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Hofstra Music Business Is Among Billboard’s Best

Hofstra University Music Business Program Director Terry Tompkins with guest speaker Brittany Holloway, Artist & Industry Insights at Next Big Sound, speaking with Music Business students and the Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA) members, Fall 2019.

Billboard magazine has recognized  Hofstra University’s Music Department and its B.S. in Music Business program in its 2020 roundup of the country’s “Best Music Business Schools.” 

Billboard cited Hofstra’s program for increasing enrollment by 175% since 2017, the same year it brought director Terry Tompkins on board. Tompkins brought with him more than 25 years of industry experience as an artist manager, talent buyer, label executive and festival organizer.

“We have experienced unprecedented growth of Hofstra’s Music Business program over the past three years,” Tompkins said. “This is due in part to a newly revised curriculum and many offerings to our students outside of the classroom. These include master classes on beat making, tour management, and music supervision; workshops on songwriting and analytics; and panel discussions on artist management, digital marketing, and getting your first job. There are also class trips to industry events like the Vegas Music Summit.”

Billboard noted Hofstra’s proximity to Manhattan, which gives students easy access to exciting internships and networking opportunities.

Hofstra’s chapter of the Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA) is a very active student organization, and was recently honored with the university’s 2019-2020 Pre-Professional Organization of the Year Award. MEISA hosts lectures, workshops, talent contests and organizes an annual spring music industry conference that offers panels on publishing, live music, A&R, and record production. Despite the campus closure this spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, MEISA moved its spring conference to an online format, and opened it up beyond the Hofstra community.

Students also have the opportunity to work at  Unispan Records, a student-run label overseen by the University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, that offers real-life experience recording, producing, promoting and distributing music. Hofstra students are mentored by top industry professionals, participating in workshops on campus and at recording studios in New York City. They are immersed in all aspects of the recording business and perform the duties necessary to commercialize music over the course of a semester.

Hofstra was included on the Billboard list with schools like Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, California Institute of the Arts, Drexel University, New York University, and UCLA.

Tompkins says guest speakers – more than 50 in the last year alone – also play a big part in the Hofstra student experience. “Their insights prepare our students to enter the workforce and pave a path for a successful career,” he said.

Recent speakers have included Rich Holtzman, senior vice president for Marketing and Artist Development at AEG Presents; David Boxenbaum, founder and general ganager of A&M/Octone Records; Jon Landman, owner and founder of The Syndicate; Brittany Holloway, Artist & Industry Insights at Next Big Sound at Pandora; Josh Rabinowitz, former executive vice president and director of Music at Grey Advertising, and Marshall Betts, agent at the Windish Agency. 

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