Top music business SCHOOLS IN U.S.

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music business Degrees

Not everyone who works in the music industry is a musician or a vocalist. In fact, without the many people who handle the business side of the industry, many performers would never succeed in their chosen career. People who attend music business school manage the financial, legal and logistical aspects of the industry, which makes it possible for artists to concentrate on the creative aspects of their career. The demanding music business is highly competitive, and requires as much time, effort and dedication as crafting a career as a performer.

The curriculum of a music business degree blends musical knowledge with business acumen. Students may learn just as much about accounting and entrepreneurship as they do about music theory and harmony. It is precisely this type of unique blend of subject matter that makes it possible for students to succeed in the modern music industry. The highly competitive nature of this field makes earning an appropriate degree absolutely indispensable. Some colleges are offering music business degree programs on campus, but with increasing demand for flexibility, an increasing number of these schools are providing students with the chance to earn a music business degree online.

Before choosing a music business school, it's important to ensure that it has received the appropriate accreditation. Institutions that have received the National Association of Schools of Music accreditation are a good choice. Additionally, prospective students should look for schools that have earned the approval of an educational organization that has received official recognition from the federal Department of Education. Accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or ACICS, or another regional accrediting body demonstrates that a college offers an academically rigorous program with well-qualified faculty members.

Associate's Degree in Music Business

This two year degree option provides students with an opportunity to explore how business and creativity intersect. This music business degree is suitable for students who are performers and for those who have no musical experience. Curricula are typically designed to provide students with the basics of business and marketing along with exposure to music theory and concepts. Most programs also require the completion of general education credits. Usually, several electives related to the major are selected by the student, with these electives supporting the student's chosen specialization. Common concentration areas include production of music, music marketing and disc jockey techniques, among others.

Prerequisites for entering an associate's degree program typically include earning a high school diploma or GED. Many institutions require students to fill out a basic application form before being accepted. Once in the program, students can expect to enroll in courses like:

  • Accounting Principles

  • Introduction to Music Theory

  • Introduction to Business

  • Music Industry Entrepreneurship

  • Recording and Mass Media in the Music Business

  • Studio Music Recording

  • Computers and Technology in the Music Industry

  • Music Production

  • Introduction to Marketing

A number of career possibilities may open up for someone who holds this degree. Among them are:

  • Disc Jockey

  • Session Musician

  • Music Marketing Assistant

  • Assistant Manager for Artists

  • Promoter

  • Broadcast Production

Bachelor of Science: Music Business

With four years of intensive study and training, people who hold a bachelor's degree are ready to hit the ground running in the music industry. This type of music business degree provides the student with a more complete overview of the industry as a whole, and allows more time for the student to develop particular areas of interest. Accordingly, students will get to select many electives that support their area of specialization while also gaining a broad based general education that will serve them well in their career.

Basic prerequisites for entering a music business degree program include a high school diploma, SAT scores and an application form. Depending upon the school, other materials, like an essay, may be required for admission. After enrollment, the student will find that a wide variety of classes are available to them. Among them are:

  • Introduction to Music Business

  • Introduction to Music Marketing

  • Trends and Strategies for the Music Business

  • Aural Skills

  • Music Theory

  • Principles of Business Management

  • Business Law

  • Introduction to Recording Studios

  • Music Publishing

  • Intellectual Property and Copyrights

  • Recording Techniques

  • Launching an Entrepreneurial Music Business

  • Introduction to Songwriting

Much of the curriculum depends upon the student's particular areas of interest, which allows individuals to craft a degree program that is particularly well suited to enable them to enter one of these careers:

  • Business Manager for Artists

  • Record Label Executive

  • Entertainment Attorney

  • Recording Engineer

  • Music Editor

  • Publisher

  • Promoter

  • Public Relations Executive

  • Recording Artist

Masters in Music Business

Students wanting to acquire advanced business knowledge that is firmly rooted in an artistic atmosphere may choose to pursue a Masters in Music Business. The curriculum at most universities uncovers the structure of the modern music industry so that students may understand it completely and be better prepared to deal with its ever changing environment. Whether students decide to study on campus or online, they may have to complete an internship and an in-depth research project in order to graduate.

Prerequisites to enter one of these competitive programs typically include an undergraduate degree and a satisfactory score on the GRE. Letters of recommendation, work experience and essays or interviews may also be required. Approximately two years of full time study are usually needed to complete all degree requirements.

In most programs, students complete music business courses like:

  • Principles of the Music Business

  • Emerging Music Markets

  • The Music Industry and the Law

  • Concert Management

  • Artist Management

They may also take business courses such as:

  • Management and Leadership

  • Financial Accounting

  • Business Ethics

  • Strategic Marketing

  • Business Law

Earning a Masters in Music Business degree is an excellent way for motivated students to really kick start their career. They will build industry contacts while also adding valuable experience to their resume. When they complete the degree, they may be qualified to hold positions like:

  • Owner of a record label

  • Top supervisor at a talent management firm

  • Managing executive at a publishing company

  • Music business teacher in a variety of academic settings

  • Concert Promoter