Making it in music: the advantages of a Music Business degree

12 Apr 2018

Successful artists and bands are what we most commonly associate with the music industry, but what about the people behind-the-scenes that helped them get to their current position? The tour managers, artist managers, booking agents, promoters, marketers, press advisors (the list goes on) - they all have a pivotal role in the music industry.

As with any industry, the business and management behind the product or service is vital in ensuring a music artist's career is financially successful.

From breakthrough artists like Rag N Bone Man, to international superstars such as Beyonce, their success relies upon a team of hardworking individuals, developing album campaigns, marketing strategies, touring schedules, TV and radio appearances and a wide variety of other essential jobs.

When commenting on the music sector’s contribution to the economy, former Culture Secretary Karen Brady said, "These positive figures are not just down to the musicians and artists on stage but also the army of hugely talented professionals working behind the scenes.”

So, how do you ‘make it’ in music?

With any job in business, it is relevant to learn key concepts as well as how to apply them in a professional context. SAE’s Music Business degree programme does just that, with professional practitioners delivering high-quality teaching that is intrinsically linked to the industry. Combining the perfect blend of practical industry experience with a background in teaching, all of the tutors are experts at training the next generation of music business professionals.

Lee Erinmez is one such practitioner, and is the Music Business Programme Coordinator. He explains why the course is so valuable to his students:

“Employability is at the core of the course. It covers all the key aspects of the music industry from a historical and new business point of view. Record labels, music publishing and artist management are areas that run throughout the course.

“One huge thing for our music business students, is that they have a lot of great people to dip into as a resource. With a large amount of other students on campus, there is a pool of other practitioners to utilise, whether it’s audio, film or web students. Film and web really come into it as they can help with a promotional video or setting up a website.”

With all of the Music Business tutors at SAE still active in the industry in various ways, their many contacts come in useful for the students as they benefit from regular talks from industry professionals.

“We try and bring a lot of experience to the students, but we also take them to the industry too,” Lee explains. With links to BBC Radio, Academy Music Group and a wide variety of other music industry connections, the course encourages students to immerse themselves in a professional and practical environment.

Current students and recent alumni are now working in the music industry, as a direct result of the growing industry engagement with SAE.

Josh Barton, studying at SAE Oxford, currently works as the Marketing Assistant at the O2 Academy, Oxford.

“Studying a Music Business degree at SAE Institute Oxford helped me realise my true potential and gave me the confidence to take the jump and start a promotions company which then lead on to me gaining industry employment.”

To find out more about the degree programme, click here.