Undergraduate Program - Music Business

For Parents

Dear parents of Music Business undergraduates:

Thank you for entrusting your son or daughter to us at NYU while he or she completes a bachelor's degree in Music Business. I am the director of the Music Business Program. Just as you have enjoyed watching your son or daughter grow and engage with the world, we too are privileged to guide them through this important life adventure.

I've created the Parents' Pages section of our website to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what your son or daughter is learning at NYU/Steinhardt. I know how challenging it can be to extract information from them about their daily lives. While I'm unable to give you specific information about your son or daughter (in accordance with the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act known as FERPA) I am able to share with you lots of general information about what we do in Music Business.

Help for our first-year students (freshmen and transfers)
NYU's New York City campus is a large, urban university spread out over many blocks of Greenwich Village. It may not look like a typical campus, but we faculty and staff work very hard to make it feel like an extended family to our newest students.

Our incoming class is usually around 50 students, a mix of freshmen and transfer students. All freshmen and transfers take the NYU Steinhardt New Student Seminar for Music Business students. In that role I help students select classes, reassure them when they are doubting themselves, rejoice with them when they have a personal success, and help them think about their long-term academic path.

First-year students take Business Structure of the Music Industry course. We use two textbooks that together focus on entrepreneurial and organizational context and decision making: Music Business Handbook and Career Guide (Tenth Edition) by David Baskerville and Fortune's Fool: Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music, and an Industry in Crisis by Fred Goodman. If you are new to the music industry, you might want to consider reading these books so you can talk with your son or daughter about their chosen field of study.

The Music Business Program resides in the Department of Music & Performing Arts Professions within the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. It took me about a year to understand the relationship between program/department/school/university. Not surprisingly, new students are often confused about where to go when they need help. I tell all Music Business majors that I am their first stop. I'm available to them by email, phone, and in the office.

I frequently refer students to the Steinhardt Office of Student Affairs, 2nd floor of Pless Hall. The compassionate and experienced Student Affairs staff is trained to listen and respond quickly to the diversity of student needs. Working in conjunction with the faculty, Student Affairs serves our students in their personal growth and in achieving their educational objectives by offering programs, services, and opportunities that reflect all phases of a student’s development.

This link will take you to the Steinhardt Office of Student Affairs

Academic advising
We have a team of academic advisors who work with students individually. All new students create a Long Term Academic Plan and Tracking Sheet. We created these interlocking spreadsheets so that students can plan when to take all their required courses in order to graduate on time. It's a daunting task, but they receive hands-on help from the advising staff and me. Of course, the plan will change over the students' time with us, so students are required to meet with their advisor every semester before being cleared to register for the upcoming semester. Advisors have weekly office hours to make it easy for students to talk to us about academic and other topics.

Advising is a shared responsibility between advisors and students. To help students be active partners, I have created an on-line resource that includes grade point average and other academic policies, helpful people around NYU to contact with specific requests, lists of suggested classes, information about how to contact their advisor, and much more. Every semester the information is updated and available to current students.

Grade point averages and other academic requirements for the Music Business major
There are serious consequences for students who do not maintain a semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 or higher, and I want you to be aware of our policies. When a student's GPA falls below 2.7, he or she is placed on academic probation. Two semesters of academic probation will result in dismissal from NYU. 

How to find out your student's grades
This is the million-dollar question. Once your son or daughter turns 18, they are considered adults by academic institutions. This means that faculty and staff may not discuss your child's grades, health, or any other specifics with you unless your son or daughter gives us written permission.

I offer you a suggestion if you want to know your child's grades. Explain that you are investing family resources in his or her education, which makes you partners. As a partner, it's only natural that you want to see the results of your investment as they are measured in semester grades. For example, you could say, "I'll pay next semester's tuition when I see your mid-term and final grades." This way you will also be able to encourage your son or daughter when they are struggling with a course, and celebrate their hard work when they have a success.

The internship program for Music Business majors begins in the junior year. Music Business Professor Shirley Washington oversees our program. All students are required to meet with Prof. Washington before their first internship experience. Prof Washington explains how the program works, what the student's responsibilities are, and how NYU will support them in this off-campus experience. Music Business majors must complete 6 credits of internship (50 hours of work per credit) in order to graduate.

News flash: If your son or daughter tells you they have an internship and he or she is not a junior or senior, that means they are working without NYU's protection. We are quite vocal in discouraging students from taking internships before their junior year, yet many disregard our wise advice. The rationale for our policy is two-fold: (1) students receive the foundation of how the music industry works in their freshmen and sophomore classes - thus as juniors and seniors they actually have something to offer an internship provider besides being an errand-runner and filing clerk; and (2) the hours devoted to an unregulated internship are hours deducted from study time. NYU is a challenging university, and the Music Business program is academically rigorous. At age 18 or 19 one thinks one can do it all. It often takes a failure or two for students to come around and support our internship policy.

How we help our graduates find employment
The music industry is a relationship business. This means that it's not just what you know, it's whom you know. In the Music Business program we help students build professional relationships in the following ways:

  • Weekly Industry Guest Speakers Series - This is a non-credit required class (MPAMB-UE1500), with a section for freshmen and sophomores, and a section for juniors and seniors. It meets every Wednesday afternoon. These are lively sessions, with lots of interaction between students and speakers
  • Internships - Both students and internship providers enjoy the benefits of this pre-professional experience. Approximately 40% of our graduating seniors are offered jobs based on an internship or contact they made while at an internship.
  • Guest speakers in classes - Faculty invite one or two industry professionals each semester to speak in class to offer their business or artistic insight. Since most Music Business class sizes are limited to 30 students, these sessions are a rare and intimate opportunity to interact with executives from specific areas of the music industry.
  • Music Business List-Serve - Current students and alumni receive frequent emails about industry jobs and internships through our proprietary list-serve. Often our alums will let us know about a position before it is announced to the general public.
  • NYU's Wasserman Center for Career Development - Open to all students for career-related workshops and panel discussions, jobs, and internships.
  • CMJ Music Marathon - A generous Music Business alum gives our students a free badge to this internationally acclaimed indie music festival, which takes place in October at NYU and at lower Manhattan venues and clubs. There are educational panels, talks, and concerts over a 5-day period. This is an outstanding way for students to meet and talk with industry professionals. See more at cmj.com/marathon

You are most welcome to contact me by email or telephone if you have general questions about the Music Business Undergraduate Program.  And please let me know if there are topics you would like to see added to the Parent's Pages of our website.

Kind regards,

Professor Larry Miller, Director
Music Business Program, New York University