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Degree Overview: Associate of Audio Production or Music Business

Majors Overview August 7, 2013

Graduates of an associate degree program in music business and audio production are prepared to seek entry-level behind-the-scenes jobs in the music industry. Students interested in doing work that involves negotiating contracts, directing public relations, overseeing music publishing and promoting or managing artists can consider completing a music business degree program. An audio production degree will suffice to satisfy the interests of those who want to acquire technical skills with hands-on training related to recording, mixing and editing music or overseeing sound production.

Associate Degree Program in Music Business

The technical and creative aspects of music are typically combined with entrepreneurial and managerial skills necessary for success in the field, in an associate degree program in music business. Students enrolled in the program can expect to learn basic musicianship, production and theory, to supplement coursework that includes navigation of related business cycles and legal issues that are germane to the music industry, apart from being trained in operating a business, marketing and promoting music and managing finances. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Music business associate degree program curriculum will prepare students for the entrepreneurial and corporate aspects of entering the recording industry. Typically, a degree program requires students to take the following courses:

•Artist management
•Copyright and law
•Financial management
•Promotion
•Music merchandising
•Small business management
•Music theory and history

Career Options

A wide range of careers are available on the business side of the music industry, but some may require additional education and training beyond the associate degree. Approximately fifty percent of talent agents and managers for athletes, musicians, and performers hold a bachelor’s degree, according to O*Net OnLine. However, an associate degree in music business will prepare graduates for entry-level recording and music industry jobs, such as:

•Road and Tour manager
•Merchandiser
•Music distributor and publisher
•Concert promoter

Information on Continuing Education

Associate degree program graduates may opt for continuing education to improve career prospects by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program in music business or a related field. A four-year recording industry or music business degree program will give students additional insights into marketing, public relations and management skills that will help them produce songs, overseeing artists, managing a record label, or gaining an audience for new music. Students are also taught about the legal issues related to copyrights, contract negotiations, and music publishing. They also learn how to write about the entertainment industry for popular media.

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