University of Miami Frost School of Music (Coral Gables, FL)
Miami is unusual in that it actually offers two of the most prestigious degrees for undergraduates in Music Business.
One is known as the Bachelor’s in Music Business Entertainment Industries. This program is for students interested in the intersection of law, finance, and marketing as applied to the music industry.
Extremely comprehensive, what is also unique about this program is that any student accepted into this musician cannot simply be interested in music business; rather, they must complete a rigorous audition for admission into the school and degree program.
The other program is called the MADE program, a clever acronym for Musicianship, Artistry, Development, and Entrepreneurship.
Why is this acronym so clever? Because the program addresses a much-needed answer from students about how to “make it” in the music industry, which is through combining excellence of your original musicianship with thorough understanding of the business and entrepreneurial positions to succeed.
Outside of these Music Business programs, Miami Frost is a compelling music school. It’s one of the few music schools that successfully mixes students in from classical, jazz, and contemporary music backgrounds.
I think more schools in the future will model their own curriculums after schools like Frost, which support artists with a diverse array of unique interests.
DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
The core of DePaul’s music business program, known as Performing Arts Management, is hands-on collaboration with local, legendary institutions of music in the greater Chicago area.
Students in the program regularly intern with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), Chicago Lyric Opera, Ravinia Festival, and more.
These collaborations suggest that DePaul provides students with a strong foundation in how the classical music business works.
That said, the skills a student can acquire in this program can be linked with any genre.
Many students interested in music business are also interested in music recording and technology, two areas that seem to be especially interlinked at the collegiate level.
These students will find DePaul attractive, as there is a Sound Recording Technology program that is among the top in the Midwest.
Based in one of the great arts cities of America, DePaul is a top option for the aspiring music business professional.
Belmont University (Nashville, TN)
Belmont houses an entire institution dedicated to music business, production, and songwriting, known as the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Media.
Eponymously named after the famous music executive Mike Curb, the school is unique in that it is located just 2 miles away from “Music Row,” one of the most important epicenters for companies offering products and services in the music industry in America.
Belmont is consistently rated by publications as having one of the top music business programs. Publications such as Billboard & Rolling Stone have notably claimed the school among the top in the country.
Experiential learning is at the heart of Belmont; students in the program not only have opportunities to intern with the companies in Music Row, the school also partners students with companies in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington DC.
At the heart of Belmont is the high quality of its faculty and people in the institution. Faculty in the school comprise some of the most engaging, published minds who have invested their careers into every facet of the ever-evolving music industry.
Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
Co-op programs are at the center of Drexel’s Music Industry program, a comprehensive education covering the gamut of recording to monetization and everything in between.
The school offers these internships alongside venues, labels, management companies, as well as music and entertainment businesses.
One unique offering the school presents for its students is a school-owned music group, known as MAD Dragon Music Group. This experiential component of music business education focuses on artist management, publishing, concert promotion, and more.
Very few schools offer their students in a music industry curriculum an MBA as well. However, Drexel’s program does offer select students a joint BS/MBA in partnership with Drexel’s prestigious LeBow College of Business.
Alumni of the school now work in as executives, agents, and producers throughout the entire spectrum of the arts.