Music · Music Business · Students

Music Business: A Major New Minor at DePaul

I always knew I wanted to do something in the music industry, but I didn’t know if I wanted to go as far as pursuing a major in it. As far as I knew, the closest major DePaul had to my music industry interest was Performing Arts Management, and I didn’t really want to do that. But one day, I discovered there was a Music Business minor offered here at DePaul University. What?!

I was immediately interested, but surprised I had not heard of it before. The only way I actually found out about it was when I expressed interest in the subject to my academic advisor. She told me that they had actually just added a Music Business minor the previous quarter. I was sold.

One thing that surprised me is that this minor is not advertised more. DePaul is a university where music and the business side of creative industries are high in demand. Why would they not advertise this to more students?

I have come across many people who only found out about this minor because I mentioned it. My classes for this minor are packed, but it still seems as if the program is rather small and relatively unknown.

This minor is essential for students who are interested in the music business industry because this industry relies on connections and networking. We not only learn valuable information from our classes, but meet and network with people who have actually worked/currently work in the industry, which is pivotal.

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All Photos taken by Emily Cosgrove

When speaking to my peers in this minor, I often find that they have had a similar experience to me. One of my friends pursuing the Music Business minor is Melanie Kircher. She said, “I found about about the minor because a friend of mine was talking about the classes she was taking and I had no idea those classes were even offered, let alone an entire minor I could add.”

This experience Melanie speaks of is very similar to my own that I previously stated. This minor has sparked extreme interest among students, and even lead to group of students (of which Melanie and I are included in) to start up the previously-defunct DePaul Music Business Organization (DMBO).

Melanie also says how she “wanted to pursue the minor because music has always been something that interests me. The Chicago music scene has been a big part of my time in Chicago and being able to take classes that relate to what I love is awesome. It has brought me the DePaul Music Business Organization that I am on the e-board of, which has been a great experience. Overall, I have gained a lot of knowledge I would not have otherwise, all while being able to learn from professors who are actively involved in the fields they are teaching about.

The professors that Melanie speaks of are another reason why this program is so crucial. These are not just normal, everyday professors. The professors teaching in the Music Business minor program are professionals who have worked in the music industry for years, allowing them to be able to provide tons of firsthand experience.

One of these teachers is an instructor I have had twice so far during my career at DePaul, Steve Smith. He has worked with big names in multiple facets of the music industry, and I am currently in his Commercial Music Business course.

When asked on his reaction to the amount of people pursing the Music Business minor, Smith says, “I’ve been very happy and very impressed with it because I think it’s actually the appropriate way to approach creating an opportunity for yourself in the music industry from an educational point of view.” He states that the ultimate goal of the program is to “create resources for people to get jobs, or at least to have the opportunity to get those internships and experiences.”

As Smith stresses, the music industry is all about networking and getting experience. This is ultimately what the music business minor here at DePaul will provide to students who are interested in pursuing this path that is highly sought-after. Hopefully, this beneficial minor will be advertised more often and pursued by more DePaul students in the future.


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