After 3 years of research and writing…

I have completed and passed my
Master’s Degree in Music Innovation & Entrepreneurship!

Based primarily at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts and the Ayr Campus of the University, the MA Music Innovation & Entrepreneurship from the University of  the West of Scotland is the first of its kind in the UK and is aimed at those who are passionate about music and who want to set up their own music-related business.

The University’s course descriptor reads:

“While the programme is suited to artist entrepreneurs who wish to set up their own record labels, management or publishing companies, it seeks to go beyond this and develop original music-related business ideas that may span everything from apps to fashion to hotels and beyond. The crucial distinction is ‘working with music’ rather than ‘working in the music industry’. Developing the capacity to ‘think different’ is at the very heart of the programme.

Traditional modes of thought in relation to many aspects of the music sector are now obsolete and larger, institutional processes have been superseded by more technologically democratic ways of conducting business. The rise of the ‘new artist model’ which places emphasis upon commercial autonomy by artists and practitioners within the music sector has also created the need for the development of a new music business skillset which this programme addresses.

Students will develop the mindset and the skillset to engage in future entrepreneurial activity. During the course of the programme itself students will develop original business propositions and then have the opportunity to present these to relevant financial backers.

Although the focus of the programme is music, it is contextualised by the awareness and study of the phenomenal ‘reach’ and cachet of music within the creative industries and the extent to which music enhances all media platforms both aesthetically and commercially.

This programme has been heavily endorsed by practitioners at the very highest levels of the music industry who recognise that it addresses the need for a new skillset which is based on autonomy and an understanding of the realities of income generation in relation to music in the 21st century. As such the course aspires to producing employers rather than employees. “

Click on the UWS banner at the top for further information on the Master’s Degree in Music Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Throughout the MA the modules undertaken were:

Trimester One

Global Music Industries: Creative Economy
Innovation & Creativity
Identity, Opportunity & Exploitation

Trimester Two

International Entrepreneurship
Social Media: Manipulation & Impact
Research Development: Methods & Practice

Trimester Three

Innovative Enterprise: Music Project

“The core project-based Innovative Enterprise module which comprises the final third of the MA takes the form of a ‘live’ business proposition within the current music business environment. For this project students will have the support of academic and industry mentors. Each student will have their own ‘digital board’ drawn from academia and the creative industries that will support them throughout their year of development that leads towards this project.”

Although I started studying in the Autumn of 2010 in a class of fantastic individuals and peers as part of the original first year of students to study on the programme, I unfortunately had to defer for almost a year due to a lengthy and turbulous period of ill health at the beginning of 2011. I got back on track eventually and made it through to the very end, successfully completing and passing the degree with a different, but equally brilliant group of individuals.

The MA itself not only allowed for my own academic, educational and professional development, but  allowed me to take an idea that I had for my own business and turn it into a fully realistic, sustainable and viable entrepreneurial venture, of which I will be focussing my attention on in the foreseeable future.

I must give a thank you to the lecturers who taught me throughout the duration of the course and I must give a HIGH FIVE to all my fellow students and friends who made it through the course as well – well done everyone!!!

Thanks to my family and my friends for all the congratulations and support along the way!
Special thanks to a certain group of Kiki loving people- you lot were down with the T when I got too shady about this Uni thang!

I found out I passed the MA on the 12th February 2013.
That evening…
The one and only Mr Zane Lowe gave me a congratulatory shout out and dedication on his BBC Radio One evening show which made my
even more special!!!
Click below to hear what he had to say!

What’s next?
I’m gonna take a good few well-earned months off!
I’ll have my Graduation ceremony sometime soon which will be a very good day I can assure you!
I’ll be taking the big step forward into the world of business start-up and I’ll probably end up making the crazy decision to go for my PhD as well – glutton for punishment that I am!!!

But in the meantime it’s time for a happy dance!!!


About johnmcblain

Scottish Musician, Artist and Lecturer in Music & Sound Production.

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