Career Office Advice
Career Office Advice
Starting, maintaining, and growing a career center for musicians is a challenge with which almost all our members struggle. This page gives you some advice that has been culled from the past few year's of conferences and include the following sections:
- Possible categories of services, information, or courses
- Workshop topics/ideas for career development
- Ideas for marketing your music career services
At NETMCDO's 2011 conference, we created a document titled "Undergraduate Learning/Teaching Recommendations for Career Development in Music" (otherwise known as our "manifesto") that provides a wealth of guidance.
Possible categories of services, resources, and information:
- Alumni Network
- Career Counseling
- Career Expo/Fair
- Concert Booking
- Competition Info
- Contracting Service
- Coursework / Business of Music
- Credential / Placement File Service
- Faculty Advising
- Festival Info
- Graduate School Catalogs/Info
- Grant Information
- Guest Speakers
- Internship Programs
- Job / Gig Books
- Job Newsletter
- Gig Service
- Mentoring Program
- Musician Referrals
- Panel Discussions
- Publications / Handouts Produced By You / Your Office
- Résumé / Promotional Materials Production Service
- Teacher Referral Service
Workshop topics/ideas for career development:
- Mock Auditions (orchestral/vocal)
- Handling Performance Anxiety
- Time Management & Effective Practice Techniques
- Recording Industry panel
- Producing and Marketing Your Own CDs
- Websites for Musicians
- Alumni Success Stories (panel)
- Music Teaching in Higher Education
- Grants for Musicians (from research to award)
- Career Expo Event
- Applying to Grad Schools
- Taxes and Financial Management for Musicians
- Jobs Opportunities Across the Music Industry (panel)
- Performance Health for Musicians
- Promotional Materials for Musicians
- Setting Up a Private Teaching Studio
- Specialized Panels on “Careers for . . .”
- i. Orchestral Musicians
- ii. Chamber Musicians
- iii. Jazz Musicians
- iv. Theorists/Historians
- v. Singers
- vi. Composers
- vii. Music Educators
- viii. Arts Administrators
- Career Focus for Grad Students (panel)
- The Entrepreneurial Musician (panel)
- Demystifying Artist Management and Self Management
Also Recommended: Do a survey of your students, staff, and faculty to get their ideas for topics and to get volunteer speakers! Also: Use your alumni!
Ideas for marketing your music career services:
Getting people to attend workshops and/or events:
- Invite popular faculty to speak on panelDesign an eye catching easily recognized logo for all materials
- Use posters
- Flyers in student mailboxes
- Flyers in faculty mailboxes
- Flyers in staff mailboxes
- Global e-mails
- E-mails to local alumni
- Announcements in classrooms
- Announcements in rehearsals
- Have food, door prizes at workshops
- Phoning invitees
- Ask student government leaders to make announcements/spread the word
- Student newspaper
- Faculty newsletters
- Ask classroom faculty to offer extra credit points to students who attend a related career workshop.
- Ask student government or other groups to host an event
- Have people sign up for workshops, leave e-mail or phone, and then send reminders the day before.
- Incorporate testimonial statements from satisfied customers on your promotional materials.
- Have give aways printed with your office logo: t-shirts, pencils, magnets, etc.
Targeting graduating students:
- Do presentations with the financial aid staff in conjunction with exit interviews.
- Send postcard to home address during semester break; parents will nudge students to make an appointment.
- Ask faculty to encourage their students to stop by office.
- Have refrigerator magnets made with your office info on them; distribute at graduation.
Introducing your office:
- Hold an open house "party" once each semester
- Give a presentation and/or tour during orientation week
- Offer free presentation to faculty for studio meetings
Introducing new students to your services:
- Make presentations at orientation.
- "Work the room" during registration periods (long lines).
- Send a brochure or intro letter to incoming students with their orientation materials.
- Make sure the admissions staff includes you on their tours with prospective students/parents.