Music Management Degree Programs with Career Information

Read about associate's, bachelor's and master's programs in music management. Learn about admission requirements and the kinds of courses you'll take at each level, and get details on employment opportunities after graduation.

Essential 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. Many undergraduate and graduate programs 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.


Associate's Degree in Music Management

At the 2-year level, students can earn Associate of Applied Arts or Associate of Science degrees in Music Management. Degrees programs are generally offered through either business or music departments. 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.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants to an associate degree program in music management are required to possess high school diplomas or GEDs. Depending on the program and school, an audition and personal interview may be required. Students may also have to complete a musical placement test before enrolling in classes.

Program Coursework

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

Popular Career Options

While many associate degree program graduates may pursue higher education, others may seek immediate career entry. They may work as:

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

Bachelor's Degree in Music Management

At the 4-year level, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Management. Students learn fundamentals of music history, music marketing, record label management and talent management. They also develop verbal and written communication skills.

Educational Prerequisites

At the bachelor's degree level, applicants should have a general understanding of music. Instrumental proficiency may be preferred, if not required. Future majors should have high school diplomas, GEDs or associate's degrees. Standardized test scores are usually a requirement.

Program Coursework

Music management majors are generally required to participate in internship opportunities with concert planning organizations, radio stations or record labels. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is usually necessary for successful completion of a bachelor's degree program in music management. Classes consist of:

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

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program 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

Master's Degree in Music Management

At the graduate level, interested individuals can earn Master of Arts degrees in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management. Students gain a more thorough grasp of music business practices, which prepares them for success as music business entrepreneurs or music managers.

Educational Prerequisites

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. Students typically submit letters of recommendation, resumes and personal essays. A basic accounting class may be needed for admission.

Program Coursework

Master's degree 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

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2020, employment of artist agents and business managers was predicted to increase 14%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Furthermore, in 2012 business managers and agents for artists and athletes across the U.S. had a median salary of $63,370.

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