Business Seminars for Artists

the-future1Today’s student artists face a challenging road ahead, now more than ever. YourType Arts Partners offers seminars which help musicians and other artists navigate the transition from school to emerging professional and beyond. Presenters Cherry Duke and Risa Renae Harman are accomplished professional opera singers and teachers, with experience and a passion for helping artists navigate the often bewildering performing arts industry. These seminars were created with classical singers in mind, but the information is useful for any artist seeking a freelance career, whether in composition, performance or even as a teacher.

Individual Seminars

Click on a title for description and more information.

Customized Intensive Program

In addition to the individual seminars, YourType offers customized intensive program for universities and young artist programs seeking to enhance their regular curriculum musical and performance guidance. The program may combine some or all of the sessions and can be programmed on a single day or over two days, as needed.


  • Bay View Music Festival
  • University of Iowa School of Music
  • University of Alabama Opera Theatre
  • University of Virginia Department of Music
  • New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
  • Lehigh University Department of Music
  • Salisbury University Department of Music
  • Texas Tech University School of Music
  • University of Texas El Paso Department of Music
  • Winter Opera St. Louis
  • Webster University
  • Converse College

For more information about any of the seminars listed below, please email Cherry Duke.

Making More than Music: The Business of Being a Musician™

Presenter(s): Cherry Duke and/or  Risa Renae Harman

“The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living.” (Ann Patchett, novelist)

A great primer for any musician who’s just beginning to explore career options, or an essential refresher course for professionals who need to reboot their career. Touching on many of the key points represented in our other seminars, “A Freelancer’s Life™,” “The Essence of Self-Promotion™” and “Social Media for Performing Artists™” this seminar features a 40-slide PowerPoint presentation, a 7-page handout (including worksheets for career visioning and building a résumé and biography) as well as a companion web page with links to dozens of additional resources.

A Freelancer’s Life™

Presenter(s): Cherry Duke and/or  Risa Renae Harman

What is a career as a gigging performer really like? How to balance, navigate and succeed as you begin your professional career.

  • Personal Branding
  • Etiquette & Integrity
  • Networking
  • Managing the day job
  • Starting a separate side business
  • Keeping up with your craft

Money Management for Performing Artists™

Presenter: Risa Renae Harman

money-musicSo, you’re out of school. Living at home? On your own? Got a job? Got bills? Singing expenses? And, more importantly…Singing INCOME? How do you set-up your financial and singing life to make your music “business” run smoothly? What do you need to know to avoid a visit from the IRS? Here are a few tips and suggestions to get you started. Topics discussed:

  • Budget
  • Income Sources
  • Financial Software
  • Basic Taxes/Deductions

The Essence of Self-Promotion™

Presenter(s): Cherry Duke and/or  Risa Renae Harman

“Without promotion, something terrible happens…nothing!” (P.T. Barnum)

  • Face your fears
  • Personal Branding
  • Publicity materials
  • Making connections, building relationships and keeping in touch
  • Written communications

Web Sites for Performing Artists™

cherrywebsitePresenter: Cherry Duke

“These days, the Google search result for your name is equivalent to your resume.” (Dorie Clark, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business)

  • Explaining technical terms (domain names, hosting, etc.)
  • What should a site do for you?
  • What belongs on your site?
  • Do-it-yourself versus hiring a pro
  • Your professional image
  • Getting your site noticed; search engines
  • Things people often miss

Social Media for Performing Artists™

Presenter: Cherry Duke

social media Today’s student artists are already deluged with opportunities to share their lives and network using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and myriad other social media platforms. Do they use them to their best advantage? This seminar explains the ins-and-outs of the most popular social media environments, explores practical uses for social media, and invites lively discussion. Best practices for privacy and professionalism are emphasized, with attention paid to the special needs of artists within the dense and often confusing environments of social media.

Audition Workshop (for Classical Singers)

Presenter(s): Cherry Duke and/or  Risa Renae Harman

audition-2 Students participate in a realistic audition experience, complete with difficult panelists, accompanist mistakes and other scenarios designed to keep the singer on her toes! All singers watch each others’ auditions. Afterward, all participate in a constructive follow-up discussion on each performer’s presentation, attire, resume, headshot, ability to handle tough situations, and overall audition demeanor.