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Berklee College of Music

Building Your Career in Music: Developing A Brand and Funding Your Music

Berklee College of Music via 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.


  • Welcome!
    • Welcome to Building Your Career in Music: Developing a Brand and Funding Your Music! 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 go over how to leverage your natural skills as a musician. I’m talking about things like intuition and collaboration, and getting these assets to work for you as an entrepreneur. Finally, we’ll discuss how to become a better band leader.
  • 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.
  • 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 of how much your project will cost.
  • 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 some tips on how to turn your band into a sustainable business.
  • 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.

Taught by

Leah Waldo


3.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.4 rating at Coursera based on 463 ratings

Start your review of Building Your Career in Music: Developing A Brand and Funding Your Music

  • Profile image for Pamela Chapman
    Pamela Chapman
    I want to become a good singer I'm trying to find the right place to get into I live in a group home and I want to get out because they are very mean to me and they forgot about I want to make name for myself I love music and I love singing songs but I can sing with music in the background I want to find something that free or someone can help me pay because I don't have no money to do nothing and I really want to become a singer I live michigan flint thank you very much have a great day and stay safe

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