Wednesday, February 26, 2020

University of Wyoming has a Music Entrepreneurship Certificate!

Friends, I am so thrilled to announce the creation of University of Wyoming's Music Entrepreneurship Certificate program, the culmination of two years of work between myself and several colleagues in two different departments here at UW. I have created, and will teach, all of the music-specific entrepreneurship classes, and we've got some great courses on offer from our internationally recognized College of Business, as well.

The beauty of this program is that it's a tidy 12 credit hours, offered online, and can be taken in tandem with any degree program or independently.  So, if you already hold all the degrees you wish to earn from academia but feel like your education lacked the practical life skills you now realize you need, this certificate is for you!  If you're currently enrolled somewhere in a music program that fails to offer any training in creating your own unique career, this certificate is for you, too! And did I mention it's all online??

Here's what we're offering:

Careers in Music
Careers in Music complements traditional musical training by expanding the student's understanding of the range of careers in the professional music world.  Students will learn how music progresses from artistic creation to consumable product, and how professional musicians utilize skills in marketing, performance, teaching, recording, technology, venue management, and fundraising. Individual projects will develop professional materials, and guest speakers who have succeeded in building viable, unique careers for themselves will present information to help the modern musician not only compete in the marketplace, but to be a creative and dedicated professional.

Entrepreneurial Mindset
This course introduces students to entrepreneurial mindsets and concepts essential to success in startups or within established firms. Provides a basic overview of creativity and innovation, and students experience the process of identifying and evaluating ideas and developing them into business

Music Entrepreneurship Seminar
This class further crystallizes successful business enterprise development introduced in Entrepreneurial Mindset – ENTR 2700. In this experiential learning environment students will hone their entrepreneurial skills in idea creation, business incubation, development, research and finally commercialization. This learning laboratory will foster entrepreneurial venture development by combining core readings and assignments in the first half of the class with the development of individual music-centered projects to guide students through their selected business venture experience.

Internship in Music Business
The internship in music business offers a monitored and evaluated professional work experience in
public or private organizations on assignments relating to students’ individual career goals, allowing
students to explore the relationship between theory and practice in their major. Placement is limited to situations approved by the Music Entrepreneurship Certificate adviser or Department of Music Chair.

Management and Organization
An introduction to the theory and practice of management with emphasis on individual and small group behavior, design and structure of organizations, relationship between the organization and its environment and statistical and quantitative skills used in examination of management processes. Also covers interpersonal communications, ethics and international management.

Introduction to Marketing
An investigation of the marketing discipline with emphasis on vocabulary; principles; functional
interrelationships; marketing strategies, practices and problems in national and international

If this sounds like it might be up your alley, or if you know someone else who might feel the same way, visit to learn more!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

You Will Survive Your College Auditions

This is a revamped repeat from last year, but it's one of my more popular posts and I suspect it stil holds true. As I welcome myriad frightened flutists into my office for their auditions at UW this month, I am reminded of what a daunting, earth-shattering process it can feel like for you. I even vaguely remember going through it myself! And if I could go back in time and give my uptight 17-year-old self some advice, here's what I'd say:

  • You'll end up where you should be. And if it's not your number one school, it's not going to ruin your life. So do your best, and prepare like a fiend, but don't give a mere school other-worldly powers to decide your fate for the next 70 years. You will be FINE.

  • Touch base with prospective teachers early to schedule a lesson.  You need to be with someone whose playing and teaching styles you admire and who you trust to be a reliable mentor. And teachers are looking for a good fit, as well. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. 

(For help writing that introductory email to prospective teachers, read this.)

  • Teachers don't want you to suck up and be fake, but we do want to know how interested you are. We really only have one chance to get the scholarship assignments right, and we want to spend those precious dollars helping to support the students who really want to be at our school. So don't be shy--tell us if you really need financial assistance (politely, of course).  That's helpful to know.

  • Conversely, we all know everyone's got a "safety school" or two, and if we're on that list, no need to make it really obvious (examples include emailing the teacher to ask about an alternative scholarship date because you're prioritizing another school's audition schedule or sharing who's accepted you so far when you show up to our audition.)

  • Really try your best to give a live audition. You need to meet the teacher, the current students, experience the campus and some music short, get a sense of what it would feel like to be a student there.  And it's another way to express your level of interest, regarding my previous tip (ahem).

(If you must send a recording, here are my tips for capturing your best.)

  • Working within any specific audition requirements, present a program that highlights your strengths, not your weaknesses.  Not quite ready to kick butt on the Chaminade? Don't play it! Pick pieces you can play beautifully in your sleep (and hopefully you've been training with that standard in mind).

  • Be flexible. You might play alone for a teacher in her office at one school and for the entire woodwind faculty in the auditorium at the next.  You may play all of your program or a very short portion of it. And if a teacher is particularly interested in hearing what you can do, she may ask you to try something again in a different way.  That's a good sign, so try to enjoy the mini-lesson and give your best! 

I also love this post from Dr. Bret Pimentel, Delta State University woodwinds professor, about auditioning: What I Listen For in Scholarship Auditions. Read it and be inspired!

Good luck to you all this audition season, and do your best to enjoy the process!