School of Music connects students to career options through new major

Feb 6, 2022 | General News, Liberal Arts, Students

Music Industry Studies, a new major in the School of Music, offers students who are interested in music, but not in writing sheet music or learning how to perform classically, the opportunity to develop their passions into future careers in the music industry. The program gives these types of students a chance to broaden their musical interests.

“When I came in January 2019, part of the job description was to help get a Music Industries or Music Business program open and off the ground,” said Dr. Michael Austin, Director of the School of Music.

Music Industry Studies teaches students how to record themselves or make videos professionally to promote their businesses. This major offers the knowledge that students need to have for their future in music.

Kaelis Ash said the program offers him the opportunity to work toward his career goals. 

“My long-term career goal is to be a composer,” Ash said. “Not only does this major enable me in terms of programs related to music, I will also pursue an additional business degree with it. I’ve learned a whole lot from that, and it’s been nothing but beneficial.”

Kamryn Murphy is another student majoring in Music Industry Studies and is currently working on her senior capstone project.

 “I chose to be a Music Industries major because I wanted to pursue a career in the commercial music industry as a singer-songwriter and performer,” Murphy said. “The Music Industry Studies degree allowed me to focus on artistry and songwriting, in addition to music business concepts, as well as recording and editing aspects of music, which have enabled me to market and further develop my solo career.”

Murphy’s senior capstone project is an hour-long concert that will include four sets of nonstop music. With the knowledge she received from Music Industry Studies classes, she was able to write, perfect, and arrange original songs as well as develop a program that was appropriate for the event.

“I believe in order to be successful in the music industry today, you need to be well rounded and not just a good performer or songwriter, there is a lot of business involved and this degree plan has been the perfect fit for me,” Murphy said.

When asked about the advice he would give to someone considering going into the Music Industries major, Ash said, “Go for it! There’s nothing you can lose from joining it and there’s a lot to gain. You’ll meet a lot of people from lifelong friends to business contacts, so it’s a very wide variety of people you can meet.”

For students who are interested in majoring or minoring in Music Industry Studies, the School of Music is looking for those who have a clear idea of what they want to pursue in music.

“Whenever they apply, we ask them to submit a letter to explain their motivations of what it is they want to do. If they have recordings they made, or if they’re a singer songwriter, we’re happy to hear about that. The more of that stuff they’ve done, the better idea we have on how their experience will in the program,” Austin said.


This story was written by Communication major Leslee Bennett.