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Nick Jonas' Lesson for Other Teen Musicians

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

More than one hundred teenage musicians recently attended a summer camp in Los Angeles to learn about the music business. Some of the advice they received came from the youngest member of the Jonas Brothers, eighteen-year-old Nick.

NICK JONAS: “Social media was incredibly important for my brothers and I at the beginning of our career and still is today. With Twitter and YouTube and Facebook, there are so many instant ways to connect with your fans.”

Nick Jonas performing at the White House in February
Nick Jonas performing at the White House in February

Nick Jonas appeared in Broadway musicals before he became a pop star with his brothers.

Other music professionals also shared their knowledge at the week-long camp. The annual event is part of "Grammy in the Schools," a project from the organizers of the music industry's Grammy Awards.

The camp gives students a chance to perform or to learn music production skills. Ben LoPiccolo worked on his skills as a music reporter.

BEN LOPICCOLO: “I found that I really enjoyed writing and telling people about music that I like to kind of expand their taste.”

These teens hope to be part of an industry that is going through big changes. Kristen Madsen at the Grammy Foundation points to the influence of social networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

KRISTEN MADSEN: "I would say that that’s probably the biggest theme that you can see, is watching the artists and the professionals come through and talk about, there are new ways and new roadmaps for kids to succeed in the music industry, and they have a lot more access to doing it themselves.”

Thirteen-year-old Greyson Chance is about to release his first album. He told the other young musicians that his career began with a music video on YouTube.

Giovanni Quattrochi hopes for a career as a music producer. He likes the way music is changing.

GIOVANNI QUATTROCHI: “Especially with hip-hop, there’s a lot of sampling of different genres of music. And I think I’m excited to see where music is going to go.”

Music is also becoming more international, says Elise Go, who hopes to be a songwriter.

ELISE GO: “I’m also pretty excited. I think it’s very cool. I’m really interested in Korean and Asian-genre music. It’s like Korean and Chinese pop music, and they’re using American influences in their music, and I feel that’s very cool to hear, a pop song you think you’d hear on the radio in America, in another language.”

Brian London plays keyboard for Lady Gaga and other artists. He told the students that succeeding in music is about hard work, not just talent.

BRIAN LONDON: “Being a great player -- everybody’s a great player. So a lot of artists, management labels and music directors look at more than just being a great player in order to be hired for a gig.”

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report. You can watch a video report about the Grammy camp at Look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and iTunes at VOA Learning English. I'm Jim Tedder.

(MUSIC: "LA Baby"/Jonas Brothers)


Contributing: Mike O'Sullivan