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Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts: Class 5 Redux

I have learned a lot from teaching this recent class (now at the end of the first half of the semester). The students’ projects are superb: in imagination, breadth of subject area and commitment to positive change. However, it was their work in developing their projects that gave me greater insight into how to teach this difficult subject of arts entrepreneurship. First, asking them to develop their ideas in a stepwise fashion really worked. Asking, what are the next 3 steps (or more) that you would need to take to flesh out or “grow” … [Read more...]

Recap, Class Four, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts

Here is the email recap + assignments that I sent to my class this morning. Dear Class, Here’s a recap of last night’s class + your assignments for the next 2 weeks. I congratulated you as a group for your superb ideas. I am genuinely impressed by your imaginations and ability to create in a practical manner. We opened by talking about how ideas develop, grow, sometimes die and are reborn. I stressed that some of the best ideas come after pursing a related one that fails. I talked about how business entrepreneurs need to be able … [Read more...]

Recap, Class 3, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts

Class 3 focused on personal branding, and then transitioned to idea development and enterprise creation. We talked about 3 issues related to personal branding: alignment, extension and integrity. We (often humorously) compared students’ responses from their assignments (asking 2 people who knew them personally to describe what makes them distinct as individuals, and 2 people who know them musically to describe what makes them distinct as musicians) to their Facebook pages to how they, themselves want themselves to be perceived. We … [Read more...]

Class Three Planning, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts

I’ve hit that point (already) in the semester where I realize that I won’t be able to accomplish all that I had planned. Here, for this course, the semester is divided into 2 blocks, each around 7 weeks long. Some students will only attend the first of these blocks, some with attend both, and some will attend only the second one. As such, for planning purposes I proposed to concentrate on idea formation and market feasibility in the first block, and entity formation in the second one. The work on personal branding is going quite well. … [Read more...]

Recap, Class Two, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts

I believe it was wise to introduce and begin to work through my Zone One, Personal Entrepreneurship. Referencing again, Bill Green’s excellent definition of entrepreneurship, “we understand entrepreneurship to mean the transformation of an idea into an enterprise that creates value—economic, social, cultural, or intellectual, “ in Zone One, the individual becomes the enterprise, and it is h/she who then creates value through h/her action. We spent considerable time on the topic of branding: what branding is, and how it can apply to an … [Read more...]

Class II Planning, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts

I asked students to write to me, to tell me where they saw themselves professionally in 5 years. I asked this because I realized that most, if not all, were taking this class to learn “tools” to assist them in their move from student to music professions. The responses received so far, around half, express quite a range of aspirations. One student writes, “In preparing for writing this email, I did a lot of sitting by myself and thinking what I really want not only in this class but in life. I'm a second year master student who is … [Read more...]

Working Definition of Entrepreneurship

In my most recent post I meant to include the working definition of entrepreneurship that I use in my classes (and in my own work). It comes from William Green, the former Dean of the College at the University of Rochester. …we understand entrepreneurship to mean the transformation of an idea into an enterprise that creates value—economic, social, cultural, or intellectual. The reason I find this definition so powerful is its inclusion of the intellectual domain. With this inclusion, the creation of news ways of thinking becomes an … [Read more...]

Class One, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts

The most surprising aspect of my first class was the result of my asking the question, “why are you taking this class” The responses altered my thinking on the teaching of arts entrepreneurship to students to whom the topic is new. I only allowed for approximately 10 responses (there were 30 students in the room). The responses ran from, I want to pursue a career in arts administration, to those that were quite specific, from graduate students who are already embarking on nascent careers. Those in this group expressed a need to specific … [Read more...]

Class Planning, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts

I’m working on the course outline for my upcoming course, Entrepreneurship in Music and the Arts, at Ithaca College. I have 31 students enrolled – the limit according to fire laws for the assigned classroom. I’ve never taught entrepreneurship to this large a class, in such a cramped space, so I have been focused more on issues of classroom management than course content. And, although the course was made available to students across the campus, it filled up entirely with music students. This may make matters easier at first, and more … [Read more...]

More on Instruction in Arts Entrepreneurship

My thoughts about how to teach, or approach the teaching of entrepreneurship in the arts is influenced by experiences I had on a commuter bus, back when I lived in North Haven, Connecticut. For a period of around a year I commuted to downtown New Haven with 2 other people: one an internationally recognized expert on Shakespeare and the other an inventor of medical prosthetics. Our conversations were consistently engaging and intellectually stimulating. At the time my focus was the education of students talented in the arts, so it seemed that … [Read more...]

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