Music Business Degrees

Table of Contents

A degree in Music Business will steer you on the path toward becoming an integral part of the industry as a whole. By learning critical skills like business, finance, management, marketing and entrepreneurship as they pertain to the field, you’ll enter the job with the know-how to become an A&R type, manage bands and artists, or even run your label. Majoring in Music Business also gives you a solid understanding of things like music theory and aural training–couple that with the business end, and you’ll be able to command your own career as an independent musician. In any case, choosing this route will make you a well-rounded business savvy and attractive candidate to a multitude of companies.

Degrees Awarded

  • Certificate
  • Associates
  • Bachelors
  • Masters

Classes and Prerequisites

The demands for each degree, certification and school varies, but most require similar recommended courses or prerequisites. Core classes will differ in name from school-to-school, however, they generally cover a similar spectrum of principles and practices. Below are a list of classes you will commonly be need to take:

  • Music Business
  • Marketing
  • Finance and Accounting courses
  • Promotions
  • Networking
  • Music Theory
  • Music History
  • Four year schools typically make students fulfill general coursework in humanities, science, foreign language, English and mathematics

Salary Info

The pay range for people working in the industry is a bit ambiguous, however, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 report for Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes, the median annual income was $62,940 while the top 90% raked in around $187K…

Possible Careers

  • A&R Manager
  • Label Owner/Employee
  • Promotions
  • Music Marketer
  • Talent Buyer/Booker
  • Tour Manager
  • Copyright Administrator
  • Music Supervisor

Schools

Here are some of the schools who offer degrees in Music Business:

Full Sail University

Full Sail University, offers a couple of handy choices in knocking out this degree.

Curriculum:
  1. Full Sail offers one Bachelor of Science in Music Business, one on campus and another completely online.
    • On Campus requirements:
      • 20 Months to complete
      • Business courses pertaining to the music industry
      • Marketing, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Data Analysis
      • Business Law
      • Managerial courses
      • Music Copyright and Publishing
      • Concert Management and Touring
      • English Composition, Professional Writing, Science, Psychology and other core courses
    • Online requirements:
      • 32 months to complete
      • Requires the same course of study to complete the degree
Tuition & Fees:

Getting straight to the point, the BS in Music Business from Full Sail is going to cost you $56,000 total.


Berklee College of Music

A revered school with a reputation for producing high quality musicians and industry types. So yea, of course they have a Music Business degree, five of them, actually, if you want to get technical, available online and on campus, undergrad and grad. There are also three different tracks to choose from for the on campus Bachelor degree: Music Management; Music Marketing; Entrepreneurial:

Curriculum:
  1. Bachelor of Music in Music Business requirements by chosen track:
    • Management track
      • Core courses in Music Theory, Ensemble, Private Instrument Instruction, Ear Training, Writing, Literature and other General Electives
      • Principles of Economics, Business Management, Legal Aspects of the Music Industry, Principles of Financial Accounting,Business Leadership and Ethics
      • Marketing, Record Company Operations, Music Publishing
      • Business Finance, Music Intermediaries: Agents, Managers, and Attorneys
      • Internship
    • Marketing track
      • Core courses in Music Theory, Ensemble, Private Instrument Instruction, Ear Training, Writing, Literature and other General Electives
      • Principles of Economics, Business Management
      • Principles of Marketing,Music Product Development, Creative Promotion in New media
      • Digital marketing in the Music Industry
      • Internship in Music Business/Management or Advanced Music Business Elective
    • Entrepreneurial track
      • The same core courses are required as the other two tracks in this discipline
      • Marketing, Business and leadership courses
      • Website Design and Management, Business Finance/Startups
      • Managing a technology driven business
      • Innovator’s DNA course
      • Entrepreneurial Practicum
  2. The Bachelor of Professional Studies in Music Business is completed online
    • BPS
      • Core courses in Music Theory, Ensemble, Private Instrument Instruction, Ear Training, Writing, Literature and other General Electives
      • Music Business 101
      • Music Marketing 101
      • Music Business Trends and Strategies
      • Concert Touring
      • Music Business Leadership and Ethics
      • Legal Aspects of the Music Industry
      • Creative Entrepreneurship
      • Music Business Finance
      • Music Licensing
      • Music Business Capstone
  3. Berklee also remains competitive by making multiple options available for obtaining a Master’s degree in this program: One is an MA in Global Entertainment and Music Business, which can be obtained by attending Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain. Another avenue for obtaining a Master’s has been created in partnership with Suffolk University. Additionally, Berklee has partnered with South New Hampshire University to create a Master’s in Music Business that is completed online; more on this in the next section
Tuition & Fees:

Online degree tuition is 64% less than campus tuition, however, it aint cheap. The overall cost for the BPS in Music Business completed on line is $59,160. The Bachelor’s in Music, completed on campus,was calculated using only tuition and fees per year and living off campus; cost to attend per year was an estimated $42,601. The MBA in Music Business completed through South New Hampshire University rates will be discussed in the next section.


South New Hampshire University.

Well, as the name would suggest, this school is in New Hampshire…I’ve never been there, but I assume it’s part of the United States…kidding. As stated before, this program was created in conjunction with Berklee, who, as we all know, hold an impeccable track record in the area of music education–rest assured, you’ll be in good hands.

Curriculum:
  1. Just because it’s located in good ol’ NH, doesn’t mean you have to be, their Master’s degree in Music Business is available, 100%, online.
    • MBA
      • Four concentration courses from Berklee in the areas of:Music Business Structures and Strategies; Music Marketing Strategies; Music Business Finance; Music Business Leadership and Ethics
      • Math and Statistics for Business, Economics for Business, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Business Law, Human Behavior in Organizations
      • Entrepreneurship, Accounting, Leading in an Organization, Marketing and Strategy, Leadership and Ethics
      • Government Impact on Business
      • Operations Management and Technology
      • MBA Capstone
Tuition & Fees:

The total cost for this MBA comes in right around $32,000 and can be completed in 15 months.


Phoenix College

Don’t get this confused with the University of Phoenix, no, no, this isn’t that school at all. Located in the blistering, Phoenix, Arizona, Phoenix college has made available two choices for starting your education in music business, an Associate’s and Certificate.

Curriculum:
  1. Here is a breakdown for each option:
    • AAS in Music Business requirements:
      • Music Business: Merchandising and the Law & Recording and Mass Media
      • Self Promotion for Music
      • Music Industry Entrepreneurship
      • Owning and Operating a Small Business
      • Music Business Internship
      • Accounting, Business, Marketing and Business Communication courses
      • Music Theory, Songwriting Techniques, DAW and recording classes
      • Concert Promotion and Training
      • Core courses in humanities, math and sciences are required
    • Certificate (CCL) requirements:
      • Music Business: Merchandising and the Law & Recording and Mass Media
      • Self Promotion for Music
      • Music Industry Entrepreneurship
      • Owning and Operating a Small Business
      • Music Business Internship
Tuition & Fees:

These rates are calculated for an Arizona resident not living in Maricopa County–for some reason Maricopa really likes to stick it to you if you don’t live in their county; btw, it’s ⅓ these estimates if you reside there. Those seeking the AAS will come out pretty easy with a clean $20,600, while students after the CCL option are only in $8,500.

Outro

This list isn’t definitive, but hopefully it gives you an idea of the type of schools out there and the courses/topics you’ll likely run across.