Peter Thoresen is a doctoral candidate in voice at the Jacobs School of Music. Thoresen was recently appointed Interim Coordinator of the school’s Project Jumpstart. Now, if you haven’t heard of the program, don’t feel too bad. The project is just beginning its second year preparing students for the real world of working musicians.
From their website we learn that:
Project Jumpstart is a student-centered and student-driven career and entrepreneurial leadership program. With a team of students, staff, and faculty, Project Jumpstart will provide high impact career workshops this year, plus online resources, and individual advising.
In their first year, the project hosted a variety of workshops centered on career building. Students learned how to compile a professional CV, working composers spoke with emerging artists about getting their music heard and published, and sessions were held on the complexities of the audition, among many others.
Thoresen says that one focus has been on the changing nature of the artists’ life.
Self-promotion has really become absolutely necessary, so many of the workshops were aimed at providing resources to get students going in their careers – building a website or getting their performances streamed online.
This year, Thorensen says, events will be offered weekly at a regular time that allows students to take advantage of the programming on an ongoing basis while maintaining their busy schedules. The project will begin the year with events emphasizing the importance of networking. The early events will also act as community building activites, putting JSoM students in contact with each other.
They are obviously beginning classes together, but they’re going to begin professional relationships right away. They might be stand partners in an ensemble, or singing together in an opera, or working on a project together in another class. You never know who you might be working with next year , or five years from now, or fifteen years from now, so it’s a nice idea to get people started working on their interpersonal skills and creating relationships that may last longer than they anticipate.
Project Jumpstart archives many of their past discussion at their website along with YouTube videos of the events. In the video below, panelists discuss auditions and knowing when to quit.