Curriculum and Advising

Entrepreneurial Musicianship offers a range of courses that help artists articulate the impact they want to make as musicians and build the professional skill to do so.

In addition to our seminar course, The Entrepreneurial Musician, we offer focused electives that cover diverse topics such as marketing, communications, financial planning, and legal issues. In our courses, students learn by doing—whether it’s talking about their music, building a website, or balancing a budget—and tailor each assignment to fit their unique interests and goals.

Course Descriptions

For complete information as to courses offered in the current year, consult the schedule of course offerings available each semester in the Registrar’s Office

The Entrepreneurial Musician: Undergraduate Seminar » Fall 2020 & Spring 2021

The Entrepreneurial Musician course provides a strategic perspective of the skills, strategies, and mindsets that help musicians create and develop unique, resilient, and successful careers in today’s music field. This class will cultivate a mindset of self-efficacy – the belief in one’s capacity to perform specific tasks to achieve goals and standards – as the foundation for a life in music. Since discussions in this course are focused primarily on post-NEC careers, students who register should be at least in their junior year of coursework.
(1 credit, GE) ENTP 351 | E. Epstein, Kalmanovitch, Teeters


The Entrepreneurial Musician: Graduate Seminar » Fall 2020 & Spring 2021

This class prepares young artists to become social problem-solvers, advancing the role of the performing arts in a rapidly-changing world. This class is about a mindset (ways of knowing, thinking, interacting and being) that is directly relevant to your artistry, your career, and your academic pursuits. Students participate actively by contributing their skills, artistry and knowledge of the world around them to make a positive impact. This class is designed to not only improve students conceptual understanding of entrepreneurship as it relates to the performing arts, but also to engage in experiential learning. Lectures and class discussions will provide an overview of Social Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking, and use them to explore existing and emergent models for musicians professional roles, incorporating the pillars of entrepreneurial thinking-- vision, initiative, risk, and value. Prerequisite: TOEFL minimum score of 550 or equivalent.
(2 credits) ENTP 551 | Kalmanovitch


Grantwriting and Fundraising for Artists » Fall 2020

This course presents the principles, strategies, and tactics necessary to author successful funding proposals as an individual artist. The ability to generate content and edit prose in a compelling way largely determines the value others will find in one’s work. We will explore direct grants, fellowships, scholarships, sponsorships, and other situations in which a musician’s work must be communicated to another for their benefit. Students will have the opportunity to create projects and author proposals that accurately reflect their own work and career trajectory, while adding to their skill set to keep future efforts articulate, compelling, organized, and ultimately funded.
(1 credit) ENTP 556 | Worden


Creating An Audience: Marketing Basics » Fall 2020

So you have a great artistic product—now how do people find out about it? In this course, students will learn how to reach beyond the community they already know to get the word out about their work to the world beyond. Using real-world case studies, we will develop the language and media to build our individual/organizational voice and brand identity and apply that identity to building functional outreach strategies. Relying heavily on a user/audience-centric approach, students will learn the tactical skills necessary to bring a project, performance, or product to market through practical assignments directly applicable to their individual or ensemble careers.
(1 credit) ENTP 554 | Phillips


Finance 101: What Musicians Need to Know » Spring 2021

This course is designed for musicians who will soon be transitioning to the professional world and have a desire to better understand and control their finances. It will provide a systematic approach to learning essential finance skills and will promote habits for long-term financial health. Course topics will include financial planning, saving and credit, loan management, taxes, insurance, and retirement planning. Additionally, the course will address how to create and work within a budget for both personal and professional projects.
(1 credit) ENTP 556 | Rosinski


Music Law and Copyright Basics » Spring 2021

Even the most talented and advanced musicians need to think and operate like a business to remain successful in today’s music world. From artist contracts, copyright law, recording and music publishing agreements, digital rights management, and business organization, music-related careers are affected by legal matters on a regular basis. This course provides an introduction to the legal issues surrounding United States copyright that individuals working in the music business face today. Students will complete the course with a foundation of knowledge in how to protect their own works from unauthorized exploitation.
(1 credit) ENTP 553 | Herlihy


EM Expo Seminar: Creative Project Building: From Thinking to Doing  »  Spring 2021

Music is a powerful tool to bridge differences and lift up audiences. While we live in a time with seemingly insurmountable challenges, one of an artist’s primary responsibilities - now more than ever - is to contribute to a better world.  Do you have an idea for your own artistic project outside of NEC’s walls, but how do you actually make it happen? In this course, students will be supported to think deeply about their goals and learn how to develop a plan to support an artistic project of their own choosing.

The course will explore how artistic projects are conceived, developed, and planned, and provide students with an opportunity to design plans for their own projects.  

In addition to a final presentation representing a student’s cumulative thinking about the steps needed to achieve his or her identified goals, student learning will be supported by guest speakers, individual advising, constructive feedback from peers and NEC alumni, and assigned written reflections.
(1 credit) ENTP 558T | Cords


Entrepreneurial Internship » Fall 2020 & Spring 2021

Internships place students in environments where they learn how to take responsibility for all aspects of a musical endeavor – performance, teaching, administrative work, marketing, etc. EM Internships are offered in conjunction with a wide variety of local arts organizations and ensembles. Each intern will work directly with a professional from the host organization and is required to work a minimum of 70 hours over the course of a semester. Learn more about EM Internships here
(1 credit) ENTP INT or 540 | Phillips