Behind The Scenes of The Creative Elite


Music professionals Chris and Jinny Hayman founded The Creative Elite training academy in 2013 as an alternative to long-term school programs and expensive boot camps for aspiring professional singers, musicians, rappers and producers. Industry veterans, the British brother and sister team have created an affordable, effective option for dedicated students.

Based in Hollywood, The Creative Elite offers two levels of courses—the Gold level is eight days and costs $2,650, Elite Platinum is 13 days and tuition is $3,250. Each course includes on-site studio time, and each student completes a submission-ready demo. Gold level courses are limited to 10 students, Platinum to 13. Each course also includes one-on-one sessions with professionals in each student’s field of study. Courses run at various times throughout the year and are held in Los Angeles.

After his work with a school arts program in Australia, Chris Hayman (The Creative Elite’s Founder/CEO) decided to create a unique program in the U.S. “I did extensive research, globally, and there is absolutely nothing like this available elsewhere,” he says. “We have created a course for talented young people to meet top professionals in the industry as well as work on their individual talents.”

The Creative Elite employs instructors who teach the students business skills in addition to other essential core information, provide talent coaching, and other tools necessary for success in becoming an independent artist. Students work with instructors for eight to 10 hours each day, writing, performing, recording and participating in instructional sessions.

“It’s a real-world education,” says Jinny Hayman (CEO/Business and Marketing Director), who was a professional musician in England prior to moving to Los Angeles to join her brother in the company. “Our curriculum reflects the industry and the professionals we bring in are tailored to each group.” Participating instructors include producer/songwriter Erik “Blu2th” Griggs (Boyz II Men, Jordin Sparks), songwriter/DJ/producer Casey K., and producer/engineer Mike Boden (Dave Matthews Band, Carrie Underwood). “Instead of lectures, the instructors provide more of a one-on-one, heart-to-heart education. During seminars, speakers speak, but they also respond to questions.”

Students can apply online and must submit a demo of their work. “We do have to reject quite a few applicants,” Jinny explains. “This is not a beginner course. We reject more than we accept. We look not just for talent, but also drive and focus. For the course to work, everyone needs to be at the same talent level, and the same professional level.”

Aspiring artists of all genres are considered. “While being mindful of all genres, we guide artists to learn how to place their song in the marketplace, and how to develop their own sound and voice,” says Chris. “At the end of the day, they are independent artists, so in addition to honing their talents, we educate them on what branding is; on marketing an identity.”

Applicants to the program come from all over. While most are already in the Los Angeles area, Creative Elite has received applicants from other countries as well as throughout the U.S. Most applicants are between the ages of 14 and 25. Because there are a lot of dubious entities offering fame in exchange for some dollars, Creative Elite is thoroughly up-front about what it offers in exchange for tuition. “We are as clear as possible on our website about what we offer,” says Chris. “We are always available on the phone or in-person to talk to parents or applicants. Compared to everything out there, our course is well worth the money. The professionally mixed demo that each student leaves with alone is worth the money.

“Our course is designed to constantly develop the independent artist,” continues Chris. “Songwriting, in the studio, developing their skill. It’s a 50-50 balance between the practical nature of the business versus developing their talent. We keep the cost as low as we can because it is a passion for us.”  The company also provides a limited number of scholarships made possible through industry sponsorships. “We want to help people," he says, “and to make it accessible for young artists to have this ability to reach industry professionals and understand what being an independent artist involves.”

In May, The Creative Elite initiated a two-day “Elite Live” workshop where artists hone their live skills working with professionals and culminating in a live show ($350, held on weekends throughout the year), and a one-day “Elite Independence Seminar” that informs artists and their families about the realities of the music business and its opportunities ($125 per family, limited to two family members per artist).

In addition to the Los Angeles-based courses, The Creative Elite is conducting custom music-recording workshops for Elon University in North Carolina, and creating other customized private courses for music schools, arts and other organizations.

Summer 2014 courses are sold out. Openings are available for the fall sessions.

Contact [email protected]855-726-4442