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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Course Information

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Please review the following syllabi excerpts from the classes in the campus MI program of interest to you.

Foundations in Music Industry – MUS 185

In this course, we will:

  • Examine the changing business practices of the music industry in detail.
  • Debate these dramatic industry shifts.
  • Explore career options within the industry: Where do you fit in?
  • Develop your skills of analysis, argument, teamwork and professionalism.

During the semester, we will have Skype conversations with leading music business professionals in New York and Los Angeles who will share cutting-edge insights into the industry. You will also get a feel for the different professions in the business through these spontaneous, frank and fun conversations.

Introduction to Technology with Applications in Music – MUS 181

In this course, we will examine:

  • The scientific basics of musical acoustics.
  • MIDI theory / elements of MIDI production.
  • Digital audio theory.
  • An overview of essential music hardware – mics, mixers, keyboards, synths.
  • A business perspective regarding all the above.

Social Media in the Music Industry – MUS 284

In this course, we will examine:

  • Various social media tools (such as Facebook; ReverbNation).
  • Whether “social media as marketing” is provably working, and how these efforts are being designed and measured.
  • How to use social media tools for different audiences and professional purposes.
  • The role of blogs, websites and web optimization.
  • The entrepreneurs that are creating ways to provide outsourced social networking for artists and labels.

Critical Listening for Music Industry Professionals (I) and (II) – MUS 285-6

This course is designed to help you acquire the listening skills, music evaluation skills, discussion skills and cultural observation skills that you need to have in your duties as a manager, agent, publisher, music promoter or other music industry business professional.

You will learn to separate your musical taste from your ability to judge quality (a vital professional skill). We will also look at different styles of pop music as "tribal" cultural statements and environments. How does this analysis affect the business and the marketing of music?

Activities in Music Industry – MUS 282

“Activities” is as an introductory professional experience – you will be executing real-world business tasks, like concert planning, while being directly supervised by a teacher or upper-class student. You will be doing a relatively simple task, or handling a single element of a larger task or project.

Practicum in Music Industry – MUS 383

“Practicum” is a chance to initiate a real-world music business project of your own (or to work on a big piece of a larger project) with far less supervision, for example, creating an artist web strategy. You are held accountable for much more responsibility.

Project Development in Music Industry – MUS 450

The “Project Development” course is a major effort. You will spend approximately 100 hours executing a challenging business project of your own design. This project will be a significant part of your student portfolio, and will be one of the most important things you present to potential employers in interviewing for your internship or entry-level job.

Music Promotions – MUS 482

We will examine promotions from three perspectives:

  • The promotion of music and artists.
  • The promotion of other products, services and causes through using music.
  • The presentation and promotion of yourselves as music experts in the real world.

In addition, we will seek out and have conversations with established experts who can give us up to date insights into the rapidly changing world of promotions, branding, and the various marketplaces that use music.

Music Management and Concert Production – MUS 381

A show is not successful unless all parties---band, promoter, venue, and fans---are satisfied. This course gives you the resources, tools and training necessary for planning and management of live performance events.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Manage a touring act
  • Identify and secure appropriate venues for genre specific bands
  • Market your band to the venue buyer
  • Communicate and work with promoters and club owners
  • Manage a concert venue with emphasis on event management, venue and event promotion, contract and rider negotiation and fulfillment, and event liabilities.

You will also stay abreast of current Music Industry topics of interest through the reading and class discussion of daily newsletters, viewing videos of individuals currently involved in the Industry, and reading various Music Industry newsletters and blogs.

During the semester, experiential group activities include researching and developing an extended regional band tour; and planning, promoting, and staging a performance event at a local club.

Music in the Marketplace – MUS 483

Do you desire to control your own destiny? Do you want to start your own Music Industry business? What are the elements related to starting and running your own industry-related business and fulfilling your dream?

This class gives each student the chance to research an area of the Music Industry that interests them. It also provides the opportunity to learn the arrangement of a successful start-up business, and the conducting of the business, that is, the managing and growing of a successful music-related company in today's fast-paced marketplace.

In this course, you will:

  • Choose a music industry start-up business idea that interests you
  • Learn techniques needed to start and grow your music-related business
  • Write a business plan for your music-related business

You will also stay abreast of current Music Industry topics of interest through the reading and class discussion of daily newsletters, viewing videos of individuals currently involved in the Industry, and reading various Music Industry newsletters and blogs.

Legal Aspects of the Music Industry – MUS 489

In this class we will:

  • Study the basic legal systems and contracts affecting the music industry.
  • Spot the day-to-day situations in the industry that have legal implications, even those that are frequently unrecognized.
  • Become familiar with the most common industry contracts.
  • Understand the applicable structures of the American legal system.

Digital Audio Theory and Techniques – MUS 481

This is a course designed to acquaint the MI professional with the digital recording process, including preproduction, multi-track recording and overdubbing, editing techniques, mixing, mastering, file format choices and archiving. The perspective of this class is that of the MI professional: What do you need to know about digital audio in order to be a high-functioning business person in the modern industry?

Internship – MUS 497

An internship is your capstone experience in the Music Industry program, a minimum of 5 college credits (but often taken for more credits). The goal of an internship is real-world experience in a significant music organization, preferably in a major music center like New York or Los Angeles, with particular attention paid to finding an internship appropriate to your career goals.