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Navigate the Music Industry as an Independent Artist (Coursera)

This course shares practical tips and strategies to help you take your first step into launching your career as a musical artist. We’ll cover everything from developing your unique identity as an artist and how to lead a band all the way to planning and recording your first independent record with the help of crowdfunding.

The course curriculum is modeled from the real-world experience of Leah Waldo (also known as the emerging country artist, Elisa Smith) and features interviews with industry executives, artists, producers, and engineers — all designed to help you navigate the music industry.

Who is this class for: This course is for musical artists or anyone who wants to start performing in public or record an independent record. This course is also for artists who are working to develop their brand and identity. This course would also be helpful for people who work with artists throughout their development, including producers and managers.

Syllabus

WEEK 1

Welcome!

Welcome to Navigate the Music Business! Before you begin the course, we will cover all the details about the course and what you’ll need to know to get the most out of your experience.

Your Foundation

In this lesson, we will begin to lay the foundation for who you are as an artist and a leader. We’ll discuss the importance of having a strong sense of your identity, vision, and intention and we’ll also how leverage your natural skills as a musician, like intuition and collaboration, to work for you as an entrepreneur. Finally, we’ll discuss how to become a better band leader.

Graded: Case Study: Elisa Smith’s IVI

WEEK 2

Your Brand

Now that you have a strong foundation (your IVI), we’ll discuss building your brand and your fanbase. We’ll go over tips for building a presence on social media and how to connect to your fans and potential business partners on a personal level by learning how to network effectively. Finally, we’ll discuss the trend of artist-brand partnerships and why a brand partnership might be a smart move for independent artists.

Graded: Case Study; Brand Partnerships

WEEK 3

Your Record

In this lesson, we’ll focus on planning your recording project, whether it’s a full length album or an EP. We’ll discuss the role of the producer and the very special relationship that exists between producers and musicians. We’ll also discuss how to cast a vision for your project by choosing the right songs, feel, and instrumentation. Finally, we’ll learn how to set up a simple recording budget so you can keep track how much your project will cost.

Graded: Case Study: Do You Need A Producer?

WEEK 4

Your Money

The majority of this lesson will focus on planning, launching, and managing a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding is a great way to gain support for your music, but running a campaign requires careful planning and preparation. We’ll also share a some tips on how to turn your band into a sustainable business.

Graded: Case Study: Successful Crowdfunding

Your Career

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the course content and now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice for your final project.

Graded: Launching Your Career (Web Presence)

ENROLL IN COURSE