I am excited to announce that I have joined the faculty of Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.
In addition to being the Oboe Professor, I am teaching several courses in:
- Music Theory
- Aural Harmony and Sight Singing
- Woodwind Methods
- Music Business & Entrepreneurship
Almost all students who study classical music at the college level spend most of their time in practice rooms, studying music theory, learning about music history, and other important aspects that make up the traditional music program. The typical goals of classical music performance majors are to be a famous soloist, or a member of a prestigious (full-time) major symphony orchestra… perhaps carving out a career as a university teacher.
Too often, people don’t realize that very few musicians will achieve those lofty goals. This isn’t meant to be a downer. So many highly trained, skilled, and passionate musicians create a different path, finding a satisfying and rewarding career that may not be exactly what they envisioned as a young undergrad.
Personally, I believe it is an amazing time to be an artist. The ability to create and market our products, ideas, and talents is unlike any other time in history. We can collaborate and share across the globe. I am enthusiastic and passionate about arts entrepreneurship.
Over the coming months, I’ll be blogging here about many great success stories of people with degrees in fine and performing arts, and their interesting career paths. I hope that you will find these stories and ideas enlightening and inspiring.
I am excited to announce that I have been asked to present a lecture at the International Double Reed Society Conference in August, 2014. My lecture is part of the “Wellness” series at IDRS 2014. The presentation is titled
Discovering Your Niche: Identifying and Creating Opportunities in the Music Business.
I’ll post more about the upcoming lecture as we approach the conference.
There is a commonly used phrase in the business world: “Eat your own dog food.” It typically means that a company makes sure to use its own products, which will help validate how well the products work. Why use something that your competitor makes, or something that you are trying to make obsolete, when you can use your own product?
A classic example of “eating your own dog food” is how, in 1980, the CEO of a young company called Apple Computer sent out a memo to all staff saying (yes, in all caps), “EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY!! NO MORE TYPEWRITERS ARE TO BE PURCHASED, LEASED, etc., etc. Apple is an innovative company. We must believe and lead in all areas. If word processing is so neat, then let’s all use it! Goal: by 1-1-81, NO typewriters at Apple… We believe the typewriter is obsolete. Let’s prove it inside before we try and convince our customers.” (see this fascinating 1981 article from Inc. Magazine about Steve Jobs and Apple Computer).
How can we apply this concept to the arts?
I don’t want to make things “obsolete” – I believe the arts are inclusive. So I have a different take on eating our own dog food in the music business – or in the arts in general.