Intern Gains Industry Experience at Prominent Nashville Recording Studio
One of eight students completing an internship through the University’s Bergami Summer Internship Program, Jo Sinta ’20, a music and sound recording major, is learning the ins and outs of the music industry at Blackbird Studio, one of the top recording studios in the world.
July 1, 2019
By Jo Sinta ’20
Choosing to intern at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, was a no brainer. This recording studio is well-known across all genres of music, and it boasts one of the largest microphone collections in the world. Clients such as Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, Styx, and many others walk through its doors every day.
After spending time at Blackbird Studio through the University of New Haven’s Nashville Study Away Program, I decided I wanted to remain in Nashville for the summer and secure an internship. Although it was an ambitious and somewhat overwhelming decision to live on my own in Nashville for the summer, I decided this would be beneficial for my future in the industry.
Over the course of my spring semester, I made several invaluable connections with music professionals, and I wanted to continue to do so throughout the summer, since I intend to move to Nashville following my graduation next year.
Interning at Blackbird Studio has, so far, enabled me to make many more connections in Nashville’s music scene, and I am sure this will continue. I’ve also already gained some hands-on, technical knowledge working with some studio equipment, even in my first few weeks here. From this internship, I hope to network with people in Nashville’s music industry, to increase my technical recording knowledge, and, most of all, to gain more confidence in myself and my abilities.
The learning curve at Blackbird Studio is steep. My first few shifts were spent memorizing the labyrinth-like layout of the studio compound, noting the specific procedures and practices. It is all very much "learn by doing," which is incredible.
"Every day is a new adventure, and I cannot wait to see what else will unfold over the course of the summer."Jo Sinta ’20
On my first day, I was setting up a microphone worth $25,000 for Gladys Knight! While the Nashville recording culture tends to be very laid back, the pace and environment can change at any moment, especially with high-profile clients. Interns must ready for anything, from coffee runs to swapping out gear. We answer to the various studio managers who are concerned with client services as well as the technical aspects of recording sessions.
The overall vibe in the studio is welcoming and relaxed, but there is a known expectation for excellence, attention to detail, and efficiency. There is an underlying intensity, and everyone is aiming to do their best.
My previous internship was in an office setting at record label. As both a music industry major and sound recording major, I felt it beneficial to pursue internships in both areas. While my time with the label was informative and beneficial to my growth in the industry, office life, I quickly learned, was not for me. At first, this scared me because my confidence in the studio was so low. But as soon as I completed my first few shifts at Blackbird, I came to realize that it is not how vast your technical knowledge is that really matters.
Studio staff members care more about your ability to connect, to be friendly, to be willing to learn, to be detailed oriented, and to have a tireless work ethic. Every day is a new adventure, and I cannot wait to see what else will unfold over the course of the summer.
The Bergami Summer Internship Program is funded through the generosity of Board of Governors member – and former Board Chair – Sam Bergami ’85 EMBA, ’02 Hon. and his wife, Lois, and the Division of Student Affairs.