All great pieces of music have a multi-faceted story to tell. Firstly, they tell the story that the artist wants to convey, be that an emotion, a protest, or anything else. But they also tell a story of hard work, and the involvement of hundreds of people. Indeed, the music business is hugely wide and varied, something that you will learn about should you choose to study towards a music business degree.
Take, for example, the song “Hotel California”. It is perhaps one of the best-known songs in the world, and one that everybody interprets in different ways. According to Don Henley, the songwriter, it is about Americans living to excess, and how it is difficult to strike a balance between art and commerce. Creating that one song, however, took eight months of hard work. The band was involved, of course, but also the audio engineers, the music producers, the sound checkers, promotion managers, and many, many more.
Music as a business is incredibly enjoyable, but also incredibly stressful. To be involved in it, you have to be properly trained, have a lot of knowledge and experience, and find the right contacts. And, most will tell you, it also takes a fair bit of luck. While you cannot control luck, you can control the rest by studying towards a music business degree, which will give you the training, knowledge, contacts, and even experience.
Because the world of music business is so wide, however, it is a good idea to think about exactly what it is that you want to do. Perhaps you are interested in running a recording studio, or maybe you want to be a talent scout, or perhaps you want to organize concerts, and so on. By knowing what it is that you expect from your degree, you will be able to target it more as well. That being said, a generalist degree will also benefit you greatly, so if you’re just not sure yet, you have time to figure it out.
What you are likely to see is that, at a music business school, there is a strong focus on hands=on learning. You will have some classroom education, particularly about general business issues such as finance and marketing, but you will also be expected to work in studios, with musicians, and other such things. Usually, you will also have to complete an internship, which will enable you to receive even more practical experience to understand exactly what the business is like in real life.
Very often, a mentor-apprentice style of teaching is used. This means that you will learn under the guidance of an experienced professional, who will teach you through their personal skills and knowledge, learning on the job in a sense. That mentor will also be your first professional contact, while they, in turn, can introduce you to theirs, helping you grow your network. Many music business graduates say they continue to be in touch with their mentor.