Professional Development and Engagement Center

Library Room 622—Professional Development and Engagement Center

Ryan Brown, Director of Professional Development
(415) 503-6309,

Elisabeth LowryDirector of Community Engagement
(415) 503-6258,

The Professional Development and Engagement Center's mission is to guide and empower young musicians in the discovery and achievement of their unique career goals. Founded in the fall of 2013, the Center offers a peer to peer advising program that provides training and review of student grant applications, biographies, cover letters, resumes, graduate school and fellowship applications, branding, marketing, web design, startups, financial planning, and audio/video post production. Peer to peer career advisors are trained both in house by the Assistant Dean of Professional Development and externally at a variety of conferences and workshops throughout the year. Students also have access to one on one project management coaching, document review, post production assistance, and digital skills training with the Director of Professional Development. 

The PDEC offers relevant programming throughout the academic year, including guest speakers from the Foundation Center, discounted headshots, visiting artists, workshops on website development, and much more.

New iMac computers in the PDEC include post production software such as Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X, and Photoshop. Online instruction pertaining to these programs and much more is available in the Center, for free, via

or email or

Virtual Opportunity Board (Tumblr)
Intended as a research tool for students seeking to develop their professional skills and find employment, the virtual opportunity board is updated on a regular basis with competitions, employment, and funding opportunities, and is searchable by instrument type. All career-related resource guides available in the PDEC can also be downloaded as PDFs. Please subscribe to the blog or check in frequently to view updates and additions at

Student Professional Development Fund
The Student Professional Development Fund (SPDF) helps fund special expenses that directly enhance a student's professional development, such as entrance fees and expenses for auditions and competitions, documentation, creative projects, and materials. Awards are based on a student's demonstrated financial need and the request's impact on their academic and professional development. Grants typically range from $100-500, depending on available funds in a given year. Applications are submitted through Cmail and reviewed once a semester.

The spring deadline for 2014-15 is March 3, 5pm. 


Community Service / Music to Go! Program

The Community Service / Music to Go! Program provides students experience performing for a variety of Bay Area audiences. One of the goals of the Community Service Program is to bring music to people who cannot normally attend concerts. Students perform at places such as hospitals, rest homes, and nursery schools.

The Music to Go Program is a paid gigging service for students performing at special events such as weddings and parties. Students receive credit for Community Service and compensation for Music to Go. In order to become a participant, students must audition during orientation week. Students accepted into the program must register for the Community Service class and will be eligible for Music to Go paid gigs. Those accepted will be required to complete four community service visits each semester for one credit on a pass fail basis. Attendance at seminars featuring guest outreach educators is required. Accepted students will receive more information regarding Community Service scheduling and Music to Go compensation. For more information, please contact

Sign-ups for auditions will be at the beginning of orientation week on the 4th floor. Students should prepare any solo of choice or two contrasting solos. Sight-reading may be required of instrumentalists. If a style other than classical is available (jazz, Latin, musical theater, pop/rock, fiddling, singing pianist, singing guitarist, etc.) please prepare a selection in this style as well. If anyone plays saxophone, accordion, sitar, or any other alternative instruments, please audition! The audition is NOT open to freshman, sophomores, classical-only double bass players, classical-only percussionists, and harpists who do not own a car. 

Conservatory in the Schools
The Conservatory in the Schools program provides support for music in the San Francisco public schools. Conservatory student interns assist classroom teachers and provide primary instruction at elementary, middle, and high schools. Attendance at seminars featuring guest educators is required. Conservatory students are accepted into this program through an interview process. This is a paid internship program and students receive one class credit. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to Elisabeth Lowry at, or Library Room 622 by Friday, August 22nd.

Career Links

Tumblr - SFCM opportunities & resources - virtual bulletin board updated with festival, masterclass, competition, internship and employment opportunities for students and alumni of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music - ArtsJournal is a digest of some of the best arts and cultural journalism in the world. Each day ArtsJournal features link to stories culled from more than 200 English-language newspapers, magazines and publications featuring writing about arts and culture.

Ask Edna Blog - Ask Edna addresses questions from young musicians about career development on Edna Landau has dedicated over 30 years of her life to the field of artist management. Ms. Landau was a Director of IMG Artists from its founding in 1984 until 2007, during which she nurtured the careers of emerging artists and looked after established superstars Itzhak Perlman, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Hilary Hahn, Franz Welser-Möst, and Alan Gilbert, to name a few. Ms. Landau recently served as the Director of Career Development at the Colburn Conservatory of Music and has run career seminars and had one-on-one meetings with music students from all over the world. You can also visit Ask Edna on Facebook.

Astrid Baumgardner Coaching and Training Blog - As the Coordinator of Career Strategies and a Lecturer on Careers in Music at the Yale School of Music, Astrid Baumgardner has more than 30 years of varied experience as an attorney, non-profit executive, musician, arts advocate, Board Chair, wife and mother.  This experience, combined with rigorous training from one of the world’s leading coaching institutes, gives Ms. Baumgardner a unique advantage in helping clients create balance and derive greater satisfaction from their professional, creative and personal lives. - aims to enhance the professional development and broaden the perspectives of orchestral musicians by offering innovative articles, streaming video interviews, profiles of notable orchestras, daily newsfeeds from arts related news and blogs, and interactive discussion panels. - MusicalChairs aims to provide a cost-effective means for orchestras, opera companies, conservatoires, and schools to advertise vacancies to the highest possible calibre of candidate. MusicalChairs provides an exciting overview for classical music job vacancies world wide. we acknowledge the importance of the audition/interview procedure and we strive to communicate all job details as clearly and simply as possible.

The Musician's Way Blog - Gerald Klickstein (M.M. Guitar `86) is a veteran performer and educator with more than 30 years of experience on the concert stage and in higher education. Director of the Music Entrepreneurship & Career Center at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, from 1992-2012, he was a member of the distinguished artist-faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  In this blog, Mr. Klickstein explores issues of music practice and performance, creativity, collaboration, entrepreneurship, career development, technology, wellness, and the myriad aspects of living a musician’s life.  Join Gerald as he expands on the content of his book, The Musician’s Way and its companion website,   On March 10, 2013, the Conservatory welcomed Gerald Klickstein (M.M. Guitar `86) as the keynote speaker at our annual Career Day.

The Savvy Musician Blog - The Savvy Musician, by Dr. David Cutler, is a thorough and comprehensive book created to help you 1) build a career, 2) earn a living, and 3) make a difference. It examines critical elements often overlooked or misunderstood by musicians, such as entrepreneurship, product development, branding, marketing, networking, the new recording paradigm, personal finance, funding, relevance, and legacy. This book helps you take control of your career by discovering opportunities that are both prosperous and meaningful.  On October 9, 2011, the Conservatory welcomed Dr. Cutler--a former student in our Preparatory Division--as the keynote speaker at our Career Day.