Success Through Failure in Nashville
Alex Rose ’22, a music major from, Anna, Ohio, plans to move to Los Angeles and continue a career as a voice over artist that they began in their final semester of college. It’s a path Rose feels prepared for thanks to the growth they’ve gained at Bluffton and Nashville’s Contemporary Music Center, where they spent the fall 2021 semester.
“Each week was spent writing a new song, revising the song and performing the song at a concert. The grind was insane,” explained Rose. “It was trial by fire. There was a lot of failing, but that’s not a bad thing. The CMC lets you fail in a safe, enclosed environment.”
The CMC experience, offered to Bluffton students through a partnership with CCCU Global Education, includes three tracks of study—artist, business and technical. Rose chose artist and earned college credit to write, record and gain real-world experience while learning from music industry professionals.
“Actively working with other artists, you grow by leaps and bounds because you are surrounded by people who have a similar passion,” they said.
The final exam is a weeklong tour where students gain experience on and off stage. Rose, who performed in front of tour crowds, was also in charge of the team who put up and tore down the lighting fixtures.
“All throughout the experience, the big thread was about community and relationships,” explained Rose. “While the program is through the lens of music and the performing arts industry, it’s also about shaping people.”
At Bluffton, Rose worked as a tech assistant in Yoder Recital Hall. They also sang in all of Bluffton’s choral groups and were a member of Brave Space.
Rose initially had ambitions of attending a large university. However, they learned about Bluffton through a high school class which required students to visit multiple colleges. So, Rose visited Bluffton.
“You know that feeling you get when you are comfortable somewhere, but you can’t explain it?” asked Rose. “I immediately felt like Bluffton was somewhere that could be home.”