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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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SDSU is the only university in the country that offers a bachelor's degree in music entrepreneurship. SDSU is the only university in the country that offers a bachelor's degree in music entrepreneurship.

Music Entrepreneurship Program Paves the Way

The bachelor’s degree combines core music classes with a minor in entrepreneurship, allowing artists to identify business opportunities.
By Teresa Monaco

Arts organizations around the country are working hard to appeal to audiences who live in a world saturated with digital entertainment options. As a result, arts entrepreneurship is rapidly becoming an important and necessary component in the arts world. San Diego State University has identified this and is the only university in the country that offers a bachelor's degree in music entrepreneurship. The program is open to any qualified SDSU undergraduate student majoring in music: singers, jazz musicians, composers, and instrumentalists.

The program is the brainchild of Donna Conaty, associate dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

“At the heart of it is the rigorous music curriculum,” said Conaty. “It’s combined with a minor in entrepreneurship offered through the Fowler College of Business Administration.”

The music entrepreneurship degree track is infused with a significant level of practical experiences, in particular the internship sequence. Each student will complete a series of three internships as they progress through the program. SDSU has an agreement with a number of local arts institutions, and students pursuing the degree can be placed into internships with the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, and La Jolla Music Society, among others.

“Working with both the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Opera, I have learned more about the administration side of an arts nonprofit organization,” said Paige Kobdish, a student majoring in music entrepreneurship. “I have been able to find my strengths and passions in arts management, learn from expert mentors in their respective fields, and make so many memories that will define my college experience permanently.”

After graduation, Kobdish plans to stay in the San Diego area to continue working in the field and further shape her interests and focus. She aims to attend graduate school and pursue a dual master’s degree in arts and business administration.

The music entrepreneurship and business degree at SDSU is making an impact, both at the college level and in the broader regional arts landscape.

According to Conaty, arts entrepreneurship is a new field that’s becoming established as a serious academic discipline.

“We want to produce cultural leaders, who will assume the mantle of leading our major organizations, or who will create new ones that don’t even exist yet. Students will develop the confidence to see an opportunity, have a vision, and pursue it.”