Members of NAAC were asked a series of questions regarding their transitions from a career path in music to one outside. In reading these transition stories it is our hope that those of you considering your own transition might find comfort in identifying with our stories and support in our network of alumni.


Carole Lawton '70 M.M.
Organ Performance

Job Title:
Manager of Program & Student Services (retired)

Organization Name:
Northeastern University

Academic Administration

Contact Carole Lawton

Transition Questions & Responses

Q: What skills and attributes did you use from your NEC education to enhance your transition to another career?

CL: "I worked in an office at NEC during my studies there. That position enhanced my organizational and administrative skills."


Q: How and why did you make this transition?  (e.g. returned to school, networking, career counseling/ financial stability, life style of performer, family reasons, etc.)

CL: "I enjoy the stimulation of academic environment and I needed health insurance. While working at Harvard I became fascinated by some topics in psychology, so I used my benefits to earn a Masters in Psychology and a Certificate of Administration and Management."

Q: What did you find most difficult in making this transition?


CL: "Losing mornings for practicing."

Q: What are the positive aspects of being in an alternative career?


CL: "Regular pay, dependable benefits, meeting interesting people who expand my thinking."

Q: "Share one lesson or “tip” that you learned through this transition from a music career into another profession?"


CL: "Learn the culture of the department and institution beforehand."

Q: How do you balance your passion for music with your current vocation?


CL: "I do as much playing professionally as possible and I still go to a lot of concerts. I network with organist colleagues through the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists."


Contact Carole Lawton