The Master of Arts in Music Leadership degree is designed for musicians who seek to lead traditional and/or non-traditional musical arts organizations. This 14-month degree program uses an integrated approach to develop and hone both artistic and managerial skills for the next generation of music leaders. Because these combined skills are essential for the music leaders of today and tomorrow, this degree combines intense classroom study, courses from Eastman’s rich performance and scholarly offerings, and hands-on experiences through internships and mentorships.  This degree fulfills the NYSED requirement for K-12 Music Teachers to advance from an Initial Certificate in Music to a Professional Certificate. Learn more about the Master of Arts in Music Leadership

The backbone of this degree is a combination of intense coursework and hand-on experience with leading musical arts organizations and mentors. Students begin classes during an initial summer session, continue full-time during the fall and spring semesters, and complete the degree during a second summer. Students will advance their creative mindset, sharpen their decision-making ability, and continue individual artistic growth through five course categories:

  • Innovative Musical Leadership
  • Administration
  • Marketing and Engagement
  • Music Electives
  • Internship / Mentorship

Our online program maintains the standard of rigor, focused study, and collaborative learning environment that is central to IML’s Music Leadership degree, while allowing maximum flexibility for student schedules.  Half of the required courses are taught by the Eastman’s Associate Professor of Music Leadership, Rachel Roberts. The remaining required courses are taught by other experts from the field of music leadership, including the Director of the Institute for Music Leadership James Doser, Judy Ricker, Lisa French, Ari Solotoff, and Blaire Koerner.  All required courses are taught online, accessed from anywhere, including select elective courses and secondary lessons.  Music-based degree electives will be chosen from the rich performance and scholarly Eastman curriculum.


Music Administration and Governance

Economics of Musical Arts Organizations

Introduction to Financial Management

Law and Music

Innovative Musical Leadership

Creative and Innovative Leadership in Musical Enterprises

Designing Creative Initiatives for Musical Enterprises: Practicum

Generating and Screening Entrepreneurial Ideas in Music

Leadership Issues in Music

Marketing and Engagement

Marketing for Musical Enterprises

Development and Fundraising in Music




Register for music courses, including music history, music theory, conducting, or humanities. Placement exams may be required for some courses.


Select from a variety of performance opportunities, including chamber music, large ensembles, and applied lessons. Auditions may be required.

Capstone Experience

This capstone experience is individually designed to support each MAML candidate’s independent learning objectives, taking the form of an internship or mentorship.

Internships provide students with an opportunity to work with a national-level musical organization under the supervision of senior management.  Mentorships pair students for individualized support of a student’s approved entrepreneurial project.


Music Leadership for the 21st Century

The Eastman School of Music and Simon Business School offer students the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Music Leadership in combination with a Master of Business Administration for Professionals degree. This combined degree opportunity is the first to combine a conservatory level music administration degree with an MBA. It has been created to recognize and support the selected number of students who seek to further music leadership skills and acquire the skills and knowledge that an MBA offers.

Program Schedule

Students will be accepted into the combined degree program through each school’s separate admissions process, and will complete the full ESM Music Leadership curriculum and Simon’s MBA mandatory core. Students will spend the first summer and full academic year at Eastman, then transition to Simon for a second summer and full academic year, and conclude both programs with the Music Leadership capstone internship or mentorship during the third summer. This combined degree course of study provides a one-of-a-kind experience for comprehensive preparation in both music leadership and business administration.

The Minor in Music Leadership offers Eastman doctoral students the opportunity for focused study to hone both artistic and managerial skills as a future music leader. The Minor is not a stand-alone program; rather, it is to be undertaken in conjunction with an Eastman DMA or PhD program. The Minor in Music Leadership is designed to enhance a doctoral students’ musical and academic skills with managerial and business skills to be effective leaders in music. Upon applying during your third semester of your DMA/PhD program, a limited number of doctoral students (5-6) will be selected for the Minor in Music Leadership. The Minor requires 10-12 credits of Music Leadership coursework and individual advising with the Graduate Degree Program Director. In collaboration with the Graduate Degree Program Director, students will create an individualized course plan to support their independent learning objectives.

The Master of Arts in Music Leadership degree builds on the opportunities available in Eastman’s world-class Arts Leadership Program, the first of its kind in the nation, now in its third decade. As a participant in the Master of Arts in Music Leadership Degree program, you have the ability to register for ALP courses for free by registering at the ALC 400 level. Additionally, it is possible to pursue the Master of Arts in Music Leadership in conjunction with some other graduate degree programs at Eastman. It is also possible to pursue this degree as a part-time student. For more information about these options, as well as application information and degree program costs, please visit Eastman’s Graduate Admissions website.  

  • Contact:

  • Rachel Roberts
  • Associate Professor of Music Leadership
  • Graduate Degree Program Director
  • Institute for Music Leadership
  • (585) 275-1730

Faculty Expertise

Rachel Roberts

Jim Doser

Judy Ricker

Toni S. Paz

Melissa Ngan

Lisa French

Ari Solotoff    

Blaire Koerner

Learn how to be a part of the world-class Eastman Community of musicians, scholars, and leaders.