Music Business, Entrepreneurship + Technology
For years, the music industry was made up of specialists. Tasks were compartmentalized and rarely did one hand know what the other was doing. Over the last 15 years, this has changed dramatically. New trends dictate that artists must have a stronger hold on the business aspects of the industry and businesspeople must be able to hold their own technologically. To be successful, a broad skill set and an entrepreneurial spirit are crucial.
The Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program at the University of the Arts is focused on charting these new and ever churning waters. We strongly believe that to succeed in the 21st Century, one must be as adept at reading a contract as they are at recording a drum set. We think that the scope of music business and technology is as wide and exciting as it has ever been, and an entrepreneurial spirit is the key to combining these skills effectively.
By providing an environment where students can experiment freely with all aspects of the industry, the MBET program enables students to “not only learn how to ride a bike, but also know how to build one”. In other words, we provide students with a detailed understanding of all the aspects of the industry so they can discover where they best fit in. All this, housed in a 100% arts-based university filled with creators from a variety of other disciplines, enables students to learn, network and thrive in a metropolitan university setting.
The MBET program offers courses in basic Music Business concepts and structures. We supplement this with topic specific electives in such fields as Artist Management, Venue Management, Live Music Industry operations, Recording Industry Operations, Legal Issues in the Music Industry and more. This enables students to choose their path in specific niches of the industry. We also offer classes in Digital Marketing, Digital Distribution and others designed to familiarize students with the undeniable role of media in today’s industry.
Our partnership with Peirce College also enables students to take more traditional courses in topics such as Finance and Economics as part of their standard UArts tuition.
Our introductory audio recording classes are supplemented by production, mixing/mastering classes, and forums designed to get students working together in a studio environment. Our faculty includes producers and engineers from a variety of genres. Our inventory of electronic music equipment is among the most unique you will find in similar programs. We are also committed to full exploration of a multitude of genres, techniques and disciplines designed to inform our students of the wealth of approaches to production.
Believing that the modern producer needs to have a deft ability to contextualize and repurpose the tools at their disposal, our rapidly expanding Audio Electronics division removes the mystery surrounding propriety software and hardware. By offering instruction in computer music programming, synthesizer development, circuit design, hardware hacking, and interactivity, our students are given the skills they need to create their own unique tools. Through hands on training and experience, our goal is to empower the artists and engineers who will create the technologies of the future.
Our Live Music focus enables students to learn and work in the Caplan Recital Hall, a state of the art facility which puts on upwards of 200 concerts a year. Students have the opportunity to work on both a volunteer and paid basis at these concerts, and many go on to run the productions themselves.
In addition to classes focused on entrepreneurial fundamentals and business planning, we have a variety of 100% student run projects in the MBET program. 2015 marked the first year of the “Laurie Wagman Presents…” series, which provides our students with the monetary resources to organize and produce a series of concert and University panels over the course of the academic year. This provides students with valuable experience in all aspects of event production.
Students also run our social media/marketing enterprises, our online radio station, and a series of curatorial explorations designed to explore the question of what record labels will become in the near future.
Our mandatory internship requirement has also provided our students with on the job training at some of the most reputable institutions in Philadelphia and beyond.
Our faculty is made up of active professionals who are working in the industry here in Philadelphia, which is fast becoming one of the best music cities in the United States. We supplement this with monthly workshops that feature guests from a wide variety of backgrounds. Among our most recent guests:
Kristin Thomas – Co-Director, Artist Revenue Streams Project at Future of Music Coalition
Kevin Lyman – founder of Warped Tour
Douglas Fearn – founder and proprietor of D.W. Fearn Electronics, one of the most respected manufacturers of high end audio equipment in the country
Amanda Petrusich – Published author and music journalist for Pitchfork, The New York Times and more.
Daedelus – Innovative electronic musician and beta tester for the original Monome interface designs.
David Hartley – Bassist for indie rock band War on Drugs, who recently signed with Atlantic records.
Michael McFadden – UArts alum currently working in the music licensing division at Universal Pictures