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Friday, February 18, 2011

Last modified: Friday, February 18, 2011

IU Jacobs School of Music develops cutting-edge career and entrepreneur project

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Feb. 18, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is working with music career specialist and author Angela Myles Beeching and the Kelley School's Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on a yearlong pilot project that offers students an innovative approach to career development and entrepreneurial training.

The project coincides with the publication of an expanded edition of Beeching's Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music, recently released by Oxford University Press. The first edition, published in 2005, has been used as a textbook in more than 20 schools in the United States, with a translated version available in Japan. The new edition has a special focus on entrepreneurship, community connections and online tools.

Beeching, a visiting consultant and adjunct faculty member in the Jacobs School for the 2010-2011 academic year, has advised hundreds of emerging and mid-career musicians on a full range of career issues. Her experience is reflected in Beyond Talent, which covers everything from how to write a bio to how to book performances, create an effective online presence, write grants and fundraise, and manage time as a busy freelancer.

This past fall, working in collaboration with Donald Kuratko, executive director of the Johnson Center, and his staff, Beeching launched Project Jumpstart with a team of Jacobs students. The project offers Jacobs Students a wide range of career workshops, advisory sessions and online resources, all with a heavy student leadership focus.

"I am fascinated with what it takes for creative individuals to move forward in their careers and the different paths each embarks on," said Beeching, who received a doctorate in cello performance from SUNY Stony Brook University. "I encourage students to think primarily about three things: 'What is your mission?' 'Who is it you really want to become?' and 'What do you need to pay attention to?' The book is intended as a roadmap to help musicians navigate more easily."

Project Jumpstart promotes the idea of being a "cultural entrepreneur," with the mindset of being able to see opportunities, create strategic alliances, and think about community and the role of music in society.

"Students in this generation are really tuned into the relevance and mission of their creative paths, and they are hungry for resources," Beeching said. "Jumpstart offers ways to obtain the specifics they need and encourages them to think broadly at the same time."

Beeching works closely with a four-person team of Jacobs students, keeping in touch by e-mail and Skype on the weeks she's away from Bloomington. The student team members created the project's web pages; produced videos of interviews with faculty and student entrepreneurs; organized, promoted and evaluated the Jumpstart workshops; and surveyed the student body to provide data to use in the proposal for a future ongoing program for the school.

In addition to working with the team, Beeching continues to consult with the Johnson Center, as well as with faculty, staff and a student advisory committee in the Jacobs School.

With Beeching living in Boston rather than Bloomington, the students have to be leaders -- which, she said, is the best way to assist them in becoming entrepreneurs.

"It's the students driving this, and they're terrific," she said. The Jacobs School offers great possibilities, Beeching said, "in addition to the incredible faculty and talented students, the school, being part of Indiana University, has a wealth of opportunities for collaborations."

Project Jumpstart team member and undergraduate oboist Clair Studdard has organized two networking "Schmoozathons" to help Jacobs and IU Kelley School of Business students connect. Team member and graduate student violist Marie-Elise McNeeley has focused on engaging the student advisory committee, vocalist Angie Kloc has headed the online efforts and resources, and vocalist Peter Thoresen, who is pursing a doctorate of music, has spearheaded the student evaluations and survey reports. With assistance from Alain Barker, marketing and publicity director for the Jacobs School, the team has accomplished a lot in a few short months. There will be a total of 24 workshops for the year, over 100 advising sessions and scores of faculty brainstorming sessions.

Beeching cited the fact that Jacobs has many entrepreneurial faculty members and that the program incorporates their expertise as much as possible, with a cross-section of faculty as panelists on every workshop, so that students connect with more faculty and view them as allies and mentors.

Examples of some of the early ripple effects of Project Jumpstart include Jazz Department convocations focused on career issues organized by Professor of Jazz Thomas Walsh as well as a student-driven new music publicity research project coordinated by Professor of Composition Don Freund. These are part of a direction toward the new generation's more holistic approach to careers and the Jacobs School's commitment to helping students create a framework for success in the current and future economy.

"We are encouraging students to think globally about making a difference, using their ambition and idealism to fuel their dreams, create projects and, through their art, change the world," Beeching said.

While completing this year's project, Beeching, the Jumpstart Project team and the Johnson Center are assisting the school administration with the design of a long-term, fully dimensional career and entrepreneurial leadership program tailored specifically to the Jacobs School.

About Angela Beeching

Project Jumpstart leader Angela Myles Beeching is a visiting consultant and adjunct faculty to the Jacobs School of Music. Author of the acclaimed Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music, she most recently directed New England Conservatory's Career Services Center, a comprehensive music resource center internationally recognized as a model of its kind. A frequent guest speaker at many conservatories and schools of music, Beeching has presented at conferences for the National Association of Schools of Music, Chamber Music America, Classical Singer and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

A Fulbright Scholar and Harriet Hale Woolley grant recipient, Beeching holds a doctorate in cello performance from SUNY Stony Brook. Fascinated by artists' varied career paths and life choices, she is committed to helping musicians chart their own paths to success and is very pleased to be a member of the Project Jumpstart team.

For more about the IU Jacobs School of Music, visit

For more about the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, visit

For more about Project Jumpstart, visit

For more about the book Beyond Talent, visit

For more about Angela Beeching, visit

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