Richard Marvin

Jacobs School of Music launches semester in LA program

The Jacobs School of Music, with help from The Media School, will launch their Jacobs in LA study program in spring 2024. The eight-week program is for master’s students in the music scoring for visual media program. Students will reside in Los Angeles, California and take a three-credit hour course, continue their capstone project and network with professionals in the industry.

“The music world in LA is enormous and that landing spot will provide our students with incredible opportunities that they may not be able to have here in Indiana,” Abra Bush, the David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean, said. “For us, it seemed like a great opportunity just waiting for us to agree to do. The Media School has been very helpful in their partnership, so it seemed like now is our hour.”  

According to Larry Groupé, the director of music scoring for visual media program, many graduates from the program move to LA to develop their composition for the media they are working on such as a film or television.  

“It’s where you need to go to meet the right people, to get involved and get jobs that’ll begin your career path,” Groupé said. “We should be going to LA probably more than any other entity right now at Jacobs, so that’s why we’re the pilot group.”

The Jacobs in LA program will work with film and TV composer Rick Marvin, who will be the adjunct professor for the required course students must take while in LA called “Music Scoring for Episodic Television.” Marvin graduated from the Jacobs School of Music in 1978 and serves on the Jacobs School of Music’s Dean’s Advisory Council. 

“(The course) is the bulk of the work I’ve done the past 20 years and will be how to compose music for a television on a very tight schedule of one episode a week,” Marvin said. “I’ll be getting into how to work quick, how to set up your computer and how to set up all your audio equipment.”

Additionally, Groupé plans to take students on weekly field trips to companies like Sony Corporation, 20th Century Studios and Disney Publishing, as well as recording sessions featuring a 90-piece orchestra, film festivals and screenings.

“The center point of this (program) is that in the entertainment business in particular, your contacts and your networks are paramount to you getting started out here,” Marvin said. “Hopefully, this will provide a path for students if they choose to move to Los Angeles and they will have not only me as a resource, but other people they all meet when they do this program.” 

Groupé considers Marvin a friend of the music scoring for visual media program because of his work in advocating and getting support for the program. 

“He’s helped us so much in getting connected to certain things that are happening including what we do in the summer called Project Involved,” Groupé said.  

Project Involved is a summer program with Film Independent, a nonprofit arts organization encouraging independent creativity in visual storytelling, where six IU scoring composer students are chosen to go to LA and compose original scores for six student-produced films.  

The first phase of the program will be limited to students in the music scoring for visual media program, but the Jacobs School of Music plans to expand Jacobs in LA to other departments in the school and ultimately create classrooms, meeting spaces and a 40-person dormitory in LA. 

“The long-term goal is to include all of Jacobs and have every music student have the opportunity to come to Los Angeles for a semester and continue their studies, be in the hub of not only the entertainment center that it is, but classical musicians, music educators, dance, opera — everything that Jacobs has,” Marvin said.