All posts filed under: Purpose

Are you on a path that leads to a successful career in music?

Last week, I wrote this post with the hopes of providing advice to college students interested in working on their careers beyond the walls of their university.  That post got me thinking: What do students majoring in music actually need out of their education to be successful? For those of you searching for meaning in your college experience, I would like you to consider two paths: The path of a Mechanic.  Mechanics in music perform, teach, and recreate great music better than anyone else in their field.  Like an auto mechanic who fine tunes pre-existing cars, a music mechanic focuses on fine tuning pre-existing music. (Think, perfecting of excerpts for an orchestral audition.) Your path is one paved in tradition. Creativity is expressed in a very narrow, accepted window of performance practice which has been dictated by your teacher, conductor and the music written on a page. The path of a Designer: Designers in music create new ways of thinking about the art form and quite often cross genres, disciplines, or even career silos to somehow bring something new to the field.  You’re comfortable with the unknown and the things that …

5 Ways College Students Can Jumpstart Their Career In The Arts

I love this post by Ivan Trevino.  He raises questions many of us are asking at institutions of higher learning across the country.  The arts entrepreneurship  movement from the past few years has helped and many schools are working diligently behind the scenes to address the new needs of the 21st century artist, however, change is hard at the institutional level. While I agree with Ivan whole-heartedly, the curriculum he desires in his post represents a shift in the entire higher-education system.  That is, a shift from the traditional, lecture-based, skill and drill type curriculum to a curriculum rooted in experiential learning, critical thinking and real world skills building. What if you’re attending a music school that offers a great – but traditional – education?  You have to do more in today’s marketplace. No longer can you simply put in 100% effort into your degree and expect to be successful in your field upon graduation.  (This goes for just about every degree out there, not just music) That said, there has never been a better time to jumpstart your career while still in school.  Here are …

Could cutting the NEA be a good thing?

For decades, “The Arts” have relied heavily on the traditional non-profit funding model. Foundations, corporations, and donors have played a huge role in funding many of our most prestigious arts organizations.  They had to.  Our cultural institutions are expensive and, in the face of a struggling economy, how else could you fund something like a 100 member symphony orchestra?  After all, you can’t simply cut 15 musicians or raise ticket prices by hundreds of dollars when times get hard. This meant that a foundation, corporation, or donor typically had to come in and support/rescue the organization in order to fill in the gaps when ticket sales couldn’t pay the bills.  Although this model has permeated our industry for several decades, times have changed.  There are now more organizations competing for a smaller pool of funding and, due to the internet, donors have a global reach when considering where to give. Generally speaking, we often think of non-profit failure as being localized. (think Detroit, Philadelphia and Syracuse) The argument being that the organization didn’t do a …