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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 21, Number 1 (2021)

Should We Hire the Pianist or the Attorney? A Study of the Educational Profiles of Music Industry Faculty

Dain Estes
Millersville University


Hiring a music industry studies tenure-track faculty member can be a difficult task because there is no universally accepted corresponding doctorate degree within the discipline. What constitutes a terminal degree in music industry studies is determined by the institution and department where the program is housed and not necessarily the music industry studies discipline. Search committee members, especially those from outside the music industry studies field, may have a difficult task finding a suitable candidate who can meet the needs of the industry, which values professional experience; the requirements of central administration, which values academic credentials; and the needs of students, who want a relevant education leading to employment.

Finding a candidate who has the prerequisite professional experience and whose academic experience conforms to institutional scholarship expectations and norms not only creates potential headaches for search committee members outside of the discipline, but, as noted in a 2007 National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) report, some candidates hired to teach in the discipline have struggled to gain promotion at their institutions. Now thirteen years after the publication of the NASM report, this study looks at the educational profiles of music industry professors who are tenured or on the tenure track to provide guidance to search committees charged with hiring a tenure-track music industry studies colleague and evaluates if the issues highlighted in the NASM report still exist.

Keywords: music industry studies, music industry degrees, music industry faculty, music industry faculty tenure, music industry faculty promotion

Estes, Dain“Should We Hire the Pianist or the Attorney? A Study of the Educational Profiles of Music Industry Faculty." Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 21, no. 1 (2021): 127-147. https://doi.org/10.25101/21.5

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