Discussion/Session Reports pt. 2

Discussion/Session Reports pt. 2

NETMCDO 2009 Discussion Notes and Session Reports

NETMCDO 2009 "Open Space" Session Reports
  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. How do we motivate undergrad students to take advantage of career services?
  3. Why Every College Music Program needs a Music Business Component
  4. Careers Course Curriculum Ideas
  5. OPM- Other Peoples’ Money
  6. Defining/Measuring Success
  7. The For-Profit Musician: Success Stories
  8. Best Practices: Marketing In a Tight Economy
  9. Musician/Audience Boundary: Being “In the Same Room” With Your Audience
  10. Experiential Learning: Attract Students and Advance Career Development?
  11. Suggested Resources
Session: Entrepreneurship

Convener: Emily Weingarten
Participants: Chris Marshall, Jan Bottomer, Andrea Davison, Elisa Seeherman, Bill Nerenberg, Liam Abramson

Entrepreneurship is threatening to a lot of music faculty.

What does entrepreneurship mean?
Individual’s ability to control circumstances of production of their livelihood
Media definition is misleading – sometimes = new ideas
Entrepreneur has a passion for business regardless of subject
Passion for an idea is important
Serial entrepreneurs – create a business, sell it when it makes a profit
How can we tie in entrepreneurship with sustainability for musicians?
Is entrepreneurship the right word for us?
How can we introduce entrepreneurship to musicians in a way that is not scary?
Risk is a very scary word for musicians
Arts advocacy
Some will succeed as entrepreneurship and some will not
Marriage of right and left brain
New audiences, new spaces
We’re training musicians for a 19th Century career when that doesn’t exist
Matt Haimovitz – cellist, plays in clubs
New technology
Democratization in arts
Access to performances:
drive down standard of performance and appreciation
could be a gateway for people to appreciate
People love mediocrity
General public can distinguish good from bad
Introduces empowerment, develops discernment
Is music something that you do, or something that is done to you?
Person that wins American Idol has everything that is done to them
Audience education
Try to beat the competition or create a new audience for what you’re doing (ex: Cirque de Soleil ? created a new model: circus for adults)
Maybe musicians could create a whole new audience it’s not that unusual in any other field.
Maybe it’s not duplicating a system like “El Systema” but creating a more customizedbylocation/situation approach
Often music students don’t go to concerts, don’t read, are oblivious to their surroundings
Workshops of service for alumni
Pyramid scheme come up with an entrepreneurial project. Students had to write business plans for their friends
Students don’t understand how long the process is of building your own career
Players’ Theater works with performance groups on marketing

How do we overcome students’ apathy?
When are students ready to learn this?
1. Allow students to have a “go” in a safe environment and fail
2. If student’s don’t have an entrepreneurial streak, make friends who have it
3. There is a danger of creating people in one image – should it be a business degree with music concentration?

Session: How do we motivate undergrad students to take advantage of career services?

Convener: Russell Scarbrough
Participants: Alana Jardin, Thresa Swadley, Rosie Perkins, Claire Hamm, Katy Hemingway, Kim Haack, Courtney Blackwell, Laura Keegan, Dorothy Wyandt, Glenn Caruthers, Rineke Smilde, Kip Cranna, Joe Mount, Edna Landau

Using active students to talk to others
Offering community outreach with compensation
How do we deal with scheduling extra career activities (seminars, classes, advising, etc.)
Requiring a resume for any on-campus job

Freebies – Food – Fun – Fast ? Immediate results

Bring the services out into the Lobby, Main Hall, etc. – go to the students

Contacting Parents – letting them know what services are available -- getting/using parents’ home address

Engaging & diverse speakers, trying to make classes as relevant

Presentation in orientation, studio class, open house

‘Fact sheets’ for studio teachers – what can we do to help Newsletters

Using Gig Service to engage students –requiring attendance at a professional seminar before being active on Gig Service

Session: Why Every College Music Program needs a Music Business Component

Convener: Hank Bordowitz
Participants: Midge Thomas, Dale Wilson, Georgia McBride

School doesn’t have a program.
Who would teach it?
Conservatory could, small school it would be more difficult.
-Panels vs. Class?
-All Music Schools need an Up-to-date Library of music business sources-
Students need to know how to deal with contracts.
Legal aspects also should be taught to everyone, especially performers
The larger part of this training should be available to everyone in the school.
“Not knowing what’s going on in the outside world is dangerous.”
“It pays to avoid being taken advantage of.”

Session: Careers Course Curriculum Ideas

Convener: Kelland Thomas
Participants: Kelland Thomas, Edna Landau, Emily Weingarten, Justin Kolb, Thresa Swadley

Edna Landau outlined Colburn’s course offering for Career Development – 2x/weekly, 1 week a month. Offered for the first time this year. Topics include Fiscal Sponsorship, Taxes, Grantwriting, Fundraising, Networking, Recording Industry, Digital Era (w/ the Chief Marketing Person from iTunes), Composers talking about Commissioning, Freelancing (w/ Past & Current Students, Faculty, and a Hollywood Contractor).

Technology in the curriculum was discussed, with important questions being “How to Keep Up” and “Teaching Specific Technologies vs. empowering students to explore new technologies and be adventurous.” One strategy is to find ARTISTS online who use technology well in various ways and make these ROLE MODELS (or CASE STUDIES). In the U of A Course, I have students complete a website.

WEBSITES can function as “Press Kits” and online “COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT” (Your MARKET!)
There was some discussion of using Weblogs in course curriculum – at Colburn, students submit a Blog Entry as a writing sample.

There was discussion about a WIKI to share online links and course materials between schools- KT will follow up on this project.

There was discussion of the role of teaching in ENTREPRENEURIAL outlook in a career course, not just concrete Career Skills, to empower students to seek out new opportunities, and find relevant information to pursue and execute.

Important skills for any careers curriculum are Verbal & written communication. Some talk about the “Mock Job Interviews” (or online Interview software) as a tool for feedback on verbal skills.

Thresa Swadley discussed having students take Personality tests upon entering to identify skills. Students often are extremely creative in matching their traits with interesting career options.

Session: OPM- Other Peoples’ Money

Convener: Justin Kolb

Corporate Money from Marketing Departments easier to obtain than corporate foundation

-County money available for outdoor concerts (parks dept)

-Corporate marketing departments

-Use 501c3 “pass through” organizations ?

-OPM requires that contribution can be written off

-Director of Musical America lists Granting organizations

-Arts in Education funds easily accessible

Session: Defining/Measuring Success

Convener: Elisa Seeherman
Participants: Mary Loiselle, Midge Thomas, Rosie Perkins

How do we set up assessment models?
What we already do:
CT College- no systematic mechanism – very anecdotal via faculty
Royal College- 2 methods: 1) destination survey, 2) working in music project
-most recent 5 years -9-5 “placement” model doesn’t work
-1st 5 years after graduated -4 Dimensional Model
-phone interviews (by students) 2 objective components
-compile stats -amount of time spent
-grant funded (in-house) -how much money earned (%)
-results-justifies 1 to 1 lessons 2 subjective components
-send a letter to alumni in advance -how do they see self?
-what is their vision?
Curtis- career office is only ½ years old – handled by Alumni Office (challenging)
University of Arts-
-one year out survey-online
-ask about various types of employment (FT/PT/performing/self-employed)
-success=some type of work related to their major

-Important to assess not only what they are doing, but also how satisfied they are with what they are doing
-Did you make a conscious choice to pursue another career?

Name of session: The For-Profit Musician: Success Stories

Convener: Liam Abramson

Discussions & Recommendations Outline

  • BA student, not classical but rock. Took band and started to act as a booking agent for other musicians whom he had played with/for. Now running a booking agency in Phoenix. Took from course: realized that what they were doing: organizing concerts, etc, was using all their business skills and this course helped him realize he could be a business-focused musician.
  • Student wanted to start a music school. After mentoring around a business plan, contacts to make, other people to speak to, curriculum outline, etc, one year later she started her music school. Positive motivation and the facilitating of opportunities from faculty is key
  • Give them the ok to go for their dream. Student wanted to write film scores but thought small. Important to allow student to go for their dream
  • Has a record label at the university-every artist signed is making their living as a performing artist. Help guide the students through booking, performance coaching, recording, distribution. Opened minds to possibilities- create a structured strategy and plan.
  • Used example from book in booking own gig. Student used suggestion from book to book a West Coast tour. Did exactly what was said in lecture and followed book word for word
  • Mentoring is what this is all about
  • Started a Music Café to bring in professionals from different parts of the music industry. Well rounded tastes with each professional, present problems, get answers.
  • Case study analysis is a vital way to teach some of my business subjects. Identify your case study: is there someone you want to see: who, why, what how, etc.
Name of session: Best Practices: Marketing In a Tight Economy

Covener: Alana Jardis, Courtney Blackwell
Participants: Aya Terasawa, Kip Cranna, Claire Hamm, Elisa Seeherman, Georgia McBride, Hank Bordowitz, Thresa Swadley, Janet Rarick, John Blanchard, Kelland Thomas

Discussions & Recommendations outline:

Core habits in all economies:
• Resume: digital: for small corporations, those using recruiters
— Keywords: competition, prize, acumen, manage, written/verbal, comm. Skills, use job description as a guide, 1-2 pg. resume ok
— For cover letters: use job description as a guide, address qualifications
— In helping students, first address the purpose of the resume
— Video resumes, web portfolios, “designed” resumes: not necessary, employers say keep it simple, maybe link to a website or Youtube video
— Employers want to receive resume as email: Word Document/PDF
• Idea: send resume electronically and also via US mail. Acknowledge that sending through various media
• Follow-up with phone call to confirm app. materials received
— Knowledge of self and organization!
— Hand deliver resumes: handwrite thank-you notes (but it depends, in some instances, it might take too long)
• Idea: brief email followed up with US mail note
• Key is there is no standard- cover all your bases
— Most employers like skills/qualification section instead of objective, but not all. If it can’t hurt you, why not include it? Maybe helpful for students seeking summer/internship opps. Make it meaningful.
— In working with students, think about what questions might be raised for employers and encourage students to proactively address names of teachers/coaches on resume with header “teacher/coaches”
— Think about what’s relevant w/in cultural/metro area ex: Eagle Scout in some places key, in others, not applicable
— Ways to stand out:
• “Other skills” in resume, quirky, interesting
• Performances: if undergrad, diversify (w/in school, community, etc) and dates (esp. for grad students). Don’t include anything before college. Think: is this adding to a positive image? Know your audience
— Brainstorm with students, trans. skills, use active verbs as a guide
• Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills
— For practice: mock interviews, practice cocktail questions, note: Artists are trained to respond emotionally, need to think about that!, pull job description and have students dissect it as a group: what does this mean?
— New “Blue Ocean” ways to stand out:
• Sr. who wanted to teach voice lessons, used Craig’s List and posted multiple adds to various audiences through services
• Playing in non-traditional spaces
• Business card on them at all times
• Hang around after concerts
• Web presence
• It’s normal to be rejected: will need to get “no’s” to get to “yes” Failure is normal and ok. Can learn from it
• Play for an audience: do a survey, ask for ideas for other clients: mailing list
• Donate services as a silent auction prize, show up at auction and playing during bidding process
• Play for tips to raise $$ for non-profit organization: may make connections
• At recitals/performances, give prize of your talent for another event (great way to get contact info)

Name of session: Musician/Audience Boundary: Being “In the Same Room” With Your Audience

Convener: Kip Cranna
Participants: Alana Jardis, Andrea Davison, Rosie, Dorothy, Aya, Margaret Thomas, Emily Weingarten, Laura Keegan, Katy Hemingway

Discussion & Recommendations outline:

  • Have students discuss performances they have seen, interactions
  • Videotaping performances-watch without the sound-what is your body language?
  • Go to a concert with a non-musician-get that person’s reaction
  • Keep talking to audience short-if you feel you are talking too long, you are.
  • Tell them fun facts about a piece
  • Break the rules, open yourself to the audience
  • Music students should have a little drama experience, a little scene or story telling
  • “Community studies”: read about
  • Graves: “Arts and Community”
  • Get feedback from audience members- feedback cards? Work with your box office: online response-offer a prize
  • “Music as a second language”: informal concerts with a host, like a talk show, ask questions of performers, have performers sit onstage with you during the performance
  • Interview students as you would a guest speaker
  • Explain to audience about your tuning
  • Try out your jokes before using them on an audience
  • Use unconventional venues: bars, taverns, clubs, late evening, audience free to chat, short pieces, include something unusual to get the audience involved
  • Care about your audiences-respect them
Name of session: Experiential Learning: Attract Students and Advance Career Development?

Convener: Emily Weingarten
Participants: Midge Thomas, Rosie Perkins, Andrea, Mary Loiselle, Katy Hemingway, Jan Bottomer, Laura Keegan, Holly Marland, Kitty, Liam Abramson

Discussion & Recommendations outline:

  • Social service oriented approach to access grant money
  • Academy- Business course, had to pass to get music degree
  • 30% written work, 60% experiential
  • Divided into teams- all team members were accountable for attendance
  • Experiential assignments- final project was putting on a concert in the community: was very successful but mixed reactions from students
  • Training students to understand the business aspect of music
  • Curtis: has program where students must create a project, get sponsorship. Create a written/spoken proposal, promote
  • Integrate projects into the core of what students do
  • How do we create an experiential learning program?
  • Better to ask for forgiveness then for permission
  • Problems arise when you want to change curriculum
  • Student- centered events, workshops, interactive
  • Student demand will be more powerful than top-down
  • Student focus groups
  • Attendance is not a unique problem for music
  • Americorps Program: Scholars and Service
  • Cross-university programs
  • Mentorships
  • Exposure-viral process will sell these programs more than anything
  • Recognize students who are innovative, they will naturally do the selling
  • Sessions open to students, staff, graduates-experiential formats
  • Create opportunities for students to enjoy
  • Keeping things out of curriculum allows for more flexibility
  • Find space in dull times of the semester
  • Find communalities among groups of students
  • “Pop-up” classes
  • Corporate sponsorship, school sponsorship
  • Staff and interns help cope with increasing demand
  • Outside sponsorships can make something exciting to students
  • Wikis
  • Competition can be a good motivator
  • Create incentives for innovation
  • Cultural barriers - find cultural communalities to overcome
  • How can we capitalize on having a multi-cultural school
Suggested Resources



  • Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • World Café by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, details how to set up the networking session we used
  • Musical Excellence by Aaron Williamon
  • Musicians as Lifelong Learners by Reineke Smilde (appears end of Jan 09)
  • This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin
  • The World in Six Songs by Daniel Levitin
  • Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide by Harrison Owen, details how to design open space workshops/conferences
  • The Art Spirit by Robert Henri, terrifically inspirational book about the motivation to create
  • The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible: Becoming a Virtuoso Educator by Eric Booth (just out! Oxford University Press)
  • Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

From a follow-up conversation with Chris Marshall about using books for career classes that detail creative artist’s lives:

Composing a Life by Mary Catherine Bateson. Includes 5 or 6 autobiog sections written by artists in different media--you could ask students to choose one, read it, and write about it?

Essays by creative artists on their motivation to do the work

George Orwell's Why I Write?

Joan Didion also has a similar essay:
Senior Journal/Why I write, Joan Didion.doc

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker piece on late bloomers and genius: