How to Learn Music Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
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Musicians are natural entrepreneurs. Using music as the foundation, a musician will be able to refine his or her talent as a musician through intensive training and build a strong foundation. Programmes should be specifically tailored to students from a variety of musical backgrounds whether they are interested in classical music, jazz studies, or composition. In the music start-up world, there needs to be an equilibrium between the fanatical visionary trying to enter a market niche, and the market itself, which is composed primarily of casual listeners that may not share the same vision as the founder.
Identifying that niche can be rather difficult, because one often needs be a fanatic to do so. Musicians have begun to realize that their dreams are possible through the discipline of entrepreneurship, a discipline that allows for individuality and creativity. The disciplines of entrepreneurship and music have a lot in common in that each takes a huge commitment, a relentless work ethic, passion and new ideas.
Entrepreneurial and business skills will open up many doors. Musicians will stand to benefit tremendously by entrepreneurship because it involves monetizing an idea. It is the need of the hour that we incorporate a class in business skills for musicians that includes topics ranging from paying taxes, performing, marketing to protecting your music. There are so many different ways of approaching it depending particularly on what's the school’s mission and how the school finds its own pathway to support students.
One can create so many different methods and modules to design the type of experience to create a stage for music entrepreneurs to actualize their ideas. A more in-depth entrepreneurial class, track or programme should also provide hands-on experience in promoting your music, performing outside of school, audience-building, networking and even thinking like an entrepreneur. The music entrepreneurship curriculum should be balanced between the tactical skills, marketing, finance, economics and leadership development pieces.
Today’s musicians need to leave the ivory tower behind and enter the real world armed with talent, entrepreneurial instincts, a willingness to work hard, and a very thick skin. The concept of ‘entrepreneur’ may seem at odds to the life of the musician, but in fact the two roles are very alike and there are strong historical precedents: composers like Bach, Haydn and Mozart were actively engaged in organising and promoting their own concerts, running and developing their own businesses. It’s very hard to carve a career as a musician, never more so in today’s fast-paced, highly competitive and image-driven world.
The changes in the industry are unparalleled in history and therefore so are our roles. Today it’s not enough to aspire to be a virtuoso. Now classical musicians need to be prepared to turn their hand to a variety of activities within the profession—performing, teaching, collaborating, promotion and more.
Entrepreneurs have a passion for what they do, they lose sleep over their ideas and dream about creating new opportunities all the time. Imagine what could happen if one thought this way regularly about their own talents? Answering these questions will jumpstart their thinking towards entrepreneurship.