David Purcell - AEMM Assistant Professor - Music Business
David Purcell's background is in music and law, however, he is no stranger to the classroom. Beyond his academic endeavors as a student, David is a teacher and this is his first year as a full-time faculty member at Columbia. To this experience he brings his love for music, knowledge of the industry, years of teaching and desire to help his students succeed in the field.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Wisconsin, and my love and interest in music led me to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where I received my undergraduate degree. Through my experiences in music at Berklee, I quickly realized that there was a lot more to music than practicing, playing, and composing - that is, knowing the music business itself was key. After several years of traveling and touring (primarily in Europe), I ultimately decided to study law at the University of Wisconsin - this seemed like a great way to combine my musical experience with the industry.
What were you doing before you came to Columbia?
Playing music, working in the industry, and teaching (music business at New York University). I really enjoy working in, and balancing, those three areas. Music is the currency of the music industry, so staying active musically is not only fun and inspiring, it's really helpful on the industry side as well. Speaking of the industry, this is an incredibly exciting time to be working in the industry. Every day, we see new developments and shifts in how the industry operates, and the truth of the matter is, the idea of change and adaptation is nothing new to music. The modern music industry has grown in many areas, arguably because of change and adaptation.
How did you end up at Columbia?
Education is something that is very dear to me - both as a student (yes, I actually liked college and law school!) and as an educator. So, I was very excited to have an opportunity to be a part of Columbia - the biggest media and arts college in the U.S. - it seemed like a great fit. And, of course, being in Chicago is a nice plus, too!
How does your outside work influence your teaching?
In many ways. I strongly believe in preparing students with skills and an education that they can apply to their careers. Similarly, I really enjoy being able to apply my industry experiences to the material that we're covering in class, and being able to draw upon this experience as a resource. Again, it's crucial that students, the future leaders of the industry, gain the knowledge and skills that they can immediately apply to their careers and to shaping the future of the industry.
Does your classroom work influence your professional work?
Absolutely! I really believe in education; having an open dialogue in the classroom is something that I feel is very important for all involved. That being said, I feel that this is an important concept to bring to my work in the industry. I should also note that it is inspiring and informative to know that the future of the music industry is in our classrooms - the students! This is a crucial thing to realize because as the industry marches on, here at school we're working with the leaders of tomorrow.