April 29, 2021 at 2:00pm
Dane Lisser

Millikin to offer Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Music Business starting Fall 2021

The Millikin University School of Music is pleased to announce new undergraduate degree offerings for a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business with a planned offering in fall 2021. Students are automatically admitted into the program upon admittance to the University; an audition is not required for admission.

Millikin's Music Business degree program will prepare students to facilitate and serve users, consumers, and artists through symbiotic relationships within the music industry. This program of study encompasses training in music fundamentals, alongside music business and traditional business coursework, designed to provide the creative practitioner the tools for a career in today's music industry.

Additionally, the Millikin School of Music is offering a full-tuition Foley Music Business Scholarship. The endowed scholarship was established in 2004 by Margaret Foley, a dedicated Millikin supporter and friend. Margaret and her husband, Alden, both enjoyed attending Millikin events, especially those in the School of Music, the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, and Kirkland Fine Arts Center performances. After Alden's passing, Margaret carried on their wishes to more fully support Millikin students by establishing this scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to a student with a demonstrated financial need who is majoring in music business.

"Millikin has a philosophy of 'Performance Learning' that I translate as 'hands-on' and 'real world.' In many ways, some of the leaps of faith we make in the music business in trying to inspire people can be considered a performance," said Martin Atkins, coordinator of music business at Millikin. "When you are involved in a project that some people cannot even see how to start much less accomplish — that's a kind of poetry. When you brush aside doubts and push your point of view or your artist or a song — that's performance too."

Martin Atkins

Martin Atkins

The new degree program will include coursework focused on traditional business, entrepreneurial, and do-it-yourself (DIY) strategies for music performance, as well as marketing, distribution, contracts, revenue streams, merchandising, publishing, and touring. The curriculum includes hands-on learning experiences with running a record label, creating and organizing Millikin's Midwest Music Expo (MMX) with an educational/panel component, and engaging in Atkins' Tour Smart Bus Experience — a 24/7 internship immersion into the world of a real tour.

"We are adding experiences at Invisible Records Studio as well as at a music festival in Chicago during Thanksgiving, and involvement in the rollout of The Museum of Post Punk and Industrial Music in Chicago," Atkins noted.

The Music Business curriculum requires three separate internships to be completed during the program. "There are what I have been calling 'pillars of the program,'" Atkins said. "The student-run label (First Step Records), the MMX conference, the Thanksgiving concert series we are planning in Chicago, and Tour Smart Bus Edition. We also have partnerships with Tracklib — a Swedish-based sample library company that we service with music files while creating opportunities for students to immerse themselves in the realm of audio delivery and rights management. My own record label will also provide other opportunities for students to get involved."

Geared toward understanding the business tools for the 21st century musician, the degree program will assist students in finding themselves and their passions while building the mindset and the toolset to make their futures happen.

"For every job on stage performing, there are 50-plus other situations that are needed as part of the infrastructure. If someone wants to be a performer, sometimes a step sideways for a while can actually be 'the way' that the dream is eventually realized," Atkins said. "Opportunities include manager, label assistant, catalog manager for a label, agent, social media marketer, product manager, email marketing and sales funnel management, music writers, and anything else you can do to get your foot in the door."

Atkins added, "You are also prepared to be a one-man army and further your own career with all of the above skills — many careers start in a 'do-it-yourself' way."

For more information about Millikin University's Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Music Business degree offerings as well as scholarship opportunities, visit millikin.edu/music.

The mission of the Millikin School of Music is to develop the whole musician — artistically, intellectually, technically — through the integration of theory and practice in an environment where students become active learners through their relationships with faculty, who themselves continue to grow as artists, scholars and teachers.

Millikin's nationally recognized School of Music brings relevant, performance-based opportunities to all facets of undergraduate music education. With five distinctive music degree programs and additional certificate options, students find their path to professional success through a blending of creative, performative, scholarly and entrepreneurial experiences designed to train the next generation of music professionals.