Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




The music industry is shifting away from the traditional concert in traditional venues. New and innovative concert experiences are beginning to be designed to continue to find ways to speak to new audiences. As a musician, entrepreneurial skills are becoming more and more mandatory in creating a long-lasting career. Despite the thousands of people who graduate around the country with a music degree each year, the number of traditional music jobs as a major symphony orchestra member or touring soloist are becoming more and more difficult to land, causing many graduates to have to find work in a different field in the interim or as a long-term solution. Unfortunately, a study done by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project's (SNAAP) 2017 Annual Report: Arts in Alumni in Their Communities identifies major gaps in music curriculum in teaching career-building skills for musicians to flourish in creating their own career. Astrid Baumgardner, Lecturer & Head of Office of Career Strategies at Yale University School of Music, said, "Success in the music world today is not a linear process. Rather, it is highly creative and requires that musicians master a lot of skills on top of their musical talent."

This project walks through business skills that musicians need to know in order create their own careers such as creating a business plan, developing an entrepreneurial mindset, financing a venture, forming a legal entity, and creating value for a targeted market. In addition to the information provided, there are also activities that students can participate in to further their knowledge and skill.



Faculty Mentor

Russell Fisher

Departmental Honors Advisor

Sergio Bernal

Capstone Committee Member

Robert Waters