A master’s in music business is a graduate degree that helps familiarize students with the ins and outs of the music industry.
By enrolling in this program, you’ll study the evolving nature of the industry, how it functions, and even how to be a leader in creative fields. You’ll study subjects that will contribute to a robust understanding of the music industry and how it functions, which can help prepare you for advanced career paths both in and out of the industry.
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If a career in the music business interests you, continue reading to learn more.
Online Master’s in Music Business Programs
Graduate programs in music business will develop the overall competency of students who aspire to enter the music industry or arts. By enrolling in this type of program, students enter an environment that is carefully curated for their success.
Music business masters programs take a unique and effective approach to education. A masters in music management merges scholarship, theory, exposure to the industry, rigorous training, and artistic experience. This holistic approach to study ensures that graduates are prepared to enter related industries.
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You can grow in your understanding of current music, commercial practices for music distribution, industry systems, income streams, and much more. Graduates from these programs are likely to enter the music industry, either as artists or educators. That said, you’re by no means limited to those professions. Some additional occupations include:
- Sound technicians
- Music teachers
You can expect to study subjects that delve into expected topics like marketing, business, and music. Some of the subjects you’ll study include:
- Music policy
- Music leadership
These programs are beneficial for anyone who has completed a bachelor’s degree, particularly those who have just completed their undergrad and are looking to continue their education. That said, more experienced professionals can also benefit from these programs.
Music Business Careers & Salaries
A masters in music management degree program can help prepare you for careers throughout the music industry and perhaps much of the arts as a whole. The knowledge you can acquire in this program can lead to many exciting and potentially lucrative careers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median wages of potential career paths related to the music business field.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Producers and Directors||$85,320|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||$82,530|
|Musicians and Singers||$81,410|
|Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers||$77,280|
|Public Relations Specialists||$67,440|
|Music Directors and Composers||$62,940|
|Sound Engineering Technicians||$60,670|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||$52,560|
|Audio and Video Technicians||$50,660|
These programs give you a behind-the-scenes view of the music industry, which can be invaluable when pursuing a career in the field. As such, many graduates go on to work in everything from music publishing companies to public relations firms.
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It’s helpful to remember that no degree can guarantee a specific career or salary. Having a masters in music management degree, though, could be a strategic step toward growing your professional qualifications and earning potential.
Masters in Music Business Curriculum & Courses
Graduate programs in music business involve a variety of high-level courses that are designed to increase your knowledge of several facets of the music industry. Here are some course examples for this type of program:
- Music Business Leadership and Ethics: This course will familiarize you with various leadership styles.
- Music Business Structures and Strategies: In this course, you’ll study the evolution of the music business and how to create effective business models.
- Music Marketing Strategies: In this course, you’ll study the ways interest is generated and how new fans are acquired.
- Music Business Finance: In this course, you’ll learn how to leverage talent and drive business within the music industry.
- Strategy in a Complex Ecosystem: This course familiarizes you with the unique responsibilities of independent labels, publishers, major labels, and more.
- Revenue Streams and Budgeting Strategy: This course familiarizes you with various revenue streams and business models.
- Advanced Music Business Law and Contract Negotiation: This course familiarizes you with the kinds of contracts that are common in the music industry.
- Live Event and Tour Production: This course examines both the creative and business aspects involved in successful event production.
- Music Industry Data Strategy: In this course, you’ll study the data surrounding marketing strategies, sales, and industry trends.
- Music Business Policy: In this course, you’ll develop your understanding of policy and leadership to better handle challenges in the music industry.
It’s helpful to review the specific coursework of your program of choice to ensure its curriculum aligns with your goals.
A Master of Music Business is a strategic program for students looking to increase their expertise in the field. That said, it’s necessary to meet a variety of admissions criteria to qualify. Common requirements include:
- Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Arts
- Minimum college GPA of 3.0, on average
- Statement of purpose
- Entrance audition
- Entrance exams
Master’s programs often require students to have advanced qualifications in order to gain entrance into the program. It’s helpful to look up the specific admissions criteria for each school of interest.
Music Business Master’s Programs Accreditation
For many students, attending an accredited institution has a number of benefits, including increasing their marketability in the workforce. The accreditation process involves a formal accrediting agency evaluating an institution and determining whether it’s consistent in providing students with a high-quality education.
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Employers are likely to trust the prestige of an accredited institution, which makes them more likely to trust your qualifications as a job candidate. Plus, many financial aid options are only available to students who attend accredited schools.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
In today’s economy, people are left having to make the most of their finances. As such, it’s common for students to seek financial aid to help them meet the upfront cost of their education.
There are several financial aid options you can explore. Many students begin by filling out the FAFSA, which is the formal application for federal financial aid. Student loans from the government tend to have lower interest rates. You can also see if your state government has financial aid options.
Many students also turn to scholarships and grants. These options essentially give out free money, provided you’re eligible and selected to receive the aid amongst other applicants.
What Is a Music Business Masters Degree?
A master degree in music business is a graduate program that takes a robust approach to educating students on the music industry as it exists today. With the knowledge you gain, you may go on to have a career in numerous facets of the field, depending on your goals.
In this program, you learn about the methods used in understanding music industry systems, evolving rules and regulations, how to promote music, how income is generated, and more. As such, you can gain a well-rounded perspective on the field that you may use in the future.
What Can You Do with a Music Business Master’s Degree?
Graduates with a music business master’s degree enter the field in various capacities. Because of the nature of this program, it’s common for graduates to use their business skills directly in their careers.
Many enter the business side of the music industry as company managers, artist representatives, or managers of artists. That said, it’s also just as common for graduates to pursue careers as artists themselves. In these instances, many take an entrepreneurial approach, with their education granting helpful insight into the field.
What Do You Learn in a Master’s in Music Business?
There are several skills you can expect to acquire throughout your time earning a masters in music industry degree. Generally speaking, learning outcomes for these programs include how to apply research methods, strategic analysis for music goods, quality leadership, and more.
Some core course topics you will likely study include:
- Strategy in a complex ecosystem
- Revenue streams and budgeting strategy
- Live event and tour production
The specific courses you encounter can differ depending on the program, but the overall skills you’ll have acquired after graduation should be similar regardless of the program.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Master’s in Music Business Degree?
A masters in music industry degree may help qualify you for careers throughout the music industry and the arts. It’s common for graduates to enter music publishing companies, talent agencies, record labels, public relations firms, and more.
Many graduates enter the aforementioned fields as directors, sound technicians, singers, composers, producers, and professors. As you can see, careers can be varied for graduates. Essentially, your career in music will be determined by your goals and ambitions.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Music Business Master Degree Online?
Music business graduate programs usually require anywhere from 36 to 45 credits in order to be fully completed. These programs, like a masters in ethnomusicology online, may even be offered in both a full-time and part-time format, depending on the school you choose.
Generally speaking, full-time students may earn their masters in 2 years. Of course, the amount of time it takes you to complete these programs will ultimately depend on your unique circumstances. For instance, are you taking the program online or in person? Can you study full-time?
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Students who pursue accelerated tracks may be able to complete their studies in 1 year, while a part-time student will tend to take longer to complete their on campus or online music degree.
What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Masters Degree in Music Business?
An Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Music Business and a masters in music business are often confused with one another. Here are some key differences:
|MBA in Music Business||Masters in Music Business|
Reviewing these differences and comparing different programs’ curriculum may help you choose the degree path that’s best for you.
Is a Masters in Music Business Worth It?
Yes, a masters in music business is worth it for many students. These programs are designed with the express purpose of preparing you for careers in the music industry.
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If you have an interest in a music career, whether it be as an independent artist, a manager or agent at a label, or a music teacher, this program can help you grow your expertise in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14% job growth is expected for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.
Universities Offering Online Master in Music Business Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Music School Central named Azusa Pacific University one of the top music schools in California. An MA in Music Industry is available through APU. Most coursework is online along with low-residency sessions on campus. The program requires 32 credits, which can typically be completed in 2 years.
Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Belmont University offers a Professional MBA with the option to choose electives in the music industry field. All courses are online. The program requires 36 credits, including field experience. Courses follow a semester schedule with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. Potential courses include Music Business Revenue Streams and Strategic Marketing in the Music Business.
Belmont University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
An MA in Music Business is offered through the Berklee College of Music. The program is fully online, and most courses are in an asynchronous learning format. The curriculum consists of 36 credits. including a culminating experience. Courses are offered in 4 accelerated sessions in the fall, winter, summer, and spring.
Berklee is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
California State University – Northridge offers an MA in Music Industry Administration. All coursework is online and includes synchronous components. Students must visit campus for 3 short residencies. The program requires 33 credits, which can typically be completed in 21 months.
CSUN is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
UniversityHQ named Middle Tennessee State University as one of the best MBA schools in Tennessee. The school offers a Flex MBA with a concentration in Music Business. The program is offered online, on campus, or in a hybrid format. All required coursework can typically be completed in 30 months.
Middle Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an MBA in Music Business through a partnership with the Berklee School of Music. The program is fully online and requires 30 credits. Courses are 10 weeks long, and there are 5 start dates each year.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
An MBA with a concentration in Music Industry is offered through Troy University. Most courses are online. Courses are 9 weeks long with 5 start dates each year. The program requires 36 semester hours. Potential courses include Legal Aspects of the Music Industry and Advanced Songwriting.
Troy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Miami offers the opportunity to earn an MA in Music Industry through its fully online program. The program requires 10 courses along with a cumulative exam. Courses are 7 weeks long. Potential courses include Music Licensing, Music Publishing, and Music Industry Agreements.
The University of Miami is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Master in Music Business Online
A masters in music management program is a strategic option for students looking to earn an advanced credential that can help them pave their way in the music industry.
With this degree, you may grow your professional qualifications for various career options. These grad programs attract aspiring artists—whether they be singers, dancers, or musicians—as well as aspiring music teachers and leaders within the music industry. This degree doesn’t lead to any one career path, as your goals, talents, and passions help determine your path in the music industry along with your education.
You can start researching accredited schools today to find the online music business masters program that’s right for you.