Content Utility Nav Top Nav Site Search Footer

Music Business

Learn the business skills needed to become an artist manager, agent or publisher in the dynamic world of live and recorded music.

A woman sits on stage at the Seahorse Tavern and looks on.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

Apply Now


If you're a practising musician or somebody who thrives behind the scenes, this program provides an understanding of the inner workings of the music industry.

Managers, agents and publishers are vital for any musician or artist competing in the entertainment business. The skills required to be successful, such as accounting, grant and proposal writing, contract development and marketing, are all covered in this program.

Training in technical and strategic areas of music business management will appeal to those who currently manage music professionals, talent agents and event coordinators who are seeking formal qualifications. And if you have a university degree in music, the industry business skills you develop in this program strengthen your traditional conservatory background.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

Other info

  • Many of the volunteer and work experience opportunities occur in environments that require you to be 19 or older. Students who are under age 19 may not be able to fully participate in these activities.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus Dartmouth Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • The music industry is a major contributor to the economic pulse of Nova Scotia and central to cultural life throughout the Maritimes. Graduates are working in artist management, artist relations, music marketing and promotions, studio management, tour managing, publishing and distribution, etc.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

BART 1000 - Introduction to the Music Industry
Through a combination of lectures, research and industry speakers, this course will introduce learners to the current landscape of the Canadian music industry. It will convey a broad understanding of the various non-music functions that exist within the industry and how they interact with the artist and each other. Learners will gain a basic knowledge of the mandate and scope of the organizations which support the music industry with a focus on how these organizations relate to revenue generation and collection.

BART 1015 - Fundamentals of Business in the Music Industry I
This course introduces the student to the fundamental business skills required to effectively operate a professional business in the music industry. It focuses on the application of specific software and processes necessary for efficient control of finances and develops the characteristics and attitudes identified with entrepreneurialism.

BART 1020 - Communicating in the Music Business
Through a combination of lectures, research, guest speakers and written assignments, this course will introduce learners to the fundamentals of communication most commonly used in the music industry. It will focus on the importance of good communications skills in team building, selling, negotiating, promoting and relating to audiences. The scope of written communication will range from daily email communication to specialized writing for funding to promotional and creative writing for media releases, promo kits and blogs. An ability to understand and properly interpret written and oral communications will be paramount in applying these skills. In addition to emphasizing the necessity of clarity and effectiveness in written communications, the course will also begin to explore the importance of written communication in the artist to audience relationship.

BART 1030 - Visual Design for Business
This course covers the basic skills, concepts, principles and tools required to create and produce printed marketing material for business. Learners will use desktop publishing and image manipulation applications to create a variety of promotional ephemera and devices. They will also develop concepts, communicate clearly with clients and analyze the audience need.

BART 2010 - The Business of Live Performance I
Through a combination of lectures, research and guest speakers, this course will introduce learners to the business, marketing and logistical components of live performance. It will review the roles and responsibilities of all participants from artist to agent to venue owner and how they fit into the overall touring picture. Learners will be taken through the A-Z process of strategizing a tour, identifying opportunities, negotiating contracts, overseeing and implementing related marketing initiatives, the logistics of touring and the financial settlement of shows.

BART 2011 - The Business of Live Performance II
Through a combination of lectures, research and guest speakers, this course will introduce learners to the business, marketing and logistical components of event producers, events and festivals. It will review the roles and responsibilities of all participants from artist to promoter to sponsor and funder and how they fit into the overall event and festival structure. Learners will be introduced to the various professional unions that have a role in event production.

BART 2015 - Fundamentals of Business in the Music Industry II
This course focuses on the components necessary to efficiently operate a small business in the music industry. It addresses business registration and licensing, tax filing and the importance and value of a business plan.

BART 2030 - Interactive Design for Business
This course introduces the learner to interactive media design tools required to create web sites for business. Learners will use industry standard interactive design applications and image manipulation software to produce functional interactive web pages appropriate for a selected industry. They will apply the design principles and skills acquired in ‘Visual Design for Business’.

BART 2100 - Professional Practice in Music Business I
Professional Practice I is a focused project based course that introduces learners to the fundamentals of project management. A project is an activity where the participants have some degree of choice in the outcome. The result is complete and functional, that is, it has a beginning, middle and end. Usually, it spans multiple class periods and requires work outside scheduled course time. As there are choices involved in implementation, project design and delivery is inherently a component of a project. A project is inherently different from an analysis or exercise, in which the solution has a predictable form. Learners will be introduced to the fundamentals of project management, from time management to teamwork. Later work will include applied learning and work experience opportunities on and off campus, and working to complete projects and productions with program instructor approval and guidance.

BART 2500 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep an electronic journal. This is a course of 120 hours spread over five weeks.

BART 3000 - The Recorded Music Process
This course will familiarize the learner with the business element that runs through the process of preparing recorded product for the marketplace. It will outline the roles and responsibilities of the people involved in the project and how all parties interact during that process. It will review the financial aspect of recording from budgeting to funding to settlement and will provide detailed information on contract and license requirements as well as the registration of all existing rights. The course will identify the various usage formats for the final recorded product and will instruct the learner in how to achieve those formats. It will also assist the learner in understanding the relevance and requirements of the visual element of the project.

BART 3010 - Career Development in an Evolving Industry
Through a series of lectures, research and guest speakers, this course will familiarize learners with the various methods of distribution including physical and online retail and digital delivery. The learners will gain a broad knowledge of the different types of label, distribution and aggregator deals available including the services provided under each deal and the most common industry royalty computations. Digital distribution options available to independents will also be explored for all usages including song downloads and ring tones.

BART 3030 - Business of Marketing Music
This course will review the fundamentals of marketing thereby building on the marketing knowledge that the learner has already acquired during the course of study. It will focus on the launch of a recording project and will encompass publicity, promotion and advertising with special emphasis on the worldwide web. It will outline the value of a long term approach to marketing and will expose learners to creative approaches to market and cross-market products.

BART 3040 - The Business of Song-writing and Music Publishing
Through lectures and research, this course will introduce the learner to the business of song-writing and publishing and the roles of both writers and publishers in the context of the bigger music industry picture. It will explain copyright basics and licensing. Specific royalties and revenues streams will be examined and learners will review how to register and collect those royalties. Learners will learn about the various types of publishing deals, their terms and conditions, and how they can advance a writer’s career. Emphasis will be given to the self-published writer and how they function in the world of publishing.

BART 3100 - Professional Practice in Music Business II
Professional Practice II is a focused project based course completed with the guidance of the instructor. This course provides learners with the opportunity for application, integration, synthesis and further growth of essential and employability skills with real world projects. The course clearly articulates connections between the music industry, applied learning and NSCC Music Business program. Learners will apply skills of project management to carry out real world projects both inside and outside the institutional setting. Later work will include applied learning and work experience opportunities on and off campus, and working to complete projects and productions with program instructor approval and guidance. This course allows learners to customize learning around an additional topic of interest, subject to approval by the instructor. Upon approval, they pursue their proposed studies, culminating with a final project, essay, presentation or demonstration. While the content of the presentation should be accurate and well documented, the goal of this course is the self-direction of learning.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

Apply Now

Have Questions? Contact Us.

Fill out this form and we'll be in touch.

Required fields are marked with a red symbol (*)

Yes No

Thank you for contacting us.
We will respond to you within three to five business days. While you wait, feel free to browse our list of Programs & Courses or visit our Admissions information section.