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As a former student and now as an administrator of the Pace University Encore Transitions Program, I saw...how Astrid's questions and the sharing of her life experiences resonated with the students, how much joy they got out of watching her build stories for the students out of their answers to her questions and their listing of their life experiences -- stories they could use for their next acts. I saw them come alive, cast off their fears of transition and become genuinely excited and optimistic about the prospects for their second acts for the greater good. I look forward to one day soon working again with Astrid, this time on a one-to-one basis, as my own transition continues to evolve.
—Constance Harris, Assistant Director, Pace University Encore Transitions Program
[Career Planning for Music Entrepreneurs] was a fantastic workshop. In many ways, I wish that the topics covered in your seminar were part of the core curriculum for conservatory training. For musicians, self-esteem is closely related to artistic success which is in turn deeply intertwined with successful artistic endeavors. Goal-setting strategies, project planning, asking the key questions which help to unlock hidden information--- these are the skills necessary for building a platform of success.
"After having lived in NYC for 3 years and experienced myriad professional musical relationships, I thought it was about time to find a better way to manage them and reduce my schedule to a realistic and happier situation. I really enjoy the rapport [with Astrid] because it gets me to think of my personal issues on a more global level in terms of relating to others in and out of my field of work, and also in a manner that breaks down specific problems into manageable chunks. It seems that every question I ask and every issue we talk about ties into a deeper core problem which I am only now beginning to reveal and understand about myself...I love that Astrid can personally related to almost everything that is brought up during coachings. I also love that Astrid can prioritize the coaching so that we spend more time on the not-so-obvious problem solving first, before tackling the things that I myself feel are big problems."
— IFW, New York, NY
I am thrilled to be teaching a new class at the Yale School of Music entitled “Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts” and we have gotten off to a great start. I teach a combination of
• How to create a positive mindset and project confidence;
• How to be an authentic, powerful and unique artist; and
• Entrepreneurial skills that will help you advance your music career.
Over the course of the semester, my students will learn how to adopt the mindset and learn skill sets and the processes necessary to become successful music entrepreneurs. Here is why this is so important, no matter what kind of career you envision as a musician.
My students are a mix of instrumental majors, a composer and a singer. All are dedicated to having performing careers. Most envision creating something new in the field, which we will explore in greater depth through a semester-long project. Many want to teach, either privately or at an institution.
Among the first week’s assignments were two pieces of wisdom from Steve Jobs:
Why are we reading about business entrepreneurs when all I want is to work as part of a performing arts organization and not create something new?
Here's my answer:
With the state of the arts world as it is, it is more important that ever to be the kind of person who thinks like an entrepreneur:
Status quo is no longer an option. Established performing arts organizations are in transition and are faced with the challenge of how to survive, let alone thrive, in the 21st Century. Music conservatory graduates, no matter how talented they are, need more than just raw talent. Indeed, with no guarantees of success as a musician, even musicians who do not envision creating a new enterprise and are looking to join an existing structure need to be asking themselves the following questions:
1. Know your authentic, best self and what makes you unique. This will help you to be positive and inspire confidence in those around you.
2. Look for opportunities and don’t wait for them to come to you.
3. Be flexible and open-minded about your opportunities.
4. Learn from your challenges and build on your experience.
5. Get support and create a network of like-minded people with whom you connect and share.
6. The corollary to the foregoing: Be a generous, supportive colleague so that people will want to work with you and ask you back.
That’s what my course is about: to help these amazingly talented young people gain the confidence in themselves to create a vision of success, look for opportunities to make that happen and go after them with the goal of creating a financially sustainable career.
Stay tuned for how we make that happen.