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Trying to Make Sure That Making Music and Making Money Aren't Mutually Exclusive

CIM President and CEO Paul Hogle often stops in to listen when students are rehearsing.
CIM President and CEO Paul Hogle often stops in to listen when students are rehearsing.

It takes more than talent and skill to make a living in classical music these days. That’s why the Cleveland Institute of Music is trying a new program to teach its students what they can’t learn in a practice room.

The Center for Innovative Musicianship is a set of programs intended to teach students a range of practical skills beyond music. These include business skills like developing freelance contracts, understanding intellectual property and starting a non-profit arts organization.

Students at the Cleveland Institute of Music already have access to the full range of classes offered at nearby Case Western Reserve University. The institute’s interim dean, Joyce Griggs, says this program will curate a list of courses that addresses skills for a changing musical market instead of students "taking very much as a random course selection that perhaps is more driven by what fits into their schedule." the curated list means "really thinking about intentional academic design around their curriculum.”

Briggs says students need to be ready for an unpredictable music industry when they graduate.

“Without doing this, we risk students entering into a workforce and not understanding the ever-changing dynamics around the musical profession landscape,” she says.

The center will include existing professional programs like the concertmaster academy, which selects one student each year to shadow the Cleveland Orchestra’s concertmaster.

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