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At Setting the Stage workshops industry experts share their advice, insights, and experience to help MSM students and alumni advance their careers.

Each school year The Center for Career Readiness & Community Impact (CCRCI) produces dozens of informative Setting the Stage panel discussions and hands-on workshops. A range of music professionals and entrepreneurs, including many MSM alumni, share valuable career information. Past workshops are listed below.

Every student is encouraged to attend as many as possible; however, as part of their graduation requirements, students in many majors need to attend at least five workshops over the length of their degree program. Details are below, including opportunities to complete this requirement with off-campus events, plus webinars and podcasts. Be sure to explore the following drop-down menus by clicking on the “+”. 


Attending CCRCI events is a requirement for certain degree programs. Please read the following information:

Unless otherwise noted, all online Setting the Stage events are open to MSM students, faculty, staff, and alumni. For on-campus events, due to current restrictions, only current in-person MSM students, faculty and staff are open to attend. RSVP links for each event are provided below.



FEB 3 | FRI | 1:00 – 3:00 PM
For International Students: Life After F-1/J-1 Visa Status

  • The ins and outs of visa possibilities for living and working in the US after graduation, with immigration lawyer Matthew Galati.
  • Presented with MSM’s Office of International Student Services.
  • Attendance will be taken at the end of the workshop.

FEB 16 | THURS | 12:30 – 2:20PM
Guest Speaker: Dr. Jessica Goring
(Room 507)

  • Dr. Jessica Goring (Principal, The Bronx School of Law and Finance) discusses the challenges and joys of being a high school principal in an urban school setting.
  • Presented as part of PT 1050, Arts & Education Training.
  • To RSVP, please click here.

MAR 21 | TUES | 4:00 – 5:50PM
Teaching Artistry and Thematic Programming

  • Guest speaker Justin Hines (CCRCI Faculty, senior composition mentor for the NY Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program, and the artistic director of Living Arts Collaborative, INC. ) joins Woodwind Lab to discuss Teaching Artistry and thematic programming.
  • Presented in collaboration with MSM Woodwind Lab.
  • To RSVP, please click here.

APR 3 | MON | 11:00 – 12:20pm
Creating Inspirational Opportunities for Musicians with Disabilities

  • Guest Speaker David Stanley, UK Government Disability and Access Ambassador for Arts and Culture joins us to discuss his professional and personal journey of creating inspirational opportunities for musicians with disabilities.
  • Presented as part of PT 1200, Community Engagement for Musicians.
  • To RSVP for this Zoom-based discussion, please click here.

APR 11 | TUES | 10:00 – 11:50AM
What is Success?
How to Live a Full and Satisfying Life as a Professional Musician

  • Canadian pianist, Yamaha Artist and MSM CPP graduate Vicky Chow (MM Contemporary Performance ’09, faculty at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity) talks about navigating the world of freelance, new music, touring and starting one’s own career.
  • Presented in collaboration with ME 2001, Advanced Practicum in Music Entrepreneurship.
  • To RSVP, please click here.


SEPT 15 | THURS | 2:00 – 3:50PM
Career as Creation and Conversation
(Room A401/402)

  • In our lives as pianists, we can often find ourselves caught between how we envision ourselves (and our futures) as artists, and the performance engagements we find ourselves assigned to play. In this session, guest speaker Adam Tendler discusses the larger conversation we can have between our own creative intentions, and the varying performance circumstances we find ourselves in, to actually broaden our artistry and evolve our senses of self and artistic identity.
  • Presented as part of ME 1500.PPN, Practical Foundations for Music Careers.

SEPT 20 | TUES | 10:00 – 11:50AM
Building, Performing & Education with Musical Instruments Made from Trash
(Room 507)

  • John Bertles is an educator, composer and instrument-builder. He has worked in arts education since 1988 as a teaching artist, administrator, and consultant. A workshop leader with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Touring Workshops for Teachers, he is also the founder of Bash the Trash Environmental Arts LLC, which presents performances, residencies and professional development nationwide.
  • Presented as part of OP 2551, CCRCI’s Musician as Educator.

SEPT 26 | MON | 3:00 – 5:00PM
Orchestral Broadway: Life in the Pit
(Miller Recital Hall)

  • Join us for a discussion with Broadway music Directors Haley Bennett and James Dodgson. They will discuss what it takes to be an orchestral musician on Broadway and on Broadway tours.
  • ​Presented in collaboration with The MSM Cultural Inclusion Initiative.

OCT 5 | WED | 10:00 – 11:50AM
Guest Speaker: Kevin Newton
(Room A401/402)

  • with guest speaker Kevin Newton, newest member of the Grammy-nominated wind quintet, Imani Winds.
  • Presented as part of ME 1500.OC, Practical Foundations for Music Careers.

OCT 7 | FRI | 12:30 – 2:20PM
Cultivating A Fruitful Freelance Career
(Room A401/402)

  • Percussionist Andy Blanco joins us to discuss the many roles he plays as a freelancer, as well as how musicians can create a strong network of opportunities.
  • Presented as part of ME 1500.OC, Practical Foundations for Music Careers.

OCT 11 | TUES | 12:00 – 1:50PM
Global Perspectives on Classical Music: A View from Asia

  • with guest speaker Jon Silpayamanant, cellist, composer, and intercultural music researcher.
  • Presented as part of PN 1800, Piano Music by Composers from Asia.

OCT 19 | WED | 4:30 – 5:30PM
Cultural Inclusion Perspectives: Vocal Arts​ Part 1
(Greenfield Hall)

  • Guest speaker Simon Estes, internationally renowned operatic bass-baritone, joins us to speak about navigating a career in the opera industry, with a focus on international work.
  • Presented in collaboration with The MSM Cultural Inclusion Initiative.

Postponed – Will Be Rescheduled
OCT 19 | WED | 5:30 – 7:30PM
Cultural Inclusion Perspectives: Vocal Arts​ Part 2
(Greenfield Hall)

  • In discussion with guest speaker John McWhorter, Opinion Columnist for The New York Times and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
  • Presented in collaboration with The MSM Cultural Inclusion Initiative.

OCT 21 | FRI | 10:00 – 11:15AM
Legal Contracts for Musicians

  • with guest speaker David R. Williams, author, lawyer, musician, and artist-rights advocate.
  • Presented as part of ME 1500.VX, Practical Foundations for Music Careers.

OCT 28 | FRI | 10:00 – 11:15AM
Financial Management for Freelance Musicians

  • with guest speaker Tiffany Soricelli from Virtuoso Asset Management.
  • Presented as part of ME 1500.VX, Practical Foundations for Music Careers.

NOV 10 | THURS | 2:00 – 3:50PM
Creating and Career

  • with guest speaker John Glover, Director of Artistic Planning at Kaufman Music Center.
  • Presented as part of ME 1500.PN, Practical Foundations for Music Careers

FEB 2 | THURS | 4:00 – 5:50PM
Guest Speaker: Grace Freeman
(Room 329)

  • With guest Speaker Grace Freeman (Strategy Director at Barbarian Advertising Agency).
  • Presented as part of ME 1500.MT, Practical Foundations for Music Careers.

“All the Setting the Stage workshops give valuable insights for traditional and innovative career paths. They are equally valuable for their insights on the business models transforming our profession.”

President of Manhattan School of Music

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