A new Master’s Degree in Music Industry Studies (MIS) is now in-line for approval at the CSUN Chancellor’s office and is expected to launch in 2011.
Professor Joel Leach, who designed the master’s program with professor Carey Christensen, said he hopes to build upon the success of the MIS Bachelor’s Degree, which has been available at CSUN for 16 years.
“The new degree will effectively bridge the gap between present-day technologies and practices in the music industry, and those coming toward us in the future,” Leach said.
The curriculum will cover subjects such as music marketing, entrepreneurship, music promotion, legal practices and innovation in the music industry, Leach said. Other classes offered include Current Trends in the Music Industry I and II, which will change topic year-to-year as trends evolve and will cover approximately nine important issues and components in the current job market.
Unlike the bachelor’s degree, the Master’s in MIS will not require two years of classical music training or a previous degree in music, Leach said.
“The master’s degree will deal not only with popular music, but also with art music and educational music,” Leach said. “In other words, we feel that we will have the entire spectrum covered.”
Financially, the MIS master’s program will be completely self-supporting because it will be based in the Tseng College of Extended Learning, said Leach.
Since many students work and attend school, the classes are scheduled for the evening and Saturday mornings, he added.
Robert Teegarden, who works with copyrights at Universal Music Group, said he has been helping keep tabs on the curriculum and its start dates.
“Having a degree that specializes in the music industry makes you better prepared to adapt to the changes that are bound to take place in such a fast-paced business,” Teegarden said.
CSUN is located in a city that is the hub of the music industry and because of this, there is an abundance of talent and opportunities, Teegarden said.
Teegarden added that Professor Leach’s networking and relationships with the work force has set this Music Industry Studies program apart from others.
“My suspicion is that most of the people with this education will be in high demand, as they will be able to offer great insight and forward thinking in a very demanding time,” he said.
Senior Thomas Wolfe, 22, a music industry studies major, said he is thinking about obtaining the master’s degree. Wolfe, who is an aspiring singer and songwriter, said he believes the program will help students gain insider knowledge into the music industry.
“I came to realize its great to be a great musician, but if you know the business side of it, you have a humongous advantage,” he said.
Wolfe added that the only foreseeable disadvantage to the master’s degree would be the lack of hands-on experience.
“I would say, generally, it’s better to learn as you go,” he said.
Senior James R. Peterson, 22, a jazz studies electric guitar major, said he does not think highly of the proposed Music Industry Studies master’s program.
“The music industry is not about which piece of paper you have,” Peterson said. “It’s about who you know, how competent you are, and whether or not you show up.”
Peterson also added that the possible disadvantage of this degree would be the curriculum does not emphasize performance.
Although the program will not be launched until spring semester of 2011 applications for the degree will be accepted in the coming school year, Leach said.