Music Business



101 // 110 // 201 // 210


Greg, Thanks for a great class! I found it to be one of the most challenging and eye opening classes in the curriculum. It was a healthy dose of reality and it forced me to consider important things I had been neglecting.
— Ben Anderson (Pyramind Graduate)


Gregory J. Gordon

CEO & Founder - Pyramind

Guest Lecture & Event Moderator

Pyramind founder and CEO Greg Gordon leads an inspirational series of guest lectures and events. Acting as both instructor and moderator, Greg uses his twenty plus year background as a music producer, engineer and entrepreneur to challenge student perspectives on the industry and help them visualize and evolve their career goals.


Steffen Franz

Music Business 101 & 110

Steffen is the President and Founder of IDC - Independent Distribution Collective and PSM - Positive Sound Massive Recordings. Independent Distribution Collective is a music distribution and marketing company based in San Francisco that offers physical and digital distribution, marketing and promotion, artist development services, and music licensing. In business for almost ten years, IDC has made a name for itself by helping independents to play on the same field as major label artists, without the need for major label budgets. Steffen provides a framework to help indie artists gain a foothold in an industry that increasingly rewards the efforts of those who are willing to build and maintain their own careers. 


Jeff Straw

Music Business 201/210 Instructor

Jeff (aka DJ F) is an experienced DJ, saxophonist, producer and remixer with over 20 years in the business. Prior to joining Pyramind, Jeff served as Music Supervisor and Focus Ninja at Focus@Will. He was the Sr. Director of Product Development & Music Licensing at INgrooves for nearly a decade and was the vinyl and dance music buyer for Virgin Megastore before that. Jeff earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Miami in their Music Engineering program. He has taught several courses for Berklee Online, he's an expert on music publishing and an active member of NARAS.


MBiz 101: Music Business Fundamentals

A primer to aspects of today’s independent music business, both as an artist and producer, with an emphasis on independent releases. With the power of the Internet reaching directly to customers, producers have a better chance than ever of finding clients and customers – with no one in between.

Topics include:

  • Music Business Fundamentals
  • How to build success without spending money
  • Low-cost and no-cost marketing techniques
  • Creating the physical product to sell – graphics and CD duplicating
  • Multiple business streams from one release

MBiz 110: Knowing & Managing Your Rights

This course is designed to give students an in-depth look into the business concepts of music, publishing, and licensing. The course will provide detailed explanations of many different licensing and rights issues for both the composer and audio producer.

Topics include:

  • General copyright issues
  • Publishing
  • Performing Rights Organizations
  • Record agreements & contracts
  • Mechanical royalties and fees
  • Music industry roles
  • The Internet and digital rights

MBiz 201: Marketing, Licensing and Distribution

This course expands upon the three previous music business courses in the series and digs deeper on what it takes to succeed in today’s crowded music marketplace.  

Today’s emerging artists, sound designers and composers need to establish a unique brand with a visible and searchable web presence. Upon completion of the class the student will have constructed a website that showcases their talents to the world. 

This curriculum also includes concrete strategies on how to get your music licensed into TV, ads and video games. Learn the “do’s and don’ts” of synch licensing from someone who spent years in the industry.

Topics include

  • Brand Image and Consistency
  • DIY Record Label and Publishing Company
  • Social Media Strategies
  • Music Distribution Options and Opportunities
  • Diversified Revenue Streams
  • Website Construction and Strategy

MBiz 210: Professional Development & Entrepreneurship

This class explores the concept of value and the importance of building brand awareness as it relates to your personal objectives and expertise as a music producer, engineer, recording artist, composer, sound designer and budding entrepreneur. Particular focus is paid to the skill sets required for career development, entrepreneurship, and business development and how they apply to today’s recording artist and producer.

Guest lectures present specific examples of success and the class analyzes what makes those examples successful. Students are engaged in group discussions about their personal road blocks, how to over come them and the process of encouraging innovative thinking and developing a unique marketable identity. The overall goal of MB 201 is to provide a foundational platform to launch your personal brand and to learn the necessary skill sets to develop and maintain a successful creative career. 

A key component of the Music Business 201 & 210 classes are the “Planning For Success” guest lectures designed to enhance the learning experience with unique perspectives on success and relationship building opportunities from the front lines of the industry. 

PFS Guest Lecture with Bryan Franklin (NIMITAE)

PFS Lecture with Rob Garza (Thievery Corporation)

Together, Music Business 201 & 210 classes and PFS guest lectures take a look at the various components that incubate greatness. Students will leave with an in depth knowledge of the agile opportunities for digital success and building marketing plans that include: using Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Spotify, Soundcloud, Wordpress, Twitter, and multiple other social channels.