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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


VAN ZUILENBURG, Paul Loeb. Music entrepreneurship: An indispensable part of tertiary music curricula. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2012, vol.52, n.2, pp.322-336. ISSN 2224-7912.

After decades of continual growth in the performing arts industries between 1960 and 1980 many performing arts organizations now find themselves facing crises on various fronts. Initially the ruptured dot com bubble of 2000 brought a halt to this growth. However, more recently the American sub-prime crises (2008-2009), as well as the current economical woes of Europe, have created an environment that is not conducive to supporting the arts financially. This article poses the pertinent and somewhat awkward question as to the relevance of 21st-century conservatory (tertiary) music education in its existing formats and its applicability to the contemporary market place. The study followed a two pronged approach. Firstly, an MBA1 field study was conducted using input from practising musicians (locally and overseas), as well as established South African music entrepreneurs, in a mixed methods approach. Secondly, a six month post-doctoral Fulbright research project was conducted at the School of Music at the University of South Carolina (USA) where the findings from the first phase of the study were compared to teaching practices at the South Carolina Institute of Arts Entrepreneurship. The results of the first two phases of the study culminated in the findings presented here. Arts entrepreneurship is defined and its position within the creative economy highlighted whilst recent developments in arts entrepreneurship education, with specific reference to two main curricular approaches, are discussed. The role that music entrepreneurship plays in correctly positioning students for the modern workplace is emphasised. A list of critical skills is discussed as well as personality traits that successful music entrepreneurs possess. The five ecologies model, as part of a suggested music curriculum, is also presented. The conclusion drawn from the findings of the research firstly indicate that music entrepreneurship is not only an age-old concept, but also a very relevant proficiency to be mastered by musicians of the 21st century. Secondly, certain critical skills and proficiencies as well as personality traits are conducive to the future success of prospective music entrepreneurs. Finally, tertiary music departments owe it to their students to expose them to entrepreneurship in the arts in order to prepare them properly for life as professional musicians.

Keywords : arts entrepeneurship; new venture creation; Music curriculum; music entrepeneurship; experiential economy; creative industries.

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