Commercial Music, B.A.

Program Overview

Do you like to stay up-to-date with the changing trends in music? Are you the one who walks out of a movie talking about how the soundtrack complimented the plot? Or maybe you love the rush of performing in front of people? Wherever your dreams and passions lie in the rapidly growing music industry, majoring in commercial music could be the perfect degree for you!

PLNU commercial music students understand that the world of music is huge and complex – which means that developing a well-rounded skill set is an important first step towards career success.

Within our NASM-accredited program, you’ll have the opportunity to work and train alongside professors who have a history of sustained success and experience in the music industry. You’ll dive into a strong curriculum that places emphasis on practical and essential skills like production techniques, becoming comfortable in a recording studio, digital audio recording, songwriting, Pro Tools software literacy, orchestral arranging, improvisation, building a professional portfolio, and so much more!

You’ll also be able to step into our brand new recording studio equipped with cutting-edge technology and recording instruments. Take advantage of this space to practice your skills as a producer and arranger, or create professional-quality demos that can help open the door to record labels and showcase your unique style.

Concentrations

The Commercial Music, B.A. consists of two concentrations – each with the goal of further preparing you personally and professionally for careers in the music industry.

  • Composition: For students interested in the production side of commercial music.
  • Performance: For students interested in entering the music industry as an artist.

Course List

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

With a degree from PLNU’s Department of Music, you will be well prepared to pursue both graduate studies and an array of career options that will allow you to live out your passion for music while making a lasting impact in the lives of those who hear it.

A Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music can help lead to careers such as:

  • Record producer
  • Arranger
  • Performance artist
  • Audio engineer
  • Commercial music composer
  • Film composer
  • Mastering engineer
  • Mixing engineer
  • Touring musician
  • Orchestrator
  • Studio musician
  • Solo musician
  • Sound engineer
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Video game composer
  • Artist manager

What do music jobs look like post-graduation?

Jobs in the music industry will remain steady, but competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 1% from 2019 to 2029. However, with the knowledge you’ll gain from your music studies, you’ll be prepared for many jobs within the music industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 9% from 2019 to 2029.

What can I do with a degree in commercial music? 

If you are passionate about music and ready to dedicate your life to it, once you graduate PLNU with a commercial music degree, you will be prepared to seek out a musically centered career that suits you, your interests, and specializations. 

The following are examples of positions people with degrees in commercial music may hold: 

Commercial Music Composer 

2020 Median annual salary $52,250

Commercial music composers write and arrange instrumental or vocal music for individuals and groups such as orchestras and choirs. Oftentimes, record companies hire commercial music composers to write music for performing artists. Composers work to determine what kind of instruments and voices are needed for a specific composition. They also sometimes transcribe music into musical notation, both by hand and with the aid of music software.

Sound Engineering Technician

2020 Median annual salary $47,420

Sound engineering technicians operate machines and equipment to record and mix music, voices, or sound effects. They work closely with producers and music artists to determine what outcome is desired for the production. Sound engineering technicians also prepare for recording sessions and performances by setting up microphones and other technology musicians may need. They also regulate volume and sound during recordings or performances.

Singer/Songwriter 

2020 Median annual salary $52,752

Singer/songwriters are talented and dedicated musicians who play one or more musical instruments or sing. They read, write, perform, and record their music in a variety of environments, such as live performances, on-air broadcasting, or for sound or video recording.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are the industries with the highest levels of employment of musicians and singers:

  • Performing arts companies
  • Religious organizations
  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools
  • Independent artists, writers, and performers

What are PLNU Department of Music alumni doing now?

Many PLNU students have successfully completed graduate school. Many are now successful teachers, and some are university professors. Some music department alumni have gone on to be performing artists, including professional opera singers and studio session musicians, while others are commercial music composers.

Commercial music beyond university

By studying commercial music, you will become more knowledgeable about the music industry, composition and arranging, audio recording and production, as well as live and studio performance logistics and techniques. Here at PLNU, a degree in commercial music will give you extensive and varied musical skills that will aid you in your journey to personal and professional success. 

Start off on a strong note, and apply to PLNU today. To learn more, get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and to answer any questions you may have.

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