Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, located in Bloomington, Indiana, is one of the largest music schools in the United States, and one of the biggest classical music institutions historically. With more than 1600 students and about 21 different departments, it offers amazing facilities for musicians — to note, the school's opera house stage is almost identical to that of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Known for its high levels of performance teaching, Jacobs offers a wide variety of programs, from its famous music education program, which involves a lot of interesting research, to the Entrepreneurship Certificate.
The Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development (OECD) was established on July 1, 2014. Their mission? As written in their handbook, "we educate, inspire, and support Jacobs School of Music students as they prepare for innovative, sustainable, and successful lives in the arts."
"About 10 years ago, we consulted with Angela Beeching, a very respected [national career professional] who is involved in music career development," begins Alain Barker, the Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship at Jacobs. "We started Project Jumpstart, which is a student leadership program for innovations, career development, and entrepreneurship, embedded within this large school of music." At that time, Alain was the director of marketing and publicity at the institution and worked closely with Angela to help establish the program. He continued to mentor the students as they developed Project Jumpstart into a school-wide program.
With the project being a success, Jacobs School of Music decided to establish the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development to further support and help its students. Having an internationally-recognized business school, the office started working together with the Kelley School's entrepreneurship center, the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. "Some of our programming is connected," the director explains. "We established an undergraduate certificate in music entrepreneurship for students who want to study [the subject] while they study at Jacobs."
The concept revolves around the changing world: what should the students do as they prepare for their professional careers? Alain says that now, more than ever, musicians need to be innovative, culturally aware, and technologically proficient. The success formula for a 19th century musician isn't applicable for an aspiring musician today. "The way music is performed, sustained, created, and supported in society [now] is fundamentally different," he states.