Music Business/Management Courses
The first of a three-course series within the Berklee Popular Music Institute, this experiential course provides students with the practical and analytical skills needed to develop a successful touring act chosen from among their fellow students. Students start with a&r, listening to submissions and evaluating both the artist's virtual presence and live performance. They then create an artist development plan, taking into account recording and production, web presence, visual identify, merchandise, brand partnerships, media relations, and touring. In addition to booking and planning a summer semester tour for their acts, students will attend industry conferences to network with professionals and hone their music business and management skills.
The second of the three-course series within the Berklee Popular Music Institute. This experiential course provides students with the practical and analytical skills needed to develop a successful touring act chosen from among their fellow students. Student groups of three people will be working with the artists chosen in the fall semester (BPMI-P401). They will rehearse the artists as they prepare them to perform on festival stages during the summer semester. Students will continue to book and plan the summer semester for their acts, and will also review contracts, as well as promotion and production requests from their respective festivals. Students will continue to work on the artist's development plan as they update and further build their web presence, visual identity, merchandise, and social media accounts. Students will also be organizing and producing the BPMI/Heavy Rotation Records release concert at an off campus venue.
The third and final course of the three-course series within the Berklee Popular Music Institute. This experiential course provides students with the practical and analytical skills needed to develop a successful touring act chosen from among their fellow students. Each group of students and their respective acts will embark on a one to two week tour to their festival. During the tour, students will be documenting the entire experience with cameras, and continue to update artist social media accounts. Students not on tour will be in class on campus supporting the groups on tour. Once the groups return from their tour, they will edit captured film footage, creating mini films for each artist. When all artists and groups are back, students will will debrief and start listening to submissions for the next year.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of how a creative entrepreneur works, relates, acts, creates, iterates, and adapts. This course covers the fundamental similarities between being an artist and thinking entrepreneurially, and develops students’ entrepreneurial capacities by building on their existing creative instincts such as collaboration, improvisation, the ability to observe, learning by failing, and the discipline of practice.
The course provides an orientation on the various roles, stakeholders, supply chains, and monetization opportunities in today's new media industry, the traditional music business, and the performing arts industries. The course aims to also address specific matters related to dance and theater majors, and will dedicate course time to the broader performing arts and artistic nonprofit worlds. The course will emphasize a familiarity with the key players and roles in the music business and performing arts industries: managers, agents, theater producers, publishers, publicists, lawyers, record label executives, live music promoters, and arts administrators, as well as fundamentals of intellectual property, music publishing, licensing, copyright, royalties, patents, etc. Students will examine how a changing industry, and emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence, result in new monetization and licensing opportunities and roles in the media and entertainment industries, and how to build a successful career in this new ecosystem. The class will also introduce to students case studies from a cross section of the creative industries including theater, TV, music, and artistic nonprofit worlds.
The purpose of this course is to educate artists on the fundamentals of running themselves as a business and how to think as a startup. Students will explore and learn to define their mission or unique value proposition (UVP) as an artist (i.e. why they do what they do, and what they uniquely offer to the market), and how to build a career based on that. Students will learn the basics of marketing, branding, accounting, and entrepreneurial finance, as well as concepts such as negotiating, developing an online presence, building a team and organizational structure, crowdfunding, understanding basic online analytics, and legal structures of business entities. In addition, the course will incorporate material around the areas of networking, developing relationships, creating habits for self-care and promoting yourself online using common and emerging web design and social media platforms.
This course examines first-hand the ways in which technology is disrupting the new media industry, including how new tech platforms can be harnessed to impact the future of music consumption, and the impact of music on the adoption of new technologies. Students learn the product design process, and put their music-thinking skills into practice by experiencing what it takes to conceive, design, and prototype an actual product in the new media industry. Students learn the process and methods for product design and development through researching and collaborating in interdisciplinary teams, with guidance from Berklee faculty, as well as industry leaders. Student teams build new music-related technological applications and products, and assess their work through open-ended questions and user observation. Students leave with hands-on experience on prototyping responsive solutions, and receive valuable feedback and coaching on their work through real-world industry partners.
Startup Lab is an intensive course in product or service design, development, and launching, which culminates with an end-of semester pitch and demo to real-life customers and industry experts. Startup Lab is not about business plan writing—students will be challenged to identify a need, ideate, 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, performance festivals, publishing companies, dance or theater companies, or musical groups are all viable ideas for the Startup Lab. This demanding, results-oriented class is open to all College and Conservatory students, 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 researchers 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 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.