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Music Business

Build on your skills and experience to prepare for a career in the music industry.

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

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Overview

If you're a practising musician or somebody who thrives behind the scenes, this program builds on your previous education to prepare you for a career in the music business. 

You develop a comprehensive understanding of the different revenue streams available to artists and professionals and learn the broad range of skills needed to develop your audience. These skills include:

  • Developing release strategies
  • Creating and implementing digital marketing, communications and social media plans 
  • Project and event management
  • Negotiating
  • Understanding copyright, rights collectives and contracts

You learn in the classroom and in the field with industry partners, giving you the networking skills necessary to build your own network. 

With a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, you’ll leave with the competencies needed to adapt in a fast-paced and ever-changing music marketplace.

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

  • Throughout the program, industry experts and guest speakers are brought into the classroom to deliver specialized training.
  • The industry connections you make in this program create post-graduation opportunities.
  • This is the only program of its kind in Nova Scotia. You collaborate with peers and professionals in related programs, which could include Music Arts, Music Production and Engineering, and Professional Photography.

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 the age of 19 may not be able to fully participate in these activities.

2022-23 programs

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

September 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time Blended Delivered through a combination of in-person and scheduled online classes. Seats available

Admission requirements

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

Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$5,540
Tuition (International):
$11,690

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

  • You graduate ready to navigate a complex industry and find success in the areas of:
    • Artist management
    • Booking agencies
    • Record labels
    • Concert promotion
    • Music publishing
  • Independent artists graduate with the skills, experience and industry connections needed to develop their music careers. 

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.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you can apply to earn credit. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

BART 5000 - Digital Platform Management
This course focuses on the management of digital, social platforms required to support an artist career and engage audiences. Managing assets and analysing data to develop marketing and revenue strategies are also covered.

BART 5010 - Marketing and Communications
This course focuses on written and verbal communications skills in context of the Music industry. Marketing and communication strategies, press releases and marketing plans will all be covered.

BART 5015 - Live Concerts and Touring
This course is focused on the planning and strategies required to support live performance and the logistics and processes of setting up artist tours.

BART 5020 - Introduction to Music Business
This course provides an overview of the music industry and the current and emerging opportunities for music business professionals.

BART 5025 - Creative Content Design
This course covers visual design basics in relation to an artist’s branding. Students will gain an understanding of brand consistency and integrity through the creation of ephemera that supports an artist’s marketing strategy and audience engagement.

BART 5030 - Introduction to Artist Management
This course introduces students to the professional relationship between an artist and their manager. Artist managers assume multiple roles, essentially coordinating almost all aspects of performance, income, promotion and artist development.

BART 5035 - The Business of Recorded Music
This course focuses on the complete process of recording music. It also covers types of record deals and release strategies in the context of contemporary music consumption.

BART 5040 - Funding and Investment
This course builds the skills and knowledge required to complete comprehensive funding applications and the processes involved in seeking and securing private investment.

BART 5045 - Music Business and Finance
This course covers financial aspects of music business such as tax compliance regulation and the tools and processes used to capture and record income.

BART 5050 - Artist Management - Release and Development Strategies
This course focuses on developing strategies for music release, audience development, revenue streams and the on-going development of artists.

BART 5055 - Music Publishing and Rights Management
This course builds skills and knowledge around the processes and various revenue streams associated with music publishing and copyright.

BART 5060 - Professional Practice I
This project-based course prepares students for the complexities of professional practice in the music industry by developing the foundational concepts of goal setting, project management and professional portfolio building. It will also begin to the build skill set and knowledge required to authentically support equity, inclusion and sustainable practices.

BART 5065 - Professional Practice II
This course integrates the skills, knowledge and concepts required for professional practice in the music industry. Students will be involved in authentic industry experiences and develop flexible goals necessary to sustain a career in the music industry. In addition, students will apply tools and processes to build equity sustainable practices into all professional projects.

BART 5070 - Digital and Content Marketing
This course focuses on the significance of digital media platforms in relation to an artist’s marketing strategy. Students will develop skills and knowledge required to align the needs and resources of a client with the most appropriate and cost-effective platforms.

BART 5080 - Work Experience
The work experience component of this program provides an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Students will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner and identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during work experience.

COMP 2110 - Spreadsheets I
This course introduces the student to electronic spreadsheets including their design and creation. Formulae and functions will be used to perform calculations on the spreadsheet data providing business solutions. Students will apply formatting skills to enhance the appearance and clarity of printed spreadsheets as well as using graphs to represent spreadsheet data. This course is accepted toward certification with the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB). This course cannot be used to fulfill an elective requirement for students in Office Administration.

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.

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