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UMBC Department of Music
1-Year Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Music Entrepreneurship
In collaboration with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, Music Director

The UMBC post-baccalaureate Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship will empower musicians to enhance their career opportunities by learning business and entrepreneurial skills, and through practical experiences in entrepreneurial and educational ventures. Students will receive intensive classes in innovative music education methods and musical advocacy through collaborations between UMBC's Department of Music and the Baltimore Symphony's innovative programs. The curriculum will provide skills necessary to establish and build music education programs, music ensembles, and community arts organizations, through management and organizational leadership seminars. The year of study will culminate for each student with a project derived from practical internship experiences


Open to students who have completed a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in music, or who can display advanced skills/training as a musician.



  • 15 graduate credits
  • Courses:
    • El Sistema methodology and its application in OrchKids
    • Management and Organizational Leadership in El Sistema/OrchKids
    • Establishing Music Organizations
    • Internships in Entrepreneurial Organizations
  • Students in the Music Entrepreneurship program may participate in ensembles and take private instruction, subsidized by the music department.
Private Lessons
Music at UMBC

The curriculum for the Certificate Program in Music Entrepreneurship centers on a collaboration with the Baltimore Symphony and their innovative OrchKids program of music education for public school children. In addition to the study of the music education methodology of OrchKids through classroom and internship work, students will address management and organizational leadership skills, both in OrchKids and in other music organizations, which will be applicable to a wide range of future opportunities for these students as musical entrepreneurs.

The following describes specific course content:

El Sistema Methodology, Philosophy and Its Application in OrchKids

Tuesday or Thursday 3:30-6pm (Internship)
Tuesday or Thursday 6-8:30pm (Class)
Instructor: Dan Trahey

Led by Dan Trahey, this course delves into the history and teachings of the El Sistema philosophies from Venezuela to Baltimore and beyond. Students study concepts of early childhood music fundamental training (El Sistema methods compared to other established methods), age appropriate orchestra and chorus development, and creative composition and improvisational principles and techniques. Individual woodwind, brass and string pedagogy will be presented, in addition to percussion techniques and percussion ensemble direction in the El Sistema philosophy. Basic instrument repair and the use of technology in music education are included.

Management and Organizational Leadership in El Sistema/OrchKids

Monday 6-8:30pm (First Semester)
Instructor: Nick Skinner

Led by Nick Skinner, this course explores the basic principles of leadership and the tools employed in leading a successful organization. Topic areas include: Program assessment. Strategic and business planning. Marketing and public relations. Governance, including board development and management. Fundraising and fiscal management. Human resources (hiring, salaries, benefits, legalities). Additionally, students learn how to create and manage partnerships (public schools, youth and social centers, government), address at-risk youth and communities, and identify child development and behavior management issues within a cross-cultural understanding.

Establishing Music Organizations

Monday 6-8:30pm (Second Semester)
Instructor: Carol Bogash

Led by Carol Bogash, this course addresses the essentials of entrepreneurial thinking, including opportunity creation, risk, creativity and innovation, idea generation, social change, product development, and market research.  Students analyze existing arts organizations, apply entrepreneurial concepts to create new enterprises, create a business plan, and grow a business  by preparing a business feasibility study. Topic areas include: Marketing information for new ventures. Grant writing and other funding strategies, including proposals to corporations. Public speaking, negotiating, writing, contracts, securing a business/organization site, supplies, and networking.

Internships in Entrepreneurial Organizations

Through observation and participation in music teaching and management/leadership activities in the Baltimore Symphony program OrchKids, students gain valuable hands-on experience.  During weekly seminar instructor led discussions, students share their field experience with their peers and faculty.

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Certificate Faculty and Guest Lecturers

Faculty are recognized experts in the management and leadership of innovative musical organizations, as well as innovative pedagogical methods that are part of these endeavors.

Guest Lecturers (subject to change) to include:

Marin Alsop – Music Director, BSO
Maureen Dwyer – Executive Director, Sitar Arts Center, Washington, DC
Tom Hall – Music Director, Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Jim Harp – Baltimore Concert Opera
Paul Meecham – President and CEO, BSO
Eliot Pfanstiehl – CEO and Founder of Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc.

Dan Trahey - El Sistema Methodology, Philosophy and Its Application in OrchKids

B. Mus., Johns Hopkins University
M. Mus., Yale School of Music

Professor of Music, Peabody Conservatory
Lecturer, Abreu Fellows Program, New England Conservatory

Artistic Director for OrchKids
Co-Founder and Tuba with The Archipelago Project
former Education Manager, Hartford Symphony

Dan Trahey is a professor of music at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he founded the El Sistema program "Tuned In." Dan's Community Engagement classes at Peabody have helped cultivate teaching artists and community minded musicians throughout Baltimore. He also lectures at the New England Conservatory of Music as part of the Fellows Program.

Dan has presented lectures on music education at the Chicago Symphony, Princeton University, Maryland Institute College of Art, The Mozarteum, American Visionary Arts Museum, New England Conservatory, TEDX, Yale University, League of American Orchestras, South Bank Centre, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Urban Music Education Conference. He has been central in the development of El Sistema programs in Allentown, Virginia Beach, Ft. Worth, Charlotte, Orange County, Waterbury and Kalamazoo. Dan has lead over 150 people to Latin America to study and experience El Sistema.

As a tuba player, Dan has performed with The Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Washington Summer Opera, Interlochen Arts Academy, Bayreuth Easter Orchestra, Orquestra de Nueva Leon, New Britain Symphony, Curtis Institute of Music Orchestra, Orchestra New England, Kennedy Center's Theatre for Young Audiences, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra's "Musical Dialogues."

Dan's early teaching experience includes the Baltimore School for the Arts,
Idyllwild Arts, Manchester, Connecticut Public Schools, and the Baltimore
City Public School System. Currently, he holds teaching residencies with the
Innsbruck Musikschule, Tyrole, Austria; the Nuclea Acarigua, in Portuguesa, Venezuela, and in the Traverse City, Michigan Public School System.

He received a Master’s of Music from Yale University and a Bachelor’s of Music Education from Johns Hopkins University.

Nick Skinner - Management and Organizational Leadership in
El Sistema

B. Mus., Peabody Conservatory (Music Education)

Former teacher in Howard and Baltimore County school systems, and
Chamber music instructor at the Waldorf School

OrchKids Manager
Coordinator for the Archipelago Project (a non-profit organization)

Over the past several years, Nick Skinner has become a prominent music educator and arts administrator in Baltimore. Nick is currently working with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s major social initiative, OrchKids, where he serves as the dean of students and is a liaison between teachers, parents, and students as co-founder and OrchKids Manager. Nick also maintains a successful trumpet studio.

Nick began his teaching in the Howard County Public School System in Maryland as an elementary instrumental instructor. He then moved on to teach in the Baltimore County Public School System in Maryland at Catonsville High School where he was the music director. Nick has served as an arts administrator at the Waldorf School in Baltimore and for the Archipelago Project, a non-profit organization devoted to arts advocacy.

Nick has lead lectures, workshops, and seminars in Baltimore City; Traverse City, Michigan; Waterbury, Hartford, and Stamford, Connecticut; Boston, at the New England Conservatory; and Venezuela, with the El Sistema program. Nick has also become a distinguished consultant and arts advocate within the El Sistema movement. Nick graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance and music education.

Carol Bogash - Establishing Music Organizations

For more than 30 years, Carol Bogash has been dedicated to creating entrepreneurial and educational programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences providing enriching opportunities for learners of all ages and diverse communities. Currently, she is Vice President of Education and Community Engagement at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra responsible for a large number of programs engaging all ages from the very young to those who are retired.  From 2007-2011 she served as the  Director of Education for the Washington Performing Arts Society, overseeing a variety of programs reaching more than 100,000 people each year.  As the Director of Educational and Cultural Programs at The Smithsonian Associates for more than 11 years, she was responsible for over educational 1,500 programs annually, including lectures, seminars, courses, Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre, studio arts, performances, summer camp, study tours and national outreach.  Prior to working at the Smithsonian, Ms.Bogash was General Manager of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra (FL), was Director of the Non-Credit Liberal Arts Program and of the Master of Interdisciplinary Science Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Continuing Studies, served as the Orchestra Manager for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and taught at the Peabody Institute of Music and in the Baltimore City Public School System. In 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Palmes Academiques by the French government for her broad areas of work in education and specifically on projects devoted to furthering a better understanding and appreciation for French culture.

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How is This Program Unique?

The UMBC Department of Music and the Baltimore Symphony (Marin Alsop, Music Director) will unite to provide internships within the groundbreaking Baltimore Symphony programs including:

  • OrchKids – music for social change for underserved youth in
    Baltimore Public Schools
  • BSO Academy Week - for adult amateur musicians
  • BSO Youth Orchestras - for children ages 6-19
  • Internships will take place within the same city as the UMBC campus. The selective programs (8 -12 students) is open to those who have completed a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in music, or who can display advanced skills/training as a musician.
Dan Trahey with OrchKids violinist

“I believe passionately that music has the power to change lives, and the BSO should lead the movement. By providing a strong foundation and developing the whole individual, we can position these students for lifelong success—success not limited to music, but in all areas of their lives.”
( --Marin Alsop, BSO Music Director and Founding Director of OrchKids, on OrchKids)



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UMBC and the Department of Music

  • UMBC - a mid-sized (more than 13,000 students), liberal arts research university located less than 15 minutes from downtown Baltimore.
  • Students from more than 150 countries and all 50 states, comprise one of the 30 most diverse student bodies in the US.
  • UMBC has consistently been recognized as a national leader in innovation, most recently by U.S. News & World Report

Founded in 1966, UMBC is increasingly recognized as one of the nation's most innovative research universities with a commitment to top-tier scholarship, cutting-edge research, and civic engagement. UMBC, an Honors University, is a mid-sized, public institution that attracts high-achieving students to its undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and engineering. The university is governed by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

UMBC is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation in the category of Research Universities with high research activity. The university currently enrolls 13,199 students, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 countries. UMBC is considered a national leader in attracting outstanding students from all backgrounds and helping them succeed academically. For the third year in a row, UMBC has been named the #1 "Up-and-Coming" national university by the *U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges Guide*, and appears on a list of the top national universities "where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching" (a list that includes such schools as Princeton, Brown, Yale, and Stanford Universities). By way of instruction, research, and service activities, UMBC remains dedicated to its mission of offering talented students a strong, academic foundation that will prepare them for graduate and professional study, entry into the workforce, and community service and leadership.

About Music at UMBC

  • Department of Music - faculty of 13 full-time and 31 part-time
  • 150 undergraduate majors (in 8 emphases within a Bachelor of Arts program), and 3-7 graduate students in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in American Contemporary Music program.
  • Faculty members have won a number of international awards, performed at prestigious venues from Tokyo to St. Petersburg (Russia), and been featured on more than 300 recordings.
  • Since 2007, graduates include a winner of a Fulbright award to Italy (2010-11), national internships (2) with the Library of Congress, a first-prize at the International Audio Engineering Society Conference, employment positions in professional vocal ensembles/orchestras in the US and abroad, teaching positions in public and private schools throughout the US and Asia, and acceptance to prestigious graduate programs in music that include Eastman, Peabody, NYU, Hartt, Manhattan, Cal Arts, and UC San Diego.
  • Programs supported by Kaufmann Innovation Grant, Japan Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Maryland State Arts Council Special Projects Award, among other external sources
  • The Certificate Program in Music Entrepreneurship is part of UMBC Music's initiative "Music for the Future," which also includes: 1) Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in American Contemporary Music; and 2) Courses leading to certification in Avid's Pro-Tools system (for audio engineers and musicians)

The Department of Music is actively engaged in cutting edge research and creative work within the structure of a liberal arts university. Through a research focus of its faculty on contemporary music, students and the community have access to, and an increased understanding of, the music of our time. In addition to the new program in music entrepreneurship, the department offers other courses of study in "Music for the Future" for graduate students, including the Certificate in American Contemporary Music, and courses leading to certification in Avid's Pro-Tools system (for audio engineers and musicians).

Along this line, the Department also provides current advanced and innovative learning opportunities to undergraduate students through creative activities, research, and performance collaborations among students and faculty, and intensive faculty mentoring of students, which is at the core of our curriculum. In addition to standard courses in music, the UMBC music faculty recognize the changing employment landscape and challenges for young musicians, so have developed curricular and non-curricular opportunities for undergraduate students to address transitioning to life as an independent artist, including an outreach/public service component. These opportunities, in many cases, require entrepreneurial solutions, and build skills that all successful professionals in the music field must hold. Part of this initiative has been supported by a 2008-9 Kauffman Innovation Grant.

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The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and OrchKids

Marin Alsop with OrchKids violinist

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives.

The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra's 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop's leadership has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences.

Since 2006, the BSO has flourished under the dedicated leadership of Board Chairman Michael Bronfein and President and CEO Paul Meecham.

OrchKids is based on a ground-breaking and dramatically successful program in music education – El Sistema ("The System") – which also carries equally important value as a social program. Begun in the mid-1970s in Venezuela, El Sistema has transformed the lives of more the one-million young people (K-12), primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds. El Sistema's approach to music education emphasizes intensive ensemble participation from the earliest stages, which promotes active group learning and peer teaching. Many international organizations recognize El Sistema as a unique program, worthy of implementation in nations throughout the world (currently, organizations in 25 countries throughout Asia, Europe, South, Central and North America have done so), particularly in countries that are seeking to reduce the levels of poverty, illiteracy, and exclusion among youth in underserved communities. El Sistema-inspired programs in the US have started in the last several years in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Baltimore (OrchKids). The Baltimore program is the largest and oldest of these initiatives.

"The Baltimore Symphony OrchKids program provides opportunities for personal development to Baltimore's most vulnerable children, helping them overcome the social challenges that they face, including poverty, crime and failing public schools. Part of the goal of OrchKids is to see that students from the program become the leaders of their school in academics, music and school citizenship; that they become top candidates for prestigious high schools and collegiate programs; and over the course of time that they become leaders that give back and strengthen their community." (Visit the BSO OrchKids Website.)

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Who Should be Interested in This Program?

  • Young professional musicians and recent graduates in music performance, conducting, education, and composition who are looking to diversify and enhance their professional portfolio
  • Music educators who wish to learn more about music for community outreach and social change
  • Arts advocates who wish to learn more about management in music

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Size of the Program

8-12 students

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Application Procedure

There are 2 steps to the application process:

  1. Complete and submit the 3-page application to the UMBC Graduate School
    Visit the Graduate School website for instructions on submitting either an online application or a paper application. As part of this application you will; Submit payment of either $50 for online application or $70 for paper application. Send sealed official transcript certifying completion of bachelor's degree and minimum 3.00 GPA to UMBC.
  2. Complete and submit the MUSIC application for the Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship
    Download the Application (MSWord)

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Tuition, Housing and Fees

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