Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship

Over the course of its 125-year history, School of Music alumni have found success not only in the concert hall and the classroom but in a variety of music-related fields, some of which they themselves invented. This entrepreneurial spirit is in keeping with the missions of the University and the School, and with our desire to produce graduates who will not only continue our tradition of leadership in the areas of performance, research, and teaching but will find new and innovative ways to serve our field and communities.

The School of Music also recognizes that being an entrepreneur is an essential part of being a music professional. So, in the Fall of 2020, we began offering a series of new courses to help prepare you to chart your own path in the musical world. The topics will vary from business, marketing, and communications skills to networking to legal issues to recording and presentation techniques. All of these courses are designed to be taken in addition to your regular course load, and we hope that as many of our students as possible will take advantage of them. Students who complete a minimum of four of the required courses will earn a Music Entrepreneurship Certificate.

The following is a list of some of the recent courses that have been offered as part of the Music Entrepreneurship program:

FAA 499 Section DC: Digital Competencies for the Performing Artists

This course will result in acquiring basic capabilities in the recording, editing, and distribution of digital performances.

MUS 499 COP: Copyright and Law

MUS 499 Section EE: Ensemble Entrepreneurship

This course will prepare students to creatively develop, promote, and sustain performing ensembles such as duos, trios, quartets, quintets, or larger collaborative mixed instrumental ensembles. Ancillary topics include event management (e.g., concerts, concert series, music festivals) and preparing professional portfolios. Presentations will utilize internal unit/college/campus expertise and industry and non-profit professionals from the wider music world.

MUS 499 Section ENC: Encore at Illinois

The University of Illinois Encore series is a series of fifteen asynchronous panel discussions on various timely topics, including entrepreneurship, careers in the arts, cultural sensitivity, music education, and the composition process. Led by conducting faculty and including expert panelists from around the country, ENCORE will begin in February 2021. Topics include: Careers in ensemble singing, oratorio singing, and early music; The Commissioning Process; How to start/run/get involved with a community-based music organization/ensemble; Share your musical talent! Rewards and challenges of making music with special needs (all) and United Sound; Band, Choir and Orchestra-Teaching the Large Ensemble in the Urban Setting; From Music Major to a Career in Arts Management; Cultural Sensitivity in the Arts; Music and the Military. Careers in the Military ensembles for instrumentalists and vocalists. Exploring the lifestyle, career, and audition process.; Full-Time Employment as a musician: teaching private lessons and gigging – what’s it all about?; Life as a White House Musician: Peter Wilson, Retired first violinist, US Marine Band; Recording Session: Listening with a Critical Ear; Musical Leadership: Are You Striving to Be Successful or Significant?; Panel Discussion on Diversity and Race in the Collegiate Band World; “I Wish I Had Known: Lessons from recent music education graduates”; Creating a Brave Space for the LGBTQ Community in your Large Ensemble Settings.

MUS 499 Section LAW: Performing Arts and Law

A practical overview of legal topics related to the performing arts for teachers, artists, performers, composers, and entrepreneurs. Contracts, business forms, employment and labor, taxes, and the internet are among the subjects included. Note: The Fall section of this course will deal with Copyright Laws.

MUS 499 Section MB: Music Business

MUS 499 POD: Introduction to Podcasting

Students will learn how to set up and record multiple vocal channels at high quality, pre-produce a timed episode with intros, segments, and transitions, how to book and interview guests, how to upload and distribute their episode, how to identify and market to an audience and how to monetize their content through ad sales, third party platforms and direct to consumer sales with their listening audience.

TE 398 WP: Hip Hop Entrepreneurship

Students will explore the cultural landscape of urban America and how technology, engineering, and social entrepreneurship are contextualized and repurposed to support the development and enhancement of existing industries. Using that approach, students will look at how to redevelop existing urban spaces and envision how new millennial spaces will look and function. Principals in fundraising, incubating, marketing, business plan development, sales, intellectual property protection, and business management will be explored. In addition to guest lecturers, entrepreneurial students will collaborate on project-based initiatives in areas including sustainable energy, economic development, affordable housing, STEM education in public schools.

THEA 451 A: Principles of Stage Management

Studies in the principles and the craft of stage management.

THEA 452 A: Principles of Arts Management

Introduction to the basic practices of theatre and arts management with emphasis on facilities management, arts marketing, and financial planning in the performing arts.

For completion of the certificate, students must do the following:

1. Declare their intention to complete the certificate by completing the online form.

2. Complete at least four courses from the approved list.

3. Complete the online checklist no later than the 10th day of instruction in the final term of coursework to confirm that the certificate requirements have been met.

Students completing the certificate will be presented with an official certificate. Although the certificate is not part of a student’s transcript, students may use this credential on any resumé.

Registration note:

Students who are pursuing the certificate are not guaranteed a seat in a course. In some cases, students may have to fill out a course override form to request a seat in a course. Please check for course availability in the Course Explorer.

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