A new agreement will give Grand Rapids Community College students a seamless transfer to a Ferris State University bachelor’s degree in music and entertainment business.
Under the “3+1” program, students can attend GRCC for three years, earning an Associate of Arts in pre-music and entertainment and fulfilling most of the requirements for a Digital Audio Specialist certificate. They will then enter Ferris as seniors to complete work for the bachelor’s degree.
Students with this degree will be prepared for jobs in promotion and production, sales, marketing, and management, as well as advertising and public relations, says professor Kevin Dobreff, head of GRCC’s Music Department.
Navigating the virtual world
“The constantly changing landscape of the music and entertainment business has been profoundly impacted by the restrictions of this last year,” he says. “Now, more than ever, our students must learn how to navigate the different ramifications of performing and marketing a product in a virtual world. It is my hope that this new, articulated pre-major program will create a pathway for many of our music and business students who have been uncertain about pursuing a degree that would support that career interest.”
Students in the program, which launches this fall, will take courses in accounting, statistics, and business management, in addition to classes on world music and music theory.
The program got its start through casual discussions about music between Dobreff and Felix Pereiro, head of GRCC’s Business Department.
Business, music crossover
Pereiro worked as a business and marketing consultant in the music industry for more than a decade, working with legendary iconic leaders such as Michael Bennett and Dr. Sandy Feldstein. He was a business adviser to many music companies and associations, including Yamaha Corp. of America, Music & Arts, American Musical Supply, Zildjian, the National Association of School Music Dealers, and the National Association of Music Merchants. He also plays the trombone, trumpet, guitar, and piano.
“I was seeing an informal crossover already with music students in my small business, marketing, and entrepreneurship courses,” Pereiro says. “There are a lot of very entrepreneurial students who love music.”
Working together with Dobreff on a formal curriculum for the Associate of Arts in Pre-Music and Entertainment
was a “natural fit,” Pereiro says.
“Everything is a business. You have to understand that music is the music business.”