Music Business/Management Courses
Music Product Development
An in-depth survey of global music product development with emphasis on the product life cycle. Students consider the flow of goods and services from the perspectives of a manufacturer, a distributor, a retailer, and a consumer with emphasis on their interdependency. Topics include global and domestic sales data by music product categories, competitive analysis, innovation, differentiation, and continuous improvement with focus on sales and marketing efforts.
Music Technology in the Marketplace
A course that presents the essential elements of technology used for making music, including a brief history of music technology, a discussion of the physical and mathematical natures of various systems, and a presentation of the various families of music technology devices, in both hardware and software realms and analog and digital realms. Principles of development, manufacturing, ergonomics, and artistic validity will be considered, along with underlying principles of acoustics, electronics, and electroacoustics.
This course will introduce students to the concepts and requirements that must be considered and implemented during the critical planning stages of a business startup. Students will learn the basic concepts, including market research, submission of business licensing applications, regulatory filings, first contact with the IRS and state departments of revenue, location, organizational structure, financing, employee issues, and many other considerations. Guest speakers will be invited to speak on selected topics.
Creative Promotion in New Media
A comprehensive study of media options available for the promotion of artists, products, and services. Includes a brief discussion of marketing plans, followed by a detailed look at both old and new media. Concepts such as integrated marketing communication are melded with creative tools for branding. Students will analyze an existing promotion plan, as well as create one of their own for a new product. The course is useful for the future entrepreneur, corporate executive, creative production person, or anyone who needs information on consumer research, business relationships, and marketing efforts.
Advanced Management Techniques
An in-depth study of important management techniques and approaches. Subject areas include strategic planning, employee development, managing change, decision making, small business start-up and management, organizational structuring, labor relations, and business negotiating. The course will focus on the practical applications of the subject matter to the music industry through case studies, role playing, and simulations.
Advanced Computer Applications
This course builds on the fundamental computer concepts taught in MB-255 and includes database development and design using Microsoft Excel and 4D database software. Emphasis is on normalization and functional dependencies, relationships, and optimization in database design to help students design, create, and interact in a relational database environment. Note: MBUS majors are required to take MB-255 or MB-355. MBUS majors may skip MB-255 and enroll in MB-355 by achieving a satisfactory score on the MBUS Computer Placement Exam and receiving a waiver from the department chair. A passing score on the MBUS Computer Placement Exam does not constitute test-out of MB-255 or MB-355.
Music Intermediaries: Agents, Managers, and Attorneys
The role of the intermediary in advising, representing, and furthering the careers of artists, focusing on the establishment of mutually beneficial working relationships. Topics include the mechanics of talent booking and contracting, union and government regulations, fee/commission structures, contractual considerations, fiduciary duties, budgeting, the development of a client base, and finding success through honesty and fair dealing.
Website Design and Management
Concerts and Touring
Business aspects of producing and promoting successful tours and shows. Emphases include: (1) the promoter's ability to purchase talent and produce successful shows, taking into consideration such matters as competition, population, guarantees and percentage splits, ticket pricing and distribution, advertising budgets, production costs, sponsorships, rental agreements, labor, security, concessions, tour packages, and promoter-owned venues; and (2) managing and producing a successful tour, focusing on a tour theme and marketing plan, routing, itineraries, riders, offers, contracts, subcontractors, show and tour personnel, merchandising, sponsorships, day-of-show, and show settlements.
Website Development for eBusiness
As the follow-up to MB-387, this course focuses on the actual use of web sites in business. Technologies used in today's business sites will be presented, such as CSS (cascading style sheets), Flash, PHP scripting, and online databases. Students will develop workable sites with consideration of content, demographics, management and leadership strategies, user experience, accessibility, legal issues, and site support services. Existing web sites will be viewed and critiqued for effectiveness, and aspects of online business models, business-to-business, and business-to-consumer will be explored. Emphasis will be given to both corporate and entrepreneurial web environments.
Advanced Legal Issues and Contract Negotiation
Combines an examination of advanced legal topics relating to the music business with a workshop approach to the development of negotiating skills. Students will negotiate various agreements based on actual cases and work to settle disputes arising from the breaching and termination of agreements. Topics to be covered include record deals between artists and record companies, distribution deals between independent and major record companies, copublishing and administration deals, producers and production deals, touring and merchandising, trademark and copyright disputes, group breakups, and disputes between artists and managers. Intensive preparation and class participation by students is expected.
Current Events in the Music Industry
Students research topics of current importance in the music industry and participate in moderated panel discussions. The course emphasizes thorough preparation, extemporaneous speaking, and critical listening. Through the discussions, students gain skills in issue analysis, debate, evaluation, and professional dialogue. Students are assigned weekly responsibilities as panelists, moderators, critics, and scribes.