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Music Entrepreneurship


Our mission is to empower every music student with the skills and mindset to succeed in the professional world. We treat entrepreneurship as an attitude that infuses every subject from bios to business and beyond. The elective courses that we offer are designed to compliment the graduate degrees that the School of Music offers. Our hands-on approach places your career goals at the forefront and transforms everyday life—recitals, auditions, ideas—into a laboratory for applying and testing new skills. 

Professional Partnerships

Music entrepreneurship students regularly develop and test projects in collaboration with community partners such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Pittsburgh, Edgewood Symphony, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, River City Brass, Carnegie Library, and others. 

Annie Gordon (MM’14)
At CMU I learned to be a complete musician: one who performs at her highest ability, markets herself, speaks for herself, and engages with her audience. In the entrepreneurship courses, we developed these skills through hands-on involvement in real-world projects.  The experience was empowering.
Gabriel Colby (MM'14)
The CMU Entrepreneurship program has been invaluable to my development as a working artist. During my time in the program I attended numerous lectures of true gurus in the fields of music, arts, business, and communication. The CMU Entrepreneurship program has equipped me with the tools to be more comfortable in all professional situations, from honing stage presence in front of a major concert hall to business etiquette at a board meeting.

Monique Mead
Director of Music Entrepreneurship Studies

Lance LaDuke
Freshman Advisor
Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects

Elective Courses Offered:

Stagecraft I: Beyond the Performance

Faculty: Monique Mead
Course Syllabus

A practical laboratory for stage presence, public speaking, audition preparation, and professional etiquette. 

Students learn to:

  • Perform with ease anywhere, anytime
  • Be poised and tasteful in walking, bowing, dressing and presenting oneself
  • Customize repertoire and concert commentary to engages diverse audiences
  • Demonstrate proper etiquette relating to attire, timeliness, payment, email, telephone, dining, thank-you’s, and social media
  • Practice professional courtesy in large ensembles, and know what is expected at auditions, competitions, and festivals
  • Teach masterclasses and set up a private studio

Guest Speakers: Jeanne Baxtresser, Maria Spacagna, Cynthia DeAlmeida, Andrés Cárdenes, Gregory Lehane, Thomas Douglas, Jennifer Aylmer, Daniel Teadt, and David Harding.

Greta Mutlu (MM'14)
As a freelance musician, I have found all of the knowledge and skills immediately applicable and tremendously helpful in developing personal projects and expanding my professional network.
Martina Caruso (A’14)
The Music Entrepreneurship program helped me realize that my passion for music has the potential to go far beyond performance alone. I am incredibly grateful for the experiences I took away from this program.

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Stagecraft II: The Inner Game

Faculty: Monique Mead
Course Syllabus

A successful performance begins in the mind. This course focuses on mental training as it applies to auditions, performances, and effective practicing.  It also offers you practical tools for time management, life on the road, and dealing with stressful situations.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Better understand how the mind works
  • Use techniques to counter nervousness and feel more relaxed on stage
  • Manage time wisely and establish an effective practice routine
  • Get the most out of your private lessons and student/teacher relationships
  • Practice professional courtesy in ensembles, and know what is expected of you at auditions, competitions, and festivals
  • Manage a crucial conversation in stressful situations

Guest speakers: Jeanne Baxtresser, Craig Knox, Luz Manriquez, Stephen Neely

Sean Salamon (A’14)
The Music Entrepreneurship team was a tremendous resource for our nascent vocal ensemble, giving us practical advice, professional opportunities, and being ever-present as a sounding board for ideas. And personally, I learned more from Monique about the business of classical music than from anyone else.

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The Art of Audience Engagement

Faculty: Monique Mead
Course Syllabus

In response to growing demand for audience engagement skills in the professional world, this course teaches you effective teaching artist skills for both schools and community settings.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Connect emotionally and verbally with diverse audiences
  • Demonstrate and explain your instrument and life as a musician
  • Present a school workshop or assembly for children
  • Present a theme based inter-disciplinary concert for adults
  • Draw new audiences to your concerts
  • Engage patrons in pre-concert activities
Ji young Nam (MM'15)
I am grateful for the powerful ideas and life skills I was able to take from Ms. Mead's class into professional life.

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Audience Engagement in Action

Faculty: Monique Mead
Course Syllubus

Successful student initiatives in previous years have resulted in a steady stream of requests by Pittsburgh organizations seeking innovative collaborations with our Audience Engagement teams. This course is designed as working laboratory for campus and community initiatives, spearheaded by student teams and overseen by Monique Mead.

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Business of Music

Faculty: Lance LaDuke
Course Syllabus

This class will teach you the fundamentals of how to survive in the music industry. A diverse set of speakers, hands-on projects tailored to your interests and needs and group activities will introduce you to the challenges you'll face during your career. How to manage your money, what you need to know about copyright, whom do you need on your side? We'll cover all of these and more!

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Understand the basics of copyright, performing rights organizations, contracts, business formation and forms of incorporation
  • Understand the state of the industry
  • Identify opportunities in the market and develop projects to meet those needs
  • Work with teams to develop businesses from the ground up
  • Create a business model canvas to help chart the course in any new venture
  • Create and execute surveys and focus groups
  • Understand your own unique skills and strengths and how to chart a course towards a satisfying career
  • Identify competitors in the market and how best to deal with them
  • Pitch your ideas in a clear, concise fashion
Evan Vockley (MM'14)
In addition to enhancing my skills as a musician, these courses helped me to cultivate skills I didn't even know I had-- my business savvy, public speaking ability, stage presence, and understanding of social media and marketing were all workshopped with Monique Mead and Lance LaDuke. This invaluable experience has taught me how to see new opportunities all around me and has directly led to many successful endeavors.

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Faculty: Lance LaDuke
Course Syllabus

What is your message? Who is your audience? How do you reach them? These are among the topics we'll explore in this course. Group projects and case studies help us identify the key aspects of one of the most important aspects of any music career. Being a great musician won't do you any good if no one knows you exist!

By the end of the semester, you should be able to:

  • Understand such concepts as branding, marketing, reach and advertising
  • Identify audience segments and target messages to those segments
  • Create compelling marketing materials
  • Work with teams to try out a variety of marketing strategies in real-world circumstances
  • Learn to capitalize on social media and use it to effectively build and communicate to an audience
  • Learn to write effective and powerful marketing copy (bios, sales pieces, etc.)
  • Examine competitors and market leaders to look for opportunities and best practices
Colin Pinto-Martin (A'11, MM'14)
Aside from my private lessons, these were the most important courses I took at CMU.

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Lance LaDuke

Artist Lecturer in Euphonium & Music Business, School of Music Freshman Advisor, and Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects

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Lance LaDuke is internationally known as a performer, writer, speaker and educator. In addition to his duties on trombone and euphonium (and singer/court jester) in Boston Brass, Lance teaches at Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon Universities. Prior to joining Boston Brass, he served as principal solo euphonium with the River City Brass Band, the only full time professional brass band in the country. Lance has written for countless organizations, including sketches for radio, stage and themed attractions. He studied comedy improv and was a member of several improv troupes and regularly steps in front of audiences around the country in a number of character and comic roles.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Lance received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, with a cognate in English. After graduate study at the University of Akron (euphonium performance) and George Mason University (instrumental conducting), Lance joined the United States Air Force Band in Washington D.C. While there, he performed for two presidents, countless dignitaries and heads of state and in hundreds of protocol functions, ceremonies, and public relations tours. He maintained a Top Secret security clearance, played for well over a million people from the White House to Red Square, and can be seen (with a magnifying glass) in the movie A Clear and Present Danger.

Lance has also performed with many of the top professional brass groups in the country, including the Brass Band of Battle Creek and the Nothing But Valves brass quartet. He has taught and/or given master classes at some of the world’s finest universities and conservatories, including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Music in London and Yong Siew Toh in Singapore. He has appeared on over thirty recordings, has produced nine others and has toured extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His performances have been seen and heard on numerous television and radio programs.

Lance co-wrote and produced (with Deanna Swoboda) Band Blast Off, a band recruiting DVD and is currently in development on another. His comedy songs, including a touching elegy to a dead goldfish and a song about getting underwear for Christmas, are available for viewing through Additionally, he has recently launched a speaking career, sharing his ideas on practice, leadership, and self-development.

His new book, Music Practice Coach, Five Workouts to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Time! is available through or in all ebook formats.


Monique Mead

Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Music Entrepreneurship

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As Director of Music Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon School of Music, Monique
Mead is passionate about helping students create new avenues for music in society.
Inspired and mentored by Leonard Bernstein, she has been a lifelong activist for classical
music as a violinist, educator and innovator. Performing as a soloist, chamber musician,
and presenter, Mead has devoted her performing career to nurturing new audiences
and deepening the musical experience for seasoned concertgoers. Since 1998, she has
appeared regularly on German television and radio featuring her innovative youth
concerts with prestigious German orchestras in Berlin, Munich, and Cologne. In the U.S.
she has collaborated with the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Mainly
Mozart, Orcas Island, Rockport Festival, among others. She currently serves as Board
Chair of Chamber Music Pittsburgh and has served as Co-Music Director of the Strings
Music Festival in Steamboat Springs from 2008-2014. At home, she particularly enjoys
performing chamber music with her two talented teens on harp and piano.