Career Development for Musicians II

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Performing & Fine Arts
Course Code
PEFA 1239
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is a continuation of Career Development for Musicians I. Topics include freelance work, self-employment for music teachers, grant writing, recording, concert planning, touring, royalties and performing rights organizations, and contracts.
Course Content

  1. Freelance work
    • networking and job search techniques
    • types of freelance work available
    • negotiating fees and terms
    • on-the-job etiquette with musicians, employers, and the public
  2. Self-employment for the music teacher:   
    • advertising and finding students
    • the private studio: finding facilities, setting fees, terms and policies, interacting successfully with parents and children
    • developing group lessons, ensembles, weekend seminars and other teaching opportunities
  3. Obtaining institutional employment as a teacher or performer
    • job search techniques, interviews and auditions
    • creating effective applications, CVs and resumes
  4. Grant writing
    • writing successful applications for grant funding in private and public sectors
    • Canada Council, BC Arts Council, municipal arts councils, Canadian Music Centre, FACTOR
  5. Recordings
    • basic overview of recording methods and techniques and the recording process: mixing, mastering, and manufacturing
    • record labels: types and functions
    • electronic and traditional distribution networks, online sales, radio airplay
  6. Concerts, concert series and event planning and development
    • venues and booking
    • marketing and publicity
    • seeking community, corporate and government support
  7. Setting up regional and national tours
    • touring options: festivals, club dates, concert halls, community music societies
    • practical considerations: funding, visas for US work, transportation and accommodation
  8. Royalties and performing rights
    • SOCAN, BMI, ASCAP and other performing rights organizations
    • media licensing for film, radio, and TV
    • publishing companies, self-publishing options
    • change of use and residual payments from recording
  9. Contracts and professional agreements
    • contract law
    • the American Federation of Musicians and its role
    • contracts for performances and recording
    • contracts for use of published work, recordings or compositions
    • contracts and agreements with artist management and booking agencies

Methods Of Instruction

Lecture/demonstrations for 2 hours per week with the instructor and guest lecturers from the music industry. Project-oriented assignments.

Means of Assessment
Quizzes (2) 20%
Project I 25%
Project II 25%
Final Project 30%

Students may choose from projects including:

  • writing a grant application
  • creating a CV or resume
  • developing a plan for a concert or series of concerts
  • creating a business plan for opening a private studio practice
  • conducting interviews with professionals on specific areas of the music industry
  • creating a detailed plan for CD recording and production
  • marketing a recording via internet or traditional distribution networks
  • Other projects appropriate to the specific career goals of individual students may be suggested by students and developed with the input and approval of the instructor.
Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to prepare students for the successful pursuit of a career in music. Students will have completed projects that will be of practical use in their careers. 

By the end of this course students will possess an understanding of:

  • networking and negotiating for freelance work
  • professional etiquette
  • the procurement of self- and institutional employment as a music teacher
  • the planning, production and marketing/distribution of recordings
  • the organization of concert tours
  • performance royalties and copyright
  • contract law

They will be able to:

  • produce a resume
  • write an application/grant proposal for private and public sector funding plan and market a concert series
Textbook Materials

Course pack and selected readings from:

  • Des Pres, J. and Landsman, M. (2004) Creative careers in music. New York: Allworth Press.
  • Ellefson, D. (1996) Making music your business: a guide for young musicians. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books.
  • Gelfand, M. (2005) Strategies for success: self promotion secrets for musicians. New York: Schirmer Trade Books.
  • Krasilowsky, M. and Shemel, M. (2003) This Business of Music: The Definitive Guide to the Music Industry.. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications.
  • Mitchell, B. (2001) The gigging musician: how to get, play, and keep the gig.  Berkeley, CA: Hal Leonard
  • Rapaport, D. (2003) A music business primer. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  • Tabet, J and Slater, J (1994) Financial essentials for small business success : accounting, planning, and recordkeeping techniques for a healthy bottom line. Dover, N.H.: Upstart Publishing
  • Thall, P. (2002) What they’ll never tell you about the music business: myths secrets, lies, and a few truths. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications.





No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PEFA 1239
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU MUSI 1XXX (2)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GE 1XX (1)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) No credit
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) No credit
University of Northern BC (UNBC) No credit
University of Victoria (UVIC) No credit

Course Offerings

Fall 2022

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.