Music Business

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Music Business Overview

The music business major is an interdisciplinary program, combining courses from music and business to set students with a passion for music apart in the business world. This major is designed to prepare you for leadership roles through expertise in strategic planning, management, marketing and artistic planning. You will have experience with both live and recorded music management, and be fluent in music-specific business issues such as copyright, publishing, and performance rights. You will also identify business opportunities within the music world and focus on planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the use of resources to accomplish performance goals in music organizations.
Degrees Offered
  • BA
Program School

Chatham's music business major prepares students for a range of career paths because music study teaches students readily transferable skills such as focus, perseverance, and entrepreneurial thinking, and specific business courses add an extra layer to this preparation by providing students that are passionate about music with in-depth work in related areas that can even more directly lead to careers in and around music.

– Michael Boyd, associate professor of music and music program coordinator

Explore the Music Business Degree:

Students are able to tailor the program to their interests in music, while also receiving a solid background in business that sets them up for success.

  • Chatham’s music business program combines the benefits of a smaller institution, such as the ability to work one-on-one with faculty in lessons and courses, with the advantages of living in a city that offers resources and opportunities at larger neighboring institutions.
  • All students complete a capstone seminar that channels the knowledge they’ve accumulated into a discipline-specific project under close faculty guidance. Chatham is one of the few universities across the country that offer such an independent and student-driven program.
  • The music faculty, all of whom are professional musicians with strong artistic achievements, work closely with all students and are strongly committed to the highest standards in teaching.

Intro to Music Business

The course presents a broad overview of the music industry and covers topics such as recording, distribution, publishing, promotion, and artist management. Students will explore a range of career possibilities and develop strategies for pursuing career paths of interest. 

Legal Issues in Music Performance and Production

The course focuses on legal issues specific to the performance and production of music. Topics include copyright, publishing, licensing, performance rights, royalties, artist management, and digital distribution.

Managing Non-Profits

Through the use of case studies, assignments, and class projects, this course familiarizes students with the distinctiveness of nonprofit organizations and their management. Specific topics include marketing and fundraising, budgeting, personnel management and supervision, strategic planning and implementation, environmental and program evaluation, and managing inter-organizational networks.

Sound Recording Basics

In this course students learn basic principles of sound recording and apply those concepts to an area of personal significance such as music performance.

View Full Curriculum

Our Faculty

If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty
Photo of Michael Boyd
Professor of Music and Music Program Coordinator
Photo of Pauline Rovkah
Director of Piano Program, Artistic Director of Concert Series
Photo of two Chatham University students sitting outside at a picnic table working on a laptop and writing in a notebook.

Rounding Out Your Education

Complement your degree with a minor in communication or another related field.

Photo of four brass players performing on a stage surrounded by red poinsettias.

Join the Club

Through outlets like the Music Club, students are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, innovative, and self-directive.

Photo of the skyline of Pittsburgh, with a river and yellow bridges

Non-Profits in Pittsburgh

The non-profit sector is a very strong part of the Pittsburgh community, with lots of internship and career opportunities.

Photo of a woman in a black leather jacket wearing headphones while sitting in a studio with computer monitors and a sound board.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are well-positioned to take on roles across the music industry, including radio, and in the non-profit sector in an administrative capacity. They might also run live performance venues, work in the recorded music industry, work for a performing rights organization, or in publishing. For those wishing to pursue higher education, it’s also excellent background for business school. 

Close-up of a woman in formal clothing playing the violin.

Three Questions for Music Students

Nestled in the lesser known Laughlin building at Chatham University—James Laughlin Music Hall—is a music program that hits all of the right notes. Thanks to ample performance opportunities, private instruction from Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members, and music-specific scholarships, our musical students flourish.

Do you have questions?

We make it easy to get in touch:

Call Us


Text Us

412-419-3772 (standard text/SMS rates will apply)

Email Us

Request Information

Complete our Request for Information form

Or, answer a few questions and we will be glad to help.

Expand to Get In Touch!