Every NEC student and alum has access to free advising from the EM team—conservatory-trained professionals with experience at every level of every size of arts organization. These one-on-one advising sessions can be about anything from writing bios and resumes to grant proposals, long term projects, career direction, and artistic goals.
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 survey 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 can tailor each assignment to fit their unique interests and goals.
For complete information as to courses offered in the current year, students should consult the schedule of course offerings available each semester in the Registrar’s Office.
The Entrepreneurial Musician: Undergraduate Seminar » Fall & Spring
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 & Spring
This course provides an in-depth 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. Class assignments will guide graduate students through the process of setting, planning for, and achieving a specific career goal. Through this course, NEC will invest in developing a roster of Entrepreneurial Advisors: passionate, highly accomplished music industry experts who are motivated to share their professional experience with the next generation of musical leaders. Each registered student will be assigned an E-Advisor according to the student’s specific musical needs, goals and interests. Students will be required to plan effectively for advising sessions and to demonstrate that they have incorporated the E-Advisor’s feedback into their project plan. Class assignments will be organized around the development of a project plan for a specific career goal. Prerequisite: TOEFL minimum score of 550 or equivalent.
(2 credits) ENTP 551 | Kalmanovitch
EM Expo Seminar: The Journey from Thinking to Creating » Spring 2019
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—including those created by NEC alumni—are developed, introduce the elements of planning, 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 individual advising, constructive feedback from peers and NEC alumni, and assigned written reflections.
(1 credit) ENTP 558T | Marlow
Music Law and Copyright Basics » Spring 2019
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
Creating An Audience: Marketing Basics » Spring 2019
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
Entrepreneurial Internship » Fall & Spring
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, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet, the Museum of Fine Arts, A.R.T’s Club Oberon, and A Far Cry, among others. Each intern will work directly with a professional from the host organization and is required to work a minimum of 80 hours over the course of a semester. Learn more about EM Internships here.
(0 or 1 credit) ENTP INT or 540 | Faculty
Grantwriting and Fundraising for Artists » Fall 2018
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
Finance 101: What Musicians Need to Know » Fall 2018
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
Performance and Communication »
This course introduces students to the communicative tools of the performer, ranging from the skills of stage presence and awareness to their more routine applications of presentation and communication.
(1 credit) ENTP 555 | Weiss
Music and the Media »
This course will examine the current role of the arts in the mainstream media, where coverage of classical music and jazz is unquestionably shrinking. Students will familiarize themselves with a broad range of sources, debating the basis for effective musical and cultural criticism. On a practical level, the course will also address what kinds of overage are available to musicians today, the kinds of editorial decisions made regarding the placement of arts coverage, and how musicians can effectively advocate for themselves in the press.
(1 credit) ENTP 557 | Pellegrinelli