Library and Links

Project Management and Business Books

Here are some books about project management, music business, and general business practice that I’ve found helpful. They are not necessarily new and hot; they are classics, and my reliable favorites. The links go to either the authors’/publishers’ sites or to the Northshire Bookstore, which is both online and in Manchester Center, Vermont. (If you see Northshire in person, it will probably become your favorite bookstore too. Support independent booksellers!)

P.S. You might confirm that I’m linking to the current version of these books, before you buy them. Let me know if you find a stale link.

Allen, David. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. New York: Penguin Books, 2001. The best $15 you’ll ever spend.

Bargfrede, Allen and Cecily Mak. Music Law in the Digital Age. Boston: Berklee Press, 2009. An insightful and fairly comprehensive guide to understanding copyright law and the current legal state of the industry.


Cornell-Feist, Marci. Board Meetings: A Guide for Charter Schools. Harvard, MA: The High Bar, 2011. Okay, okay, this book is targeted at the niche market of charter school boards, and yes, my wife is the author and I’m the editor. But it is an excellent, concise guide to how to run effective meetings, good for all kinds of work, and I give it my highest (if, perhaps, slightly biased) recommendation. Money-back guarantee….

PMM Book Icon

Feist, Jonathan. Project Management for Musicians. Boston: Berklee Press, 2013. Principles of formal project management customized for the music industry. This book serves as the textbook to the Berklee online course of the same name, and the topics are synchronized. The book is portable and cuddly. The course is interactive, with multimedia, additional examples/models, video interviews with various music industry professionals, class discussions, real-time chats with author/instructor Jonathan Feist, and detailed feedback on weekly assignments and practice exercises. The book is like a travel guide; the course is the actual journey.

Fraley, Gregg. Jack’s Notebook. Nashville, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007. A creative and effective way to teach strategic thinking.
Gawande, Atul. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2009. Fun reading, especially for a book about checklists.
Halloran, Mark. The Musician’s Business and Legal Guide. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008. Some good model contracts in this book.
Howard, George. Music Publishing 101. Boston: Berklee Press, 2005. A very concise and clear explanation of how the money flows.
King, Mike. Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail. Boston: Berklee Press, 2009. A practical, informative, thorough guide to creating and managing music marketing campaigns.
Milosevic, Dragan Z. Project Management Toolbox: Tools and Techniques for the Practicing Project Manager. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons Inc., 2003. A useful, clear, very technical, and somewhat advanced collection of project management tools.
Norman, Eric S., Shelly A. Brotherton, and Robert T. Fried. Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2008. Advanced and detailed, with great insights into best practice. Buy it now, put it on your shelf, and reference it when you have mastered the basics and want to get even more persnickety and organized.
Passman, Donald. All You Need To Know About The Music Business. Free Press, 2009. Excellent all-around book about the recording industry.


Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). Atlanta, GA: Project Management Institute, Inc., 2013. The central repository for the most up-to-date research on best practice. This is the book that all the other project management books reference. Including mine.

Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown Business, 2011. A terrific book on one of the most useful micro-iteration processes.

Wynsocki, Robert K. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons Inc., 2011. A clear, end-to-end project management guide, primarily aimed at managing larger projects in a corporate context, but some very practical and thorough descriptions of the major standard tools.


These links are related to the content of the Project Management for Musicians materials, providing more information about the featured music industry professionals and organizations.

  • Addison Toons. See more of Mark Addison Kershaw’s hysterical/insightful/wonderful cartoons/drawings.
  • Berklee Press. The book/DVD publishing activity of Berklee College of Music, publisher of the book Project Management for Musicians. I’m the editor in chief.
  • Berklee College of Music. One of the world’s great music education institutions. Proud to have been on staff since 1998.
  • Berklee College of Music’s online continuing education division, where you can take the 12-week online course Project Management for Musician, and many other courses about all dimensions of the music industry. Including my other course on Finale.
  • Bowker. Get your barcodes and ISBN numbers here.
  • Hal Leonard Corporation. The distributor of Berklee Press, and one of the world’s largest music product publishers.
  • Aaron Larget Caplan. Guitarist and new music evangelist, who provided grisly photos of his house fire.
  • Dana Levit, Financial Planner, Principal of Paragon Financial. Brilliant wizard of personal finance. Listening to her on the phone with IRS customer service is an entertainment worthy of a radio comedy show.
  • Jamie de Rooij designed the PMM book cover.
  • Smartsheet. Developers of a fantastic project management platform, which I use to illustrate various concepts.
  • From the Top. Celebrating the power of music in the hands of extraordinary young musicians. Interviews with their staff and examples based on their radio shows and live-broadcast concerts are found throughout these materials.
  • Frank Shirley Architects. This firm specializes in renovations and additions to antique houses, and they do first rate work.
  • Mike King. Contemporary music marketing guru.
  • Emily Peal. Singer/songwriter and band leader, who I Shanghaied into interviewing and contributing her band’s experiences as the basis for various case studies.
  • Anne Peckham. Chair of the voice department at Berklee, and author of multiple best-selling Berklee Press books.
  • Project Management Institute. A think tank about deep project management thoughts, generally considered among the highest quality sources of information on the subject.
  • Bob Sinicrope. Founder/Director of the Milton Academy Jazz Department.
  • Wula Drum. Makers of fine African instruments.
  • Wiley. Publishers of many excellent books on project management.

Other Interesting Websites

These websites might also be of interest to those involved in music and project management. The bias here is on sites related to my students, friends, and colleagues, but some others are mixed in. Not much rhyme or reason to this list, to anyone but me, but perhaps you’ll find some good diversions here, if you are surfing.


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