Music Management Degree Programs with Career Information

Individuals interested in music management degree programs can enroll in programs at the associate, bachelor's or master's degree level. Students in all of these programs primarily focus on music business topics, like artist promotion and music marketing.

Essential Information

Many undergraduate and graduate programs in music management include opportunities for practical experience with radio stations, event management organizations and related employers. Admission requirements for both associate's and bachelor's programs include a high school diploma or its GED equivalent. Some associate's programs may also require an audition or music-related placement test, while bachelor's programs may prefer applicants with some musical proficiency. Admission to a master's programs usually entails prior completion of a bachelor's program in a relevant field, and some programs seek incoming students who have work experience.

  • Program Levels: Associate of Applied Arts or Associate of Science in Music Management, Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Management, or Master of Arts in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management.
  • Prerequisites: Undergraduate programs require a high school diploma or equivalent, master's programs require a bachelor's degree in a related field. Programs may also require a letter of recommendation, resume, personal essays, specific coursework and certain standardized test scores.
  • Program Length: Associate's, 2 years. Bachelor's, 4 years. Master's, 2 years.
  • Other Requirements: Professional internships, thesis or final project.

Associate's Degree in Music Management

Associate of Applied Arts or Associate of Science in Music Management degree programs are generally offered through either business or music departments, require a high school diploma or GED, and take about 2 years to complete. Students may also have to complete a musical placement test before enrolling in classes. Some programs are designed for established musicians, focusing on instrumentation and vocalization while at the same time introducing business strategies. Other programs are open to any students with an interest in music management, regardless of musical background. Students take classes in general education and may participate in internships. Topics of study include:

  • Accounting and finance
  • Technical writing
  • Computer software in the music industry
  • Tour management and event production
  • Music production techniques
  • Strategies for effectively managing performance artists

Bachelor's Degree in Music Management

Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Management programs focus on the fundamentals of music history, music marketing, record label management and talent management. They also develop verbal and written communication skills. Applicants should have a high school diploma or equivalent and a general understanding of music and instrumental proficiency. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is usually necessary for successful completion of a bachelor's degree program in music management. Music management majors are generally required to participate in internship opportunities with concert planning organizations, radio stations or record labels. Classes consist of:

  • Statistics and information analysis
  • Business ethics
  • Marketing
  • Managing musicians in a global environment
  • Use of the media in promotion strategies

Master's Degree in Music Management

Applicants to a graduate program in music management generally must have relevant work experience or undergraduate education. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 may be required as well as letters of recommendation, resumes and personal essays. A basic accounting class may be needed for admission. Master of Arts in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management degree programs help students gain a more thorough grasp of music business practices, which prepares them for success as music business entrepreneurs or music managers. Students participate in professional work experiences and practica. A capstone project is usually required for graduation, and students take core classes in:

  • Copyrighting and intellectual property licensing
  • Personnel relations and human resources
  • Decision-making strategies for business managers
  • Generating entertainment industry revenue
  • Entrepreneurship and business collaborations

Popular Career Options

Associate degrees prepare students to further their education or for jobs such as:

  • Retail salespersons
  • Freelance musicians
  • Performance marketers
  • Venue managers
  • Musical artist representatives

Bachelor's degree holders in music management can work for music publishers, individual artists and concert producers. Specific job titles may include:

  • Media productions manager
  • Media operations manager
  • Public relations specialist
  • Talent scout
  • Band manager

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2022, employment of artist agents and business managers was predicted to increase, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Furthermore, in 2014 business managers and agents for artists and athletes across the U.S. had a median salary of $64,200.

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