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.


Dave Archibald '75 M.M.
Orchestral Conducting

Job Title:
Compensation & HR Services Director

Organization Name:

Research and development

Contact Dave Archibald

Transition Questions & Responses

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

DA: "Performance and performance preparation helped me to design and lead training programs, part of the human resources field I’m in."


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.)

DA: "I had a job in HR consulting to put myself through NEC. It paid much better and was much more secure than the great conducting/teaching job I was offered (thanks to NEC connections) after getting the degree."


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

DA: "Letting go of the idea I’d had since I was kid that I’d be a professional musician."


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

DA: "I appreciate the (what I see to be) wider variety of intellectual and creative areas I can contribute to. I also think I enjoy music much more when I’m not relying on it to support my family."


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

DA: "It’s not a failure if you learn from it."


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

DA: "Choose musical engagements that offer a maximum amount of scheduling flexibility."


Contact Dave Archibald