The Australian Institute of Music: Your Pathway into Entertainment Management

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

The Australian Institute of Music: Your Pathway into Entertainment Management

Breaking into the music industry is always a challenge. Because of this, and the increasing interest of music as a profession, The Australian Institute of Music introduced their Bachelor of Entertainment Management.

Senior coordinator of the course, Paul Gildea, says the degree is a management degree unquestionably, aiming to prepare students for their careers in music and entertainment – in a two year intensive course.

“It has all of the visible things that management degrees have, like marketing, economics, accounting, managerial culture, contracts and negotiations, international business – but all of the examples used throughout are based on entertainment, and primarily on contemporary music,” he says.

Gildea, who is first and foremost a musician, playing with Icehouse for the past 28 years (and still currently touring) and inductee of the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006, says for those wanting to establish a career in the music industry, opportunities need to be grasped at every moment, which is a major focus within the institute.

“If you walk out of this degree, you would have worked really hard. And if you get offered a job with One Direction, and you don’t like One Direction and you don’t take that job, I can’t help you. You need to understand is that this is turning your passion into a profession, you go where the jobs are.

“I’ve been a musician for a long time. I’ve played guitar with six bands all over the world and travelled a lot, and managed a lot of bands too [including Motor Ace with their number one album, Michael Paynter, and Stonefield for five years]. Once you decide that it’s going to be your profession, you’re at the start of the path. The people in the profession don’t judge you on who you are working with – they judge you on how well you do that job.”

Chatting about the changing music recording industry (with things like Apple Car Play entering the US market, and that Apple has sold more downloads then all three major record companies put together), Gildea says this course aims to teach students as laterally across the field as possible.

“So much will change in the two to three years it takes them to finish the course. I think we should be teaching them a whole range of skills, but also how to apply those skills across a range of activities. I think that moving forward, they have to see where opportunities are and sometimes opportunities may be a step back.

With a computer specific for his music life and one specific to his AIM life, Gildea’s major focus is on getting the best teachers possible for this course.

“There’s 35 music teachers here who are still super passionate about music. I don’t want dulled down teachers, I want people who are still excited and can commit to doing two to four hours a week.”

Currently, the teaching staff include people from major and minor independent record labels, major and independent publishing companies, marketing professions from such places as BBC One in London, the tour management lecturer from Live Nation, and even a lecturer with real life experience in contracts and negotiations.

“We look for people who are out there and active, we look for the best people we can, and if not, we get them in as guests for workshops. The important thing is, students can ask them how they did it,” Gildea says.

Guests so far have included the likes of American blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, US band Snarky Puppy and music vlogger Anthony Fantano who came in to teach teach a digital marketing class, providing students with real life examples. AIM also offer a range of electives (such as music production, guitar, song writing) as well as internships within the industry, which Gildea says can often turn into long-term jobs.

“It’s just really important that we interact with the industry, and that the students understand it’s not about getting to the end – it’s now. It starts now. Take the opportunities now.”

Visit for more information.

Written by Talia Rinaldo