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Courses: Winter 2017

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!

Planning Your Career in the Arts

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 001
Mondays, 6:30–8:30, Moore 2044, January 9-February 20
Instructor: Jonathan Kuuskoski


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, strategies for developing all 9 building blocks, tactics for adjusting one’s plan based on changes in market conditions, and foundational training in how to translate one’s goals for various audiences.

Note: This course will also utilize the EXCEL Expo Day on Saturday, February 18 as a hands-on networking immersion experience.

Business of Chamber Music

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 002
Wednesdays, 6:30–8:30, Moore 2058. Class meets January 4, January 11, January 18, January 25, February 1, February 15 (skipping the 8th), February 22 and Saturday, January 28th from 9AM-12PM
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 Landry, 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 150+ 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 January 28. 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.

Grant Writing for Artists

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 003
Tuesdays, 6:30–8:30, Moore 2032
Instructor: Dr. Andrew Kuster, Executive Editor MUSA


Grant writing can be an integral tool for performing artists to create and support their art. In this course, you will explore the kinds of grants available to performing artists, and learn how and where to look for potential funders that match your needs. You’ll learn how to create a budget for an artistic project, how to inquire about funding from potential donors, how to organize and write a grant proposal, and how to assemble a proposal package with strong and pertinent supporting documents. We will look at ways to make your grant proposal stand out from the pack, and what to learn when a grant request is declined—or accepted. Finally, we’ll discuss how to write thank-you letters and funding reports, and how to develop long-term relationships with funders in your community, corporations, private foundations, and government agencies. In this mini course, you will develop a suite of small projects and exercises geared toward writing successful grants. Students will complete the course with a full grant proposal ready to send to a potential funder.

Inside the Music and Video Technology Industry

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 004
Online + evening meetings, Thursdays 6:30-8:00 in the MTL
Instructor: Jay LeBoeuf, Stanford University with SMTD staff


Inside the Music and Video Technology Industry 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 LeBoeuf (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, fully refundable on withdrawal from the course.

After completing Inside the Music and Video Technology Industry, 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.

Your Performance Career as a Teaching Artist

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 005
Meets Saturday, January 14 10-11AM in Watkins; Saturday, February 18 10-11AM in Watkins; Saturday-Sunday January 28-29 from 9AM-5PM in Hankinson
Instructors: members of the New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist Faculty


Orchestras, dance companies, theatres, and presenters (such as our own University Musical Society) employ musicians, actors, and dancers—both full-time and part-time—as teaching artists. A teaching artist is a professional performer who works in educational settings to share the power and possibilities within their art form with audiences young and old. Such work may involve partnering with K-12 teachers to inspire creativity in the classroom or working collaboratively with audiences in an immigrant community, hospice, or teen center to help individuals connect their identities to the arts. For performers, a career as a teaching artist can provide a foundation for a vibrant and artistic professional life. In this new course, student performers will work with teaching artist trainers from the New York Philharmonic to learn about the philosophy and career trajectory of teaching artists, while developing skills to succeed in this field. An activity-based intensive, this course will center on a two-day weekend workshop taking place on Saturday, January 28, and Sunday, January 29 (from 9 am – 5 pm), preceded by a one-hour intro class and followed by a one-hour reflection class on Saturday, January 14, and Saturday, February 18 (from 10 – 11 am). Assignments will include light reading on the philosophy and practice of teaching artistry, and students will be encouraged to lay the groundwork for their own teaching artist projects. Students must be able to attend all sessions to receive full credit. Instructors are Hilary Easton (dancer/choreographer) and Richard Mannoia (clarinetist) of the New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist Faculty, with support from the University Musical Society and EXCEL. The course will include a special visit by Inon Barnatan (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).

3-Credit Performing Arts Entrepreneurship Courses

Record Industry Workshop

ARTSADMN 406/506, Section 007
Mon/Wed 12:30–2:00 PM, Burton Tower #506
Instructor: Jeremy Peters, Ghostly International & Quite Scientific Records


The music 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, identify industry needs within the U-M campus community, and ideate a new product or service idea to meet that need. Teams will then conduct customer discovery, explore legal barriers, formulate and validate a test with a sample customer group, and pitch their results to the class and other campus stakeholders. This course may be taken as a stand-alone, or as a practicum for the Entrepreneurship Minor.

The Business of Music

ARTSADMN 472/572
Tue/Thu 3:00–4:30 PM, Stamps Auditorium
Instructor: Robert Swedberg


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. 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.


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