Music and Business double major

This is it! We are now so deep in the muck with what to choose, what to do, where to apply, etc. So it’s official freak out time! It is spring of junior year and am so hoping to get some advice. I had spent time on other forums and was rightly pointed here, as our junior is intending a double major in Music and Business. I am so hoping to get some direction and CC hasn’t failed me yet, here goes!

Our son is an only child of self employed parents, income just over 100K and few assets. He is what I think to be a high stat student, with a 4.486 unweighted GPA, high PSAT (although might just miss NMSF) initial 31 ACT composite which is expected to improve. He takes a rigorous schedule of AP courses (four junior year with two honors as well) and is heavily involved in Chamber and Chorale, as well as musical and repertory theatre with principal and lead roles. He also participates in elected Student Government as class president freshman, sophomore and junior year; and will be executive student body president senior year. Outside of school he takes vocal, piano, and music theory. In addition he takes major leadership positions in charities and school events.

I have been asked before to give background info of this sort when asking questions here so I hope I did ok and it wasn’t overkill! So whew, now for my question:

Bottom line, he wants to combine his absolute two passions: Leadership and Music.

We have been very open as a family with each other about what we can afford, geography, what school will best serve. Of course he has schools that he is interested in and I would love feedback and or suggestions. On the table but by no means a full list and in no particular order! It’s late and I can’t be that organized! Just for time’s sake, he (ha! we are) is willing to look at east, northeast, midwest, or south. Yep! We are in Kansas!!

University of Chicago

I know there are many more schools that would be great to combine business and music so that is why I am asking your opinions! Also the huge question is financial aid and scholarships. Scary. In particular, as he has scored a 1 rating twice at District and State (a perfect score last year) and is in All State Kansas for Solo Ensemble this year, if that helps for merit in any way?

THANKS so much in advance for any advice you can give! I do believe he will do well anywhere but as a parent I don’t want to leave any stone unturned for him. Cheers!


4.486 *weighted sorry.

What does he want to do with music and business? He wants to be in business in general or he wants to be in the “music business?” And if the later is the case–does he understand what he wants to do in “music business”? And by music, do you mean music performance? It might be helpful to know.

To build on the comment above with one school that I know well, the question would be: is he trying to get in the Kelly School of Business or the Jacobs School of Music at IU? These 2 schools have very different requirements. Is he looking at a dual degree (music and business) or a music business degree? I ask this because dual degree and double majors are different “animals”. Double majoring in the arts is possible (a BA with 2 major areas of study). But when you mix an art and business it often (not always) becomes a dual degree - sometimes meaning 5 years of school (one being a BA the other a BS). Just trying to get some clarification.

To clarify on the above comments: He does want to pursue a dual degree and is aware that it can take 5 years. As for his goals, he intends for the business major to enhance his music interests by pursuing management and or entrepreneurship in the industry. He is a classically trained vocalist and jazz pianist. Basically it comes down to wanting his passions to translate to real world success and have a career doing something he loves.

I don’t know much about larger schools, but U. of Puget Sound has a strong music program and a School of Business and Leadership. Apparently, you can combine those and do something they call “a Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in Business”. A high stats kid can get on the order of $20K/year of merit money from UPS, plus music scholarship money that will stack with that, I believe. Not clear on how strong they are in Jazz, however – I think their main focus is classical.

So he wants to study classical VP and business? Or jazz piano performance? Or get a non performance degree in music? I’m asking since it’s going to make a big difference in what people can recommend.

musicamusica, VP in general and business.

You are going to hate me. What does VP in general mean? Popular music, classical voice, choral, jazz, MT??----I know it seems that I’m being irritating (nothing new there :stuck_out_tongue: ) but to choose a program he needs to get specific as to what sort of music he wants to audition for and study … Since you describe it as a passion, I’m sure that he has something in mind.

Ok! I get it. And no hate

I don’t know why the rest of the comment didn’t post but here is the rest. He is extremely talented at classical performance, but has an amazing tone and love for pop as well. He also loves MT (He is Tony in WSS this year) and is a math kid and digs music theory too. So it’s going to be a goal to narrow it down, although his strength is classical performance, so I’d imagine he would best audition there.

.I can tell from what you have said that he is focused on finding real work in music. But it’s difficult to hard target the right school without more specific performance goals. I would recommend doing some research into what a career in classical music performance looks like. And what a career in music business looks like. Look at the paths people are taking in the current music performance and business climate. Is his current voice teacher well aware of his stregnths and does that teacher have a real fix on the current professional climate? Maybe your son could do a summer program and get a feel for what he wants as a performer and where he stands in the national talent pool? Possibly compete in local NATS competition? And as far as scholarship money goes, not every performance program likes to see those funds go to dual degree or double majors. They want your singer’s full focus. My D experienced this as an undergrad who was offered money but when she showed interest in a double major was expressly told that it would not be available for anything but VP alone. YMMV

You and your son might both like to read this essay:
It can help clarify the different paths for different types of individuals considering music study.

Musicamusican is asking good questions. I would add that you might want to do more research. For example, Oberlin does not have a business program.

I am not sure why he wants to do business. He could do that at the grad level if he likes. Often volunteering, interning, working at music organizations during school can give some background in music business. Or does he want to be an investment banker who sings? It is unclear.

If he wants to do performance, he can enter a conservatory or music school for a BM If he really wants to do business as well, he can look at he programs and whether or not they can be mixed. Some schools will not have music business but most conservatories offer at least a class in entrepreneurial studies.

Your son has done really well in school, and extracurriculars, which are confined to his school. That’s wonderful, and is a sign he is enjoying these years. Overall he may be a big fish in a small pond so he needs to think about whether he will be okay being a small fish in a big pond :slight_smile:

Is a college BA on the table? Is he adamant that he wants a BM? Double degree?

Belmont is often mentioned for contemporary and pop music. It’s a little bit of an outlier on your list, but I have heard it has a great business program.

So lots to clarify I guess before we can be really helpful.

Is there any reason you’re not looking at Univ of Michigan?

choirsandstages, that’s an oops on my part! He is actually and will be visiting along with UChicago over spring break.

Wonderful–sounds like you’re being pretty thorough and proactive. Wish we had gotten started this early!
P.S. Sent you a PM

musicamusica and compmom, this may clarify where he is hoping to go with it (not my ds’ post but similar goals:

There are also music industry degrees with a performance component such as this one at Syracuse: He could just get one degree and do both pursuits. There are lots of threads in this forum about music business and music industry degrees - as opposed to a regular general undergrad business degree. It’s unclear which you have in mind. And not all the schools on your list even offer business degrees - just economics.

On your list Chicago and Cornell don’t offer performance degrees, only the academic study of music - although one can supplement with private lessons from teachers either associated with the schools, or in the area. Also, the schools are quite a mix - both Oberlin and Texas Christian University? (I’m assuming that’s what TCU is - maybe I’m wrong?) Hard to imagine the same student liking both.

If he wants to study both musical theater and classical voice that will narrow the field considerably. Only a few programs allow that.

I’m wondering where his voice teacher thinks his greatest potential is vocally. My D did MT and classical in high school. But her teacher was clear that her future was in classical. Classical, jazz and MT at the high school level is very possible. But at the college level the ability to grow and compete requires specialization for many kids (but not all - there are some schools that allow cross-over). IU and U of M are not those schools. They are classically focused. They can be a little more difficult for dual degrees too. Not impossible. But some LACs are more accommodating and have wonderful music programs. Still I wouldn’t say don’t consider them. Just be aware of their reputation and form your own conclusions.

My D auditioned for VP and MT. I just thought she could do both plus theatre. What the heck! It worked in high school. She chose IU partly for the type of double major program. Still as musicmusica says teachers can be funny about this. Her teacher once said that she would not accept in general a BS (double major) only a BM. Yet she did…so maybe she was just in a surly mood. Still there are schools that would be more welcoming to dual degrees. So that is what musicmusica and I are trying to understand. You don’t need to know the answer now. Just food for thought as you approach schools. How flexible are they? Schools do approach music in a variety of ways. There are many good options. It’s just trying to find the right fit.

Just saw your post on Michigan. I was posting and watching tv…so it took awhile.

I sat through IU’s graduation and there was probably 2 dual degrees given out - maybe 8-10 BS double degrees. So yes it is possible. But it’s rare at IU due to performance demands etc. Still where there’s a will there’s a way. I would assume U of M is similar. But good questions to ask the schools. Again this is assuming classical voice is his interest.