Session Reports (2008)

Session Reports (2008)

NETMCDO 2008 Session Reports

Session Topics (Day Two) included on this page:
  1. Internships and Experimental Learning
  2. What kinds of technology resources are available for musicians?
  3. Faculty buy in
  4. Building a great Career Services program with limited resources using alumni
  5. Student to Alumni: creating supporters of the institution
  6. Outreach
  7. Changes in the recording industry: coping with change
  8. Change undergrad student awareness before the “OH, S_ _ T!” moment
  9. Oral Program Notes
  10. Faculty courses/ seminar
  11. Transferable skills from music to “other than music” jobs
  12. Writing and speaking
  13. Facilitating Collaboration in Project Learning
  14. Changing the mindset from artist to entrepreneur
  15. Plan B
  16. International students (IS)
  17. Starting a Career Office/Structures & Strategies for Personnel & Resources
  18. Audience Development

Internships and Experimental Learning

Convener: Jan Weller
Participants: Kim W., Bill, Leslie, Dorothy

Discussion and recommendations outline:

  • all offered are pass/no pass
  • Performers do all types of internships (camps, festivals, etc).
  • Eastman Arts Leadership Certificate
  • Range from 1 cr. To 12 cr.
  • Eastman, Northwestern, Peabody, Appalachian State, Columbus State,
  • Orientations: ½ day at Eastman’ some have mid-semester check-in.
  • Placement: Student responsibility with support from faculty or career center; some local only, others all over the country; students
  • Informational interviewing is incorporated into many existing intern programs
  • Bottom line- Interns invaluable; design to fit your institution.

What kinds of technology resources are available for musicians?

Convener: Mariko
Participants: Janet Rarick, David Maves, Mary Kihder Loiselle, Martha Hilley, Elaine Stolick

Discussion and recommendations:

~ Categories of Technology: Communication Tools and Networking (facebook, myspace etc)

Job Resources (Bridge)

~ Notes from NETMCDO’s 2007 conference

~ You’ll never be ahead of the technology curve!

~ You Tube, Facebook, Myspace, Blogger – what is appropriate?

~ Website design:

Dreamweaver, dot.mac
Peak, Bias – recording devices
Use professional webpage as an example
DVD clips – teaching and performance

Faculty buy in

Convener: Fred Cohen
Participants: Mary Coiselle, Elaine Stolick, Kim Mullen, Leslie Scatterday, Janis Weller, Dorothy Wyandt, Katherine Knight

Discussion and recommendations outline:

  • Try to focus help by asking the question “how can I make the faculty’s job and life easier?” Some suggestions:
  • Develop a web page for a vocal/instrumental area that incorporates career and performance standards or goals.
  • Email invitations to faculty to participate in story-telling panel where they share their career stories
  • Use subversive tactics to inspire young faculty or students that will eventually impact on established faculty.
  • Have many face-to-face coffee-shop meetings with faculty (avoid office show-downs).
  • Ask faculty who are already incorporating careers-related subjects into their existing classes to explain how they are doing that/ what they are
  • Provide faculty workshops on how to incorporate careers and/or entrepreneurial teaching into their classes. Start with non-tenured faculty, but invite tenured too.

Building a great Career Services program with limited resources using alumni

Discussion and Recommendations

  • Utilize students; train them to be tutors (web services, cover letters etc.)
  • Develop a great website – add career resources (cover letter samples); how-to guides
  • Display good student work – resumes, cover letters etc.
  • Use Facebook as a staple (advertise events etc.) – get work study students to do it
  • Learn from non-arts schools
  • Use Alums to help you
    • panel
    • mentorship
    • directory (note if alums want to be a mentor
  • Networking reception for musicians
    • need to prepare students – why is this important? What do you do?
  • Engage studio teachers to engage alums and get them involved – find out who is giving master classes.
  • Utilize experts in the community (Trustees, board)
    • Be careful and make sure you pick good volunteers
  • Have students interview alumi (assignment) or your dream performer (coach them through this).
  • Share budgets – partner with other offices
  • Utilize surveys – find out how they would like to be involved
  • Partner with other schools
  • Utilize online communities – i module less expensive than Harris
  • Constant contact is a great communication device
  • Use alumni council as volunteers

Student to Alumni: creating a life-long relationship

Convener: John Blanchard
Participants: Sarah Glenn, Martha Hilley, Gabriela Camacho, Jennifer Grahl, Janet Rarick

Discussion and recommendations

  • Why don’t alums stay in touch?
    • feel like they haven’t done anything “important”
      • Idea- feature “struggle stories”
    • had a bad experience
    • no one cares
  • Alumni Philanthropy and Involvement
    • must educate them while they are there about philanthropy
    • Noted that Music Ed student much more apt to get involved in alumni activities than performance students
  • Goal: Create awareness (subsidized ed) and gratitude
    • Idea: give $ of class year $20.08
  • Develop website community for alums (Harris Connect) –
    • enter students into it after 1st year.
    • allow students access to alumni directory after they meet with a career professional
  • Promote circle: Struggle story- then faculty mentorship – success- then they help students who are struggling
  • Publish stories: successful plan B’s – answered question: How I applied to my music education?
  • Provide help for students how to fundraise
  • Fundraising from students?
    • Try getting them involved – raise $ for a student fund
  • Phonathons?
    • Strong reaction against; can be more hurtful if not already a tradition or with investment
  • Thankathon: using students to write thanks or make tahnk you calls to donors/alumni
    • “Thank our donors” day- set up a table with cards, have students sign thank-you cards; could be around holidays
  • Graduating student’s gifts: If they donate @20.08, then the school will send 3 certificates to faculty/family that they want to thank for their education.
  • Create a student philanthropy group a catchy name
  • Parent giving- tread creafully
    • use info available to identify prospects: financial aid? admission?


Discussion and recommendations outline:

Objective: Outreach understood

To provide: community with music programmes they cannot offord, allow neighbourhoods to attend in normal venues.

To provide: classical music familiarization to people who are unfamiliar

Students taught role of the artist in society and perform on outreach roster.

In schools attempt to develop program commensumte with academic goals

Outreach is a good vehicle to develop and refine presentation skills

Outreach programs have included composition module for young students

Outreach often occurs by accident

Changes in the recording industry: coping with change

Convener: Bill Nerenberg
Participants: David Mayes, Ben Kamins, Kip Cranna, Kim Wangler

Discussion and recommendations:

Recording session $50-75 per hour studio- avoid too much editing- very expensive will do the work for you. They are very user-friendly.

CD-baby will sell your CDs and will put your I-tunes if you want

Break- even point can be as low as $5000

Website can be had for as little as $12.00 per month

Use Paypal to avoid dealing with credit cards.

Crossover recordings do very well

Lifestyle marketing offer your recording to a retailer (care dealership, high end chain store etc).

New Business model may be coming: Internet provider will charge a few extra $ for free downloading- proceeds divided among performers

IDROL- hand-held digital recorder, amazing quality, records to your harddrive much easier to make a quality recording than before.

“Radiohead” model pay what you think it’s worth?

Change undergrad student awareness before the “OH, S_ _ T!” moment

Convener: Christina Rusnal
Participants: Dorothy Wyant, Mino Kazumi

Discussion and recommendations:

Point of Teaching:
Freshman? Probably not
Sophmore juries- through jazz program.

Faculty advising committee
work through faculty for unified message
work through jazz programs

Job models- ideal
Other possibilities – this is what we have to enlighten our students to do.
Job- negative association

Instrumental faculty do not view working with students on career options as their goals

Students/ professors – mystique of ideal not open to alternatives
what it takes to get there
simplify the message
learning processes- experiences, “do” vs lecture

If other positions/ career equalized in mind would be easier

-fighting uphill to negotiate career services
- doesn’t have currently- no-one will react
- must find allies

Oral Program Notes

Convener: Jane Cho

Discussion and recommendations:

Top Ideas: Play something 1st thing on a program: engagement before information

Specifics: 30 second rule for each speaking segment
-acknowledge audience
- include our rehearsal process, personal connection with music, context/position on the works.

Presentation is:
60% Body language
27% Tone of voice
13% the words you say

Remember: This takes Practice and feedback is needed, suggestions should be specific and helpful

It might be fun to use a kinetic learning pantomime to teach by showing bad practice

Faculty courses/ seminar

Convener: Martha Hilley, Kitty Knight
Participants: Elaine Stolick, Judith Cline, Mary Lorselle, Kip, Suzanne Helfter

Debrief on Plan B/ etc.

Faculty courses- elective upper division (fine arts, not just music)

Pass job descriptions from CMS- chair search committee, person on search committee, applicant to search committee

Video component

Mock telephone interview

Financial planning/tax

Add myspace/facebook/youtube component

Good jobs for students, temp work.

Transferable skills??

Convener: Judith Cline

Discussion and recommendations:

The importance of the skills musicians bring to the “outside world”

Transferable skills from music to “other than music” jobs

The sense of being a participant in a larger community of music and music making

Honoring the career paths of our students/alums by how we bring them to the attention of our current people

Honouring the large percentage of our applied students who don’t or might not have had the magic combination necessary to become professional musicians

We resolved to share information through the list service about our various areas of expertise and resources.

Writing and speaking

Participants: Justin, Kip, Kim, Kimberly, Kathy

Discussion and recommendations:

“ the product is not music, the product is LIVE music”

Importance of instilling ability to communicate with words (spoken and written) to share musical passion

Program notes
-avoid plagiarism by writing how the piece affects YO
_ Rice requires prog. Notes for the masters/doc level

Musicians are great critical thinkers but not necessarily with words- incorporate deeper levels of thinking

Speaking at concerts breaks down barriers and builds connections

Some tips (on cell phones) to break the ice:

“leave ‘em on and do take my picture”

“Be sure to turn your cell phones back on AFTER the concert”

Facilitating Collaboration in Project Learning

Convener: Janet Rarick
Participants: Leslie Scatterday, Jan Weller, Joe Mount, Christina, Jane Cho, Ben Kamins, Justin

Discussion and recommendations:

Sluffers are inevitable , so play to the strengths of individuals

Team building exercises- train people to find consensus

Have a project leader sign on to the plan

Have a written plan with timetable phased measurable outputs

Prepare: what are benefits of collaborative projects? The whole is greater than the sum of parts, student benefits and ownership

Failure is OK, a lot is learned

With feedback at end of each phase (including how the group is functioning)

Cross-genre/ collaboration across disciplines within the institution

See- skeptic music group (combines composition, technology, performance, music business)

Required Recitals are projects: Incorporate all aspects, not just learning the music.

Have students provide feedback on each other

Changing the mindset from artist to entrepreneur

Convener: Bill Nerenberg
Participants: Melody Ruby, Emily Strader, David Maves, Dorothy Wyandt, Leslie Scatterday, Susan Helfer, Jennifer Grahl, Mariko Gilan, Janis Weller, Kim Wangler, Judith Cline, Kip Cranna, Fred Cohen, Christina Rusnak, Sara Adams, Kimberly Mullen, Angela Beeching, Shina Fukui, Elaine

Discussion and recommendations:

Big Myth: “forget about business—if you’re good enough, people will hire you.”

Books: One Person/Multiple careers - A New Model for Work/Life Success by Marci Alboher
THE E-MYTH- Gerber
“Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within.” Robert Quinn

Use guest speakers who are recent graduates-Younger people who are close in age to students.

Use faculty members who are entrepreneurs. Find an ally in the faculty.

Use the listserve as source of entrepreneurial speakers.

Find people in the community who offer their entrepreneurial advice, e.g. Restaurateurs, finance people.

Make use of visiting faculty or performing groups to talk to your class.

Use statistics to demonstrate the challenge in finding orchestra jobs; encourage students to “pound the pavement”

Organize an open house forum of graduates (alums) and students and professionals

Have “Networking Night” for professionals and students, business people.

Find students who have done entrepreneurial things on their own; let parents know about entrepreneurial opportunities for their kids.

Have the students help you organize career events-
“Creative arts opportunity conference”
“Career Day” – “Job Fair” (Change the format from year to year so it doesn’t get stale
(send students to classes to promote the event)

Use Facebook ads to promote your career event.

Use Alumni who were not “stars” as students but made successful careers.

Have students sign up for career events in advance and confirm them.

Don’t be afraid to rotate events from year to year. Stimulates more interest in students and helps them not to delay attending/ procrastination.

Have pre-workshop preparation sessions for guest speaker or networking opportunities: how can students get the most out of the event? (cover such things as how to talk to a guest speaker, what to expect from the event, what questions might they prepare to ask, etc.)

Plan B

Convener: Kip Cranna
Participants: Gabriela Camacho, Diana Barlow, Emily Strader, Fred Cohen, Dave Maves, Kazumi Minoguchi, Elaine Stolick, Melody Rubie, Martha Hilley

Discussion and recommendations:

Do a survey at beginning of course/course of study

Personal experience

Career exploration with actual experience/job shadowing (Columbus State)

“Now What” Laura Barnam Fortgang

Once a musician, always a musician

Short-term and long-term grads

Use Alums

“Leave Us Fair” bring back 5 alums at different stages- 1 yr, 2 yr, 3 yr, 4 yr, 5 yr (gone from school)

Plan B is not failure

Career grants??? Given by higher education institute

NCSA- a focus on entrepreneurship

Look at your school’s “Mission Statement”

Issue of the future of classical music

Transferable skills

How to piece together enough to allow you to “survive” and still have the energy to practice your art

International students (IS)

Convener: Kazumi W. Minoguchi [notes done by Mary Loiselle]
Participants: Kitty Knight, Sarah Glenn, Martha Hilley, Mary Loiselle, Susan Helfter


  • Some IS are so steeped in their own culture they’re not open to new ideas/other ways. Some assimilate into US culture so well, it’s hard to go back to their own.
  • Japanese students returning to Japan after study in U.S. find it very hard to get jobs; they get discouraged. If gone too long, they’re out of touch with what’s going on at home. Many Japanese students are relying on their major teachers to provide career paths for them, so they don’t learn about other paths.
  • Some IS are hesitant to ask questions & participate (take a role of authority) in classes. In some cultures, esp.
  • Asian, there’s so much focus on practicing that they don’t learn other skills.


  • Poor English communication skills are a major issue. TOEFL has a very low bar. Many/most of our schools have ESL instructor for IS. Some have IS advisors. Doing outreach can be a good way for IS to practice speaking about their music & careers.
  • How to help them understand what impact language skills could have on their careers, especially if they stay in the US. Have ‘hard’ conversations with IS about this – they won’t be supported in the real world as they are at school.
  • For IS, writing resumes, cover letters, bios & Web sites is challenging. How much to coach/teach, or just do them for IS? Have all documents done online for ease in editing/teaching through many drafts needed. Use demonstration examples vs. talking to them about it. Have peers or alumni help. Need to work with them on content & focused communication as well as improving facility with language, grammar, etc.
  • Interviews in English are difficult. Do mock interviews, videotape & give feedback. Identify people who are skilled in a specific language AND good communications (alumni, community members, professionals, etc); have them adopt a student. Do ‘train the trainers’ sessions.


  • It’s important for career officers to get to know IS at the beginning of the year.
  • How to prepare all students to work in other countries/cultures. We need to be knowledgeable about what the cultural and career/professional issues are in various countries. Ask the students to explain the cultures, music industry, and related issues in their countries. Hold a forum for discussion of these issues between U.S. and international students.
  • How IS can network with other students, alumni and professionals in their own country. Use faculty and alumni as a resource – those who have relationships/connections in different countries. Ask IS who their connections are (teachers, advisors, community leaders, etc.). Encourage students who return to home country to stay in touch. Establish a network of contacts/resources. Set up exchange programs to create connections. [Mino gave example of exchange between Japan and Vienna.] Technology such as Internet 2 or videoconferencing could be used to build bridges.


  • IS need to be educated and know how the system works.
  • Visa considerations can drive choice of career path in order to stay in U.S. (grad school, etc.)
  • Importance of IS and faculty observing/enforcing visa rules.

Starting a Career Office/Structures & Strategies for Personnel & Resources

Convener: Mary Loiselle/Susan Helfter [notes done by Mary Loiselle]
Participants: Kitty Knight, Kim Wangler, Shino Fukui, Kathy Covert, Jennifer Grahl, Sarah Glenn, Sarah Adams, Mariko Gillan

Discussion & recommendations outline:

Background on schools represented –

Most in the group have no, or a new, career office and few resources. Some have career or business classes. Some are in general university career offices, with minimal focus on music students; not many students use the services offered.

Topics discussed:

1). Getting started – Each school has unique needs. Build on the strengths of your school/staff. Offer individual coaching, workshops, internship programs. Develop Web-site presence for career services. Form an advisory board. Help students create portfolios.

2). Budget – Possible budget items: staff, speakers, memberships, space/office & resource center, library/resources, Web development/technology [this could be a good student-worker job], one-time setup cost for new career office. Build in funding for students to do creative projects. Use gig income to fund educational component; obtain funding for programs (Oberlin/Kauffman); identify individual funders interested in community projects (Longy), entrepreneurial projects (USC), etc. Other funding possibilities: business funders through small business council; funding for collaborative efforts among schools; tie into business schools; create an advisory board of board members, alumni, business people.

3). Getting students into the career office – Require students to meet with career officer; tag onto meeting with financial aid officer. Be sure career office is introduced at orientation. Offer individual coaching, seminars, etc.

The Art Institute of Seattle has a strategic, step-by-step non-curricular program required for all students. Students are required to complete a ‘passport’ or checklist over their years at the school, including meetings with student services, financial aid, career office, etc.; attending career seminars; working with advisors, etc. The last year is focused on job search, with workshops offered on interviews, photos, etc. A final interview is required with career officer – must have cover letter, resume, audio/video portfolio completed.

4). Other issues and ideas –

  • Advantages of coordinating related offices; have one space focusing on ‘Connecting Musicians to the World’ (career, gigs, outreach) – one vision/one strategy; coordinate with other offices and faculty.
  • Through work study or internships, have students experience career skills from the bottom up (orchestra operations and management, doing PR, producing a concert, doing community outreach, etc.)
  • ‘Hot’ terms for career skills in schools: leadership, entrepreneurship, engagement, career development.
  • Tie into ‘goals’ on students’ admissions forms.

Audience Development

Convener: Diana Barlow
Participants: Angela Beeching

We had the smallest and yet, one of the best sessions (from my point of view). First, we gossiped like crazy and then we discussed:

  • How audience development is not on our students’ or faculty’s radar screens.
  • The problem of music schools providing the performance opportunities (gigs, school concerts, or outreach) with "ready made" non-paying audiences (friends, teachers, colleagues, family) and how unrealistic this is compared to professional performances.
  • Ways to create more awareness: having students be responsible for marketing and promoting a performance or create a performance series off campus. Encourage musicians to think about who their audience is & who their concert would appeal to. Idea: Tailor concerts to appeal to different audiences, such as a themed concert.
  • Encourage musicians to make the most of every performance opportunity with some form of marketing / networking - business card or invitation to another performance.
  • Idea: Organise a drinks reception / meal before a concert with the musicians attending to get to know their audience.
  • Bob Freeman’s “bring a new friend to a concert” challenge to students to bring someone who hasn’t attended a classical (or jazz) concert before and take them out for coffee after and talk about it.
  • Idea: invite a non-musician (not a classical music buff) to a class or workshop and have them discuss what they like about concerts and why they come to concerts. Also, ask them what can be done to improve or attract a non-musician to a concert e.g. different venue / setting etc