Music Industry Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Music Industry program require an audition or portfolio to apply?
The Drexel Westphal BS Music Industry program (MIP) is not a music performance-based program and does not require applicants to submit a musical audition. We encourage students who may not be proficient musicians or have significant access to music related activities to still apply for our Music Industry program.
For those interested in the Recording and Music Production concentration within the Music Industry program, a portfolio that showcases their skills, knowledge and interest in the program must be submitted through the Slideroom portal by the application deadline. Applicants interested in the Music Business concentration are not required to submit a portfolio but have the option to do so. Students who choose to submit a portfolio will also be considered for an additional portfolio scholarship.
For Music Industry applicants submitting a portfolio, we suggest including eight to 12 pieces of your strongest work, such as the following:
- Audio-visual work related to your own musicianship, recording, composing and production methods.
- Posters or graphics from events that you have helped produce or promote, such as a concert, show or benefit.
- A video or series of screenshots from a personal music blog or other music-industry related website you have created or contributed to online.
- Audio-visual evidence of related activities such as concert photography, video or a personal music performance.
- Music industry-related writing from an article, school assignment, or website.
- A resume that expresses activities, performances, work experiences and collaborations.
If you choose to submit anything related to audio work, we suggest following the guidelines below:
- For audio-visual materials such as videos and audio recordings, we suggest submitting no more than five minutes of total running time. Pieces can be uploaded as MP3, MP4 or through a Youtube or Vimeo channel in Slideroom.
- All audio-visual materials should be accompanied by a brief explanation of the applicant’s contributions to the piece and creation of said work.
An example might be: “Frequencies” is a song I created at home using Apple Logic, a Shure SM57 mic plugged into my Focusrite Saffire interface, and my Fender Strat guitar. I produced and performed all of the music except for lead guitar, which was played by my cousin Freda,” or “This is a poster from a benefit concert at my community center that I organized to raise money for a local family who lost their home and possessions in a fire.”
How is Drexel’s Music Industry program different from other programs?
The Drexel Westphal Music Industry program is structured to expose students to the full music industry field by accomplishing coursework in business, law, technology, theory and music performance rather than focusing on one subject of the field. Our students are encouraged to experience the industry itself by participating in Drexel’s renowned co-op program to gain real world career knowledge before graduating and entering the field. Music Industry students also have access to eight industry grade professional recording studios, two computer music labs, our Sigma Sounds Audio Archives and award-winning music industry full-time faculty members.
I am visiting Drexel University and I would like to tour the Music Industry facilities; how can I do that?
Our Music Industry facilities are usually not shown our general Drexel campus tour due to time constraints. If you would like to visit the studios, we highly suggest to contact our Westphal Admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.895.1738 to see if there is availability to visit the studios after your campus tour.
What if I’ve never played an instrument before, can I still apply for the Music Industry program?
We do not require students to have prior experience with music or playing an instrument to enter our Music Industry program. However, students in the Music Industry major are required to complete core courses that include Music Theory, Ear Training, a class in Piano or Guitar and potentially more courses. Having some familiarity with music will aid in completing these more rigorous courses at Drexel.
Visit the Music Industry Curriculum webpage to see recommended plans of study and learn more about required coursework.
What are the concentrations offered in Music Industry?
The Music Industry program is composed of two concentrations: Recording & Music Production (RAMP) and Music Business. Despite having two concentrations, students are encouraged to take courses in both areas to learn both the business and creative side of the industry. Students in either concentration can choose to pursue an accelerated BS/MBA in partnership with LeBow College of Business.
Learn more about Music Industry concentrations and curriculum here.
Is it still possible to play or take courses in Music in the Music Industry program?
Yes, many of our students in the Music Industry Program still play and perform music while in the program. Though Drexel University does not offer a major in Music, we do offer minors in Music, Music Performance, Jazz and African-American Music, and Music Theory & Composition.
Drexel also has an excellent Performing Arts Department offering opportunities for all Drexel students to participate in performing ensembles, the Drexel Orchestra and many more opportunities. Our Performing Arts Department also offers scholarships to students looking to participate in music, dance and theatre ensembles. Auditions and interviews for Performing Arts Scholarships usually take place during Admitted Students events during the year.
How does the co-op program work for Music Industry students?
Music Industry students are required to complete two three-month co-ops during the Summer term of their Sophomore and Junior years. We offer a wide range of opportunities for students in the music and entertainment industries with relationships across the United States and abroad. Music Industry students work closely with our faculty to ensure meaningful co-op experiences that lead to their career goals.
Students in previous years have worked in fields like:
- Major and Independent record labels (Atlantic Records, RCA Records and Creep Records).
- Artist management companies (Red Light Management and GroundUP Music).
- Recording studios (Electric Lady Studios, Engine Room Audio, Headroom Studios).
- Music publishing companies.
- Touring and concert promotion companies (Live Nation).
- Video game companies.
- Live sound companies.
- Music and entertainment venues (The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Pig Iron Theater Company and World Café Live)
- Entertainment publicity companies.
- Theatrical booking agencies.
- Policy-making organizations (Future of Music Coalition and the Recording Industry Association of America).
- Radio stations (WXPN Radio, Internet and Satellite radio).
- Music and entertainment organizations (the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, The Grammy Awards).
- Performing rights organizations (such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange).
- Television stations (such as VH1 and MTV).
Can students use the recording studios and labs for personal projects?
Yes, we highly encourage Music Industry students to use our computer midi labs and recording studios for personal and extracurricular projects. Our two Midi Labs and 8 recordings studios are prioritized for Music Industry students and open to qualified students 24/7 throughout the term, subject to availability. Students qualify for studio access on an ongoing basis throughout their curriculum starting in their Freshmen year on campus.
What is the MAD Dragon Music Group and MAD Dragon Records?
The MAD Dragon Music Group includes MAD Dragon Records (currently the only college label in the United States with a major distribution), MAD Dragon Publishing, MADKo Concert Promotions, DraKo booking and MAD Dragon Media. As part of our Music Industry curriculum, students work in all aspects of the business including contacting labels, publishers, managers, venues and distributors all over the country. For more information regarding our MAD Dragon Music Group, please go to our information page.
Can you tell me more about the Audio Archives at Drexel?
The Drexel Audio Archives is home to the Sigma Sound Studios Collection, a historic collection of approximately 7,000 audiotapes documenting the legacy of Sigma Sound Studios and its pop, soul, disco and R&B recordings that became known as “The Sound of Philadelphia.”
The collection was donated to Drexel University for storage, preservation, and research. The Audio Archives is currently working to preserve the original tapes, migrate the audio to a digital format for research access, and preserve the data for long-term storage.
Who teaches in the Music Industry program?
If you would like to learn more about our full time faculty members and program director, please go to our Faculty webpage.
Do you offer a pre-college program for Music Industry prospective students?
Yes, we offer a Summer one-week intensive course for high school students that allows attendees to work with our faculty of music industry professionals and draws on our undergraduate curriculum in music recording, production, marketing, management, publishing and more. To learn more, please go to our Music Industry Pre-College page.
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