At first glance, Arts Administration and Music Business degree programs seem to cover a lot of the same territory. (Note: we’ll be exploring Music Business degree programs in an upcoming blog post.) The main difference is that Arts Administration programs are geared towards the non-profit music world, whereas Music Business programs are definitely geared more towards the business side of things.
Arts Administration combines coursework in art and/or music with business to prepare students for the unique challenges of non-profit arts organizations such as orchestras, theatres, concert halls, and arts councils. If your goal is to become a Director of Development, Symphony Business Manager or Managing Director, you’ll gain the academic knowledge you need to succeed through this type of program.
Classes will cover topics including philanthropy, law and legal issues, management, marketing, economics and/or business, grant writing, and finance, as applied to music or another focus within the fine arts. Students will receive hands-on experience through internship and volunteer opportunities at local arts organizations.
Some programs will split music/fine arts coursework evenly with business coursework, and others will lean more towards the business administration side, so it’s best to dig deep into the course catalog and degree requirements at the college of your choice to find the best fit for your professional goals.