Music Business Degree, Training and College Info

If you choose to study music business, you'll learn marketing and leadership as they relate to the music industry. Degree programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Essential Information

Music business involves the promotion and management of songs and sounds between artists and consumers. There are many aspects of the business, including the management of record labels, artists and publishing companies.

Associate and bachelor's degrees will aid you in seeking entry-level employment in the industry, while pursuing a master's degree will equip for more advanced positions or for starting your own business, such as a label or recording studio. Coursework will involve such topics as music marketing, tour management and music copyright law.


Associate Degrees in Music Business

Two-year undergraduate programs in music business introduce marketing and business management as it relates to the music industry. You'll learn how to develop, market and manage creative talent. Degree titles include Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Music Business. Students enrolling in these programs needs to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

You'll learn about business practices, communication and networking, as well as how to develop marketing skills to promote music. You may learn how to research and advertise music for specific markets. Coursework can include:

  • Music economics
  • Artist management
  • Music marketing
  • Artist promotion
  • Music publishing

Bachelor of Science in Music Business

This four-year program emphasizes the functions of different entities within the music industry, from artist to producer to director. Lessons cover the fundamentals of publicity and promotion. Some programs may focus on certain aspects of the industry, such as artists and repertoire or entertainment law. Like with associates degree programs, students need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in this program.

You'll be introduced to marketing strategies and how to use alternative resources to promote music. You'll then go on to study contracts and legal issues. A school may promote internship programs with record labels, publishing companies and entertainment law firms. Courses might discuss:

  • Copyright law
  • Music publishing
  • Artist management
  • Entertainment writing
  • Publicity

Master's Degrees in Music Business

At the graduate level, you'll explore business operations in pursuit of corporate and entrepreneurial positions and develop administration and supervision skills. Common degree titles include the Master of Arts and Master of Music in Music Business.

A bachelor's degree (preferably in a music related field) is required for enrollment in a master's program.

Master-level music business programs often teach marketing and branding concepts while exploring how they relate to consumers. Some graduate schools can offer you the opportunity to research the financial and legal aspects of the music industry. You may be required to submit a thesis prior to the termination of your studies. Additional topics of study that may be required are:

  • Music industry law
  • Marketing strategy
  • Music management
  • Accounting

Popular Career Options:

Upon getting an associate degree, you may find entry-level work in different areas of the entertainment industry, such as music, film, television and theater. Job titles may include:

  • Artist assistant manager
  • Music publisher
  • Marketing aide
  • Tour manager
  • Concert promoter

By earning a bachelor's degree in music business, you may find work with record labels, publishing companies and booking agencies. After graduating, you may work directly with musicians. You can also pursue positions as:

  • Artist manager
  • Music publisher
  • Concert promoter
  • Music distributor
  • Tour manager

Many who obtain a graduate degree in music business are entrepreneurs who wish to start new businesses. Other career options include:

  • Record label owner
  • Management company owner
  • Recording studio owner

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that agents and business managers of artists and performers (as well as athletes) took in a median annual salary of $62,940 in May 2015. Marketing management jobs in general were expected to grow 9% from 2014-2024, which is average growth. Marketing managers for companies and enterprises made a median yearly salary of $95,890 in May 2015, reported the BLS.

An undergraduate degree such as an A.S., A.A.S. or B.S. in Music Business may prepare students to work in entry level positions in the music business industry, while a master's degree in the field may prepare students management positions or even entrepreneurship.


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