“I want to thank you for joining us to present yesterday.   You took them out of their comfort zones and expanded their minds to what it really takes to turn their “dream project” into a revenue-generating business. Thanks for your energy, your individual feedback to the students, and your thought and care in preparing this topic.  I really appreciate it.”

Monique Mead

Director of Music Entrepreneurship, Carnegie Mellon University.

For Students and Professional Musicians

Entrepreneurial Women Concert Pianists: An Exploration of Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Teresa Carreño’s Works and Career Ventures

This multimedia presentation will discuss the fundamental entrepreneurial skills of what is needed in order to be a successful musician, using examples from three of the most influential and important women musicians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, and Teresa Carreño. Through an entrepreneurial lens, the program will explore how Fanny was able to create and run a concert series, create performance opportunities for herself, and publish her compositions, how  Clara was able to pursue a 61-year career as a self-managed concert artist and composer, and how Teresa was able to successfully sustain a 54-year international concert career, manage several performing companies, and establish herself as a published composer. Special emphasis will be placed on the context of each woman’s successful, long-term career as pianists and composers while still handling domestic life, raising children and facing the gender-discrimination barriers of their time.  In addition to a live performance of Fanny, Clara, and Teresa’s piano works and spoken remarks, the program will also include a film presentation created in collaboration with award-winning, documentary filmmaker, Tania Khalaf.

The goal of the presentation is to highlight how these resilient women were able to overcome incredible obstacles by using entrepreneurial skills to further their careers and provide for their families.  In doing so, they established new benchmarks for women in music. Audiences will experience a journey of reflection, inspiration, and will be prompted to take proactive action. They will learn how to see entrepreneurship as both a mindset and a discipline that can help them create human connection, become empowered, and pursue their own definition of success. By learning from the past, we can better understand the present and create a more successful future.

SWOT Analysis for Musicians
The lesson demo will consist of teaching students how to create a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis for their music careers. As an interactive exercise, students will create a preliminary SWOT analysis and will discuss their responses in class. The intended learning outcome will be for music students to gain a better understanding on how to position themselves and find meaningful opportunities in the marketplace.

For Faculty/Administrators

Teaching Musicians to Think as Marketers: Strategies to Ease the Mindset Shift

Introducing marketing principles—especially those that involve thinking from the audience’s perspective—can often times be confusing and foreign for musicians. As a result of spending a lifetime with a self-centered focus on developing their artistry, musicians oftentimes struggle to market themselves in a way that will resonate with the needs and perspectives of their intended audiences. These basic marketing concepts can be crucial for creating sustainable careers. This presentation provides an overview of the common misconceptions and challenges musicians face while shifting their mindset from performer-centered to audience-focused. Examples will include discussions involving SWOT analysis, customer and competitor analysis, setting marketing goals, brand development and differentiation, measuring results, pricing, placement, and promotion. This presentation will also offer the tools, strategies, and a methodology to successfully encourage musicians to embrace and develop a marketer mindset.
Learning Music Entrepreneurship by Doing: How to Create Experiential Opportunities in an Academic Setting
An integral part of teaching music entrepreneurship involves helping students learn through experiential opportunities. Entrepreneurship, just like music, is best learned through practice and experience. In order to successfully implement hands-on learning opportunities, a few questions arise: how can we effectively create these experiences for our students outside of the classroom? How can we build student engagement and participation in non-required events? Students are very busy with their required academic coursework and other activities. Capturing their attention and getting them involved in non-required events can be a challenge. Using the model the author created and implemented at the University of North Texas College of Music’s Career Development and Entrepreneurship in Music Program—recognized among the Top 15 Best Music Business Schools by Billboard Magazine (2017 and 2018)—this presentation will provide an overview of the various types of experiential learning initiatives that can be launched in an academic setting. It will also describe common challenges and potential solutions to take into consideration while launching these initiatives. More information about this presentation is also available as a published article in the 2018 MEIEA International Conference proceedings.

The Musician’s Business Canvas: Create a Business on a Single Sheet of Paper.
This interactive workshop will teach students how to create a business on a single sheet of paper using a musician-adapted version of the business model canvas and lean canvas. The musician’s business canvas offers a concise, quick, and easy to understand framework to ideate a business from a musician’s perspective. Often times music students hesitate to think about themselves or their craft as a business and shy away from business exercises and techniques. This workshop will shed a light on the unique perspectives that musicians bring to the business world and will help students create a tangible and actionable plan for a business. Students will learn how to apply key business creation principles such as: problem and solution identification, existing alternatives, key metrics, unique value proposition, competitive advantage, marketing channels, customer segments, revenue streams, key partners, and cost structure. As each section is introduced, students will be prompted to apply the concepts immediately by creating their own examples and discussing their responses during the workshop. The intended learning outcome will be for students to gain a better understanding of the fundamental aspects of creating a music business. Through this process, the somewhat daunting prospect of starting a business will be simplified. As a result, students will gain a better sense of how to position themselves as creative entrepreneurs, how to find problems to solve in their particular fields, and how to create meaningful opportunities for themselves in the marketplace.