Musician As A Startup (Original MOOC)

The first MOOC in the world that teaches musicians how to build a business around their art, discover new revenue streams, and market themselves as startups.

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Note: this MOOC was originally published on iversity, attracting more than 2,000 musicians all over the world. It's the first ever MOOC to be published on this topic.


Have you ever wondered why 90% of musicians (and artists) don't make a living in the digital era - although they want to?

The answer is simple: they are still stuck in the last century mindset. The truth is, if you want to become a full-time artist doing what you love, you have to structure a business around your art, not just merely hope!

In this practical, 8-week course, two full-time practitioner musicians and academic educators, Tommy Darker and Stereo Mike, will guide you though the process of creating your very own business model, how to market yourself as a startup, how to be agile, motivated and productive, how to develop a work-in-progress brand, and how to adapt to the new mindset.

This is a course for all artists, and 'music' will be used as a case study. You will learn through practical assignments, so that you can implement what you learn in the real world, and get practical results.

This is the first MOOC in the world of its kind. It will be exciting. Shall we start?


The course would be of interest to musicians and artists seeking entrepreneurial knowledge, as well as business practitioners working within an artistic context.

The specific target audience for the course includes practitioners in the field of music and arts, with an active interest in developing professional careers and becoming full-time artists.


There is no academic prerequisite necessary in order to be able to engage with and benefit from the course - just bring your appetite to learn.

However, an active musician or arts practitioner will be able to leverage the philosophy, practice and challenges set by directly applying the studied principles to their developing careers.


Upon completion of the course, the students should be able to:
1. Apply contemporary entrepreneurial approaches to their musical/artistic careers
2. Identify changing industry trends in order to define relevant opportunities for their practice
3. Balance artistic and business personal development, ensuring longevity
4. Discover scalable business models and recurring revenue streams
5. Produce actionable plans to exploit their art entrepreneurially, through practical assignments
6. Innovate, recognising future trends and technological progress


Week 1: Introduction
Historical Context | The New Ecosystem | Modern Concepts

Week 2 & 3: Business Models
Business Model Structure | Revenue models | Audience

Week 4: Lean Startup
Validated Learning | MVP | Prototyping | Management

Week 5: Agile Philosophy Principles
Productivity & Motivation | Startup Mindset | Communication

Week 6: Presence, Product, Process
Work-in-progress Brand | Demo | The Drip Method

Week 7: Digital Opportunities & Digital Paradigms
Power of Free | Digital-to-analogue | Network

Week 8: Deconstruction
Case Studies | Leadership & Innovation | What's Next?

Your Instructor

Tommy Darker
Tommy Darker

Tommy Darker is the CEO of Whiise, the London startup that aims to personalise education in the creative industries globally. He is a musician and he teaches music entrepreneurship at the University of Westminster.

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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