Syracuse University, Setnor School of Music

Today’s musicians must be entrepreneurs able to perform, arrange music, teach, and handle their own business affairs. This is not a new approach to making a living as a musician. J.S. Bach is a perfect example of just such a musician from an earlier time.  He had a steady job as a church musician, composed and arranged major works and music for weekly church services, taught music lessons, was an outstanding performer, and knew how to market himself.  The name for such an entrepreneurial livelihood is a portfolio career.

The Setnor School of Music is uniquely positioned to prepare students for portfolio careers. We have four departments devoted to the distinct skill-sets musicians need: performance, composing and arranging, teaching, and music business.  We are developing new courses that will allow students to customize their degrees based on their interests.  For example, a vocalist hoping for an opera career will be able focus the majority of her coursework on singing, but will also be able to learn how to teach lessons and run his or her own private voice studio, compose and arrange songs, record and edit CDs, market him or herself and negotiate contracts.  This is simply one example. Students will have a variety of ways in which to combine coursework to design and develop a unique and relevant portfolio of knowledge and skills.

We also have a numerous student organizations in which to participate and add new layers to the educational and professional experience.  Participate in one of our student-run record labels or Cantus Novus, which premiers works by student composers.  All of these experiences can be found within a vibrant arts community and true university experience.  We encourage you to invest in your experiences, and invest in yourself at Setnor.

Featured music: “Boy” by Ra Ra Riot
Members of the native Syracuse band Ra Ra Riot include Setnor School of Music alumnae Rebecca Zeller ’06 and Alexandra Lawn ’08.

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