Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies

The Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies degree prepares students for a wide variety of career opportunities in the $100 billion music industry. By embracing an entrepreneurial spirit and focusing on experiential learning, we prepare students to be leading professionals who, by understanding principal foundations both in music and business, advance the art of music making within a business context. Students in our program pursue many career opportunities including: 

  • Record Label Management
  • Artist Management
  • Entertainment Law
  • Recording Arts
  • Designing, Building and Selling of Musical Instruments
  • Work with Orchestras and other Non-Profits 


Marketing and Promotion

 Marketing and promotion is the broadest of our concentration areas. Students who choose this specialty area are interested in a wide array of careers in the music industry including artist management, concert and venue management, entertainment law, and non-profit work. Many students in this concentration are talented artists who want to understand the industry so they can develop their own careers as performing musicians.

Recording and Production

Students in this area learn how to capture music in creative and unique ways using a wide array of gear in our state of the art studio. Our program prepares students for working in recording studios, engineering live sound, and even creating careers using recorded music that have not even been thought of yet.

Manufacturing and Merchandising

This field is for people who love musical instruments and want to have a hand in helping others find the right gear – be it finding the perfect clarinet for a fourth grader to start their career as a musician, or working with professionals to design the next generation of guitars that will take the world by storm. There are many career opportunities available in this field in both retail and instrument design and manufacturing from small entrepreneurs to multinational companies.


In addition to the general Appalachian State University application, any student interested majoring in music, regardless of degree program, must audition successfully before the Hayes School of Music faculty. Click here for information on auditions.

In addition to the online audition on their principal instrument or voice, students interested in Music Industry Studies must supply a resume and a biography at the same time as when they submit their online audition video recording. A Word document or a PDF may be submitted.

  • Your resume – This should be one page outlining your experiences related to the music industry, such as working a soundboard at church, recording a concert or running the lighting booth for a school musical. You may include any information that shows you are ready to pursue a demanding, competitive career field. Use any format you would like – show us your creativity.
    Note: Please name your file as FirstLastName.MIS.Resume.docx (Word file format) or FirstLastName.MIS.Resume.pdf (PDF file format). For example, JayJohnson.MIS.Resume.docx (Word file format)
  • Your biography – Tell us about yourself in this essay, using the format outlined below. Please use Microsoft Word, 11-point Courier font
    Note: Please name your file as FirstLastName.MIS.Bio.docx (Word file format) or FirstLastName.MIS.Bio.pdf (PDF file format). For example, JayJohnson.MIS.Bio.docx (Word file format)
    • Paragraph 1: Where you are from, what instrument you play, how long you have played, and anything else you would like us to know about you.
    • Paragraph 2: Your interactions with the music industry up to this point – and what you have seen that you think you would like to be part of.
    • Paragraph 3: Where you see yourself 10 years from now. (We realize that is likely to change as time goes on, but many studies have shown that people with thoughtful, written out goals are much more likely to succeed in their chosen careers.)


Appalachian offers an outstanding education at a great price. See why national publications consider us a "best value."

Music Scholarships

Program Faculty

The Music Industry Studies faculty includes experts in products development, marketing, management, legal affairs and sound recording.

Program director and internship supervisor is Ms. Kim Wangler. See the school's full faculty and staff listing.

Professors in Our Program

Professor Kim Wangler

8n5WN8Am9lM7FzPIURUMNq4Rubxku5k_eJXQWusoy-V6ULCsOOSZuOOV-w3XrnbUR3I1VWDBI0HqJYL_qY6pTIDTKodSjrlamI3PNZ_3hOkznuASi3_NE5MORUq1vumdGa7cbeNGix3MA59sykLJ5o0Kim Wangler has served as the Director of the Music Industry Studies program since 2005 and has assisted in building national respect for our program both in academia and in the music industry. Her passion for teaching and industry connections helps to link students with working professionals. She enjoys collaborating with industry professionals to help better understand the industry and to help the industry better understand us. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys running her own business, working with local artists and teaching lessons and playing bassoon in local ensembles.

Professor Scott Wynne

wQKkGR7xLPgndV7ecImjuhyR2GM888gS8w5fONbFAFlvk-tfWG6bolHGudahGaiaaZnMDhuwpWe2yUDE-NxqVPO3sERO4S7xYp8j6AAFoKV1JHdFgcIQZ0nHMDId8_Yrxh1WiPAL_ZLcjFyMUWy4DL4Scott Wynne is the Chief Audio Engineer at the Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University. He has connections both in academia and outside of our school including having handled roughly 300 events with a team of 13 engineers during the 8 week summer music festival. In 2019 Professor Wynne was awarded the Board of Governors Appalachian State University Outstanding Teaching Award. When he is not busy designing studio facilities or building a socially conscious and diverse environment in a technical program, you can find him serving nothing but aces on the tennis courts, or running the tables in a pool hall.

Professor Brian Cullinan

y1Alrft3mH3cl5w4qZe6KebEzsyoFJUtJZ4WE8xTcj0xVuqoY4Y-i_U6wY2nbCJv404g3c_06e6W7cjTGdWc48WsJDxfKQjVOsSseyQ8_P3Ox2MPF2sKVL67A3by4HcQNyiWEcUWZB9PQWrpsCE5O1QBrian Cullinan is a music industry entrepreneur, educator, and former Sony Music executive whose successful career in music spans over 30 years. Brian started in the music business as an artist manager before joining Sony Music as a marketing representative in 1992. Over the next 15 years, Brian held a variety of positions at Sony Music, Columbia Records, and Sony BMG that culminated in his appointment as Senior Vice President and head of Columbia’s Online and Digital Media department. In 2007, Brian co-founded independent record label and artist marketing company Left Turn Music with acclaimed music producer Elliot Mazer. Later that year, Brian founded regional indie music magazine Shuffle. Brian is currently a partner at entertainment licensing company Eversong, and a partner/co-founder at business background music company Canopy.

Professor Tres Williams

Tres Williams is a music and media industry professional with over 20 years of experience. Tres' broad professional experiences range from jazz saxophone performance to concert promotion to Executive Vice President, Business Affairs for iHeartMedia, Inc. Tres is currently Founder & CEO of The Rights, Inc., a new venture dedicated to simplifying music licensing using technology.

Professor Emily White

30v9455LS0znk3sda3-e1XLTxXqkyfWWO17YQCCwQtdoCrajqMG5xiFEEabEpQhFZq8GW9I8Kqz1MB1DBVKb3nHoUhur65rS6w41jOv83n9bYonwva6v0521yEc1UGUYK96XBxmVX1lvgOsYcpEGEd8Emily White is a longtime entrepreneur and executive in the entertainment industry. She is an Amazon #1 best-selling author of How to Build a Sustainable Music Career & Collect All Revenue Streams, which is a coursebook around the world and hosts the #1 Music Business podcast globally of the same name. White is also the Founder and CEO of #iVoted Festival, which built the largest digital concert in history - all to increase voter turnout.

Katie Dean

U7asPyM4CDDCmoccMj2MC75MVra9qoMAAFqVU7dHDTy5REOTOyNtN6pYERtmVB0TiYRwWojoC4IXaakrDRHLVxzNv7U4IMkSFn9G3dUWMOGpzsbUHka839wWXz-0wzDSmbRI7B024Fjoh87Xd-UsULMKatie Dean graduated in 1994 with a BS in Music Industry studies and has been based in Nashville since then working in the country music industry. Most recently she spent nearly 18 years at Universal Music Group, leading the promotion efforts of the MCA Nashville roster which includes Jordan Davis, Sam Hunt, Parker McCollum, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Reba, George Strait and more. She also worked for the Country Music Association, Disney’s Lyric Street Records,, AristoMedia and Mediabase.

Alumni Spotlight

Andrea Barklage

Andrea Barklage graduated Summa Cum Laude from Appalachian State University's Music Industry Studies program with a concentration in Manufacturing and Merchandising in May '20. After working in the corporate and retail side of the music industry, Andrea is now the owner and head luthier of Blue Ridge Violins in Hickory, NC.

Madeline Farr

Madeline Farr, a 2016 grad of the Music Marketing/Promotion and Recording/Production programs, got her start at a marketing agency for rising and superstar Country artists in Nashville, TN. Then, after spending a few years in the radio and marketing departments at Big Machine Label Group, she returned to agency life as a Key Account Manager, working across a variety of industries for clients all over the country.

Jake Urquhard

Jake Urquhart is a 2021 graduate of the Music Industry Studies program: Recording and Production. He currently lives and works in Nashville, TN working primarily in Live Sound at places such as Miranda Lambert’s/Luke Bryan’s/Jason Aldean’s bars and the Franklin Theater, as well as conducting various freelance shows and mixing/mastering work around town.

Joseph Gallo

Joseph Gallo is a producer, songwriter and audio engineer based in Charlotte, NC.  He currently works at the Fillmore Charlotte as an audio engineer as well as releases and performs original music in various cities.


Classes in the Music Industry Studies program include the Hayes School of Music's core curriculum: private instrument/voice study, ensemble participation, specialized classes in music theory, music history and world music.

Additionally, students in this program take specific courses related to three different concentrations:

  • Recording and Production
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Manufacturing and Merchandising

Courses include theoretical, practical and observational approaches. Successful completion leads to a capstone internship, which generally occurs in a major music center such as Charlotte, Nashville, Los Angeles or New York City.

More information

  • A four-year course plan and other details are found in the Hayes School of Music Student Handbook.
  • Course descriptions and advising information are found in the Undergraduate Bulletin under the Hayes School of Music.

Courses in Our Major

Core in Music Industry Studies

  • Introduction of Music Industry Studies – Familiarizes students with the Music Industry Field
  • Music Merchandising and Entrepreneurship – Provides students with an in depth exploration of the music products industry and how to start their own businesses
  • Legal Issues in the Music Industry – Focuses on the legal aspects within the industry with an emphasis on contracts artists will use in their professional careers
  • Record Company Administration – Students get to work as part of our Split Rail Records to develop local artists through live show promotion and recorded products while learning about record label operations
  • Mass Media and Society – Students will study the social impact of mass media
  • Professional Development Seminar – Professional skills needed to be successful in the workplace including LinkedIn profiles, resumes, and business writing skills

Marketing and Promotion

  • Artist Management and Promotion – Students will focus on touring, booking management and promoting artists
  • Music Marketing – Students will design promotional campaigns for local bands including marketing strategies, one sheets, EPKs and other marketing materials used to promote an artist’s career
  • Music Management – Students work with local bands to help them set short and long term goals and gain a better understanding of the professional aspects of a career as a musician
  • Issues in Music Technology – A project driven course on the implementation of computers and technology in the music industry. Topics include use of the internet as a marketing tool, web design, software used in the recording industry, and video production
  • Practicum in Record Company Administration – students will continue to work with Split Rail Records to promote local artists and venues

Manufacturing and Merchandising

  • Instrumental Technique Classes – students will choose classes to learn about the different instruments that make up the music products industry
  • Professional Selling – Focus is on the development of selling skills, from prospecting for new customers to making a sales presentation. Also includes closing the sale and follow up as well as the development of an understanding of the economic and psychological buying motivations affecting sales
  • Issues in Music Technology – A project driven course on the implementation of computers and technology in the music industry. Topics include use of the internet as a marketing tool, web design, software used in the recording industry, and video production
  • Practicum in Music Products Industry – Field experience in the music products industry

Recording and Production

  • Audio Fundamentals – This course is open to all students in the University and deals with the basic properties of sound, acoustic principles, and basic electrical theory. SAWS such as Logic Pro and Pro Tools will be introduced to students
  • Music Production and Recording I – Lecture and demonstration and hands-on recording studio experience. Technical procedures and production approaches form the core of the course of study
  • Music Production and Recording II – Operational techniques for the recording studio including studio operations and maintenance skills, familiarity with modern multi-track equipment and application of acoustic and psychoacoustics
  • Advanced Audio Principles – In-depth study of professional analog and digital audio systems. Implementation and integrating linear and non-linear recording systems, digital signal processing, console automation and digital audio workstation environments
  • Recording Studio Apprenticeship – Recording experiences designed to further the student’s understanding of studio procedures and protocols, and to correspond with the activities of professional studio managers and sound engineers


Graduates of Appalachian's Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies degree are leaders in the music industry. They work as producers, recording engineers, talent agents, venue managers and retail managers.

Employers of our graduates include Yamaha International Corporation, Mercury Records, EMI Music Publishing, Blackbird Studios and Boosey and Hawkes Publishing Inc., to name a few.

Among our recent graduates are:

  • Dan Millice '10, who served as mastering engineer for Trey Songz' "Heart Attack." It was nominated for a 2013 GRAMMY Award for Best R&B Song.
  • Bobby Sain '10 was an executive producer for the 2013 film "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and raised $3 million for its production.
  • Michael Alvarado '10, whose ensemble "US" received two million views on Vine and recently signed a contract with a major record label.

Get Help