Can the Music Industry Be Taught? WMG and Stanford Think So…


Take one look at music business headlines, it’s pretty obvious that we desperately need a new generation of innovative leaders. Warner Music Group and Stanford University are trying to find those leaders.

The two groups have launched a program for Stanford undergrad students from a range of disciplines.

They are accepting applications from students who are studying music, computer science, product design, economics, and electrical engineering. Warner has committed to the program for an initial five year period.

Every year a group of juniors will be selected to take Changing World of Popular Music, a course developed by Stanford and WMG. This course will feature guest artists and executives.

The students will then work on a paid in-house project at WMG during the summer. Following this, students will work on a capstone project. Students can receive a budget of up to $2,000 for their capstone project.

Cameron Strang, CEO and Chairman of Warner Bros. Records and Warner/Chappell Music, said:

“WMG is proud to be part of such an important, forward-looking program with Stanford, whose students change the world, and we are committed to using our resources and expertise to create the highest levels of engagement and opportunities for the students. Today’s digital natives are defining the new era of music, and these students will lead it.”

Prospective juniors must apply before January 30th.

Earlier this year Stanford and WMG collaborated on Creativity: Music to My Ears, a free open online course. The course was taught by a Stanford engineering professor and featured contributions from WMG executives and artists.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u



Image by Luis Jou García, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

8 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    They desperately need to find a way to smoke out current dead wood from the labels, RIAA and IFPI.

    You do not need much talent to improve current situation.

    Good looking face from local bar as a CEO of say RIAA could stop suicidal WALK INTO STREAMING ZOMBIE LAND.

  2. FarePlay

    Paul, I believe in freedom of expression, but at a certain point you have to cut your losers.

  3. Willis

    The main takeaway from any course on music industry should be – focus on a different degree/industry.

    • Anonymous

      That actually does like a course Stanford would offer.

      Silicon Valley’s zombie factory is the last academic institution the music industry should be aligning themselves with.

  4. danwriter

    There are already scores of “music industry” courses in public and for-profit colleges, all preparing gullible, star-struck students for a career in an industry that’s already over. This is Warner’s building a pool of unpaid interns for the future.

  5. Dustin Hou

    I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Check HEre Link …………..

  6. Ken Caillat

    Some great comments. It seems to me the problem with the music business is that many people feel that music should be free. I got into the music business because I was too lazy to be a doctor but I wanted to make people feel good. Music does that perfectly! A song for every mood, a fix-all for most things. But it’s expensive making hit songs, about $40k each on average for the musicians, studio, engineers, programmers but not the artists. They get paid on sales and airplay. Maybe streaming could be a good thing, like Hbo, all your favorite music for $30/mo? $50/mo? I pay $180/mo for cable and internet, make it $220 and throw in all my music so Artists get paid properly and music can keep getting more entertaining. Maybe WMG and the other labels will learn to stand up for what they’re worth, like Taylor Swift did. And what about the Grammys supporting higher prices for music? My daughter says why is a cups of Starbucks coffee worth more that a great song??? This school, if done right, could bring music to a higher level.


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