Fine arts students taking business courses to stay competitive

National colleges and universities that offer music degrees are beefing up their degree plans to make students more marketable, but TCU is ahead of the curve and already has a marketable system in place, a School of Music official said.

According to an article on, many universities, including the University of Colorado, the University of Rochester and Babson College in Boston, have begun to add entrepreneurial courses to their music degree plans to help students find jobs.

Sheri Neill, director of music education, said music students are offered many different majors but most choose to major in performance, which tends to be a major that is more challenging for a student to find a job in, she said.

“Performance jobs are few and far between,” Neill said. “Ninety percent of performance majors continue their education to get their masters, but students in music education always find jobs because TCU always goes to the top of employment lists.”

Paul Cortese, assistant director of music, said back in fall 2006 the School of Music joined the College of Fine Arts to offer music, dance and art students a minor in arts administration.

The minor has offered students a broad education of fine arts as well as practical business classes so students are able to manage practical daily business obligations, Cortese said.

“Students can pick up skills for being good arts administrators that will work in an office or a museum,” Cortese said.

Andie Piehl, assistant dean of fine arts, said and has about 55 students are currently participating in the new program.

According to the university Web site, the minor requires 18 hours and offers students business classes from the Neeley School of Business as well as aesthetic experience.