Last week I was in Graz, Austria to present at the 2012 meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz. Both presentations concerned the future of the professional musician — from the standpoint of schools preparing musicians for professional careers, and from the standpoint of young musicians seeking to build the foundations for sustainable musical careers.
In these talks, I drew heavily upon work being done at New England Conservatory’s Department of Entrepreneurial Musicianship, under the leadership of Rachel Roberts. I’m happy to have played a key role in developing curriculum for undergraduate and graduate classes, but the success of these classes rests in is large part thanks to Rachel, Eva Heinstein and Dan Swenson who work together to create and sustain a warm, dynamic, and supportive environment from which students (and faculty) can envision their musical futures.
Here are links to the handouts from my presentations:
My presentations met with a warm and enthusiastic response and spurred some great discussions with peers from five continents. This was a great affirmation that I’m on the right path, here. I can say that I’ve easily learned as much form teaching this course as the students have. Our weekly conversations involve tough, juicy, substantial questions. The answers require authenticity and integrity. One thing I love about working at New England Conservatory: it’s a catalyst for constant growth.