Taylor Swift Course Launches at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute

Taylor Swift Course Launches at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute

Aside from selling millions of albums worldwide and winning 11 Grammys, Taylor Swift has something new to add to her long list of accolades: becoming the focus of a new course at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. This is the first-ever course on Taylor Swift at the institute.

The course is being taught by Rolling Stone staff writer, Brittany Spanos, who confirmed the news via Twitter on Feb. 2 with a tweet that reads, “my official comment is that my students already rule and i am very excited for the rest of the class xo,” which the Clive Davis Institute retweeted on its official Twitter page. Spanos is also an NYU alum.

In a separate tweet, Spanos added, “for all those waiting on updates on how the taylor class is going, i played dear john more than once and went on a too long tangent about gaga’s 2009 vma performance (i promise i had a point)”

The course objectives, which were published by Variety, read:

  1. “Students will develop an understanding and appreciation for Taylor Swift as a creative music entrepreneur; Students will learn to deconstruct the way her creativity and songwriting have made her a durable presence in a quickly evolving music industry;
  2. Students will learn about the legacy of pop and country songwriters that have influenced Swift as well as the discourses around “prodigies” in pop music history;
  3. Students will gain an understanding of how discourses of youth and girlhood are often exploited in the media and music industries;
  4. Students will learn about the politics of race in contemporary popular music, and to interrogate whiteness as it relates to Swift’s politics, songwriting, worldview and interactions with the wider cultural world around her;
  5. Students will develop greater sophistication in their artistic appreciation, critical thinking, research and writing skills.”

Variety also reported that the class will be chaired by music writer and musician Jason King. Swift has been invited to speak to the class, but there has been no answer yet on that request.

The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music began in 2003. The homepage on the institute’s website reads, in part, “We aim to provide students with the necessary skills — business, creative, and intellectual — so that they might emerge as visionary creative entrepreneurs in the evolving global music industry.”

The school caters to students who dream of becoming music producers, record label company CEOs, and songwriters, among other music professions. 

Additional course offerings include ones that focus on Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin, Freddie Mercury, and many more iconic artists with Swift now making the list.

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