Music Entrepreneurship: 5 Careers You Should Consider

by Tobin Perry

Have you always been interested in the music industry? Ever consider making a career out of it? Whether you’d like to create music yourself, produce others’ work, or manage a roster of talented artists as they tour the country, a graduate degree in music entrepreneurship can help you accomplish your goals.

In today’s digital world, you have more opportunities than ever to build a profitable and exciting business within the music industry. Here’s what you need to know about the degree path and a sampling of the careers it can lead to.

What Is a Music Entrepreneur?

Those who see new opportunities in the music industry and who seek to fulfill a need in the market can be considered music entrepreneurs. You can think of music entrepreneurship as a mix of entertainment and business—you may have strengths in one or the other, but you’ll likely lean on both in your career.

Because music entrepreneurs tend to be independent players in their field, it’s a good fit for self-starters who have a knack for business. Of course, you’ll also need a passion for music. The biggest media companies in music were all started by visionaries who saw an opportunity and caught a glimpse of the future.

Azusa Pacific University’s Master of Arts in Music Entrepreneurship program can prepare you for a lasting and fulfilling music career. Whether you’re musically inclined yourself or you enjoy developing and showcasing the skills of others, there’s a place for you in the music industry.

5 Rewarding Careers as a Music Entrepreneur

After completing your training and earning your graduate degree in music entrepreneurship, there are a number of career paths you could follow. Here are five possible roles you could play:

1. Independent Musician

Have you mastered an instrument or developed your skill as a vocalist? As a musician, you’ll create music—but as an entrepreneur, it’s important to have the skills needed to develop a thriving career. Balancing your art with business acumen allows you to do what you love and sustain yourself financially.

2. Music Industry Producer

If you enjoy working behind the scenes, this role could be a great fit. As a music industry executive, you’ll be tasked with carrying out the vision of your company as well as securing financial backing for music projects. Without your expertise as an entrepreneur, artists wouldn’t get paid and fans wouldn’t get access to the music they love.

3. Artist Manager

As a musician’s manager, you could do everything from negotiating contracts and balancing the checkbook to authorizing international tours and scheduling recording sessions. With some training as an entrepreneur in the music industry, you can help artists define their vision and set a course to make the most of their careers.

4. Music Marketing Rep

Even the most talented artists need a solid marketing team. In this role, you’ll have the opportunity to help artists get their work out to a broader audience in traditional and nontraditional ways. Armed with a deep understanding of the inner workings of the industry, you’ll be able to leverage the latest techniques and platforms that enable people to engage with the musicians you serve.

5. Tour Coordinator

Want to travel the globe in support of the talent you represent? As a tour coordinator, you’ll develop tours that introduce artists to new fans across the country and around the world. With your training as an entrepreneur, you’ll understand the strategies required to make tours both entertaining and profitable.

Pursuing an M.A. in Music Entrepreneurial Studies

A master’s degree in music entrepreneurship can equip you with the business skills you need to succeed in the music industry. As an added bonus, the designation can help set you apart from other professionals in the space.

The graduate degree program at Azusa Pacific University is taught by working professionals in the music and entertainment industry and is designed to prepare you for a variety of music careers. You’ll get the chance to learn under these experienced professionals, and the school’s proximity to Los Angeles—a hub of global entertainment innovation—allows you to explore various roles.

Best of all, thanks to the program’s low-residency format, you only need to attend a few on-campus sessions in order to graduate. Most of the coursework can be completed on your timeline, so long as all benchmarks are met by the end of the program. This allows you to earn your degree in just two years without interrupting your career.

Finally, the program’s unique, Christ-centered perspective provides the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing discussion about faith and ethics in the entertainment industry. Your experiences and insights can help drive real, positive change.