Music Administration

Music administration, as a specialty within arts administration, generally refers to professional work that helps music and musicians connect with audiences. It can cover a host of careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including (but not limited to) such industries and career paths as:

  • Orchestra management, opera management, and artist management 
  • Publicity and public relations and concert promotion 
  • Record label and streaming media management 
  • Music librarianship and orchestra librarianship 
  • Music museums and music programming for museums 
  • Music publishing 
  • Music licensing 
  • Outreach, fundraising, grant writing, development 
  • Music advocacy and policy 
  • Startups and entrepreneurial initiatives

Requirements for further studies in the field

A career in music administration does not necessarily require graduate study, but there are a growing number of graduate and post-baccalaureate certificate programs in arts administration, arts management, music business, etc. These programs are often 1-2 years in duration and include networking and internships alongside coursework. Many programs are offered online to accommodate professionals’ work schedules. If you are considering a career or graduate study in a field of music administration, here are some things you can do while an undergraduate to get to know your options:

  • talk with Mount Holyoke music department faculty in your area(s) of interest to learn more about their career paths and experiences 
  • browse some of the websites for the societies and organizations that represent your area(s) of interest in music administration (for links, see “Professional Organizations” below) 
  • attend a symposium or conference hosted by an organization or graduate program in music or arts administration 
  • subscribe to an email listserv hosted by an organization in music or arts administration 
  • reach out to Mount Holyoke alums working in your area(s) of interest, to hear from them about their experiences 
  • seek out internships and entry-level jobs in your area(s) of interest

Complementary skills

Professionals working in the music industry need a host of skills in addition to a passion for and familiarity with music, such as:

  • entrepreneurial thinking 
  • collaboration and leadership 
  • self-motivation, resilience, and flexibility 
  • an awareness of global, social, and sustainability issues as they impact music industries and economies 
  • an eye for arts-oriented business principles, especially communication, marketing, and fundraising 
  • strong computer, web, and social media skills

Courses

Relevant music courses (Mount Holyoke)

  • Music and Technology (Music 102) 
  • World Music (Music 226) 
  • Music Ensembles

Please look at the current course offerings at the department to ascertain what is available in the current term.

Relevant non-music courses (Mount Holyoke)

See courses in:

Selected courses available in the Five Colleges

See music courses in the Five College Catalog for up-to-date course information.

Sample courses in Arts Management:

  • Introduction to Arts Management (UMass Amherst Arts Extension) 
  • Arts Programming (UMass Amherst Arts Extension) 
  • Greening/Nonprofit Arts Organizations (UMass Amherst Arts Extension) 
  • Intro to Community Engagement (UMass Amherst Public Policy & Administration) 
  • Theater Public Relations and Outreach (UMass Amherst Theater) 
  • Principles of Management (UMass Amherst Management) 
  • New Ventures (UMass Amherst Management) 
  • Social Entrepreneurship (UMass Amherst Management) 

See also the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, which offers online and on-campus courses, certificates, and a BA in Arts Management.

On-campus and regional organizations, non-profits, and opportunities

See also (from the EOS Lynk page):

Professional Organizations, Non-Profits, and Opportunities Further Afield

Note: this is only a selected list; there are many more organizations representing specific genres, instruments, and aspects of the music industry.

Industry organizations:

Museums and Government Centers:

International Music Organizations and World Music Initiatives: