Music Management Degree

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What is Music Management?

Music management is the area of study and employment that deals with the business of music. Individuals in this field provide representation and protection for clients who engage in the production and propagation of music. Music managers receive a portion of income, and in return work to find venues, negotiate prices, and encourage the growth and development of their clients.

Top Degrees in Music Management

Students interested in earning a college degree in music management need to understand the degree options to enter the field.  Programs span from certificate programs to graduate degrees in music management.  Many programs in music provide exposure to concepts and real-world activities that blend academic and pragmatic concepts.  Graduates from a music management program will learn vital music industry skills, methodologies, and concepts to successfully navigate the ethical, artistic, legal, and financial issues in the music business.  Degrees in music management include the following:

Online Certificate & Diploma Programs in Music Management

Diploma and certificate programs in music management are course clusters focused on providing a defined set of skills or mastery in a particular area of focus.  Certificate programs can come in a variety of versions: specialist, professional, and master while the diploma program is typically a singular structure.  A diploma program in music management is an undergraduate program geared to prepare students for a degree-granting program.

Specialist certificates are generally a 3-4 class program emphasizing an area of study such as creative writing, composing electronic music, drums, audio design, improvisation, logic, and orchestration.  The professional certificate is frequently a 12-18 credit program that provides more grist than a specialist certificate or diploma.  Master certificates, on the other hand, are often 12-27 credit programs that are more in-depth than a professional certificate program.

Online Bachelor Degree in Music Management

A bachelor’s degree in music management is conferred as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from accredited colleges and universities.  BA programs are 4-year programs for full time students and longer for part-time students.  Bachelor degrees blend liberal arts education such as philosophy, psychology, English, history, and math with core courses.  Core curriculum in music management can include the following types of classes: music theory, ear training, arranging, ensemble, harmony, economics, business management, advanced computer applications, tonal harmony, composition, law, marketing, music publishing, record company operations, music intermediaries, concerts & touring, and music history.  At the completion of the program, students will take a capstone course and complete an internship with an approved record company.

Online Master Degree in Music Management

A master’s degree in music management or related program is a 2-3 year program for full-time students.  Graduate studies are focused in a particular area of emphasis providing a unique depth and breadth to the program.  Students have the opportunity to enroll in programs such as music management, global entertainment, music technology, music innovation, and an MBA in the music business.  Coupling an MBA with global entertainment prepares students to help manage touring artists or grow an international brand.  Similarly, students earning a degree in music management with an emphasis in music technology have the opportunity to grow with a burgeoning music sub-industry such as electronic music.

Music Colleges and Education Requirements

Music management shares many of the same principles as other similar managerial studies, the primary difference coming from the types of contracts and standard industry practices unique to the music industry. As such, individuals will receive education that allows for understanding how to meet client interests, to negotiate with vendors, promoters and labels, as well as other interested parties, as well as become familiar with the laws, regulations and other factors that help govern the industry.

A curriculum may include:

  • Business Management
  • Contracts and Royalties
  • Negotiation
  • Industry Practices
  • Music Technology

Schools may offer specialized education in this field, though such programs are relatively few. Most individuals may cater their management education to a more specific music orientation, including additional education relating to music as a field. Schools that provide specific programs are generally more desirable than constructing one's own program as they generally have experience and connections to the music industry.

Schools Other Students Requested Information From:

Employment Opportunities for Managers

With the growing complexity involved in the payment structures for musicians, specialists in this area are going to become higher in demand. New technology, distribution, and the need to evolve the industry has resulted in a demand for specialists who can reshape the landscape of music industry. Job growth is expected to increase over the next decade as access to music production increases, newer technologies continue to change the industry, and the need for professionals for representation rises.

Largest Employers of Music Managers

  • Management Companies
  • Performing Arts Centers
  • Promoters and Agents
  • Independent Artists
  • Sound Recording Companies

States with Highest Employment of Music Managers

  • California        4,990
  • New York        3,050
  • Florida               970
  • Tennessee         530
  • Texas                 330

Top Paying States for Music Managers

  1. Connecticut                    $123,550
  2. Massachusetts               $106,930
  3. Virginia                           $99,190
  4. District of Columbia    $97,770
  5. New York                        $96,810

The Indie Managers Association works with self-managing parties and independent managers, to ensure their interests are met within the industry and government. The organization also provides resources to assist such managers in performing their duties.

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Career Summary: Music management Major




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