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Diving into the Music Industry Major

Diving into the Music Industry Major

By Felix Jacobsen

Many people have a passion for music, for performing, for being on stage, but how does one get there? How does one’s music career become so big? There are many people along the way that help, from advertising and promotion, to managing and advising, to working on tours and live sound. These are all aspects of the music industry, and as a music industry major, you learn it all!

What is a Music Industry Major?

A music industry major is a degree in which you study the various aspects of the music industry. Rather than learning music from the perspective of a musician, you learn from the perspective of a businessperson. This major can vary greatly depending on which college you attend, even varying in what type of bachelor’s degree it can be!

What types of Bachelors Could I expect to Have?

If you choose a college whose program has more of a focus on music in the music business, then your degree will likely be a Bachelor of Music, or a B.M. You will likely have to audition for this kind of school, but that is not always the case, and the majority of your studies will be focused around musical performance, with ties to the business side of the music industry.

If you choose a college whose program has more of a focus on the business in the music business, then your degree will likely be a Bachelor of Science, or a B.S. You will not have to audition for your major, as it might even be associated with the School of Business rather than the School of Music, and the bulk of your studies will be focused on the business career, with ties to the creative side of the music industry.

If you choose a college whose program has a somewhat even blend of music and business, then your degree will likely be a Bachelor of Art, or a B.A. You likely will not have to audition, but most colleges will allow you to submit a performance portfolio if you would like to. Your studies will be a mix of both the technical and creative sides of the industry. My school offers this degree.

What is the Curriculum like for a Music Industry Major?

The curriculum often does its best to prepare you for various aspects of the music industry. For example, you may have to take Music Industry classes about concert promotion, audio recording arts, communications, music retail, music theory, and applied music classes, as well as related coursework, such as business, law, management, marketing, technology, accounting, economics, and public speaking. You might want to tailor your electives to suit what you are interested in pursuing as a career, which is why I took multiple classes related to promotions and advertising with the intention of finding a career in media marketing.

Your professors will teach you about various aspects of the industry, how it functions, and how to operate within it. They will help you polish your resume and create a portfolio for employers to view your best work, and your related coursework will equip you with other necessary skills to work in the industry. Depending on your college, you may even be required to complete internships or field experiences, but even if these are not required, I still recommend doing it. These will give you amazing work experiences to put on your resume, allow you to apply the skills you have been learning in college, and may even teach you things that you can’t exactly learn in the classroom!

Go for it!

If pursuing this degree seems right up your alley, then go for it! It’s a great way to be involved in other aspects of music and learn about the various fields within the industry. After you complete your four years at college, you will be equipped with knowledge about how the business works, and will have an idea of where you fit in it!

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