Music Business/Management Courses
Have an idea for a business, product or service that you are serious, determined, and ready to launch now? Startup Lab is an intensive course in product or service design, development, and launching, which culminates with an end-of semester fair/exhibition to real-life customers, financial backers and other business prospects. The class will be conducted at the coworking facility Workbar in Cambridge. Students taking the course will have the chance to use the facilities of Workbar every day after 6 p.m. and throughout the weekend in order to have a dedicated space to think through, develop and experiment with their concepts—as well as be immersed in the real-life startups and entrepreneurs housed at the space. Startup Lab is not about business plan writing—students will be challenged to imagine, prototype, test, iterate, build, price, market and launch a marketable product or service in under 15 weeks. There is no limit to what is considered a product or service: software startups, musical equipment products, publishing companies, or musical groups are all viable ideas for the Startup Lab. This demanding, results-oriented class is open to students of all Berklee majors, and the diversity of projects and students in the class will offer the opportunity for cross-discipline collaboration, discussion and learning with an emphasis on product/service design, go-to-market planning, continuous iteration, and customer testing that will challenge students’ creative and analytical minds. Students taking the course will have the chance to interact with and learn from real-world entrepreneurs and visiting instructors from other universities such as MIT. This course is about the intense process of launching a product or service with each group being treated as a real, results-driven startup with real stakes and real pressures. This course is challenging and very demanding and therefore admission to the class will require both an online assessment and instructor interview.
This course will provide a survey of the music industry, highlighting those areas where music and business intersect. The focus will be on career possibilities in the music industry, the development of business-related knowledge and skills necessary for effectively maintaining a professional music career, the vocabulary and terminology of the music industry, and the distinction between music and business at the corporate level. The course will serve both the student wishing to increase his/her understanding of common business practices related to the music industry, and the student who is considering further study of music business/management.
A specialized study for musicians of local, state, and federal tax systems in the United States. Topics include personal, self-employed, corporate, and partnership taxation issues, with emphasis on effective record-keeping, filing requirements, taxable income determination, and allowable deductions.
An overview of the activities involved in managing a business, including marketing, accounting, finance, and the production of goods and services. The course focuses on the ability of the music business executive to analyze, plan, coordinate, and set objectives for these activities, through the presentation of business theory and problem solving.
An overview of business and legal issues of special concern to musicians and songwriters, with special emphasis on copyright law, recording and music publishing agreements, and relationships between artists and other parties, including managers, producers, and investors.
A hands-on approach to the important role of computers in the music industry. Students work with the applications typically found in music business operations, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, graphics, and visual displays. Emphasis is on the presentation and analysis of financial data. Particular attention is given to the use of the internet for communication and the location and retrieval of business-related data.
An introduction to the fundamental principles of accounting and record-keeping in business operations. Emphasis is placed on the theory of debit and credit, the recording of business transactions, the preparation of basic financial statements, and the use of accounting information within music business organizations.
An in-depth study of the nature of human and electronic communication. Students write and edit a variety of business documents including cover letters, memos, reports, and proposals, among others, as well as practice extemporaneous speaking, presenting to a group, planning and running meetings, and supervising teams.
The application of theories of organizational behavior and structure to managerial processes, and the overriding influence of ethics in decision making. Through case study analysis, students enhance their leadership abilities while developing skills in organizational efficiency, managerial effectiveness, adaptability, and values clarification.
Study of current issues affecting the international music marketplace with emphasis on understanding the international record business and international music publishing. Study of the major geographical areas where music is traded; discussion of music market activities in individual countries.
An introduction to integrated marketing principles and practices within corporate and agency environments covering branding strategy and positioning, the value proposition, market research, customer relationships, target markets, buying behavior, the promotional mix, and related metrics. Students create an integrated marketing communication plan that reflects a comprehensive understanding of competitive strategy based on research findings as well as translating business objectives into effective marketing strategies and plans.
A critical analysis of the anatomy of domestic and international record companies, focusing on the role of each department within the structure. Students become intricately acquainted with such areas of activity as artists and repertoire (A&R), promotions, marketing, distribution, product management, and business affairs. Special attention is given to contractual relationships with artists and producers as well as domestic and international licensing of masters.