The words “music” and “entrepreneurship” are linked with increased frequency at music schools across the country.
The trend toward including curriculum as well as extracurricular activities to foster entrepreneurial development is building. This is particularly relevant in light of continuing shifts in the music world. It is also essential as graduating musicians find themselves confronting dramatic changes in employment opportunities in the symphonic and operatic worlds; dwindling attendance in many venues; and a recording industry that continues to reinvent itself on a regular basis.
Music students are recognizing the need to think more creatively than ever before in order to put their education to use. An increasing number of schools are realizing their part in preparing graduates with a background in arts entrepreneurship and business and professional skills.
Guest presenters from the professional world of music as well as professors from business schools are working side-by-side with students in arts entrepreneurship classes and programs at many schools. Students are interviewing successful entrepreneurs — studio teachers, music industry leaders, performers, founders of music schools — to learn what it takes to think and work as an entrepreneur. Coupled with career development classes that include everything from basic marketing, fundraising, and proposal writing, to utilizing social and other media, handling the financial end of a business (including filing taxes), and producing your own recordings, entrepreneurship education has the capacity to prepare students to build viable, sustainable careers in music.