Music Business Major (BA/BS)

At first, “Music Business” seems like a contradiction of terms. But, the truth is, the success of any professional musical venture involves business.

Today, you can be in charge of your career development, which is exciting. There will be other people to help you, but it’s still your career. And as the director of your career, it is important for you to know a lot about, not only music, but also business – things like marketing, accounting, music law, and music entrepreneurship.

Careers in music have always been entrepreneurial ventures. And today, there is more opportunity than ever for you to be what you want to be and do what you want to do. We are living in a time when you can design a career that is just right for you, and you can wake up every day and do what you most love. You won’t need a “magic wand” or a “lucky break.” But, you will need to prepare, so that you are ready when opportunities come your way.

Available Career Emphases

  • Live Performance
  • Recording
  • Songwriting
  • Worship Leadership

**Check individual degree requirements for specific total credit hours.

Considering a Music Business degree?

Education is your best preparation. The better your education, the more creative options you will see. Your education should begin with foundational “liberal arts” courses in general studies, like English, History, and Communication. Then, you need skills-based courses in music, basic courses in general business, and specialized courses in music business. When you put those all together, you will be prepared to go out and build your dreams.

When picking a degree or a career path in the music industry, often many questions come to mind as one decides which path is best.

  1. How can I get started in Music Business?
  2. How can I build a successful career in Music Business today?
  3. What kind of employees are companies hiring in the new business?
  4. How can I become really good at what I do?
  5. Why should I study Music Business in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex?
  6. What music industry opportunities are there?
  7. What is the advantage of the Grammy University Network?
  8. Can Dallas Baptist University get me to where I want to go?
  9. Will I need a Master's Degree?

Additional Details

When pursuing a Music Business career, you desire success, being prepared, and having a clear career path.

The Music Industry offers some of the most glamorous and exciting careers. A career in the Music Business is an opportunity to enjoy recognition, earn financial rewards, and, most importantly, make a living doing what you love most. Since the Music Industry recently restructured from being tightly controlled by record and radio conglomerates, the industry is now open to new independent artists and businesses.

Read More About Considering a Music Business Career >>

What are the career paths available in the Music Business industry?

In the field of Music Business, there are many career paths available. Students with a Music Business degree from DBU develop the skills necessary to pursue careers as:

  • Live Performers
  • Studio Musicians
  • Songwriters
  • Recording Engineers
  • Worship Leaders
  • And more

Read More About Considering a Music Business Career >>

Geographically, what does the Music Business industry look like in the DFW area when compared to music centers?

The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex commands national attention in the entertainment business. In addition to both television production and state-of-the-art recording studios, numerous other music businesses, including independent booking agents, concert producers, production companies, music publishers, music licensing companies, record labels, and all types and sizes of concert venues are located in the DFW area. It’s all here.

Because of DBU’s close proximity to the DFW music industry, your degree in Music Business offers you the opportunity of actually working in the industry. During your senior year, you may apply for an internship with a local business that matches your area of interest. It’s a distinct advantage. 

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To prepare, begin with a quality education, one in which you study the liberal arts, which teaches you how to think, analyze, and plan, which allows you to build not only a quality career but also a quality life. Then, the best education for you ought to also include specific instruction in your career choice. All of this is exactly what we offer.

Program Overview

  • Musical development (a key ingredient to your long-term success)
  • General business courses
  • Music Business core courses
  • Advance Study Courses
  • Entrepreneurship Preparation

Advanced Study Courses

To give you the "edge" in your career preparation, we added advanced study for you in either:

  • Live Performance
  • Recording
  • Songwriting
  • Worship Leadership

Entrepreneurship Preparation

Smaller, yet highly innovative companies will likely dominate the Music Industry of the future. No doubt, these new companies will consist of well-educated individuals with creative ideas and vision. For this reason, we have infused all our degrees with the study of entrepreneurship in preparation to create, grow, and manage a successful venture. With these skills, you can either work for yourself or become the most valuable member of any company.

Credit Hours Overview

As required for all Bachelor’s degrees, students must complete the following:

  • General Studies Courses (i.e., English, History, Mathematics)
  • Designated Courses in the Chosen Major
  • Electives*
    • Lower-Level Electives (1000-2000 level courses)
    • Upper-Level Electives (3000-4000 level courses)
  • 42 Hours of Upper-Level Courses must be completed as part of all bachelor’s degrees
  • Minimum Total Credit Hours Required: 120 Credit Hours**

*Courses chosen by the student that will count toward a bachelor's degree, but may not be directly related to the degree program being pursued.
**Check individual degree requirements for specific total credit hours.

View Degree Requirements >>

Recording Studio

DBU's Music recording studio is located on the first floor of Horner Hall. DBU's recording studio includes sound stages, a control room, a systems room, and two production rooms.

View Recording Studio Layout >>

Course Convenience

DBU offers classes in a variety of formats, including:

  • In-Person
  • Hybrid (Classroom and Online)*
  • Online*

*Selected courses are available in the formats listed. View the current Schedule of Classes for specific courses.

Classes Start

Generally, classes start four times each year:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter

View Schedule of Classes >>

Travel Opportunities

In addition to mission trips, DBU periodically offers students travel opportunities to earn course credit.

View Opportunities >>

Meet the Program Director

Dr. Fansler is uniquely qualified to direct our Music Business degrees. In addition to holding academic degrees in vocal performance and musicology, Dr. Fansler was trained by experts in the field of business and entrepreneurship. He took what he learned and used it to build a career for himself as a musical artist. He traveled throughout the United States and other countries, earning a full time living for years – as a "music entrepreneur."

"My desire is to help you reach your dreams in life, by offering you the best educational preparation for your career. When you succeed, we succeed."

- Dr. Terry Fansler, Program Director
214-333-5316 | terryf@dbu.edu

Terry Fansler, Program Director

Questions to Ask When Considering a Career in Music Business

When picking a degree or a career path in the music industry, often many questions come to mind as one decides which career path is best for them.

Getting Started

1. How can I get started in Music Business?

A rewarding career in Music Business begins with the right education and training. Whether your dream is to perform live onstage, write the music you love, or record and produce the music of others, success in the music business is the result of how much you know about what you want to do, and how good you become doing it. Look for a Music Business degree that offers what you want to know and can help you become very, very good at what you want to do.

A Successful Career?

2. How can I build a successful career in Music Business today?

The best way to build a successful career today as a musical artist, songwriter, recording engineer, or  independent producer is to:

  • Learn all you can about what you want to do
  • Practice your musical skills until you are very good at what you want to do
  • Think like a "music entrepreneur."

Combining these three things will enable you to creatively develop a career that serves your clients and customers and, at the same time, leads you to your dreams. So, look for a Music Business degree that features these three elements. 

The Ideal Employee Every Company Wants

3. What kind of employees are Music Business companies hiring?

Because of the continuing changes in the Music Business, today's companies operate with fewer people. This makes it difficult for many looking for a traditional "job" to find employment. However, these smaller companies are all entrepreneurial ventures. With the knowledge and skill in music entrepreneurship, you will learn in this program, you will have a lot to offer those Music Business companies that are looking for the right person if you desire to work for them.

Becoming a Music Business Expert

4. How can I become really good at what I do?

In today's Music Business, it's all about three things:

  1. How Much You Know
  2. How Good You are at What You Do 
  3. How You Think

1. "How Much You Know" is all about education. You must find a Music Business degree program that offers you a liberal arts background, knowledge about music, knowledge about general business, and the latest information about the Music Business

2. "How Good You are at What You Do" is all about skill development in whatever part of the music field you choose: musical artist, songwriter, recording engineer, or independent producer. The key to becoming excellent at what you want to do is to practice. Find a Music Business degree that understands the importance of skill development based on practice and offers you an "advanced" study or emphasis in your area of interest.

3. "How You Think" is all about how your approach your music career. Today, we live in an entrepreneurial world, which requires musical artists, songwriters, recording engineers, and independent producers to be able to develop and guide their own careers. To do so, they must "think" like entrepreneurs, which means it is essential that you learn to think like a "music entrepreneur."

Music Business in DFW

5. Why should I study Music Business in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex?

The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex commands national attention in the entertainment business. In addition to both television production and state-of-the-art recording studios, numerous other music businesses, including independent booking agents, concert producers, production companies, music publishers, music licensing companies, record labels, and all types and sizes of concert venues are located in the DFW area.

Music Industry Opportunities

6. What music industry opportunities are there?

Our degrees in Music Business offer you the opportunity to work in the industry because of DBU’s proximity to the DFW music industry. During your senior year, as a Music Business major, you may apply for an internship with a local business that matches your area of interest.

Grammy University Network

7. What is the advantage of the Grammy University Network?

Students pursuing degrees in Music Business at DBU have the opportunity to participate in GRAMMY® UNIVERSITY NETWORK, a unique organization created by the Recording Academy, the producers of the Grammy Awards. The program is designed specifically for college students pursuing a career in Music Business.

The advantage of GrammyU is that it helps us prepare you for your career by providing "out of the classroom" experiences such as networking with industry professionals (including major celebrities), educational programs presented by industry experts, and performance opportunities.

Integrated Faith and Learning

8. Can Dallas Baptist University get me to where I want to go?

We believe we can! The DBU advantage is more than an education. We

  • Provide a well-rounded and Christ-centered liberal arts education.
  • Employ committed Christian faculty who give you a spiritual foundation to navigate the Music Business industry with integrity and perseverance.
  • Prepare students to be servant leaders in their calling and makes real success possible in any field.

View Music Business Degree Requirements >>

Continuing Your Music Business Education

9. Will I need a Master's Degree?

It depends on what you want to do and how much you want to learn.

Accelerated Degree Option

For undergraduate students studying music business, an accelerated degree is an excellent option for highly motivated students who desire an accelerated 5-year program for earning their Bachelor's and Master's degrees. DBU's Music Business and MBA programs can be combined in an expedited manner where both degrees can be earned by only adding one additional year of study for most students. The accelerated bachelor's/master's degree program at DBU offers you a competitive advantage while saving you both time and money.

View Accelerated Degree Requirements >>

Master's Degree Option

If you are looking for a competitive edge that makes you stand out, consider earning a Master of Business Administration to complement your undergraduate Music Business degree.