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Music Schools, in Transition…

Over the past several months I have received a number of calls - for assistance from higher ed music school leaders, to help them with their admissions issues and challenges.  The repeating theme centers around declining undergraduate admissions numbers, and among applicants, declining preparedness (or quality, as it is referred to inside). There are a number of factors at play: a demographic dip among graduating high school seniors (and juniors, etc. to come), declining numbers of students who choose to seriously study an instrument or … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurship, A Story, Interlude

So, for those interested, here's an interlude to the story of my new site.  I'm presently at the University of Maryland where I lead the National Orchestral Institute, a gathering of the most exceptional young orchestral players, artist faculty and conductors.  This year's group has already demonstrated exceptional artistry, as well as intelligence and sophistication.  Interacting with them has reminded me of my past work in leadership development, and the contrast to my teaching arts entrepreneurship has startled me.  I will try to … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurship, A Story, Part III

My students have a penchant for ignoring market feasibility for their projects.  From my observations and experience with them, I have found that they tend to fall in love with their ideas and when involved in market feasibility study, can ignore, or not hear the most potent data and feedback.  My challenge for my venture was to avoid this apparent emerging arts entrepreneur syndrome. My first calculation was to assess (again) what my intent was in creating and maintaining the site.  I found that all I really wanted to reap in terms of … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurshp, A Story, Part II

So I made the decision to create a website and found that essential decisions had to be made: one in particular, that of 'just what the heck I was doing it for?' Defining this would then help me get into answers to the next line of questions. At the most global level my motivation is, as it has always been, to assist others (and myself) in the re-invigoration of the arts in society.  As I have written about in the past, the arts as they now exist need new thinking, need a shot of energy, need a renaissance.  And in my opinion, only … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurship: A Story, Part I

Admittedly my experience as an arts entrepreneur has been in the not-for-profit sector.  As such I have relied on other people's money to make my entity a reality.  In fact, as I assessed the viability of each entity I did so based on an intelligent estimate of just what could be raised.  Yes, there was always an element of earned income, and this was estimated as well, but the mix of contributed and earned seemed to provide a certain flexibility.  In other words, if I missed my earned income target I could fill the gap (in most cases) with … [Read more...]

Entrepreneurship, Not-for-profit and Commercial

There seems to be a misunderstanding, an understandable one, that entrepreneurship automatically means the creation of for-profit, or commercial enterprises.  It can also mean the creation of not-for-profit ones.  The key question is, "are they sustainable?"  The reason for the misunderstanding is that so many not-for-profits are unsustainable.  They rely too heavily on contributed revenue.  My experience tells me that in each not-for-profit entity there is a discernible level of contributed revenue that can be estimated.  It generally comes … [Read more...]

Arts Entrepreneurship, Getting It All Wrong

It's been a long time since I've published a post here.  I've been writing a book on teaching arts entrepreneurship, and finding that completing it is like a dog chasing his tail:  just as I complete a section I come to understand the subject differently, so then need to revise.  My solution is the creation of a website (under construction) that will allow content to be shared, commented on and then edited (as appropriate).  Anyway, I had intended to stay quiet until the launch of this site, but I keep reading about schools of the arts adding … [Read more...]

Innovator, Entrepreneur, more —

Sent to me by Mark Pomerantz, Seattle U. and USASBE LIAISON newsletter editor, "Innovators are the dreamers: They create the prototypes, work out the kinks and then get bored, anxious to return to what they do best, which is inventing more prototypes. They are rarely concerned, ultimately, with the financial viability of what they do. Entrepreneurs are the builders: They turn prototypes into going concerns -- then they get bored. For them, financial viability is the single most important aspect of what they do." (Boschee & McClurg, 2003, … [Read more...]

Innovator, Entrepreneur?

Must one be an innovator to be an entrepreneur? I have always thought so, and Drucker, who asserted that the entrepreneur is an innovator, bolsters my belief. This being said, I recently read “Worthless, Impossible and Stupid” by Daniel Isenberg, in which he makes a case for the two being entirely separate qualities and functions. I’ve always taught entrepreneurship with extensive emphasis on innovation, spending at least 25% of class time on idea generation and formation. I plan to continue to do so, perhaps because I continue to believe … [Read more...]

Class Planning, Arts Entrepreneurship

I’m working on the final revision of the syllabus for my fall course in arts entrepreneurship at Purchase College (SUNY). Of interest are 2 aspects of this course planning. First, I will only teach in person (warm body in room) 5 times during the semester. I will teach the remaining classes either asynchronously or synchronously, the latter here using video technology (check out Zoom). I will also meet twice with each student one-on-one using Google +. Second, when at the University of Maryland this June for my National Orchestral … [Read more...]

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