New MBA in the Music Industry Promises to Meet Music Industry Challenges in the 21st Century - Page 3
Helen: My training in the industry was totally organic and I had the most wonderful mentors who I mention with great affection in my book, The Art Of Music Publishing: An Entrepreneur's Guide. But we mustn't get fooled. The pace of change was much slower 30 years ago. You could spend more time learning through others and whilst this is still important it cannot be the main focus anymore. The music industry needs to be more agile and strategic in keeping pace with the rest of the world. For a business to survive it has to be able to provide customers with want they want and be able to innovate.
Having said all this, the music industry is obviously people oriented because it’s so creative, and there will always be a need for mentors. I do a lot of this, that is, helping those new to the industry. But what is lacking is development for middle and senior managers.
JF: Over the past couple of years, more and more music industry schools have sprang up or experienced new growth: The Academy of Contemporary Music in England, Full Sail and Berklee in the US, etc. These schools are offering degrees never before offered in the history of music, focusing on everything from engineering to songwriting to the music business. Of course, classical music has recognized degrees in composition, performance, conducting, etc. but a degree in pop or rock is almost an oxymoron. The Beatles, Elton John, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson...it's almost ludicrous to imagine these giants having gone to school. Add to this the Royal Academy of Music in England and Julliard in the US and other globally recognized performing arts schools, what we have is a serious disconnect between academic and/or official training and the little or no training found throughout the pop/rock worlds. Is this changing? Is the Henley MBA a reflection of these changes?
Helen: I think you are mixing up too many areas here. I think as far as music goes, musicians, composers and artists will find their own route to market and a degree or other accolade will have no bearing on this. But people love music and even if they know they will never make the grade they want to be immersed in music. I have seen 16 year-old kids failed by the usual academic route, given a 2nd chance (by parents, educational authorities, social services) and sent off to a music college. With encouragement, finding something they are good at and love is so powerful.Continued on the next page