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Back to Building Your Career in Music: Developing A Brand and Funding Your Music

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Building Your Career in Music: Developing A Brand and Funding Your Music by Berklee

471 ratings

About the Course

This course shares practical tips and strategies to help you take your first step into launching your career as a musical artist. We’ll cover everything from developing your unique identity as an artist and how to lead a band all the way to planning and recording your first independent record with the help of crowdfunding. The course curriculum is modeled from the real-world experience of Leah Waldo (also known as the emerging country artist, Elisa Smith) and features interviews with industry executives, artists, producers, and engineers — all designed to help you navigate the music industry....

Top reviews


Oct 3, 2020

This course has helped me a lot in finding put the driving forces to accomplish my career goal as a musician. Moreover it helped me to identify the various music brand partnership around the globe.


May 4, 2021

This course contained some information I already knew, but it taught me valuable lessons about artist brand, producer hunting, building a recording budget, and managing a crowdfunding campaign.

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1 - 25 of 104 Reviews for Building Your Career in Music: Developing A Brand and Funding Your Music

By Maia J T

Jul 28, 2019

Since I'm not in a band, I found this course basically completely irrelevant to me. Additionally, I could not think of a more sterile, unartistic way to approach music. I was completely put off by the advice to drop brand names in your song lyrics. As a classical musician, nothing makes me cringe more than a song soaked in pop culture.

By Louise W

Oct 23, 2019

I would've loved to see other topics covered under money other than crowdfunding. Perhaps something about streaming, creative ideas to generate income, etc. Overall, I learned a ton from this course and truly appreciate this offering on Coursera from Berklee.

By Grey A

Jul 28, 2019

This course was more focus on experience from a artist or a teacher from Berklee or people in the music industry but not in marketing and advertising. Would be great to have actual reps from various brands to speak. and have this course more like a marketing or advertising course because that what branding is marketing and advertising and that would give more insight to developing a brand.

By Oru K

Jul 29, 2019

Expected a more theoretical approach rather than experience

By Stephanie A

Sep 28, 2020

I took this course as part of the Music Business Specialization and am not a musical artist myself. This course was geared towards musical artists and although I learned a lot of valuable information, some of the assignments were unnecessary for someone in my position including the final project. They should consider making it so non-artists can just do the peer-review portion and not the submission.

By Sibel K

Jun 27, 2021

I am taking the 4-course specialization "Music Business" on Coursera. I just finished the first course (which I am happy with) but I am extremely disappointed in this course which is the second one in the specialization. Not only did the first week seem like shameless self-promotion of the instructor (might as well have put a Youtube link to the band's music and ask us to give a thumbs up), but also, even the QUIZ (which requires us to get 70% or above to PASS to the next assignment) asked us to basically agree with her project's vision etc. only for us to FAIL if we didn't agree. What? How is this learning? This whole week's worth of "classes" could've been a case study that lasted 10 minutes, and not 1 week's worth of time.

I will not comment on why I didn't agree with this particular artist, as I think it's beside the point of the course nor this review. Precisely, why they shouldn't have asked this as a quiz question (!) . What is important in the context of this course is to gain the skills and acquire the tools necessary and learn from GOOD EXAMPLES to get inspired and motivated and qualified to move on with your own project.

This course could have showed us examples of successful bands, case studies, projects and artists in music history and made us study them--I don't know if that's what the instructor does later as I had to stop after week 1, so apologies if I spoke too soon, but I simply couldn't help myself--which would have been a more efficient way to teach branding and entrepreneurship or whatever this course was supposed to teach.

I regarded Berklee College of Music as an exemplary institution (now I wonder if it was just the hype); I was excited for this course. If I can, I will demand a refund and possibly go elsewhere for my music business learning endeavors.

P.S. -- an unknown (?) COUNTRY musician is probably the worst genre example to choose in a course about music business that will attract thousands of people from ALL OVER THE WORLD.

By Brianna S

Jun 29, 2020

I hate to give such a negative review, but I think this course is an absolute waste of time. First off, this is in the music business specialization on Coursera, however this course is really made for artists and not managers (like myself) or anyone else in the music field. In addition, the course is basically making you follow the steps that Leah did in her career, but when I researched her band I found that they are not successful in the slightest. Therefore this kind of invalidates the course as a whole.

By Sergiu

Feb 18, 2018

Vague content, most of it inaccurate and extremely outdated. Waste of time.

By My A N

Aug 20, 2020

Thanks to the course I now know how to make music now with technology and my midi keyboard, I was completely clueless before. I will never forget the first time feeling like finally I could make something even though it's to a lot of people nothing but to me it's everything: my first song I ever wrote was through learning this course. And I made it, with all the skills I have at basics level. It wasn't easy for me, but I had a fountain of courage to overcome my insecurity to make it with careful thoughts and determination. Thank you so much for operating the course. Thank you for letting me earn the knowledge through Financial Aids program. I am grateful to my instructor and classmates.

By Jonathan Y

Mar 29, 2020

This was an intensive course for me, because of the open questions, and because of the final project which was relatively big and full of accurate thinking. Overall I hope to have more courses that make you think and process quality, accurate information, I don't take this for granted at all, even though this is just a small MOOC on Coursera, I still think that this information is invaluable and of real quality, because it came form one of the best music colleges in the world, Berklee! So thank you again, and I hope to complete more helpful courses like that in the near future!

By Alli C

Sep 9, 2019

This course was challenging in the best of ways. I fully engaged each step - taking care that I do the work required to hone my brand and dig deep into what I really want. I was amazed that this course could help me in such meaningful ways. Great class! I so appreciated the examples and help this course offered through its in-depth homework. If you're considering taking this course, I recommend doing the homework as if you were going to publish it on a website tomorrow - it's got to be real and well-thought through... this will help SO much in the future!

By Joseph E G

May 7, 2018

I enjoyed this program tremendously. It's informative, practical, straight to the point, and not to mention, fun! Leah Waldo is passionate not only being a musician but a teacher and I have found all of her words of wisdom along with every single one of her guests that appear throughout the course to be absolutely invaluable. I hope to apply what I've learned to furthering a humble career as an independent artist in today's and tomorrow's music industry.

By Sam Y

Jun 3, 2020

This is a great course, and there were all kinds of notes I could take and use after this completing this course. As a band leader, I found this course to be helpful toward my goals as an artist. I plan to save a lot of my work from this course to use in the future. The instructor does a great job at probing what you need to know from her guests, and comes from a place musically that relates to her students.

By Aurora D

Dec 11, 2017

I absolutely LOVED taking this course. It helped me on so many levels - from your personal art to a full-time job! I was also able to see and compare some of the steps I already made in my musical journey - choosing the right producer, being organized, etc. I recommend it to any independent artist who is willing to walk in the Music Industry and become more professional.

By Peter M

Nov 4, 2023

Highly relevant information on building and developing a musical project. In the final assignment one is asked to submit a budget for your project. For me this step was very difficult to fulfil, because in am still in a learning phase. But I am happy to know how to create a budget when facing a project.

By Carolyn B

Oct 25, 2020

AMAZING course! this course doesn't only help you organize the steps to launch your carreer, it also helps you identify who you are as an artist truly. It helped me self reflect and dive deep into my mind and figure my true goal when writing music and what I want to sound like. Recommend it 100%!!

By Evan B M

Feb 11, 2022

Leah Waldo took me on a great journey through branding, producing in a studio and crowdfunding with 'real world' guests that work in the industry! It was a true pleasure to hear her talk about these things and listening to her music that she made as well! - Evan McNeeley

By Luis F A

Jul 21, 2020

I really enjoyed it and was very useful for me, it was eye opening and now I am excited to do my crowdfunding campaign for an artsit album. I would say and uptaded video of crowdfunding platforms, like having the Pledge Music video and another platform. Thank you.

By Heather V

Feb 22, 2022

Really useful advice for anyone, not just musicians. If you are starting any kind of business or even want to just improve your networking and interpersonal skills, this course is a fantastic resource that pulls great ideas from very successful, creative people

By Hemanth R J

Sep 6, 2020

I think this covers most of the requirements or the knowledge needed to swim through the industry as an independent artist. Though certain things could be updated but on the whole, it does deliver all the stuff.

By Aswin A

Oct 4, 2020

This course has helped me a lot in finding put the driving forces to accomplish my career goal as a musician. Moreover it helped me to identify the various music brand partnership around the globe.

By Justin M

May 4, 2021

This course contained some information I already knew, but it taught me valuable lessons about artist brand, producer hunting, building a recording budget, and managing a crowdfunding campaign.

By ashwin m

Jul 17, 2020

This course is really helpful for those who want to build a career in music or want to build a band and managing them. Great Class, simple concepts, and connecting it all to your dream.

By Angel J H R

Jan 19, 2021

¡Very educational! I think maybe building a network or a list of places you could reach out to further investigate about how music rights work in your country would be helpful

By Asha M M

Feb 3, 2021

Fantastic course! Thank you for being really detailed with how musicians should go around dealing with some of the marketing and finance aspects of pursuing this career!