Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and Profiles » Careers in the Music Business

EDUCATION

music business browne associate

Throughout this book many people advise getting a college education from an institution with a music business and internship program. With the rapid advances in new media and technology, the business of music is changing. While not everyone who is successful in the industry has a college education, it has become increasingly important to have the cutting-edge knowledge and tools that an advanced education can provide.

This chapter profiles Pam Browne, the associate dean of the Mike Curb School of Music Business at Belmont University, a school that has earned a reputation for preparing students to become successful leaders in the music industry. It provides basic information about the school's program and Browne's career path.

ASSOCIATE DEAN • ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR • DEAN • INSTRUCTOR • TEACHER • PROFESSOR

JOB OVERVIEW

Educators teach music business, or recording technology courses, at an institute for higher education. As associate dean, Pam Browne is responsible for defining and overseeing the course direction and related programs for the music business program at Belmont University.

PREREQUISITES

To succeed as a music business educator, you should have an undergraduate degree and experience working in the entertainment industry.

COURSE OF STUDY OFFERED

Music business students at Belmont University graduate with bachelor degrees in business administration. They take general core classes like accounting, economics, strategic management, and statistics, so they have a firm foundation in business. Then they take music business classes, such as recording technology, music publishing, and intellectual properties. Students then select a specific track, such as artist management, recording company operations, publishing, marketing, productions, and so forth. Internships at music businesses are an important part of the education process. During her tenure at the school, Browne has been instrumental in initiating Belmont West, an extension program based in Los Angeles for undergraduate music business majors, and in offering the first MBA in music business through Belmont's Massey Graduate School.

CAREER TIPS

“You need to have a dream in front of you. Get the necessary skills, go to college and study music business, and be prepared. You never know who you will meet that may turn into an opportunity. Stay focused on learning and being prepared.”

“Network, network, network.” Music industry jobs are never advertised. If someone has an opening, they offer it to someone they have worked with or call someone they know for a recommendation.

POINTERS FOR THE JOB SEARCH

“I try to reach out and hire young entertainment attorneys [as instructors]. If you're interested in teaching music business, send your resume to schools with programs. Network and attend music functions and put the word out.” For those beginning a career in music, the school's events, programs, and internships are a good way to meet industry leaders and gain practical experience working at a company.

THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT THIS JOB:

“What I like least is the administrative tasks.”

THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS JOB:

“I love working with students. I love helping them achieve their goals, or at least realize what it is they want to do in life, and hopefully give them the tools that they need to go out and be successful.”

PAMELA G. BROWNE, ASSOCIATE DEAN, MIKE CURB SCHOOL OF ENTERTAINMENT AND MUSIC BUSINESS, BELMONT UNIVERSITY

Growing up in Nashville, Pamela Browne felt that her interest in pop music precluded entry into the city's country-heavy music business. She graduated from Syracuse University and Vanderbilt University School of Law in the late 1980s. She began her legal career with First American Bank's (now AmSouth Bank) Music Row branch, handling music industry accounts. While there, she met an attorney who represented several top country acts, who advised her that her best chance to get involved with the music business was not through a bank, but by going into private legal practice. She went to work for his firm, and when he sold his practice 18 months later, she opened her own firm to service the many pop and R&B artists who also record in Nashville. “At the time, Nashville had started doing pop projects. Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, and others were all coming to Nashville to record. I started representing many of them.” When several of her clients were without management, she took on those duties as well and found that she enjoyed that aspect even more. She managed and guided the career of multiplatinum-selling artist Tag Team.

While attending the Leadership Music industry retreat, Browne met an entertainment attorney who also taught in the music business program at Belmont University. Offered the opportunity to teach classes in copyright law, and having previously taught banking classes at a local technical school, Browne felt sure she would enjoy the challenge. In 1994, she joined the faculty of the Mike Curb Music Business Program in 1994 as assistant professor of copyright law and was promoted to associate professor in 1999. She discovered that she loved working with students. Several years later, Browne found herself on the search committee for a new associate dean. After months of not finding a suitable candidate, she accepted the position on an interim basis. Free to try new programs, she instituted a number of innovations, including a sister campus in Los Angeles that offers classes and internships geared to the pop, rock, and R&B markets. Increasingly, it became apparent that Browne herself was the best candidate for the associate dean position, which she finally accepted in 1999. In addition to her duties as associate dean, Browne continues to teach intellectual property law, artist management, legal issues of music industry, and business law. www.belmont.edu/mb/

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