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Music Business

Music Industry

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Type

Emphasis

Department

Music Department

To succeed in today’s evolving music industry requires more than just talent. A comprehensive understanding of the business of music will open up the door to a career as a music publisher, marketer or booking agent.

Program Overview

Music Business student

Sharpen your understanding of how the music business works.

The Music Industry emphasis will immerse you in the performance, theory and interdisciplinary training of a traditional Music degree, while adding critical coursework needed to navigate the business world. In the program, you’ll gain a critical understanding of music industry ethics, contracts, copyright regulations, marketing techniques and more. Whether your goal is to manage your own label or become a concert promoter, you’ll be prepared to enter the complex and evolving music industry with the business acumen to succeed.

Students in Western’s music programs will also be afforded the opportunity to garner group and solo performance experience in the Kincaid Concert Hall, which offers a schedule of annual concerts open to student, faculty, staff and community member attendance.

The WCU Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

The business behind the music

Tap into the world of music by combining your artistic skill with business acumen. Learn about contracts, copyright and marketing in the Music Industry emphasis.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

The Music Industry program provides a well-balanced experience for musicians who wish to hone their vocal or instrumental abilities while gaining valuable skills in music business, technology, and production. This major emphasis prepares graduates for a wide range of careers in sought-after fields such as studio recording, live sound reinforcement, electronic composition, artist management, the non-profit sector, business development, and audio production for media. 

A minimum of 67 credits is required including the 47-credit Music Industry Core:

The Music Industry emphasis requires the 47-credit Music Industry Core, 20 credits from the Performance Curriculum, and Concert and Convocation Attendance Course (must be taken each semester of residence with a “Satisfactory” grade a minimum of six semesters). A minimum grade of “C” is required in all Music courses counted toward the major. To qualify for graduation all Music majors must meet Performance Requirements and Piano Proficiency.

Course List
Code Title Credits
Music Industry Core
MUS 128Theory of Music Laboratory I1
MUS 129Theory of Music I3
MUS 130Theory of Music Laboratory II1
MUS 131Theory of Music II3
MUS 140Introduction to Music (GT-AH1)3
MUS 212Introduction to Music Technology1
MUS 245History of Rock and Roll3
MUS 253Theory of Music Laboratory III1
MUS 254Theory of Music III3
MUS 313Music Production3
MUS 340Theory of Music Lab IV1
MUS 341Theory of Music IV3
MUS 400SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT2
MUS 412Music Technology II3
MUS 413Music Production II3
Music business courses chosen with your advisor10
COM 119Introduction to Film3
Total Credits47
Course List
Code Title Credits
Major Performance Organizations
8 credits of the following as determined by instrument or voice. Courses may be repeated as needed.8
MUS 101
Orchestra
MUS 102
Symphonic Band
MUS 104
Concert Choir
MUS 301
Orchestra
MUS 302
Symphonic Band
MUS 304
Concert Choir
Small Ensembles
4 credits of the following as determined by instrument or voice. Courses may be repeated as needed.4
MUS 105
Opera
MUS 121
Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music
MUS 305
Opera
MUS 321
Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music
Private Lessons
8 credits of the following as determined by instrument or voice. Courses may be repeated as needed.8
MUS 180
Private Lessons (30 min)
MUS 181
Private Lessons (60 min)
MUS 380
Private Lessons (30 min)
MUS 381
Private Lessons (60 min)
Total Credits20

Concert and Convocation Attendance 

All Music majors must take MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance each semester in residence. Six semesters of MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance with a grade of "satisfactory" are required of all Music majors prior to graduation. 

The Performance Curriculum consists of courses in Major Performing Organizations, Small Ensembles, and Private Lessons. The specific performing organizations required are determined by instrument or voice. 

Performance Requirements for Majors 

To qualify for graduation, all Music majors must pass specific levels of performance as judged by a jury of Music faculty. Majors in the Music Industry emphasis may elect MUS 400 SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT, or a qualifying MUS 499 Internship in Music. Please contact the Music Department for exact requirements. 

Piano Proficiency 

All students with a Music Major or Minor, except for the Music Technology Minor, must pass the piano proficiency examination by the end of the required theory sequence. The two-semester sequence of MUS 173 Piano class and MUS 174 Piano Class may be taken for elective credits to prepare for the exam. The specific courses are not required courses and student assessed to have sufficient piano background may prepare for the exam independently. Please contact the Music Department for exact requirements. 

Partner Courses 

To graduate with the Music Industry emphasis, students must earn 10 credits of music business courses selected in consultation with their advisor. At least 6 of these credits must be considered upper division. To facilitate this, Western has an agreement with the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma to offer a sequence of four music business courses online.  

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ENG 102 Writing and Rhetoric I (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH prescribed MATH course 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 100 Fundamentals of Music (GT-AH1) (if needed) 3
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 140 Introduction to Music (GT-AH1) 3
MUS 173 Piano class 1
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
 Credits16.5-17
Spring
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 128 Theory of Music Laboratory I 1
MUS 129 Theory of Music I 3
MUS 174 Piano Class 1
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUS 245 History of Rock and Roll 3
 Credits13.5-14
Year Two
Fall
Gen Ed General Education (Area II) 4
Gen Ed General Education (Area I) 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 130 Theory of Music Laboratory II 1
MUS 131 Theory of Music II 3
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUS 212 Introduction to Music Technology 1
 Credits14.5-15
Spring
Gen Ed General Education (Area II) 4
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 101
or MUS 102
or MUS 104
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 121 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 180 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUS 253 Theory of Music Laboratory III 1
MUS 254 Theory of Music III 3
MUS 313 Music Production 3
 Credits13.5-14
Year Three
Fall
COM 119 Introduction to Film 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 340 Theory of Music Lab IV 1
MUS 341 Theory of Music IV 3
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUSMusic Business course chosen with advisor 2
 Credits11.5-12
Spring
Gen Ed General Education (Area I) 3
Gen Ed General Education (Area III) 3
Elective Upper division elective course 3
MUS 000 Concert and Convocation Attendance 0
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUSMusic Business course chosen with advisor 2
MUS 413 Music Production II 3
 Credits16.5-17
Year Four
Fall
COM 151
or PHYS 115
Introduction to Mass Media (GT-AH2)
or Physics of Music
3
or BUAD elective
or CS elective
Elective Music elective course 3
Elective Upper division elective course 3
Elective Upper division Music Business course chosen with advisor 3
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
 Credits14.5-15
Spring
Gen Ed General Education (Area I) 3
Elective Upper division elective course 3
Elective Upper division Music Business course chosen with advisor 3
MUS 301
or MUS 302
or MUS 304
Orchestra
or Symphonic Band
or Concert Choir
1
MUS 321 Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music 0.5-1
MUS 380 Private Lessons (30 min) 1
MUS 400
or MUS 499
SENIOR RECITAL/SENIOR PROJECT
or Internship in Music
2
PHYS 115 Physics of Music 3
or BUAD elective
or CS elective 3
 Credits19.5-20
 Total Credits120-124

Careers


Top Skills

  • Business Management
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Music Production
  • Promotion & Marketing
  • Publishing & Licensing
  • Talent Management



Career Pathways

  • Advertising & Promotion Manager
  • Entertainment & Recreation Manager
  • Music Publicist
  • Recording Engineer
  • Talent Scout
  • Sound Techician

Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to a fulfilling career? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to see what future professions you can pursue within any degree pathway.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Music Industry

Join a Music Ensemble at Western

  • Band: Symphony and Varsity.
  • Vocal: Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.
  • Jazz: Groups include the large Jazz Ensemble, “High Altitude” Dixieland Combo and Modern Jazz Combo.
  • Orchestra: Performs together regularly as a string ensemble, full orchestra and a small chamber group. Orchestra and Choir combine together to perform major works as well.
  • Other: Instrumental ensembles are open to all interested performers and include Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, String, Jazz Ensembles and Flute Choir, as well as additional small ensembles.

Work Study and Internship Opportunities

  • Recording Technicians
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Building Monitors
  • Music Production Apprenticeship
  • Radio Station Support

Making music

Western Music students have the opportunity to join various ensembles and bands including the band, orchestra or instrumental ensembles such as brass, woodwind, percussion, jazz, string and flute choir, as well as additional small ensembles.

News & Research

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

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Liberal Arts Programs at Western Provide Practical Job Skills

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Additional Resources

Apply for a Scholarship

Apply for a Music Scholarship All incoming students are eligible for music scholarships. You do not need to be a music major to qualify for a scholarship. To apply, fill out this form and submit it by …

Learn More

Concert Calendar

Concert Calendar View upcoming Western Music Department concerts and events below. Follow the Department of Music our social media platforms by searching Music at WCU!

Learn More

Department Information

Music Department

Program Director

Kenneth Todd, M.M.

Department of Music Program Director, Senior Lecturer in Music, Director of Orchestral Activities, Director of Applied String Studios

Administrative Assistant

Autumn Coleman

Administrative Assistant II

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 202
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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