Band Management Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's & Online Course Info

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What kind of jobs can you get with an associate's and bachelor's degree in band management? Find out associate's and bachelor's degree requirements, online options and info on courses in band management.
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Band Management Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees at a Glance

While there are technically no formal education requirements to work as a band manager, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the typical entry-level education for business managers of artists and performers is a bachelor's degree. Degree programs in music business are available that will prepare you for a career in the field and educate you about the music industry.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in music business can teach you about music copyright laws, publishing and production. As a music manager, your responsibilities include planning a band's career and scheduling gigs and recording sessions. From 2010-2020, the BLS predicted that agents and business managers of athletes, artists and performers would see an average employment growth of about 14%.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who want basic skills in music industry Those who want additional business and music knowledge
Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary) - Audio and video equipment technician ($42,000)*
- Sound engineering technician ($48,000)*
- Business manager for artists and performers ($65,000)*
- Agent for artists and performers ($65,000)*
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements About 60 credit hours About 120 credit hours
Prerequisites High school diploma High school diploma
Online Availability No Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's in Music Business

An associate's degree in music business is designed to provide you with a basic understanding of business and the music industry. As a prospective manager, it's important that you have a strong knowledge of promoting music and how to network within the field. In addition to learning about management, the program will educate you about intellectual property rights, contract laws and creative copyrighting. Even with an associate's degree, there is no guarantee of employment as a band or music manager. Before obtaining a manager position, you may need to develop experience in the field.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Develop basic knowledge of business and music
  • Opportunity to gain technical skills as well, such as recording with various equipment and software
  • Credits earned at this level can transfer directly into a bachelor's degree program

Cons

  • Experience may be valued over education in this field
  • No online programs are available specifically in music business
  • There is no guarantee of employment with degree

Courses and Requirements

Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in music business can take introductory business courses and gain basic skills in marketing, sales, accounting and business law. The program will teach students how to apply these skills and abilities into the music industry. Music-related courses will educate you about the musical industry and trends, tour management, theatrical production and artist management. These courses can cover topics involving unions and contracts, promotional techniques, lodging and transportation issues, and consumer behavior. Some programs provide students with hands-on experience recording onstage and in the booth.

Related Online Course Options

There are no online music management or business associate's degree programs available as of June 2012. However, you could choose to pursue a business administration degree program in an online format. The program will cover several business topics, and the courses will be offered in a flexible format. Communication will take place through e-mail, discussion forums and chat rooms.

How to Stand Out

Networking and communication are essential aspects of music management, and it's important that anyone looking to enter the business is able to work with musicians, venue managers and recording producers. It also takes a lot of perseverance to work in the music industry, and managers will need to promote and advertise bands continuously to get their music to the public.

Bachelor's in Music Business

A bachelor's degree in music business will offer students an opportunity to take advanced courses in business and music. The business training in this program will prepare you to work in the music industry and teach you how to communicate with musical artists. Topics covered in the program include artist management, merchandising, public relations, record company operations and music publishing. The music business is a highly competitive industry, and it may take many years of experience before you can obtain a management position.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A bachelor's degree is the standard level of education for business managers and agents representing artists*
  • Online programs are available
  • Chance to gain advanced skills in the field

Cons

  • You could be competing with professionals who hold only an associate's degree or no degree at all
  • Learning about contracts and how to negotiate can be challenging
  • Beyond the bachelor's degree level, you will need to stay up-to-date of recording technology and marketing trends

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Courses and Requirements

A bachelor's degree program in music business will require that students complete general education courses in English, mathematics and science. Business courses in the program can include statistics, business management, marketing, accounting, e-commerce, business finance and organizational behavior. Courses related to music will teach students about music history, music publishing, record label development, music merchandising, concert management and music distribution.

Online Course Options

While not very prevalent, online bachelor's degree programs in music business are available online. Students may be required to purchase certain software programs in order complete music production courses. Classes and lectures are streamed over the Internet, and students will be able to submit assignments anywhere there is an Internet connection.

How to Stand Out

As technology continues to make music more accessible to the public, it's important that music managers stay up-to-date on the latest advances in the field. Not only does a music manager want their artist to have additional distribution opportunities, but they also want to create more revenue. Learning how to promote the band through social media may also help be beneficial.

Popular Schools

Featured Schools

Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business
  • B.S. - Music Production

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