Entrepreneurship and Career Development

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The Jacobs School is grateful for support and assistance from The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kelley School of Business.

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In an effort to better reflect the exciting and entrepreneurial efforts of Jacobs School of Music students, the 2015-2016 Project Jumpstart team started the trend of #InnovateJSoM and decided to highlight one innovative student, group, or ensemble per week. Check out some of the amazing work happening right here at the Jacobs School of Music!

Brynn Elcock

Pianist Brynn Elcock (BM '16) takes community engagement to new levels with student organization, Classical Connections.

"In my sophomore year, I started volunteering on Saturday mornings at a homeless shelter and it made me realize that there are so many great performances in the Jacobs School that are not accessible to many people in Bloomington. I feel that musicians in conservatory programs are sometimes so shut away in their practice rooms that they don’t get the opportunity to connect with the community. Classical Connections, a student group, brings the joy of music to the disadvantaged areas of the community and we’ve worked with New Hope Family Shelters, Hearthstone Health Campus, and Redbud Hills Senior Living. This semester we are forming a partnership with the Bloomington Hospital. We would love to see Classical Connections continue to create relationships with other organizations in Bloomington and spread to other conservatories as well. We're really excited to see what's next for us."- Brynn Elcock, President of Classical Connections 


Oboist Kelsey Badger is taking her skills and talents abroad, exploring the medical field in the Peace Corps.

"Entering the Peace Corps was something I was always interested in, but it wasn’t until last summer that I decided it was something I really wanted to pursue. I spent my summer in Santiago, Chile, shadowing in hospitals and taking part in health training courses. It was an amazing experience; I was able to really immerse myself into the culture, learn so much more about the medical field, and work on my Spanish skills as well. My time abroad really inspired me to want to go to another country and continue this eye-opening journey. I am currently pursuing a BSOF in oboe performance with an outside field in biology, a minor in chemistry, and I’m also pre-med. Looking for more community involvement work, I applied for the Peace Corps and have been placed in Guinea, West Africa, for two years. I will be teaching secondary education in physics. It’s really important for me to integrate music into my future in any way possible. I plan to bring my oboe along with me to Guinea, but I also hope to learn a local wind or string instrument. I think that would be a great way for me to meet people, connect with the community, and also learn the local language. Music is something that will always be a part of my life, and I hope to make a great difference in the world in the medical field." -Kelsey Badger

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson, 2016 Innovation Competition winner, talks entrepreneurship and the future of his company, The Listener's Guide.

"The Listener's Guide is a new media production company that is developing new ways to talk about classical music in the 21st century. My main project right now is a YouTube webseries that hopes to make classical music more accessible to the average listener. As the winner of the Project Jumpstart Innovation Competition, I am now a finalist in the IDEA Competition. I am really putting my nose to the grindstone to learn how to run a business and create a multi-year plan. I am working on making more regular content with a brand new look, and looking for exciting musical projects and performances to highlight on the webseries. Entrepreneurship is a part of everything I do. I am always networking and collaborating, whether here in Bloomington or online with other creators on YouTube. It is all about finding and seizing opportunities. I have so many plans for the future of this business, including new TLG products, such as a podcast, a book, and geek merchandise. I really just want to create new ways for people, whether they already love classical music or are just dipping their toes in, to learn about and to celebrate the music that I'm so passionate about."- Steve Johnson 


Have you heard The Liberation Music Collective? Get to know this amazing group of students!

"The name Liberation Music Collective is borrowed from Charlie Haden's “Liberation Music Orchestra,” a group that was originally organized in the 1970's to give musical voice to qualms about society. Instead of being organized around a specific sound or genre, as many orchestras are, we areorganized around an idea- to express the desire of equity amongst people. LMC blends genres in ways that most people have never heard before, and that's one thing that really draws our audiences in and allows us to be innovative. We have two upcoming projects- one suite of music based on a group of people who lost their lives while attempting to make the world a better place, and another based on the perception of afterlife through various cultures and religions. We consider LMC to be very entrepreneurial in that we are a startup ensemble that is entirely student-run. In addition, we founded a record label (Ad Astrum Records, LLP) to allow ourselves to take the first steps towards a professional music career. We would love to see LMC evolve as a professional performing ensemble and take greater role in activism and education in the music world as well." - LMC Founders, Matt Riggen & Hannah Fidler


Piano PD student Yesong Na has recently competed in the 2016 Innovation Competition and 2016 Clapp IDEA Competition with his exciting new business venture, PreA, a pre-college piano academy! 

“A few years ago, I started to think about what I can do for the music community, especially in the field of education. I believe everyone deserves to experience music in a profound way, which is why I began developing PreA. We follow a B2C business model, which means “Business to Customer." My team and I have conducted a lot of research to follow the most successful business trends and are dedicated to making PreA a pioneer in the music education world. We want to establish our first school in Los Angeles and design both online and offline systems to create more possibilities for our customers. We are constantly absorbing new ideas, overcoming obstacles, and looking for possibilities to learn and develop new skills. We are ultimately working towards allowing people to unlock the musician within themselves.”- Yesong Na


Vocal jazz major Kaitlyn Williams writes and performs her own music, covers popular songs, and posts new videos every Monday. You've gotta check out "Kdubbs Music Monday"!

"I started writing music at age 12, but I began performing at an even younger age. I'm inspired by a bunch of different genres, although I am most personally influenced by female artists closer to my age because they write stories that I often can relate to, like Sara Bareilles, and KT Tunstall. It is very important for me to draw my inspiration from a wide variety of genres so I can create my most authentically eclectic self as a musician, singer, and writer.

Social media has allowed me to create a fan base outside of just every day life at Jacobs. I have followers in different states and across the world, and we can stay connected in ways that we may not have been able to years ago. I am very active on Instagram and Facebook with my “KdubbsMusic Monday” videos and I am planning to get my music on a website or iTunes soon. In my future career, I hope to positively affect as many people around the world with my music as I can. I want to travel the world sharing my stories and experiences with people. To say I want to change the world is a very bold statement, but in some ways I really believe I can."- Kaitlyn Williams