TAG: Yale School of Music

Entrepreneurial Projects: Translating Vision and Mission into Action

One of the most thrilling aspects of my class this semester was how my students incorporated a huge volume of information and applied it to their semester projects.  The objective was to experience first-hand the entrepreneurial skills that we learned in class and to experiment with something that they had never done before.  The students were encouraged to take risks and use their ingenuity and creativity to produce something new, looking for opportunities and adopting the positive can-do mindset of an entrepreneur.

The results were magnificent! 

I was deeply impressed with how hard my students worked.  They tapped into their passions and sense of mission to generate these projects.  The projects also aligned with their long-term goals and vision.  In fact, I am delighted that so many of these projects are the springboard for future activities. No wonder they were so motivated to work these projects!

Here’s a run-down of what these music entrepreneurs accomplished.

The TED Commandments: 10 Rules for a Great Speech

What makes for a great speech?

These days, one need only log onto Ted.com to see examples of the leading lights in our culture speaking with passion on everything from art to business to science to you name it!   In fact, in my class, I assigned my students to watch Ben Zander’s TED Talk on Music and Passion to show them the excitement that music can generate to tap into new possibilities, new experiences and new connections.

TED talks are wildly popular.  According to TED’s own records, TEDTalks have been viewed more than 500 million times by people around the world (as of July 2011).

Is it merely an accident that these speeches are so good?  Or is there some method to guide these talented people?

It turns out that TED’s organizer’s indeed issue guidelines, called the TED Commandments, which are apparently engraved on a stone tablet and sent to their invited speakers!  I am indebted to Tim Longhurst for transcribing the engraved  commandments from a photograph and typing then up.  Here they are:

Public Speaking for Music Entrepreneurs: 4 Ways to Engage Your Audience

All semester, my students have been working on projects that have given them the opportunity to practice their newly honed entrepreneurial skills.  In our last class, they had a chance to share their projects and showcase their public speaking abilities that we learned about in our public speaking class. The goal was to deliver an interesting, engaging speech that conveyed …

Your Marketing Message: How to Telegraph the Emotional Benefits of Your Music

This week, I spent a lot of time in my car and therefore had a wonderful opportunity to listen to music. My selections ranged from a lecture series on late Beethoven Quartets to Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8, to Steve Reich to Chopin Nocturnes and then to the Beethoven late quartets, particularly the Grosse Fugue.  These choices depended on what mood I was in:

  • Did I want to be stimulated or provoked or soothed? 
  • Did I want to relax and feel restored? 
  • Did I need something to contemplate or to help me ponder the meaning of life? 
  • And what about staying alert on a long drive?

Music is a powerful way of tapping into one’s emotions and that is why people love to listen to music.

Interestingly, my thoughts dovetailed perfectly with my most recent class at Yale on marketing for musicians.  Admittedly a huge topic, marketing is essential in this day and age since most musicians just starting their careers are not likely to have the money to hire professional publicists or managers for marketing help.

Speaking About Music: How to Be Confident and Powerful

If you happened to wander by my classroom at Yale recently, you would have seen and heard my students and their professor (that would be me!) moving their arms, doing knee bends, rolling their lip, singing scales to the tune of “mi mi mi” and reciting tongue twisters under the tutelage of Professor Brian Lewis who came to my class to help us learn more about public speaking and overcome “glossophobia”(the fear of public speaking).

In fact, in some surveys, fear of public speaking is the number one common phobia, ranking even higher than the fear of death!  So Professor Lewis was there to give us some valuable tips on how to get comfortable with public speaking since he adn I both believe that this is an essential skill for today’s musicians.  Here is a summary of his remarks, together with my own observations on how to speak in public with power and confidence. 

Networking for Music Entrepreneurs: Using Your Head and Your Heart

I love teaching networking because it is such a valuable skill for musicians.  And my recent networking class at Yale was such a treat because for the first time ever, I had a group where nearly half of the students enjoy networking! As a result, my “experienced” networkers were able to share their successes with their colleagues which both reinforced the importance of networking and showed other students what to do in order to incorporate networking into one’s arsenal of career-building tools. 

The bottom line:  networking involves both your head—being strategic—and your heart-being intuitive and sensitive to building quality relationships. 

Let’s take a closer look at what worked.

So Percussion: The Entrepreneurial Ensemble Shares Its Model of Success

The Yale School of Music community recently had the pleasure of welcoming Adam Sliwinski and Josh Quillen, two members of the red-hot percussion quartet, So Percussion, who talked about the entrepreneurial model of creating and running a successful ensemble.  Here is their take on collaboration, blending art and commerce and expanding the audience for classical music. To get in the …

Two Confidence-Boosting Tools for Music Entrepreneurs: Strengths and Flow

One of the goals of my entrepreneurship class at the Yale School of Music is to help my students develop a mindset of positivity and project confidence since this is at the heart of being a successful entrepreneur. My students have learned two great tools for boosting their confidence—strengths and Flow.  These are more than “feel-good props”.  Both originate from positive psychology, the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive and whose mission includes “find[ing]and nurture[ing] genius and talent”.

What’s not to like?

So here is how strengths and Flow can help you to become confident in your professional and your personal endeavors.

What’s Working for Music Entrepreneurs?: The Power of Living at Choice

Spring Break is here.  My students are on overload.  They have been performing a lot, as well as auditioning for DMA programs, summer festivals and orchestra jobs, interviewing for internships and jobs on top of all their schoolwork.  We began our last class before Spring Break with a check-in on what’s working.

What’s working is a great question because you focus on the positive aspects of your life.  It is another way to change your perceptions and use the forces of positive energy to motivate you.

Here’s the way it works:

1.    First you identify what is working in your life.

2.  Then you figure out what about it works, analyzing the steps you took to create your success.

3.  Finally, you apply your methodology to areas of your life that are not working as well so that you can overcome your challenges.

Let’s take a look at what is working from my class.

 

Music Entrepreneurship: Out with the Perfect, In with The Impossible

Recently, marketing guru Seth Godin wrote an explosive blog post entitled “Perfect and Impossible” wherein he takes on the digital revolution in music and examines how a once “perfect” business

“Radio, record chains, Rolling Stone magazine, the senior prom, limited access to recording studios, the replaceable nature of the LP, the baby boomers”

has now died. And for him, that’s a good thing because it’s a revolution that “destroys the perfect and enables the impossible.”

I immediately thought of my class and what we are teaching:  to help musicians think and act like entrepreneurs so that they can create their own version of success.