Concentration in Music Business

David Rivers
Director, Music Business

The concentration in music business is designed to provide students with a professional degree
in music that is focused on general aspects of the arts and entertainment industries.

Students are trained as professional musicians to better understand the needs of future clients and employers.As such, students are required to audition and major on an instrument or voice, and take regular music course work that is supplemented with music business classes, practical field experiences and an internship.

Students will have a choice of three minors (business administration, management or marketing) and an optional M.B.A. track to prepare students for graduate programs. Coursework for the degree program is enhanced with required practical field experience observations in a music industry establishment.

A projects course each year for in-depth research of the music industry or work on projects to support the student’s professional experience. Participation in a two-month internship at a business site commensurate with the student’s interests is required upon completion of all coursework.

What is Music Business?

Music business is sometimes considered to be what goes on behind the scenes whenever and wherever there is music. For instance, when you consider a single musical performance, like a concert, often the services of a promotion team, an agent, a manager, and stage crew (including lights and sound) are needed before the first note of music is even played. When you purchase a CD, that product represents the work not only of the artist, but studio engineers, producers, technicians, visual and graphic artists, photographers, lawyers, marketing personnel, distributors, buyers - the list goes on.

The degree provides students with a wide variety of possible career choices:

  • Performing arts - arts administration, artistic management, booking agent
  • Music business - retail, distribution, manufacturing, publishing, fundraising, finance
  • Arts and Entertainment industry communications - publicity, public relations, marketing, advertising, reporting, writing educational materials

This degree gives students an ideal background for a variety of positions. The music industry is a growing, thriving "business" which is in need of employees who understand BOTH sides of this important field.

Radford's Music Business curriculum is accredited by the National Association Schools of Music and is an affiliate member of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association.

Beyond the Degree

In addition to coursework students participate in the Music Business Student Association (MBSA).  This organization provides students with experience beyond the classroom. Each spring the organization stages a campus rock show featuring regional bands and also hosts the Music Business Symposium that brings industry professionals to campus. Radford Records, a lab based student record label, is also available for students to sharpen their skills on label management and recording. Students interested in the recording arts have available to them the Performance Hall in the Covington Center with adaptable acoustics and digital recording capabilities. The recording booth boasts state of the art Mac Pro Computers with Pro Tools HD and Logic Pro, a digital mixing board, and the capability to produce quality recordings and multimedia projects. Students also have access to a small studio with recording capacities for solo work, a complete computer lab with MIDI workstations and the Covington Listening Center to listen to recordings or work on the MIDI work station.