The Fast-Track to Music Business Success

Blog by Music Business School under Artist Managers, Finance, Law & Music Business, Music Publishing, Music Training & Careers, Record Labels

You don’t need to invest years of your life studying at college to run a successful music business; be it a label, an artist management company or whatever else you want to do. All the information that you need for success is at your fingertips if you know where to look. Combine this information with determination and hard work and you can make great progress in a relatively short period of time towards the breakthrough that you are looking for. In this article, Steve Melhuish of the Music Business School in London tells you about 3 of the books that in his view are part of that essential core of information.
It’s a Wednesday afternoon and at the Music Business School in Clapham a small group of students are listening intently to a lecture about how to market their music businesses using digital media and the internet. The students are participating in the 16 week Managing a Music Business Enterprise (MMBE) course run by music industry veteran, Steve Melhuish. The course is designed to give people the core knowledge they need to get a music business up and running quickly via a series of intensive lessons which concisely presents essential information. Along with lectures covering all aspects of the music business, Melhuish has created a recommended reading list for his students. He considers 3 of the books so essential he has made them a compulsory part of the course.
The Music Business by Ann Harrison
Now in its 5th Edition this book’s sub title, The Essential Guide To The Law & The Deals, tells you why it’s the go-to resource for people new to the music industry says Melhuish. "One of the main reasons we use it at Music Business School is that is that it is written about the UK music business in particular. A lot of music business books have a US perspective but this one is home grown and goes perfectly with the information we give students." Chapters within the book cover information such as Putting together your team and Finding a Lawyer, What is in a management contract; What is a good record deal and much more.
The Art Of Music Publishing by Helen Gammons
Music publishing is a complex part of the music business and if you don’t get your head around it you can lose out on valuable income, regardless of whether you are an artist, a label or an artist manager. "However with a few key pieces of essential knowledge in your hands and with this book as a guide, you can get going with your music business very quickly and ensure this income stream is being taken care of" says Steve. Sections in the book covering collection societies and the PRS fit hand in hand with our guest lecture series but even if you are not studying with us, I would recommend you go grab this book. Gammons is giving her first lecture at the school in July which will contextualise the information further for students.
The Music Industry Handbook by Paul Rutter
Perhaps the least known of our recommended books but certainly one of the best to have at hand on a day to day basis for making you into an expert in very little time. "It’s the swiss-army knife of music handbooks, and the most useful during the MMBE course" says Steve. "Its very practical focus helps our students with advice as to the how and why of running an independent music venture, and offers clear explanations of numerous issues including music exploitation and protective measures, gatekeeping and hidden music income streams. It also has a killer music business glossary so that when someone hits you in an email with a term you don’t know you can reply like an expert with an understanding of what's being discussed."
By using a combination of these books and by doing a great intensive short course you can save thousands of pounds, plus you get the benefit of practical experience by getting your music business up and running sooner that you would by doing a 2 or 3 year course, says Meluish.
Find out more about Music Business School at their website and check out their full Recommended Reading List.


music business school, music industry training, music business, music qualification, steve mulheish, music courses


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