Music Business Degree | Music | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

BA Music Business

Statement of Purpose:

The multi-billion dollar music and entertainment industry is the eighth largest industry in the United States.  It is an exciting, but ever burgeoning and competitive field comprised of a multitude of interrelated jobs that help move music and music related products from artist or manufacturer to consumer—songwriters, music publishers, attorneys, artist managers, sound technicians, promoters, recording engineers, distributors, retailers, publicists, and on and on.  For years now, the music industry has demanded college-educated and trainable personnel for its entry level positions.

Since 1979, Southern Illinois University Carbondale has offered a music business degree program.  The 121-hour liberal arts degree plan consists of university core curriculum, music core curriculum, music business curriculum, business curriculum and electives.  Though generalized in its approach, students utilize electives and selected courses to provide focus and to prepare themselves for virtually any aspect of the music industry.  A growing number of SIUC music business graduates populates the industry with such firms as Shure Brothers/Evanston, Jam Productions/Chicago, EMG/Santa Rosa, Treasure Isle Recorders/Nashville, The Voice Studio/Nashville, William Morris Agency/New York, Paul Koch Entertainment/Chicago, and Gaylord Entertainment Company/Nashville, among others.

The Music (Business) Specialization aims to prepare students for a career in the Music Industry, primarily in the areas of marketing, management, promotion and/or finance. The diverse curriculum allows for many skill areas to be explored and a student will have the opportunity to investigate one of these areas through elective study, internship, and a senior project.

There are four music business courses:

Commercial Music:

This class, the cornerstone of the SIUC program, is taught in five intensive sessions in Nashville, Tennessee.  Students are bussed to BMI headquarters, where they are afforded the opportunity to meet, listen to and question top-level professionals from throughout the music industry—valuable future contacts!  Commercial Music provides a solid foundation for a student's career and a broad overview of the industry and how it works.

Internship/Work Experience:

Every effort is made to help arrange internships for students who want them.  Because direct or hands-on experience can be an invaluable learning opportunity, students are encouraged to utilize this course to explore their particular areas of interest, or topics that are not included in the SIUC curriculum.

Introduction to Recording Engineering and Advanced Recording Engineering:

The sequence of recording engineering classes takes a student from ground zero to fairly complex production levels.  The courses combine both classroom and studio time to give students the best possible training—a secure theoretical footing and hands-on experience.

Music Business Senior Project:

This is the capstone course for the Music Business Degree. The details and parameters of each project are established one-on-one with the music business faculty.  Like Internship, it is an opportunity to explore a student's particular area of interest.

Additionally, each year, the SIUC Alumni Association offers Externships, which are week-long internships, over the spring break.

The Music Business Association, a student professional organization, was chartered in 1994, and provides many networking opportunities among the music business students at SIUC.  Training seminars and service projects are regularly scheduled throughout the academic year.

**Please note that an audition is required for admission to the Music Business Degree Program.  Like all other music degrees at SIUC, the Music Business Degree Program requires music-reading skills and performance proficiency on a musical instrument at university level.  The curriculum includes a minimum of four semesters of individual study at the 140 and 240 levels.


Most Music Business majors take similar courses their first two years. Here is an example of a common registration.

UCC 101 English Composition 1 - (3)
UCC 1?? Any math except 107 or 114 - (3)
MUS 104a Aural Skills - (1)
MUS 105a Basic Harmony - (3)
MUS 030a Piano Class - (1)
MUS 140 Applied Music (Private Lessons) - (2)
MUS 0XX Major Ensemble (Choir, Band, or Orch) - (1)

UCC 102 English Composition 2 - (3)
MUS 174 Commercial Music - (3)
MUS 104b Aural Skills - (1)
MUS 105b Basic Harmony - (3)
MUS 030a Piano Class - (1)
MUS 140 Applied Music (Private Lessons)- (2)
MUS 0XX Major Ensemble (Choir, Band, or Orch) - (1)
MUS 102 Survey of Music Literature - (2)

UCC Science Group 1 - (3)
UCC 101 Intro. To Oral Communication - (3)
ECON 240 - (3)
ACCT 220 - (3)
MUS 240 Applied Music (Private Lessons) - (2)
MUS Major Ensemble (Choir, Band, or Orch) - (1)
MUS 031a Voice Class - (1)

UCC Science Group 2 - (3)
UCC Social Science - (3)
ACCT 230 - (3)
MUS 240 Applied Music (Private Lessons) - (2)
MUS Major Ensemble (Choir, Band, or Orch) - (1)
MUS 32 String Techniques - (1)
PE 101 Current Concepts in Physical Fitness - (2)

For additional information, contact:

Richard Kelley, Coordinator/Music Business
School of Music
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4300
Telephone: (618) 536-8742
Fax: (618) 453-5808