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Courses: Winter 2016

1-Credit Mini-Courses

EXCEL mini-courses, for undergraduate and graduate students, meet one evening a week in only the first two months of a term – check each description for precise meeting dates. They allow you to learn new skills and strategies that will amplify your artistry, taught by a variety of experts from the U-M community!

The Business of Chamber Music

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 001 (#30396)
Thursdays, 6:30–8:30 Jan. 7–Feb. 18 + Sat. Feb. 13 with the Akropolis Reed Quintet, Moore 2058
Instructor: Kari Dion, Akropolis Reed Quintet


Chamber music provides vibrant and rewarding career paths for individuals and ensembles, but too often goes unexplored because musicians lack the skills and knowledge needed. This course fills this gap by exploring chamber music outside of the rehearsal room, providing students with the insights and tools needed to jumpstart sustainable career in professional chamber music. Students will learn an entrepreneurial approach to small ensemble music making, including such topics as: for-profit and non-profit business models, the importance of branding, DIY marketing, financial planning, legal pitfalls in the field, fundraising, and how to engage with audiences, managers, and granting organizations. The course will be led by clarinetist, U-M alumna, and award winning chamber musician Kari Dion, who is one of the founding members of the nationally acclaimed Akropolis Reed Quintet. She also holds a masters degree in Arts Management and serves as Marking and Programs Manager for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, presenting 140+ concerts and events annually in the heart of Ann Arbor. Class meetings will include periodic visits from additional members of the Akropolis Reed Quintet and a weekend intensive on Feb. 13. Coursework will include in-class activities, short presentations, and several written assignments designed to help students create personalized building blocks to construct their own professional goals. At course’s end, participants will walk away with a detailed business plan, outlining their path to success as an entrepreneurial chamber musician.

Your Career in the Arts: Strengths, Strategies, and Solutions

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 002 (#30402)
Wednesdays, 6:30–8:30, 1/6–3/8, Moore 2044
Instructor: Jonathan Kuuskoski, Assistant Director, EXCEL


Text: Clark, T. with Osterwalder, A., and Pigneur, Y. Business Model YOU: A One Page Method for Reinventing Your Career. Wiley Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-118-15631-5

In order to forge a viable performing arts career, young professionals need a compass – a flexible frame for goal-setting, actively making decisions about career advancement, and broadcasting these activities in compelling ways. Through this course, students will develop an individualized strategic plan for their arts career. Using the Business Model Canvas, we will examine each of the nine building blocks of creative enterprise as it relates to individual career planning, including: how you help (value proposition), who helps you (key partners), who you are/what you have (key resources), what you do (key activities), how you interact (customer relationships), who you help (customers), how they know you and your work (channels), what you give (costs), what you get (revenue and benefits). Utilizing weekly exercises and in-class discussion, you will be challenged to consider all elements of the cultural ecosystem. Your culminating project will be a personal strategic plan to shape your future success.  Students will develop storytelling skills, a set of professional materials (bio, resume/CV, work samples, and press release), pricing and promotion strategies, tactics for adjusting one’s plan based on changes in market conditions, and a fluency in translating one’s goals for various audiences.

Note: This course will also integrate Daniel Bernard Roumain’s residencies on January 13 and February 24, and will utilize the EXCEL Expo Day on February 13 as a hands-on networking immersion experience.

Communicating Your Artistry in Prose with Bios, Blogs, Crowdfunding, & Grants

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 003 (#30403)
Tuesdays, 6:30–8:30, 1/12–2/23, Moore 2032
Instructor: Dr. Andrew Kuster, Executive Editor MUSA


Artists today not only have to perform compelling work at the highest levels of quality, but must be advocates for their creative vision. Writing well about your art can both help you identify your creative voice and inspire others to support your work by attending performances, donating to your cause, or approving grant funding to advance your artistic mission. In this course, you will explore how artists today are giving voice to their creative activities through traditional vehicles such as professional bios and grant proposals as well as new technology-enabled conduits such as tweets, blogs, websites, and crowd funding appeals. Writing is an old technology but remains a vital skill for the twenty-first century artist who must serve as his or her own agent, publicist, development director, and program note annotator. In this mini course, you will develop a suite of small projects and exercises geared toward identifying your own artistic vision and sharing that vision with strategic audiences. Students will complete the course with a personalized advocacy plan targeting their own professional goals.

Inside the Music and Video Technology Industry

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 004 (#30599)
Online + evening meetings, TBD Moore
Instructor: Jay LaBoeuf, Stanford University with SMTD staff


Careers in Media Technology explores how leading audio, music, and video technology companies, such as Sonos, Adobe, Smule, Dolby, iZotope, Universal Audio, and Avid, bring products from idea to market. We examine best practices, roles, day-to-day responsibilities, desired skill sets, and department/team function. This is an online class taught by Jay LaBoeuf (Stanford University) with support from U-M PAT faculty. Jay will visit U-M to meet with class members and participants will be assigned a U-M alumni mentor. There is a required $50 registration fee.

After completing Careers in Media Technology, learners should...

  • Know the leading companies involved in the media technology industry.
  • Understand the goals, responsibilities, and daily life of a software engineer, UI/UX designer, product manager, and program manager in industry.
  • Understand how teams collaborate to conceive, design, and commercialize new software and hardware products.
  • Understand what hiring managers look for in new interns and full-time hires.

Legal Issues in the Arts

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 005 (#30600)
Tuesdays, 6:30–8:30, 1/12–2/23, Moore 2026 (North Campus)
Instructor: Brandon Weiner, Attorney and Director of Creative-Rights.Org


The definition of “making it as an artist” has changed dramatically in recent years. Whether your goal is to teach lessons, perform with a established ensemble, start your own entrepreneurial venture, or all of the above, having a working knowledge of the law has never been more important to careers in the creative sector. This course addresses foundational legal principles and practice-based skills that will help musicians, dancers, and actors to identify legal issues, read and negotiate contracts, and integrate legal strategies into practical career objectives. Topics will include: copyright, fair use, and other intellectual property rights in print, audio, and across the digital landscape; royalties and performance rights, principles of contract law and industry-specific contracts; understanding for-profit and non-profit corporate entities (LLC vs. 501c3 vs. sole-proprietorship); fundraising models; and revenue-generating and liability-protection strategies. Classes will include lecture and active learning activities such as contract review exercises and mock negotiations. Coursework will center around your individual professional goal and you will develop a short written business plan focused on integrating the law into funding, brand-development, and negotiation strategies to advance your career. The course will be taught by art law attorney, entrepreneur, and artist Brandon Weiner, who has extensive experience representing artists, businesses, and organizations across the creative spectrum. He has also founded and managed multiple creative organizations in Detroit and across the nation, including Detroit’s arts incubator Creative Rights.

3-Credit Performing Arts Entrepreneurship Courses

Creating Social Value through the Arts: A DIY Arts Practicum

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 006 (#30407)
Tues/Thurs 2:30–4:00, Burton Tower #706 (Central Campus)
Instructor: Tiffany Ng, SMTD Assistant Professor


Become a social entrepreneur through the arts by putting your ideas for a community performance or arts experience project into action. In this course, you will work in teams to identify and research a target audience, develop and execute an arts experience, and measure the impact of your event. Your project will be rooted in a larger exploration of the social role of the arts in contemporary society. We will explore how local and national arts organizations create social value by forging community and serving a variety of needs from entertainment and education to social service and economic development. Topics of special focus will include the impact of technology on the arts, and how the arts can respond to and benefit from social diversity. Participants will refine skills in idea generation, public speaking, organization and project management, feasibility testing, grant seeking, and collecting and interpreting data on audiences and communities to determine local needs and impact. In addition to the arts experience project, class participants will do reading and participate in class discussions, attend and critique local arts events, interview an arts audience member and submit a final assessment / reflection on their course experience.

Record Industry Workshop

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 007
Tues/Thurs 10:30–Noon, Burton Tower #506
Instructor: Jeremy Peters, Ghostly International & Quite Scientific Records


The record industry today has undergone enormous changes fueled by both social and technological shifts. In this course, participants will work in teams to learn about the business of music today by releasing a recording. Students will have access to unreleased and out-of-print tracks in the archives of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance or may identify other project opportunities. Teams will assess recordings, research potential customers, explore legal barriers, formulate and validate a business plan, and execute a plan to make their recordings available across campus and across the globe.

Business of Music

ARTSADMN 472/572, Section 001
Tues/Thurs 3:00–4:30, Stamps Auditorium (North Campus)
Instructor: Robert Swedberg, SMTD Associate Professor


The Business of Music will help you balance creativity and business awareness, which may lead to engagement in a wide range of career possibilities in the performing arts. Whether working as an individual artist or for a performing arts organization creating and articulating a vision, planning, budgeting, understanding legal issues, marketing, fundraising, entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills are necessary. The Business of Music will help build these skills!

The course will be directed by Associate Professor of Music - Robert Swedberg, and will include a number of guests from the music industry and performing arts organizations will be featured. This class is one of the required courses in the new Performing Arts Management minor and also qualifies for the Sweetland Upper Level Writing Requirement.

Entrepreneurship Through Technology

PAT 498/598, Section 003
Tues/Thurs 4:30–6:00, Moore Audio Lab
Instructor: Jeremy Edwards, PAT Faculty


This new three-credit course focuses on leveraging technology to expand career possibilities. Basic skills in microphone technique, recording, digital audio editing, music notation software, video editing, website design, and digital publishing will be covered. Students will investigate these topics through a series of projects aimed at developing a professional digital portfolio. Freshmen through graduate students welcome, no prerequisite or prior knowledge needed!

Fundraising and the Arts

Mon/Wed 11am-12 noon, Walgreen 2443
Instructor: Carrie Throm, Deputy Director, Development and External Relations, University of Michigan Museum of Art


This course provides a review and analysis of philanthropy and development in America's cultural life and the role of both the public and private sectors.

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U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

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