Music Business

Music Business Faculty: Shirley Washington

Shirley A. Washington is an adjunct clinical assistant professor of the Music Business Program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She administers the Music Business Internship Program and has taught Business Structure of the Music Industry, an undergraduate-level course, and Promotion and Publicity of the Music Industry, a graduate-level course. Prior to joining NYU, she was an adjunct professor at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ for 13 years, where she taught Business of Music and Advanced Business of Music. Since 2012, she has served as faculty coordinator for the What Makes A Star? program administered by Steinhardt's Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. This program hosts high school students for two separate weeks who are interested in exploring careers in the music industry and possibly attending NYU’s Music Business Program in the future.     

She also serves as a coach/mentor for the NYU Stern Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Business Plan Competition and participates in the Mentoring Program for Entrepreneurs. Codesters, the team she coached and mentored for NYU Stern's 2014 Social Venture Competition won a $50,000 prize. In 2010, two companies that her team mentored were winners in the Business Plan Competition, CourseHorse, a new venture won $75,000 and See and Be Seen, a social entrepreneurship venture won $100,000. In 2011, she was one of the coaches for Cultivora, a new venture competitor and one of twelve companies (out of 175 entrants) who made it to the finals.

Shirley received her BA from Fordham University, a JD degree from Howard University Law School and an MBA from New York University’s Stern Business School. She has written numerous articles about the music industry, participated in panels, as well as executive produced five compilation CD’s of local artists.

She sits on the Board of the New Heritage Group Theatre in Harlem, New York and is a member of The Clarkstown Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Pride of Clarkstown Committee in New City, New York.

Her hobbies include, cooking, reading, skiing, tennis and sometimes golf. Her current favorite television shows include Revenge, Royal Pains, Castle, Single Ladies, General Hospital and sports of any kind (except curling). Her favorite vacation spot is Martha’s Vineyard.

Why does she love the music business? She says: “Because 'I love music,' all types really. I especially favor strong songwriters who can tell a story and strong singers who can make the music come alive. I love the music business because it’s currently in a state of transition and I am in the position to teach those who want to be involved both behind the scenes or on the stage.”