ENTREPRENEURIAL UPBEAT: Vol. 6, No. 8
October 17, 2012
UPCOMING EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS:
This is an exceptional opportunity to talk with the past President and Interim CEO of NRO about the business of orchestras: how they operate, get funded, and how we can address the challenges so many orchestras are facing today. Don’t miss this one! (Seriously: you should come to this.)
Convo Credit available this week
Check Your Credit Report: Oct. 17, Noon-3:00pm, UMC 245
ARTICLES OF THE WEEK:
This week we pick up where we left off a few weeks back. At that time I shared this blog on the notion of “value” in the music world and posed this question: How do we regain our position in the marketplace as commodities of the highest value? I’ve decided I’d like to address this question in four parts:
Adjust our Mindsets • Educate our audiences • Find the Need • Become an Artist-Advocate
And we talked about creating a “Value Mindset” (go back and look at issue #6 if you missed it or want to refresh your memory). This week I want to talk about educating our audiences.
Now there are a lot of ways that phrase “educate our audience” can play out. And I mean…all of them.
YES: we need to continue to support robust arts education in our primary and secondary schools (more on this when we talk about advocacy in a couple weeks).
YES: we need to find creative ways to speak to our audiences during performances.
YES: we need to be willing to challenge our audience with unfamiliar repertory and not assume that they’re incapable of taking in anything beyond the innocuous or the “warhorse.”
So ‘yes’ to all of these things. But that doesn’t quite get at my point. Because so often we throw out those phrases – “we need to educate our audience” – and we don’t really have a clear idea of what that means (or we have what is, in my view, the wrong idea of what that means). You see, all too often artists take a patronizing attitude towards the notion of “audience education”: I have this special knowledge and you should be happy that I’ve chosen to stoop down to your level and share some of it with you. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes: does that sound like an experience that’s going to resonate with you (in a positive way, I mean)?
Here’s the thing: if you want to educate your audience, start out by thinking about something you’d like to know if you knew nothing about the subject in question. Chances are the technical stuff isn’t going to be what draws you in (assuming you can even make sense of it). You want to make a personal connection to the thing. You want to find out what’s neat about that thing, what makes the expert so nuts for it, or how this thing applies to your everyday life in a way you’d never thought about or realized before.
See we know that music is incredibly valuable to our lives. And pretty much everybody else realizes that, too – though they’re musical universe might not overlap with ours. So we have that common ground to start from, and that’s a good starting point.
The last thing to think about is simply that we need to be better at speaking to our audiences about what we do and why we do it. Many musicians are comfortable on stage as long as they can hide behind their instruments, but ask them to talk to their audience and they fall to pieces. Like anything else, public speaking is a skill we have to develop, practice, and learn by doing. Musicians who are good at educating their audiences are also good at speaking with people and establishing a connection with them, and that’s an important part of the equation. If we want them to see the value in what we do, WE have to demonstrate, in terms they can understand, why it’s valuable to us – and how it just might be valuable to them, too. So rather than speaking down to our audience, we need to find ways to have a conversation with them. When we do that, the “education” part gets a lot easier – and Value becomes a lot more apparent.
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And without further adieu…
The Video of the Week!
Videos! I need videos! (Seriously: you almost got a video of a potbelly pig playing a plastic piano…) Instead, I give you a classic (thanks to Nicole Christen for sending!).
The Entrepreneurship Center for Music • Jeffrey Nytch, DMA, Director
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Office Hours: T/Th: 9-11 a.m. W: 2-4 p.m. – or by appointment
Entrepreneurship Wednesdays: 5-6:30 p.m., C-113 • Follow us on Facebook
OPPORTUNITY UPBEAT! Oct. 16, 2012
The Opportunity UPBEAT! is your weekly listing of job postings and other professional opportunities that come the way of the ECM. Check this space out for jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, grants, festival auditions, and more!
MENTOR GRAPHICS needs soundtrack music for a corporate video. The instructional video lasts about three minutes and there is a (very) modest honorarium. Could be a fun project, though, and may lead to future projects. If you’re interested, contact Professor Nytch: email@example.com
THE COLORADO STATE MUSIC TEACHERS ASSOCIATION is currently seeking a Fund development intern to help develop a tuition assistance scholarship fund for pre-college music study. The goal of the fund, once established, is to partially pay music tuition costs for promising young students who cannot afford music lessons. For a full description of this opportunity, stop by the ECM bulletin board and get in touch with Professor Cremaschi.
A BALLET SCHOOL IN LAFAYETTE is looking for a regular accompanist Monday evenings between 4:30 and 8:30pm for 3-4 hours. There are books of about 40 pages per class, and one class meets per hour. It’s the same music every class, and it’s well-done arrangements of traditional ballet and classical pieces. The pay is on the low end – $20 per hour, so $60-80 per Monday evening – but the program is well run and a great team to be a part of. A good sight reader is a must to learn this music quickly, but on average, it’s the difficulty of an easy Chopin Mazurka. If anyone is interested, please contact me at so I can show you the music. Nathan Smith (205) 335-8626 firstname.lastname@example.org
ERIE MIDDLE SCHOOL in Erie (about 30 minutes east of Boulder, in the St. Vrain Valley School District) is looking to hire a part-time music teacher. It is a half-time position which includes a small orchestra program as well as some possible additional music electives like piano class. The program is definitely in its infancy and needs someone who is willing to work hard to produce a successful middle school program. Those who are interested in applying should visit this website:
http://www.applitrack.com/stvrain/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=Middle+School+Teaching#.UD_jxqHjG1p.email Questions? Email Nick Roseth at: email@example.com.
THE LONGMONT YOUTH SYMPHONY is currently looking for a conductor for their Wind Ensemble. The group has about 20 students, and rehearses weekly in Longmont on Saturdays. See the website below for details and contact information. http://longmontyouthsymphony.org/ Interested applicants should write or call: (303) 351-1452 firstname.lastname@example.org
CENTER FOR THE CONTINUATION OF ARTS AND CULTURE, in Thornton, is looking for Guitar and Piano Teachers. The CCAC is an arts school dedicated to the enrichment of students in the visual and performing arts. We provide classes in a wide variety of dance styles, music, and visual arts. You should have a degree or be in pursuit of a degree in Music Performance or Music Education. Past teaching experience preferred. Outgoing and friendly personality along with consistent professional demeanor. Works well with elementary ages through adults. Someone who is knowledgeable and skilled in more than one instrument area is preferred. Especially knowledgeable and confidant in teaching basic/beginning piano skills in a group and private setting. Knowledge in music theory and aural skills. You should be dependable and have reliable transportation. Looking for someone who can teach 5-15 hours a week. Our website is www.ccaccolorado.com Please contact Director of Music Nick Garcia-(720)-341-4975 for further information
INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE! The ECM offers a broad range of internship opportunities for students, ranging from positions with non-profit arts groups to for-profit businesses. Internships can be for academic credit or not, and can often be customized to suit your schedule and interests. If you’re interested, stop by the ECM office and we’ll talk about the options!
CU GIGS is the College of Music’s gig booking service, and an entrepreneurial venture of the ECM. If you’re interested in being part of a database for all manner of gig requests we get here at the College of Music, just fill out the informational form (on the door of the ECM Office) and turn it in to the ECM. Our CU GIGS Coordinator Nathan Hall will then work to connect you with gigs that come into our Musician Referral Line. For more info, contact Nathan at: musicreferral@Colorado.EDU