Student Profile: David Stevens


In this installment of Student Profile we Meet David Stevens, currently enrolled in his 5th quarter of studies at The Institute of Production and Recording, and learn a bit about the benefits of keeping an open mind, networking with those around you, and doing what it takes to achieve the goals you set for yourself…

Hi my name is David Stevens.  I came from the country near a small town in Southern Minnesota.  I didn’t have much of a music background – my dad listened to country, my mom listened to oldies, and everyone at school listened to Top 40.  So when it comes to unique music I just didn’t have the knowledge.  When I came to IPR in Oct. of  2008,  I got music from everywhere, and my mind just blew up!  It has been a fun trip so far!  I did some stuff in music like a stint as a wedding dj, and making music in a program called Magix, but that was the most I had dived into working in music at all. When our teacher at IPR , Jay Flemming, asked during the first quarter who in the class knew what an XLR was, I had no clue.

I heard about IPR when I went to a job counselor looking for work when I lived in Northern WI.  She asked me what I liked to do; I listed off everything, and somehow we got on the subject of music.  She told me her son was looking at IPR, and it peaked my curiosity.  I didn’t know schools like this even existed!  So I did my research, checked out other places, but I didn’t want to live too far from home and I wanted to go somewhere that could give me the best education for my use in all aspects.  I took a tour of the school and a smile was stuck on my face the whole time.  I had never really been around even the mixing boards you see in Studio 6.  So the thought of being able to be around them all the time for two years made me so happy. My admissions rep, and everyone I met on my tour were so friendly and happy – I felt they absolutely loved being here.  Right then and there I knew I wanted to attend school here.

I was in choir and band when I was in high school.  I love to sing and I am working on learning guitar and piano more constructively.  I have always loved music and singing since I was just a little kid.  I knew I wanted to be in the music industry, but I was always told it wasn’t a reasonable area to push towards for a career…


There are so many people up here that have struck my sparks to keep striving.  I am always networking and trying to meet new people.  The more people I know the more people that know me.  I don’t want money, fame, and stardom.  If it happens, GREAT!  But if it doesn’t I am still doing what I love.  If I can make a living doing what I love, I will never work the rest of my life, because I look at it as more than work.  It’s my life.  I breath music.  Anyone that feels the same as I do I look up to.  Anyone that has a passion for music and is in it for the right reasons I feel appreciative towards.

So many teachers, students, and other music industry people from all over have influenced me.  If they have knowledge to give I want to listen.  I want to feed off of everything.  I didn’t know anything before I came here and in the year I have been here I have growing not only musically but mentally as well.  If you ever want to learn anything about music step into a conversation with a group of people here.  It is so fun being here, and the people are great.  Everyone is here for different reasons which makes everyone unique to talk to.

After school I want to work with promotions, engineering, and producing.  I am in the process of trying to work closer with Ideawerks and their promotional crew.  I have mad respect for the program.  Check it out at and you will see just what I mean.  I am in the process of starting up my own company, and slowly but surely it is getting off the ground.  Being in school and just getting on my feet are obviously keeping it held back, but I know it will take time, time, and more time.  That’s why I want to start now.  I want to be somewhere doing something when I am out of school.  All I want to do is strive and make something of my self.  I want to know my life is happy.  And I feel the most happy doing exactly this.  People say I will wear down in the craziness of the business, but I don’t let it get to me.  You get out what you put in, that’s what everyone says.  Well, right now I am putting my whole heart and soul into this – I will get something out of this no matter what.  I am happier then I have ever been in my life right now.


I have been working with bands, but not charging yet.  Though I have traded services.  A couple bands I have worked with have set up a website for me, and also helped me build my logo.  Even if you don’t get money, don’t forget to look at other options of how someone can help you.  Things that could have cost you hundreds of dollars to do on your own, you can use the help of those you help yourself.  If I was to give any support of information to any students looking to get out there, work, and start getting recognized, it would be to network with everyone you can.

In closing, maintaining a focus on networking and doing what it takes are the two most important things that I can say.  You can be in class all you want, and do the projects but that only gets you so far.  A degree is a piece of paper.  Prove to them that you really know what you are talking about by just doing it.  And to learn, there are a few steps you need to follow.  Get in the studio with other people.  Even if it is to just watch them.  Shut up, and watch.  If you have a question, write it down and ask them later when they are not super busy.  Talk to everyone and anyone you can.  And listen.  Be open minded to anything.  Don’t have a one track mind.  It doesn’t get very many people too far…

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