What Is a Graduate Certificate in Music Business and Entertainment?

Have you always dreamed of a career in the music industry? Whether you are a musician or someone with a bit of business know-how and a love of music, a music-related job can be both satisfying and lucrative. But music industry revenue has declined sharply since the advent of digital downloads, streaming, and other easily accessible (and extremely inexpensive) modes of consuming music. Making a living through music in the digital age depends greatly on the ability to construct your career intelligently, based on a solid foundation of knowledge and skills necessary for success in the music business.

So how can you learn the principles and best practices of the music business? One path toward this goal consists of earning a Graduate Music Business and Entertainment Industries (MBEI) Certificate online from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. With concentrations in Music Business Fundamentals, Music Rights Administration and Licensing, Legal Aspects of the Music Business, and Music Entrepreneurship, you can tailor your studies to your specific facet of the music industry. Although it is an advanced study program, the admissions requirements are minimal, with no minimum bachelor’s degree GPA or test scores required. And your certificate program credit hours will transfer to Frost’s master’s degree program if you decide to pursue your education further. Moreover, because you can earn this certificate entirely online, you can improve your career opportunities while living out your normal daily life, whether in an office or on a tour bus.

The following is an overview of Frost’s four concentrations and how they could work for you:

Music Business Fundamentals

If you would like to expand your knowledge in all areas of the music industry, this concentration can offer you an in-depth understanding of the core principles involved in the business of monetizing music. Making money from music in modern times relies heavily on using music commercially through licensing it to audio and visual media like film, TV, radio, video games and advertising (online or broadcasted over TV and radio). Understanding the nuances of U.S. copyright law, international publishing, royalty collection and distribution, and other issues of intellectual property rights coupled with recorded work rights is essential to earning revenue from music, regardless of your desired career path in the industry.

Music Rights Administration and Licensing

Expanding on the core principles of music business, this concentration delves deeper into the world of publishing and licensing music at the international level, from writing internationally binding legal contracts to developing your music catalog. Yes, there is plenty of money to be made in American film, TV, and other media. But branching out to the entire globe can expand your potential market of consumers from 320 million to over seven billion.

Legal Aspects of the Music Business

Again, copyright law governs publishing, licensing, artists’ rights, and every other legal aspect of the music industry. Negotiations, agreements, and contracts between songwriters, publishers, labels, venues, film music supervisors, agents, and anyone else involved define the amount of music industry money to be made and distributed.

Music Entrepreneurship

What kinds of small businesses can be successful in today’s music industry? How are they best managed financially? What kinds of marketing and promotional campaigns work best for different music and target markets in the world of social media and streaming services? The music entrepreneurship concentration focuses on combining the study of music industry-related copyright law with the entrepreneurial spirit and current business practices and models proven to be effective.

To the average musician or music enthusiast, the nuts and bolts of music business practices and copyright law might not seem terribly thrilling. But studying these concepts and learning to apply them to your work is integral to making the most out of your career in music. A strong background in music business can help you turn your passion for music into a full-time, exciting career.

Learn more about University of Miami — Frost School of Music’s Graduate Music Business and Entertainment Industries Certificates.


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