It was a musical nightmare. I was in the middle of a gig, performing in the pit orchestra for a musical.The house was packed. There was a poignant moment on stage underscored by an exposed accompaniment— “gentle strumming ala Radiohead” is what the part indicated. Suddenly, in the hushed moment, I heard a crackling. Notes began cutting in and out, and then, finally, just silence. The electronics in my acoustic guitar were malfunctioning, causing the signal from my guitar to my amplifier to fail. I managed to get the signal working again by (incredulously) “tapping” the volume knob on my guitar. But the damage was done. I was embarrassed, to say the least. As a professional musician, I pride myself on using reputable equipment. This wasn’t an entry-level model. I paid good money for this guitar. I expected it to work, and it let me down right in the middle of a performance.
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...