This is the "7-12 "Takin' Care of Business": A Rock Band Financial Simulation" page of the "Rockin' the Schools" guide.
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7-12 "Takin' Care of Business": A Rock Band Financial Simulation Print Page




"Takin' Care of Business": A Rock Band Finance Simulation

Suggested Grade Level:  7-12

This research guide serves as a resource for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Education Department course, "Takin' Care of Business": A Rock Band Finance Simulation. For additional information on the course and for more teacher resources, see

Students know exactly what music is on their iPods, but they rarely understand that the artistry and glitter of superstardom depends upon a complex business network that must remain financially stable. This class will take students behind the scenes with a real-world simulation that puts them in the shoes of a rock band’s tour manager. In the class activity, students will apply mathematical and financial concepts to help manage a fictional band through a cross-country tour.  This will involve weighing some serious financial concerns about profit and loss: What expenses might they have to budget for? Where will the money come from? How will they respond as managers when ticket sales are lower than expected? Any number of scenarios might affect the tour budget and thus their company’s bottom line.


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    These research databases can be accessed within the Library and Archives.

    • Business Source Complete
      Covers 3,200 scholarly business journals in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, accounting, finance, international business, econometrics and economics. Good for researching the business of music.
    • Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive
      An archival research resource containing the essential primary sources for studying the history of the film and entertainment industries, from the era of vaudeville and silent movies through to 2000. The core US and UK trade magazines covering film, music, broadcasting and theater are all included, together with film fan magazines and music press titles. Magazines have been scanned cover-to-cover in high-resolution color, with granular indexing of all articles, covers, ads and reviews.
    • Music Index
      A comprehensive guide to music periodicals and literature featuring digitized content from 1970 to present. Contains cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts of articles about music, musicians, and the music industry for more than 480 periodicals, as well as book reviews, obituaries, news, and selective coverage for more than 200 periodicals. Comprehensive coverage of the music field makes Music Index an invaluable resource for both scholar and novice.
    • RoJaRo
      The world's largest free music magazine index covering rock - jazz - roots music - blues - country - rap - soul - folk-latin - gospel - metal - psychedelic - reggae - punk - world music - salsa - afropop - pop - film music-progressive - dance - techno - electronica - avant garde - ska - r&b - exotica - house - etc. Also including music magazine, fanzine & record label information.

    For Your Students

    Cover Art
    Grateful Dead - Michele C. Hollow
    Call Number: ML421.G738 H65 2009



    These resources, pulled from class discussion and selected from the Library and Archives' collections, will help you to:

    • Identify and describe the major components of the modern music industry, and the ways in which they are connected.
    • Describe the benefits of fiscal responsibility and recognize the accountability of financial planning in real-life applications.
    • Apply mathematical modeling to business and consumer situations.


    Cover Art
    2Stoned - Andrew Loog Oldham
    Call Number: ML429.O434 A32 2011
    "2Stoned" picks up where "Stoned" left off, giving Oldham's perspective on how he created his vision of The Stones, how he guided The Stones to world-wide success and shaped their image into what we remember today (as opposed to what it actually is today), and how he came to leave the band at the height of their success.

    Cover Art
    All You Need to Know about the Music Business - Donald S. Passman
    Call Number: ML3795 .P35 2012
    Through seven editions and twenty years, All You Need to Know About the Music Industry has been the essential go-to reference for music business

    Cover Art
    Music Law - Attorney, Richard Stim
    Call Number: KF390.E57 S85 2012
    Features business and legal advice for bands, covering such topics as drafting a partnership agreement, using samples, registering a band name, selling and licensing music, touring on a budget, and understanding record contracts

    Cover Art
    Peter Grant - Chris Welch
    Call Number: ML429.G74 W47 2002
    Wrestler turned rock manager, the late Peter Grant made his name as the manager of Led Zeppelin, helping to turn them into rock’s biggest attraction by the mid Seventies.

    Cover Art
    Rockin' in the New World - Bob Tulipan
    Call Number: ML3795 .T85 2011
    Part field guide, part artistic coaching session, this book explains the ins and outs of the music industry. Bob Tulipan shares his expertise to help musicians protect their art and their interests. Filled with anecdotes, interviews, sample templates for budgets and contracts, it addresses the hurdles every band faces

    Cover Art
    Stoned - Andrew Loog Oldham
    Call Number: ML429.O434 A3 2011
    Andrew Loog Oldham was nineteen when he discovered and became the manager and producer of an unknown band called The Rolling Stones. His radical vision transformed them from a penniless South London blues combo to the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world. Ultra-hip, flash, brash and seeped in Sixties style, he was a hustler of genius, addicted to scandal, notoriety and innovation.

    Cover Art
    Ticket Masters - Dean Budnick; Josh Baron
    Call Number: PN1590.T53 B83 2012
    Ticket Masters chronicles the as-yet-untold story of the modern concert industry, revealing the origins, development and ongoing strategies of companies such as Ticketmaster, Live Nation and StubHub and the efforts of numerous independent competitors.

    Cover Art
    The tour book: how to get your music on the road - Andy Reynolds
    Call Number: electronic resource
    This book provides practical advice, hints, and tips on every aspect of putting on a live show, including rehearsal, equipment, travel, accommodations, show booking and promotion, sound checks, contracts, taxation, working abroad, and marketing. Featuring interviews and quotes from key industry figures and contemporary artists and musicians, The Tour Book is a must-have for any band or musician who is serious about playing live and making it big.



    Cover Art
    The complete studio recordings - Led Zeppelin
    Call Number: CDB LED COMP 1993

    Cover Art
    England's newest hit makers - Rolling Stones
    Call Number: CD ROLL ENGL 1986

    Cover Art
    Rocker - Elvis Presley
    Call Number: CD PRES-E ROCK 1984



    Cover Art
    Atlantic Records : The House that Ahmet Built
    Call Number: DVD ERTE-A ATLA 2007

    Archival Resources

    New to Archives? Check out:

    • ARC-0028 FAME Studios Records
      The FAME Studios Records span the years 1961 to 1998. The majority of the collection is contained within the artist files, contracts, and financial records, which consist of correspondence, artist biographies, photographs, and other documents related to the musicians of FAME Studios. Other materials in the collection include administrative files, appointment books, notes, and phone message logs presumably maintained by Rick Hall's administrative assistant. Finally, the collection contains 1,018 color and black-and-white digital image files of Rick Hall, Muscle Shoals, the FAME recording studio, and various artists associated with FAME Studios. The FAME Studios Records provides a unique look into the business aspect of American country and soul music during the 1960s and 1970s, and documents the evolution of the Muscle Shoals music scene.
    • ARC-0032 Modern Music Records
      The Modern Music Records document the publishing side of the music industry. The records span from the company's earliest days in the late 1940s, when it was founded by Jules Bihari, to a few documents from the 1990s through 2002. The bulk of the collection dates from the early 1970s, and the contents only document select parts of the business. Of particular note are materials related to the subject of copyright, and the records demonstrate how Bihari and his two brothers, Joe and Saul, added their names or pseudonyms to a song in order to receive shares of the royalties. The collection also contains information about many of Modern Music's subsidiary record labels, including Flair and Kent Records.
    • ARC-0035 David Russell Collection
      The David Russell Collection spans the years 1983 to 2003, with the bulk of the collection dating between 1985 and 1995. The collection consists of tour production materials, including detailed documents about productions, personnel, and stage design; personal files with information about Russell's life on tour; and graphic materials that add a visual landscape to the collection--the stage blueprints of particular note. The collection provides unique insight to the intricate process of producing concerts and world tours for major artists. Bands covered by the materials include Bon Jovi, Cher, Peter Gabriel, Janet Jackson, R.E.M, Pink Floyd, and Tina Turner.
    • ARC-0047 Four Tops Collection
      The Four Tops Collection spans the years 1967 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating between 1974-1978. The majority of the collection is business records. These records include invoices, tour information, contracts, song information, and bank records. Also included in the collection is correspondence, printed materials, including microphone and amplifier instruction manuals, photographs, and a 1/4-inch audio tape reel. The Collection provides rich insight to the daily life of a popular recording and touring musical group; the financial aspects in particular. The Four Tops Collection is organized by format, with business records first, listed alphabetically by file title. The business records include invoices, bank statements, tour information, contracts, song information, original sheet music, receipts, and insurance documents.
    • ARC-0311 Rick Taylor Papers
      The Rick Taylor Papers document Taylor's work in the concert touring industry from the early 1980s through 2000. The collection contains Taylor's personal papers, Luther Vandross files, legal papers, and tour itinerary booklets. The bulk of the collection includes tour itinerary books for a variety of artists, and many include notes he wrote while on the road. Financial files and contracts make up the majority of the rest of the collection, with Luther Vandross as the primary subject. These files include ticket sales and merchandise reports. The collection will be useful to researchers studying the concert industry of the 1980s and 1990s.

    YouTube Videos

    Music Business 101 Bootcamp: Artist Management Music Business 101 Bootcamp: Record Labels Music Business 101 Bootcamp: Booking Music Business 101 Bootcamp: Law, Publishing &More Music Business 101 Bootcamp: Publicity
    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum | Library and Archives
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