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Bachelor of Arts

Commercial Music

On Campus
Academics / Creative Arts Institute / Commercial Music

A Music-Making, Career-Making Program

Our cutting-edge bachelor’s degree in commercial music is designed to prepare you for a future in entrepreneurial music, either as a professional performer, writer, producer, engineer or working behind the scenes in the multifaceted and growing music business.

Tiffin University’s cutting-edge bachelor’s degree in commercial music balances coursework in musicianship, music technology and music business, so that students build a set of practical and employable skills.  The program is unique among small private colleges, as TU can give students hands-on opportunities that larger schools may not be able to offer — and is designed for students whose musical experiences, tastes and aspirations have been underserved by other colleges.

The program uses a diversity of musical styles – including popular music, jazz, rock, roots and classical music – to teach musicianship, and is flexibly designed to maximize personal growth, giving students the opportunity to both excel in strength areas and develop secondary skill areas that pertain to their individual career goals. All students develop their musicianship skills at the piano keyboard and all rhythm section instruments, take courses in music technology and music business, as well as a capstone project individually designed for each student. Each semester they also have the chance to work with a successful professional producer, who spends a week each semester in residence helping students with their studio projects. Tiffin University also regularly hosts music industry professionals who lead discussions about their work and give demonstrations of their craft. 

Students may pair the commercial music major with a professional music concentration made up of advanced coursework available in their junior and senior year:

  • Concentration in Performance & Entrepreneurship allows students to develop advanced skills in support of a career professional performing or writing career, or for building their own independent music business. 
  • Concentration in Production & Engineering allows future studio producers to focus on the technology that is at the heart of so much of today’s music industry.
  • Additionally, students can build a custom secondary area of study that supports their own unique career goals. These might include business management, marketing, or digital media and design.
  • Musician Success Seminar
  • Musicianship I & II
  • Rhythm Section I, II & III
  • Survey of Music Business
  • Music Publishing
  • Intro to Music Technology
  • Live Sound Engineering
  • Recording Engineering
  • Arranging I & II
  • Songwriting 
  • Sound Design
  • Music for Film & Media
  • Electronic Music Production
  • Advanced Production I & II
  • Music Entrepreneurship 
  • Private Music Instruction (voice, piano, bass, guitar, drums, beatmaking, songwriting)
  • Sophomore Project
  • Senior Project
  • Video Production
  • Digital Photography
  • Website Development
  • Marketing
  • Small Business Management
  • Event Marketing & Management
  • Public Relations
  • Accounting
  • ​Business Law
  • A&R Professional
  • ADR Recordist
  • Arranger
  • Artist Manager
  • Artist Relations Manager
  • Audio Director
  • Backup Vocalist 
  • Bandleader
  • Booking Manager
  • Church Musician
  • Composer (Film & TV)
  • Composer (Gaming)
  • Copyist
  • Cover Band Musician
  • Creative Entrepreneur
  • Cruise Ship Musician
  • DJ/Remixer
  • Foley Artist
  • Freelance Musician
  • Independent Artist
  • Live Sound Engineer
  • Mastering Engineer 
  • Military Musician
  • Music Director (TV)
  • Music Editor 
  • Music Librarian 
  • Music Supervisor 
  • Orchestrator (Film & TV)
  • Performer
  • Private Instructor
  • Producer-Beatmaker
  • Producer-Songwriter
  • Record Producer
  • Recording Engineer
  • Songwriter
  • Sound Designer
  • Sound Editor 
  • Studio Manager
  • Studio Musician
  • Tour Manager
  • Transcriptionist​​​

You’ll study with an accomplished music faculty that includes professionals with experience on the stage, in the studio, in the business and in writing music for performance and for film and other media. As the only small college specializing specifically in commercial music, we provide a lot of personal attention and flexibility to work in the areas that best suit your own unique career path.

Tiffin University offers a wide variety of commercial music performing opportunities, from a cappella groups and cover bands to a hip hop collective and a songwriting ensemble. These groups perform and record extensively, giving students valuable real-world experience. TU also is home to TiffinMusic Studios, a student-run record label and music production company. 

Tiffin University’s Performing Arts Lab (The PAL) features a professional recording studio, keyboard and production lab, as well as large rehearsal spaces for TU bands, choirs, dance teams and commercial ensembles. With over 14,000 square feet of studio, rehearsal, teaching and practice space, the PAL serves the 200 students involved in our more than 20 extracurricular music ensembles and our cutting-edge commercial music degrees.

Program Requirements

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“TU is a place where you have full control of what you get involved in, giving you the opportunity to make the best experience for yourself here. From my personal example, I chose the degree program that I really wanted to pursue, I’ve had the opportunities to take amazing courses and I’ve had the chance to further my own musical goals by being involved in numerous musical ensembles.”

Destin Phifer
Class of 2022
Lansing, Michigan
To truly stand out, we must not feel compelled to fit in.