Session Reports (2007)

Session Reports (2007)

Reports from the six breakout sessions on Day One:

Reports from the "Open Space" sessions on Day Two:

Two recommended resources used at the conference:

Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process to order:

Open Space Technology (the conference format we used on Wednesday) was pioneered by Harrison Owen; read about the technique at:
and there’s “Open Space Technology: A User's Guide” by Harrison Owen

All you ever wanted to know about facilitating an Open Space event. Included are the specifics about time, place, logistics, invitation and follow-up. Special attention is devoted to the preparation of the facilitator. Harrison Owen, (Berrett-Koehler, 1997), paperback, 200 pages.

Presenting Classical Alongside Other Genres AND the classical musician in a T-shirt & jeans

Conveners: John Blanchard combined with James Murphy
Attendees: John Gordon Ross, Casey Molino Dunn, Mary Cosgrove, Michael Drapkin, Janis Weller, Kathy Covert, Janet Rarick, Dorothy Wyandt, Joe Mount

In light of the discussion on cultural change and the future of classical music, John suggests that we respect the best in each genre of art. Looking at our own eclectic taste, is there a future niche for cross-genre, revised, mashed collaboration?

Recommendations and talking points:

  • create artistic, original programs
  • cross pollinate disciplines
  • be outrageous in presentation
  • your art must resonate
  • be inventive, set the bar, be the leader for the next excellent trend
  • connect genres
  • study the market but find a way to impose upon them excellence
  • experiment, experiment, experiment
  • urge students to risk + reach
  • go beyond imitation of perceived successful performing groups
  • give students “permission” to experiment, reinvent
  • learn from history, glean from the best of examples – Handel’s courage for example.

“T-shirt Symposium!” – Reflect on how you will present in a way that is set-apart, unique to your gifts. An effort must be made to create the image and make an offering that shows respect for the audience as well as your persona. Break the mold.


Connecting with Service Organizations

Attendees: Angela Beeching; Janet Rarick; Casey Molino Dunn; Sally Mitchell (Early Music); Carlotta Del Bianco (Del Bianco Foundation); Peter McDowell (Opera America); Ann Summers Dossena (International Resource Centre); Cheri Astolfi (Astral Artists Services); Maria Coldwell (President, Early Music)

Joint Performing Arts Conference in Denver, June 2008

  • For all performing arts service organizations and their constituents:
  • Includes ASOL, Opera America, Dance America, Chorus America, etc
  • 1st was in 2004

Early Music America

  • Emerged as a separate service organization from Chamber Music America
  • Organized by repertoire
  • Based in Seattle
  • Produce a conference every other year
  • Also provides professional development sessions on the road
  • Offer 1 on 1 counseling for people who call (call the regular line).
  • It’s OK if they aren’t members
  • Student rate = $30.00 / year
  • Mission is to further the field
  • Directories are extensive
  • Online concert calendar
  • Listing of festivals + workshops
  • Early music is both repertoire + an approach
  • An organization can join as a individual

What is the best way for schools to interact with service organizations? How do we alert students?

  • Don’t let the member thing be an obstruction: lots of free resources
  • Schools can often arrange for

Astral Artistic Services

  • Mission Statement: To discover the most promising classical musicians residing in the United States, assist their early professional career development, and present their world-class artistry to the community through concerts and outreach programs.
  • Publicity Statement: Since its founding in 1992, Astral Artistic Services has played a unique and vital role in the development of the nation’s most gifted young musicians. A Philadelphia-based non-profit organization, Astral serves as a ‘career bridge’ for promising young artists, who often graduate from conservatories superbly trained as musicians but without the business and professional skills needed to face the challenges of establishing a classical music career. Astral provides invaluable mentoring and practical advice; Philadelphia and New York City debuts; collaborations with world-renowned musicians; auditions for major presenters, managers, and conductors; outreach training; and world premières of new compositions frequently written for Astral musicians and commissioned by Astral – all at no cost to the artist.
  • Astral selects its artists from a nationwide pool of applicants at annual auditions and presents these promising young musicians in concert series, outreach programs, and musicales in private homes. Astral’s highly regarded Philadelphia Concert Series offers an exciting range of recitals, chamber music, and orchestral concerts with the Haddonfield Symphony. Other series in and around Philadelphia feature Astral artists in performances at universities, museums, and schools. Each year Astral reaches approximately 10,000 community members through concerts and extensive outreach programming in schools and adult care facilities.
  • Three Core Programs: Mentoring/Career Development,Concert Presentation, Outreac
    • Through the Mentoring/Career Development program, musicians work with the President/Founder on specific projects and goals that will further their careers.
    • As part of the Concert Presentation program, Astral presents concerts on its own series, as well as in collaboration with other venues. Additionally, Astral has a “pseudo-management” component to assist its artists in booking engagements. Artists are paid for all engagements.
    • Through the Outreach program, artists present residencies and individually tailored programs for both underserved school children and elderly and/or disabled adults. Artists are paid for all their engagements
  • Artists: Selected artists have the potential for a major solo career
    Generally between the ages of 18-35
    Currently 24 artists/ensembles on its roster (singers, instrumentalists, chamber ensembles)
    Note: Astral would be delighted to send speakers to schools.

Opera America

  • Online service: Opera Source (most direct connection to info)
  • O.A. student membership: $25.00 (often grad students)
  • The new Perspectives Series from OA was recommended as a resource for singers

Young Artists Program (YAP) Tracker (not O.A.) geared towards singers/they can track

  • Auditions for singers; provides online calendar + database

Del Bianco Foundation

  • Offers specialized masterclasses and courses in Florence (for singers, instrumentalists) and promotes concerts in Florence, created a new space for singers from other countries
  • No program fees (except for masterclasses)
  • They do some programming in partnership with music schools (will receive proposals)

International Resource Centre (Canada)

  • Non-profit network for artists in any discipline
  • Helping people bridge student to professional
  • Produced sessions which now are done at University of Montreal


Millennial Generation

Convener: Elisa Seeherman
Attendees: Therese Perrault, Cheri Astolfi, Bob McAllister

Who are the millennial?

  • born 1984 – present
  • students are overscheduled
  • parents are over-involved
  • parents do things for them
  • very purpose oriented
  • want high salaries but want things that are purposeful
  • not willing to work their way up
  • H.S. peer pressure – take college prep, AP classes
  • they are overwhelmed – feel no competition
  • parents push them; school administrators push them too

Why do students go to college?

  • Boomers – first generation college
  • Generation X – college for the experience – not career-oriented
  • Millennium – go to college to prepare for a successful career (return on investment)
  • These students have not dealt with adversity – they don’t have problem-solving skills
  • Increase in anxiety + depression
  • Increase in revealing learning disabilities
  • Outward reaction – “It’s never their fault!”
  • The message they get is they need to be not only straight A students, but also extra-curriculars plus community service
  • How do we define success? Our culture defines it as seeing the top of their field
  • Millennial – family unit is really important –they’re not leaving the nest
  • Difference between parents helping children to make connections versus doing the work for them
  • Generational studies are skewed to suburban whites – doesn’t reflect inner-city minorities
  • Inner-city teens are working + paying rent because their parents aren’t
  • Hispanic population is growing – big rift between those here legally + illegally
  • Stratification of the generation – upper class vs. lower class (off the radar)
  • College attendance has increased but has the entire population increased? Yes – so there’s a larger number of potential college-aged students. We don’t know how many more aren’t going to college

Other discussion points

  • Erosion of standards in public schools – No Child Left Behind
  • Not teaching them to be independent or to think
  • Millennial generation qualities are valid in our worlds
  • It would be useful for us to not take for granted things we think they should know
  • Career development is moving toward counseling
  • Our job is to help them transition from school to work
  • Our role is to refer them to the appropriate source

Ideas to “speak their language”

  • get rid of hard copy form and go online
  • create an IM buddy name for career services
  • Myspace + Facebook accounts. employers are looking at their accounts: Program idea? Effective use of my Myspace.
  • In classes/workshops: “discipline” them by telling them to turn off their cell phones, take off their headphones, etc.
  • Tell them what you’re not going to do


  • “Chance favors the prepared mind” – Louis Pasteur
  • “Nothing works unless you do” – Maya Angelou
  • “Give a man a fish, you’ve fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, you’ve fed him for a lifetime.”


Career Development Beyond Graduation (Oh God, What Do I Do?)

Convener: Bill Nerenberg
Attendees: Justin Kolb, John Gordon Ross, Janet Rarick, Robert McAllister, Emily Frank, Dorothy Wyandt, Ar Adler, Mary Cosgrave, Dana Scott, Casey Molino Dunn.

Discussion points:

  • Bill Nerenberg describe Peabody Presents, his program and services at Peabody Conservatory
  • services offered to current students (ready to have career and hopefully getting to management) and faculty and alums (esp. since they didn’t feel cheated and especially those who haven’t made connections)
  • gigs
  • management
  • networking/prepare materials and attractive comprehensive packages

Justin discussed we’re in the age of developing your own career, shared trials of getting management.

Bill discussed that challenge of getting management is having niche and marketing yourself

Justin discussed what presenters want.

Ar Adler at Manhattan School shared what her office offers:
Lifetime admittance
Counseling redirection

When is an artist ready for a manager? Bill discusses if they can generate $20,000 in commissions (i.e. generating $100,000 in a year)

Bob shared that so often mid-sized orchestras have one big headliner and then hire emerging artist soloists.

Janet explained that Rice University has an extensive career services center including online resources for career development. The Shepherd School of Music offers a variety of resources for career development, but has no official careers office.

Mary shared the Royal School shares gigs with current students and alums and that in her experience it’s the agent who finds the talent.

Most schools with career services offer at least some of these:
Lifetime use of careers office
Other tools, testing

Work with agents: most schools don’t



Convener: Linda Holzer
Participants: Angela Beeching, Dina Evans, Emily Frank, Justin Kolb

  • [Linda posed the question:] In your music program, how to you invite students to share about their technology interests? How do you train students in music technology?
  • At University of Arkansas they have a music technology lab, and it’s going to be updated. We’ve been analyzing what is the best way to go about this. Also, I serve on the college Teaching with Technology committee, and we’re about to launch a survey of faculty about technology attitudes, interests and needs.
  • It strikes me (Linda) that not enough attention is being paid to technology skills that STUDENTS already have when they come to us. That our tech resources are, in some cases, way behind what they’re using already at home (I’m at a commuter campus).
  • I’d like to know how, in your music programs, do you invite your students to share about their technology interests? Is there room in your curriculum for this? Also, how do you train students in music technology? Notation software, Audio recording software, other? Web design software?
  • Where’s the cart and where’s the horse in this? What is going to be replaced in the curriculum to make room for more technology? What is going to be revised in the curriculum to be enhanced by technology?
  • How frequently do you upgrade? Every 2 years? Every 5 years?

Discussion observations, recommendations and questions:

  • There are turf battles about curriculum. It is very difficult to add new courses.
  • Computer labs can be multi-use. Used both for instruction and self-serve use by students.
  • Upgrade costs are a problem. Generally, tech equipment is considered obsolete after two years. But most departments can’t afford to replace tech equipment every two years.
  • Recording studios are linked to concert halls and offer opportunities for technology training.
  • University provides space for web site. That’s part of recruiting. Issues about content? Who monitors content? Censorship? Style guidelines?
  • Plug into student expertise to design department web sites.
  • Require a Music in Technology class? Grad. Assistant or a theory-comp person. They are usually the leaders.
  • What if one of the junior recital requirements was to find a way to incorporate technology in a recital? Maybe a doctoral lecture-recital would have to use PowerPoint and Finale? Or do a podcast?
  • Is technology a 2nd language? Maybe, but studying technology shouldn’t replace playing recitals. A recital is like a research paper. It’s about planning, and responsibility, and scrutiny, pride, pressure. It isn’t about making a living. It’s about the trajectory of preparation.
  • The micro and the macro. How do students draw connections between what they’re learning in music history and ensemble rehearsals? If you’re going to require things about technology, what is having a positive experience with a tech tool about? Gaining confidence, an avenue to a larger project.
  • If studio faculty are up to speed, they can require students to create a web site.
  • Can you stay ahead of the curve? Are you teaching practical skills? Or are you teaching them to be open to change so that they can roll with the punches as things continue to change in the field of music? What kind of assignment or experience should you frame around that to help students explore further?

Talking points:
Student vs. faculty knowledge
Multi-use labs
Technology courses available to students
Web space available to students?
Where does technology fit into the curriculum?
Web page as class requirement?


Time constraint
Portability of student-owned hardware

Question for NETMCDO listserv: How are people incorporating technology in the classroom? (or studio)


The Future…

Session leaders: Derek Mithaug and Michael Drapkin

  • iTunes
  • Interactive Web sites
  • Musicians broadcasting/publishing themselves online
    • How do we train/advise our students on this?
    • How do we use the web’s powers and reach to our advantage?
    • How does all this change the idea of classical music as a “finished product” and make it more interactive and evolving?
    • The old, passive paradigm of “concrete” musical product (CDs/concerts) being bought and only listened to is… OLD!; huge potential for creating musical product, sharing with consumers, and allowing them to use, re-invent, take part in; example on-line is Creative Commons started by David Byrne (
  • Our students need to be active on both “push” and “pull” fronts when putting themselves online.
  • Indexing (using the right meta-tags) makes you much easier to find (higher ranked) in search engines.
  • Don’t let students assume that their website will do all their work for them. The personal touch is still vital.
  • Define your basics, your content, first before being seduced and enthralled to hi-tech tools.
  • Have a go at making a website yourself so you can better advise your students about the experience.
  • You can’t go wrong; go online and fix it … it’s okay! … DIVE IN!
  • Examples of small, young groups breaking the mold/using technology: Absolute Ensemble; London Sinfonietta; Imani Winds


Careers in Music Other Than Performing

Session leader: Sharon Friedner
Attendees: Dana Scott, Gabriela Camacho, Ar Adler, Mary Cosgrove, Peter McDowell, Angela Beeching, Justin Kolb

Careers and Opportunities:
Music Products (ex: Yamaha hires instrument testers + demonstrators, developing synthesizer sounds)
Sound design for film and video games
Cruise ship music coordinator
Church choirs
Instrument Design
Radio programming
Cruise Ship music coordinator
Theme Park music dept.
Concert promotion and production
Record labels
Advertising – music production dept: music coordinators and editors
Composing for dancers
Music publishing houses hire musicians to test sheet music

Resources for music related careers:
Art Search:
Art Job (subscription job database)
Arts councils and Foundations
Opera Source – subscription job source tool
The Recording Industry Resource Book
Rounder Records (Cambridge, MA) – internships
Bel Aire Summer Music Festival – internships – subscription w/ articles about music careers
Meet the Composer
American Music Center


Doris Duke – Talented Student in Arts
State Depts of Employment


Starting a Career Center

Session leader: Bill Nerenberg and ?

(Collaborate with other departments – e.g. Student Services, alumni relations)
Local businesses supporting region (via marketing departments) e.g. food manufacturers
“Friends of the School” – previous donors

Center resources – essential
2 Professionals per 2,000 students
1 Support + Work study
Communication tools – computer, phone, fax
CD players
DVD player
Assessment instruments (Strong/Meyers Briggs/Self developed)
Access to job listings – subscriptions to: Chronicle, Om Job, Union paper,, Musical America Performing Arts Directory,, America Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Mag, College Music Society, Back Stage

Books – Collaborate with library
Advisory Group (Alumni; faculty)
Handbook of Career Counseling
Beeching’s Beyond Talent
Ormont’s Career Solutions for Creative People
Gowain’s Creative Visualization
The Artist’s Way
Making Music in Looking Glass Land

Programs to offer
Career Counseling
Career Dev. Grants
Internal Outreach – go to school events (e.g. seminars, writing classes)
Gig/Teacher referral
Competition Info
Outreach Coordinator?
Resume examples
Bio’s, Headshots
Job Bank/Bulletins
Speakers Series/Bureau
Special events – Fair, etiquette training etc
Invite recruiters/orchestras, military
Curricular offerings
Workshops – connected to classes
Mentoring (alumni)

Person (What to look for in a career center staff person)
Experience in the field – performer/business
Experience in Career Development and job search
Entrepreneurial mentality
Thick skin
Ethical - respecting confidentiality
Regional knowledge of field
Good with faculty relations – getting faculty support
Budget management
Good listener
Understanding of students
Assessment skills
Knows limits
Research Orientated
Tech savvy
Communication skills
Public speaking


Defining “Passions”

A lunch discussion with Mary Loiselle from Curtis

Attendees: Robert M, Emily Frank, Dorothy Wyandt, James Murphy, Bill Nerenberg, Mary KL, Jean-Marie Falvo

  • How do we help students define their passions and find their voice?
  • When they don’t know where to go next, how do we help them to find the answer themselves?
  • Passion is the engine of a musician. They need to recognize this and know how to articulate their passion – in words as well as in music.
  • There are obvious rewards in knowing precisely what your passion is and to be able to convey it.
  • Can we help students distinguish the difference between what they’re good at and what their passion is? Do we need to reconcile these or advance them in tandem…

ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES - What we can actually DO.

Let them talk as much as possible in one-to-ones and in groups. Mary runs a seminar called

“Composing Your Life”. Asks them what the components of their life are (equivalent to the components of music – melody, rhythm, etc – family, health, career, etc). Then they’re asked to think about the emphasis these things presently have in their life. Then ask them about the emphasis within each component, e.g. in ‘career’ is it money, innovation, challenges, etc)

It’s useful to ask them to define what they don’t like

If they can’t ‘see themselves’ yet, ask them who their heroes are and see if they define passions there, what values they want themselves.

Be mindful that asking them to know what is “unique” about them can daunt/intimidate them

Start with ‘what might be a little different about your ensemble or your approach’. This is the start of self definition, not the end!

Get them to evaluate their performance etc. Ask them what the enjoyed about it.

The challenge of getting them to speak well onstage should begin with the question ‘what do you want to say with your music?’

Consider employing an actor/dramatist. Ensure they know what you want to get at.

The student needs to know why self definition is important and empowering and directive.

Maybe ask them to write down their goals (long and short term) at the start of the year and revisit them and discuss/refine them at year’s end.

Can we deliver specific experiences to complement certain defined passions? E.g. a student says they like to lead – we encourage them toward student presidency etc; they say they like to help people – we encourage them towards outreach or mentoring…

Ensure they’re exposed to experiences that are going to show them first-hand various things they might be passionate about; sitting at the back of a classical orchestra isn’t enough

But also ask them, once they’ve defined a passion, how they might enrich it.

If in a group, someone doesn’t know how to act on their passion, you could ask the others what they might do?

Use the: Occupational Outlook Handbook to explore and follow-up on things your students might have a basic interest in

Call up on professionals in the field if your student is interested potentially in what they’re doing

“I can’t tell you if you’re going to like this, but there are ways I can help you find out more about it…”

Suggested resource for finding occupation info (salary, required training, etc.): Occupational Outlook Handbook is: Jean suggested this to the group as it contains, among other information, a section on "Related Occupations" which can help the client in discovering more options in their area of interest.