University Residency: Entrepreneurship at
New England Conservatory (2013)

The Question

What does a conservatory musician need to become a quick-thinking entrepreneur? How do we get to know our audiences and those we are serving? What types of careers are available for musicians?

The Objectives

Students will focus on building new audiences for classical music, and for getting existing audiences to experience a familiar art in unexpected ways.

Students will be introduced to the basics of starting a new arts venture, including strategic planning, generating earned and contributed income, networking, freelancing, and marketing in a 24hour session of workshops.

Students will explore the types of careers are available in the music industry after college such as education, self-employment, and orchestral work.


The Process

Students participated in a series of engaging workshops about maximizing audiences’ experiences during performances, earning a living, and transitioning to careers after college.  Students were challenged to think about finding their artistic voice and the needs they want to fill when forming a program.

The Impact


“I want to thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with all of us at NEC last weekend.  Sunday was an exhausting, overwhelming, exhilarating and inspiring day!  It is so exciting to see what amazing things you all have accomplished and to know that there are more (and perhaps way cooler) ways to make a career in music outside the orchestra establishment.  I also just wanted to mention how much I loved your performance of Black Violet.  I heard more commitment and joy in the first 30 seconds of your performance than I’ve heard in entire concerts!  I really enjoyed meeting everyone and hope to see you all again soon!”  – Student , NEC

“This was an extremely helpful and interesting workshop. I felt as though I was being bombarded with the very thing that I’ve been searching for for years now. This was, hands down, the most beneficial and fun program I have ever attended.” – Student, NEC