribution and a week-long intensive mentorship program. From September 30 through October 4, Turner will have the opportunity to network with students and industry professionals including Marianas Trench guitarist, Matt Webb; Nathan Wiszniak, Head of Canada Artist and Label Marketing for Spotify; Anne Strik, Artist and Label Manager for Spotify; Margaret McGuffin, Executive Director of the Canadian Music Publishers Association; and more.

“I’m hoping I can make some lifelong connections who I can collaborate with in the future, both through the cohort of students and industry professionals,” says Turner. “Since I am graduating next spring, I would like to start exploring opportunities available to me after graduation. I hope this program will give me confidence in my ability to get out there and pursue a full-time career in music.”

From the beginning of Turner’s student experience, he has excelled at every project he’s tackled, inside the classroom and out. From planning small concerts, to taking on the Jamboree and Events Coordinator position for Fresh Fest, a two-day music festival, managing a student-run record label and taking on the role of student representative for the Students’ Union and the Department of Music, Turner has embraced each opportunity to get involved and build his resume.

Inside the classroom, Turner has taken on substantial research projects including the Joyce & Ron Sakamoto Prize for Research and Development in DAA funded research, and the creation of an augmented drum kit along with classmate Carter Potts (supervised by Stewart). He also presented a paper on binaural spatialization in relation to hip-hop music at the Exploring Sound DAA Student Symposium in March 2019. The paper, Is Binaural Spatialization the Future of Hip-Hop, was co-authored by Pras and has been accepted for presentation at the 2019 Audio Engineering Society (AES) Conference in New York in October.

With a jam-packed CV and one year of study to go, Turner is looking forward to narrowing his career aspirations and finding his fit in the industry. His current goal is to work as an artist manager or agent, getting involved in the business side of the music industry. His varied skill set will enable Turner to offer clients a complete package by assisting in the creative, recording and production processes while also understanding the legal side of contracts, financial management and business law.

“I know that I have a lot to learn about the industry and this mentorship week will serve as a major step in the learning process,” continues Turner. “I believe it is important to collaborate with, get feedback from, and learn from industry professionals, and also from peers. The financial award will allow me to pursue professional development opportunities in the music industry and contribute to my further education such as a second bachelor's degree in management, or an M.B.A.”