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A Life In Music

January 4, 2016

 

Entrepreneurship is a term that’s become something of a buzzword in the 21st century. It seems everywhere you look, people are identifying themselves as entrepreneurs. But what is an entrepreneur? How might entrepreneurship be applied to a music career? Is it needed? I asked these very questions in my research on entrepreneurship instruction in college jazz programs and its impact on graduates’ careers. Here’s what I discovered.

 

The term entrepreneur originated in 1734 to “describe a person who bears the risk of profit or loss” (Moreland, 2006, p.4). More recently in 2003, the National Commission on Entrepreneurship (NCE) defined entrepreneurship as “the process of uncovering and developing an opportunity to create value through innovation” and noted that “we are living in an ‘Entrepreneurial Age’” (p. 4). 

 

In NCE’s definition of entrepreneurship, innovation is a key term. For example, the...

November 16, 2015

 

Performing and composing music have been at the nucleus of my musical activity since I was a kid. I eventually began teaching when I was in high school, mostly giving private lessons, but I always conceived of teaching as a financial means to an artistic end— I taught to support my performance habit. Moreover, as I reflect on my early college years, I realize I was somewhat of a snobbish undergraduate performance major, looking down my nose at the non-performance majors, especially the music education majors. My view was, if you’re not performing (or at least composing), then you’re not really doing the thing that music is all about: you’re not creating.

 

Boy, was I wrong. 

 

When I became an education major as a doctoral student, I saw things from the other side. I realized that teaching isn’t merely a means to subsidize a performance career. It is an art in itself and a critical profession,...

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