In the five months between his arrival and the Thanksgiving break, Gerald Klickstein has conducted 324 career advisement sessions for Conservatory students and alumni. While some have taken place online, most have been in-person conferences in Leakin Hall at Peabody’s new Music Entrepreneurship and Career Center, which Klickstein oversees.
The author of The Musician’s Way and its companion website, MusiciansWay.com, Klickstein, a classical guitarist, came to Peabody after 20 years at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His goal in the advisement sessions, one-on-one discussions of strategies and documents, is to help job candidates “compete for opportunities at the highest level, so they are the obvious choices to be hired.”
Peabody’s new website has an extensive career resources section thanks to Klickstein, including a link to Bridge: Worldwide Music Connection and an online listing of music jobs in the Maryland/D.C. area. The number of original online materials—such as Funding Resources for Composers and a forthcoming list of area churches that hire musicians—continues to grow. “It’s about bringing opportunities closer to students,” he explains.
The office also handles more than 500 musician referrals annually, responding to email requests for music at weddings, special events, recording sessions, and the like. Part-time coordinator Andrew Sauvageau (MM ’08, GPD ’10, Voice) handles most of the referrals.
Assistance in arranging and promoting performances is also provided, recent examples being the successful Halloween concert by the student-organized Occasional Symphony and the new Dean’s Concert Series at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
The office connects with the business of music minor and addresses the “Music Entrepreneurship” in its title in part through a new series of monthly workshops from industry leaders such as Elizabeth Sobol, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Artists, who visited Peabody in December. Though, “for the most part, our students are going to be self-managed for a while,” says Klickstein, they need to learn how to build online followings and use recordings—often made at Peabody—to secure bookings and attract management.
One of the projects of which Klickstein is most proud is the use of federal work-study funds to pay for Conservatory students to do community service. Four Master of Music candidates—violinist Claire Allen, cellist Daniel Ketter, and hornists Scott Hoehn and Jessica Morrison—are now working five to six hours per week coaching chamber music and helping out with large ensembles at the nearby Baltimore School for the Arts.
Pianist Kathryn Ledwell, a senior minoring in the business of music, will become the office’s second part-time coordinator this spring, focusing on opportunities in the community. The office employs four other student workers, including one trained in teaching English as a second language.
Klickstein sees all this activity as a healthy sign, noting: “There may be fewer traditional jobs for musicians, but the demand for music remains robust, as do the opportunities for entrepreneurial musicians.”