A degree in commercial music allows you to carve your own path with concentrations in business, music production, performance and songwriting.
Each area of study requires general knowledge of the entire music industry culture and its highly interconnected web of people, skills, resources, technologies, and careers, as well as specific knowledge. Those who pursue careers in this field need general competencies and skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, music, financial management, collaboration, communication, business, and technology.
“I chose to come to Samford for music because the campus itself felt like home. The commercial music program just sealed the deal. ”
“Every faculty member I met made a conscious effort to have a relationship with me. I could tell there was purpose and meaning behind everything they told me. What made me ultimately go with Samford was the connections I see myself making through my time here. My goal is to be professional drummer while also working in audio engineering and live sound.”
—Jacob McLendon, freshman, commercial music with a business concentration
The program instills and fosters a do-it-yourself attitude necessary for any entrepreneurial musician, while offering a unique approach to the commercial music industry.
Students work collaboratively with peers and professionals in the music industry in Birmingham and beyond.
Classes explore copyright, licensing, music publishing, collection and distribution of royalties, the record industry past and current, deal structures, product distribution, and the impact of rapidly changing technologies and media on the music business and culture at large.
As an industry-recognized Avid Learning Partner, Samford’s Commercial Music production students differentiate and distinguish themselves as Pro Tools-certified specialists, demonstrating measurable value to potential future employers in recording, editing, and mixing.
Music history classes cover 19th century to present along with global music influencers.
All students benefit from classes in songwriting, music production, live performing and touring.
Our commercial music program offers several student-led ensembles that provide an outlet for students to perform...
Students participate in diverse ensembles with unique performance and sound engineering opportunities from theatrical productions to worship services.
Practical experience is available on campus through University and School of the Arts-based events such as the Annual Step Sing, Your School Your City and Celebrate Christmas.
Each year, the Commercial Music area hosts a full-day symposium, How to Make it in the Music Industry, with leaders from the music industry. Featuring top artists and leaders, students get an up close and personal look at the industry while making key connections for internships and future careers. Past guest lecturers have included Ruben Studdard (American Idol), members of the Zac Brown Band, Simon Lythgoe (executive producer for American Idol), Mama Jan Smith (vocal producer for Justin Bieber, Usher, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), and Steve Schnur (Worldwide Executive and President of Music for Electronic Arts).
Additionally, students can attend regular industry trips such as excursions to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) event in Los Angeles, the South By Southwest festival in Texas, backstage tours of local arena concerts, and private tours of various music businesses all over the US.
Guest lecturers and artists are also part of the curriculum. Recent guests include Leland Sklar (bassist for Phil Collins and James Taylor), Sons of Serendip (America’s Got Talent finalists), Philip Peters (artist management for Toby Mac), and Chris Fryar (drums for Zac Brown Band).
The professors who teach in Samford’s Commercial Music program have a wealth of experience in the music industry. For instance, students can take lessons from members of the Zac Brown Band, learn songwriting from artists who have had songs on the Billboard charts, and learn how the music industry functions from folks who are actively involved as producers, managers, engineers, and songwriters in the industry. Despite the program being small enough to focus on individual students and their goals, our faculty is second-to-none.
The Samford community is key to the success of our students. Faculty are dedicated to empowering students and supporting them through their Samford experience and beyond.
Commercial Music opens doors to a variety of emerging fields and career opportunities.
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