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Music Business Program

Our program is designed for students who want to earn a place in the music business industry. We provide the preparation for employment in:

  • Music Products
  • Arts Administration
  • Recording Industry

It combines the elements of our strong Bachelor of Music with course work tied into the Departments of Business and Economics. We provide you with a solid foundation both in music and performance as well as knowledge about what makes the industry tick. Our faculty are true experts in audio technology, music retail, music production and music product development. They know the score!

The Crane School of Music offers a Loading.... Students in the Music Business major are required to obtain practical experience in their chosen field through an off-campus internship. We also offer a Loading... for music majors and non-music majors. Unlike the Bachelor of Music degree, no audition is required for non-music majors who minor in Music Business.

“We have an awesome music business program at Crane. I wasn’t aware of that going into college, and it seemed like a no-brainer to switch over. The music business program offers marketable skills as I focus on a career as a musician.”

Holland Goddard '25 Music Business Major

Some examples of recent internships include:

In Music Products:

  • Yamaha International, Buena Park, CA and Indianapolis, IN
  • D'Addario + Co., Farmingdale, NY and Nashville, TN
  • Samson Technologies, Hauppauge, NY
  • Sabian Inc. Marshfield, MA
  • DANSR, Chicago, IL
  • Boosey and Hawkes, New York, NY
  • EMI Music, New York, NY
  • Shar Music, Ann Arbor, MI

In Arts Administration:

  • Chamber Music American, New York, NY
  • OPERA American, New York, NY
  • Aspen Music Festival & School, Aspen, CO
  • Hermitage Artist Retreat Gr., Englewood, FL
  • The Metropolitan Opera, New York, NY
  • Austin Classical Guitar, Austin, TX
  • Eagle Rock Entertainment, New York, NY
  • Symphony Space, New York, NY
  • Sarasota Opera, Sarasota, FL
  • North Carolina Symphony, Raleigh, NC

In the Recording Industry:

  • Linden Oaks Studio, Rochester, NY
  • Subcat Studio, Syracuse, NY
  • VH1, New York, NY
  • Fireplace Studios, New York, NY
  • Cove City Sound Studios/Brown Dog Records, Glen Cove, NY



The Music Business program provides opportunities for students to interact with industry professionals through class visits, Music Business Roundtables, and the Executives-in-Residence program.

Guests include Mary Luehrsen (Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for NAMM, and Executive Director of the NAMM Foundation),  Bob Morrison (founder of Music for All, former CEO of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Executive Director of NAMM's American Music Conference, co-creator of the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation), and Robert Farmer (General Counsel for the rock band Rush).

From 2006 to 2020 music business students at Crane participated in The NAMM Show held each January in Anaheim, California. The students have worked as interns for industry sponsors gaining valuable experience working in the industry's biggest trade show and forming important industry relationships. Crane is the only college program in the country that has afforded their students this opportunity and often sponsored a NAMM version of the Sandy Feldstein Roundtable during the NAMM show. Read about the 2018 NAMM Roundtable here. The School is making plans to return to NAMM in 2025. 

As an alumnus of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, Drew Coles ’12, has come full circle, and is now leading Crane’s music business program as an assistant professor and program director.

Tuned for Success

Hustling past a rack of ukuleles and a row of cymbals, Holland Goddard '25 restocks music books at Brick & Mortar Music in downtown Potsdam. As customers enter the store, walking past a beautifully exposed brick wall featuring a mix of acoustic and electric guitars, she greets them with a smile, answers questions, and restrings instruments at the beloved local music shop. The SUNY Potsdam junior, who is pursuing a double major in music business and music performance at Crane, is gaining valuable real-world experience this semester at the community-centric music store, owned and operated by SUNY Potsdam alumni Jeremy '99 and Allison Carney '99.

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Musically Driven

As she pulls the microphone close and hits record, Tatiana Merced ’24 captures audio for her podcast series—part of a multi-year Presidential Scholars project to examine how people of color have shaped the fabric of music history. Merced’s ongoing research, and subsequent podcasts, are now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube, and feature interviews with prominent musicians, conductors and composers from diverse backgrounds including Crane’s own Dr. Michael Dudley Jr.

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Lights, Camera, Action

During her final semester at Crane, Erika Murata ’22 lined up the internship of a lifetime, working on the set of the Late Show with Seth Meyers in New York City. Leaning on skills from her music business degree, she has been assisting audio engineers and the house band as they prepare the music for the show.

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Slingshot to Success

Just four years removed from The Crane School of Music, Jordan Olinsky ’17 is already making a name for himself in the music business industry. After graduating from SUNY Potsdam in 2017, Olinsky immediately landed a job as the northwest division manager for Buffet-Crampon, a music company that has been manufacturing wind instruments for close to 200 years. In 2019 he received a promotion and moved to Houston, Texas, where he oversees an even larger market as the southwest division manager for the company.

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The Perfect Balancing Act

Pursuing a degree at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is a daunting task in and of itself, but Natalia Buitrago ’21 went the extra mile, recently graduating with a double major in music performance and music business. Over the past four years she has not only continued to refine her abilities as a musician, but she learned valuable entrepreneurial and communication skills.

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Love and Music

As an alumnus of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, Drew Coles ’12, has come full circle, and is now leading Crane’s music business program as an assistant professor and program director. Leaning on the experience he’s acquired as a musician and entrepreneur through the Metropolitan Players—a highly successful wedding band business he launched with his wife Erin Coles ’12—he is sharing his real-world experiences with his students, and preparing them for successful music business careers.

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The Man Behind the Music

The otherworldly sound of an orchestra playing Adagio for Strings can be lost without someone like Dr. Douglas McKinnie, the audio and video streaming engineer at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. Since 2014, McKinnie has worked behind the scenes at Crane to ensure that hundreds of performances are professionally recorded—leaning on two decades of experience as the chief engineer of live sound at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

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Kelley DiPasquale '20

Set high in the Rocky Mountains, Banff, Alberta, is known for its world-class skiing and prestigious film festival. But for Kelley DiPasquale, a non-traditional student in the music business program at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, it was something else entirely that drew her to the snowy mountain town. DiPasquale is in the middle of a six-month-long audio recording internship at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The hands-on practicum has allowed her to oversee professional audio recordings for bands like the Rapidgrass, a Colorado-based bluegrass quintet, and work with jazz drummer Jerry Granelli, best known for recording the “Charlie Brown Christmas” album with the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

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Paul Dougall ’20

Paul Dougall ’20 is a true Renaissance man. Now in his last year at SUNY Potsdam, he is completing not only a degree in music business, but two separate degrees in mathematics as part of the Department of Mathematics’ BA / MA program—a unique opportunity for highly motivated students to graduate with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at the same time. Over the summer he landed an internship at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center where he was able to incorporate all of those disciplines.

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Brian Dougherty '06

Brian Dougherty landed his first job in the music industry immediately after graduation. What started as an internship for Samson Technologies his junior year, parlayed into a full-time position that started nine days after Commencement. Now he works for Sennheiser—one of the leading music industry companies in the world.

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