Free MUSE Musicians’ Conference on March 25 offers tools to success in the music industry

This event has been postponed. Sessions will include staying injury-free, entrepreneurship, touring, money strategies, social media and more, including a discussion with singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello.

Muse2Non-essential events on the UAB campus have been canceled due to public health concerns related to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). For the latest updates on UAB’s response to COVID-19 and health information, visit

Musicians are invited to a one-day conference dedicated to providing artists with the tools necessary to be successful in the music industry, Wednesday, March 25, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The inaugural MUSE Conference will be presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. It is intended for all musicians, seasoned, new and aspiring. Conference attendees will hear firsthand from and participate in discussions led by music industry professionals. The conference is free, but registration is encouraged. Register online. More information on presenters is also available online

Singer-songwriter, rapper and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello will headline the MUSE conference. Ndegeocello will speak on her career in a 3 p.m. session; after the conference, the 10-time Grammy Award nominee will perform from her latest album, “Ventriloquism,” at 7 p.m. Tickets to the performance are $39, $10 for students, and may be purchased online.

Each session is approximately 50 minutes. The sessions will include:

Happy, Healthy and Injury-Free Musicians, 10 a.m.

The health and well-being of musicians crosses all disciplines, performing and nonperforming. Educating musicians on this crucial information will positively affect the well-being of countless future musicians in an effort not only to address the growing numbers of injuries but also to provide strategies for maintaining psychological health. Presenter: Assistant Professor Joseph Sherrill, M.D., UAB Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery. 

Owning It: Becoming a Music Business Entrepreneur, 11 a.m.

There are many ways to enter the music industry besides being a performer or musician. This clinic will examine ways to start a business in the industry and how to approach the traditional roles of bandleader, producer, manager, sideman, etc. from the perspective of an entrepreneur. Presenters: Eric Essix, jazz musician and ASC director of Programming; University Professor Henry Panion III, Ph.D., College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Music; and Associate Professor of Business Doug Ayers, Ph.D., UAB Collat School of Business

Navigating the Obstacles: Exploring Today’s Music Industry, 12 p.m.

A look at the state of today’s music industry model and identify ways to make it work for you.

Presenter: Ricky Shultz. Lunch and learn session. 

Life on the Road: Making it as a Touring Musician, 1 p.m.

A moderated panel discussion and demonstration on how to enter and maintain a career as a sideman in the music industry. Presenters: Wes Byrd, John Roberts, Sean Michael Ray.

Planning for the Future: Wealth and Money Management Strategies for Artists, 2 p.m.

Managing your finances and planning for the future as a self-employed artist. Presenter: Greg Powell, owner, FiPlan Partners. 

1:1 with Meshell Ndegeocello, 3 p.m.

A moderated discussion with Ndegeocello as she shares her thoughts on being a producer, performing artist and music industry trailblazer. Ndegeocello will perform from her latest album, “Ventriloquism,” beginning at 7 p.m. following the conference. Tickets may be purchased online

Market Your Music: Build Your Brand Using Social Media, 4 p.m.

The music industry is immensely competitive, and good marketing is essential for anyone looking to turn their art into a successful career. This panel discussion with industry and marketing pros will attempt to provide some essential and effective techniques for building a brand and marketing music using social media and the internet. Artist/presenters: Alex Krallman, Ph.D., Yufei Zhang, Ph.D., UAB School of Business.

In the Studio: Exploring the Art and Business of Music Production, 5 p.m.

A panel discussion on the challenges and rewards of being an independent music producer/creator. Artist/presenters: Kelvin Wooten, Phil Davis.