Artist Management


Authored by George Howard


Course Code: OMBUS-235

Next Semester
Starts April 3

Level 2

Level 2

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


Behind the scenes of any great artist is a great manager working to create a great brand. This course explores the role and importance of an artist manager, what they do, and how they impact the career of the artist and their brand. The course begins with the basics: why an artist needs a manager, the keys to finding the right partner, and a typical management contract. From there, you'll cover the details of planning an artist's career, money management, and what to do when things go wrong. You'll also examine the principles of leadership dynamics and motivation in order to focus and empower current and potential managers.

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Upon successful completion of this course, aspiring managers will have the tools to embark on managing artists' careers, and artists will better understand the critical importance of choosing the right manager, what they do, and how it will impact their potential and career. This course is designed to help those interested in a career in artist management, current managers attempting to improve and grow their business, self-managed artists who want to take control of their careers, record label owners looking to improve their effectiveness in dealing with their artist managers, and anyone passionate about music seeking to gain entrée into the business.

The course also contains detailed information and first hand accounts from managers who have represented artists such as:

Liz Phair, J.J. Cale, Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Throwing Muses / Kristen Hersh, John Hiatt, Motion City Soundtracks and Boston

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Implement key methods for success in management, whether you are interested in managing other artists or are a self-managed artist
  • Create innovative, values-based strategic plans to increase the chances of success for the artists with whom you work
  • Understand the important contractual and financial documents required in artist management
  • Identify artists at various stages of their careers who are good candidates for your management venture
  • Present concrete strategies to your artists in order to help accelerate their growth
  • Utilize your strategic core document—which you will create in the course—to guide you to success in the management field
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Lesson 1: Artist Management Basics

  • The Artist as a Brand
  • What Is an Artist Manager and What Do They Do?
  • Why an Artist Needs a Good Manager and When They Need One
  • Being Your Own Manager
  • Artist/Manager Relationship
  • Creating Success

Lesson 2: Finding the Right Partner

  • Mutual Goals
  • Trust, Understanding, and Communication
  • Artist Perspective
  • Manager Perspective

Lesson 3: The Management Contract

  • Term
  • Money Flow
  • Variables
  • Contract Forms and Issues
  • Post-Term Considerations

Lesson 4: Building a Musician Business

  • You Don't Need a Manager If You Don't Want to Make Money
  • Business Entities—Sole Proprietor, Partnerships, Corporations
  • Building a Team
  • Principals of Good Business Management

Lesson 5: Making Money in Music (Quick Overview)

  • Licensing
  • Touring/Performing/Merchandise
  • Recording/Distribution

Lesson 6: Harnessing Technology Across the Musician Business

  • Aligning Technology with Your Core Principles
  • The Brave New World
  • Leveraging New Technology to Expand Your Marketing Strategy

Lesson 7: Planning an Artist's Career

  • Assessing the Artist
  • The Artist Brand
  • Creating a Strategy
  • Setting Milestones
  • Budgeting
  • The Plan

Lesson 8: Launching and Developing an Artist

  • Creating a Culture of Discipline to Successfully Launch and Develop an Artist
  • Passion and Innovation: The Secret ingredients in Artist Development
  • Strategic Concepts to Launch and Develop an Artist

Lesson 9: Marketing and Publicity

  • Why the Manager Is the Chief Marketing Officer
  • Branding the Artist
  • Connecting with Fans
  • Leveraging Your Partners
  • Sponsorships, Joint Ventures, Partnerships
  • Creative Self-Promotion

Lesson 10: Money Management

  • Business Management
  • Finance Basics
  • Secrets to Getting Paid
  • Keeping Your Money

Lesson 11: What to Do When Things Go Wrong and How to Avoid Problems

  • Potential Conflicts in the Business and What Can Be Done
  • Case Studies

Lesson 12: Evaluating Team Progress

  • Measuring Success and Progress/Milestones
  • Coping with Success
  • Artist/Manager Relationship Over Time
  • Checklist for a Successful Relationship


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

This course does not have any prerequisites.

Required Textbook(s)

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


George Howard


George Howard is the founder of GHS, which advises a wide-range of clients on how to integrate technology with strategy in order to increase awareness and revenue. A partial list of clients includes: Intel, National Public Radio, CVS/pharmacy, Easter Seals, Alticor/Amway, Ora, Inc., Townsend Energy, Comstar, Monegraph, Composer Mark Isham, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Wolfgang's Vault, Brown University, Paste Magazine, The Estate of the Platters, Rednote, and Daytrotter.

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Additionally, George is the Co-Founder of Music Audience Exchange. Prior to this, he was the President of Rykodisc (the world’s largest independent record label), manager of Carly Simon, and original co-founder of TuneCore (the world’s largest independent music distributor).

George is an Associate Professor of Management at Berklee College of Music and Brown University where he teaches courses in entrepreneurship, marketing, copyright law, and leadership. He is the 2014 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

George is a columnist for Forbes and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and numerous other publications. Mr. Howard holds an MA, MBA, and JD. Read Less

Montse Carty


Montserrat (“Montse”) Andrée Carty has worked in various areas of the music industry: artist relations, programming, and global marketing for music companies including Sony Music Entertainment, Pandora Media, and a few non-profits (including the San Francisco Symphony, Boston Ballet and Take Note Colorado). She has also worked in artist management – both as an independent manager and as a Day-to-Day for a management company. She recently worked for Amazon’s Goodreads and is currently the Events Manager for CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conferences, in the US and Spain. She also mentors music business students, manages singer/songwriter Misty Boyce (Lord Huron, Sara Barielles)’s solo career, and is the host of the bi-weekly podcast “Musings of the Artist”, where she interviews musicians, writers, and other artists. Montse received her B.M. from Berklee College of Music and M.S. from Boston University.

Jon Bonci


Jon Bonci began his career in the music business by working at a 24-track recording studio in New York City. This led him to a job at Chrysalis Records where A&R legend, Bruce Dickinson recommended him for a position at Chappell Music Publishing. As Chappell Music transitioned into the leading music publisher of the day, Warner/Chappell Music, Jon rose from position of Archivist in sheet music and tape library to that of Creative Manager.

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As Creative Manager at Warner/Chappell, Jon scouted bands and writers in the evenings and worked with songwriters and record labels, to secure cover recordings by day. He’s had songs cut with Milli Vanilli’s multi-platinum debut album, Hot Tuna, several boy bands and secured the first Country cut for Michael Bolton and Jonathan Cain of Journey by legendary Country artist, Conway Twitty.  

While BMG Music Publishing, Jon headed the New York office and continued to sign bands and songwriters to the company. Most notably, Jon signed Russ Freeman and The Rippingtons to a publishing deal.

While working for Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Jon held a position in the Synchronization Licensing department, where he delt with all forms of licensing of their catalog. It was here that he worked alongside Eric Beall, author of the Berklee Online class, Music Publishing 101. Eric introduced Jon to Berklee in 2008 and Jon has been onboard ever since, teaching Music Publishing, Artist Management, Music Licensing, and Music Business 101.

Following his tenure at Shapiro, Bernstein, Jon became the Music Associate Director for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, where he traveled with the game for five seasons. In 2012 and 2013 Jon was nominated for an EMMY for “Outstanding Sports Series.”

Between jobs in the music industry, Jon worked on his Masters in Education, working in several school districts, learning the art of teaching. This has proven helpful during his time at Berklee College of Music.

These days, Jon is a consultant for U.K. music publisher, Blank Canvas Music Publishing. In his role, Jon is working on the company’s annual New Christmas Classics album where the company will both publish and release new original holiday music each year.

Jon belongs to many professional organizations including The National Music Publisher’s Association and The Association of Independent Music Publishers where he is an active member in the New York City chapter. Read Less

Jay Coyle


Jay Coyle is the founder and "Music Geek" at the digital marketing firm, Music Geek Services. His company provides artist services for the music industry and has been a Topspin-certified marketer since 2009. Built upon a life-long omnivorous obsession with marketing bands and mixing in equal parts of knowledge gained from an advertising-focused Journalism degree at the University of Georgia along with his skills running a Marketing consultancy for 5 years in Atlanta, Music Geek Services was finally created in 2008 immediately after Jay left a marketing position at the EMI CMG label in Nashville.

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Jay's first project under the Music Geek moniker was doing work as band archivist and label product manager for Canadian music veterans, Barenaked Ladies. Since then, Jay has worn a lot of hats including sales, marketing, artist development, business development, tour management, and product management. Jay is currently working with Sloan, the Presidents of the United States of America, Jars of Clay, and Carbon Leaf. Jay's core focus is to help further the careers of artists while partnering with them in a "D.I.Y. +" sort of way to have long-lasting and fan-focused careers. Read Less


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