Building a Foundation with Arts Management for Nils Neubert

AES student Nils Neubert was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany and moved to the United States at the end of high school. He attended college in New York City and ended up studying voice, music education, and music performance. He has taught in higher education for almost ten years now and has worked with several music festivals. Currently, he teaches at a few New York conservatories, specifically focusing teaching German diction for singers. Nils also finds the time to maintain a performing schedule of his own, primarily in concert, oratorio, recital, and chamber music. When talking about his work, Nils expresses how many full-time musicians have portfolio careers that combine several elements of the arts world, which is something that he always wanted. “I enjoy all the different aspects that make up my full-time career, because in addition to the variety from day to day, they all inform one another.” Nils says that while individual projects are exciting, “what fulfills me most is the fact that I get to live and work in several spheres throughout each week, and sometimes in the same day.” As an educator, Nils also finds it particularly gratifying to see students find success and happiness in the arts field while they are charting their own path.

Nils found AES through an online search after completing his Doctor of Musical Arts. He was working full-time but was also thinking about what else he might like to do in his career both in short and long-term. Nils became interested and involved with board and committee service and felt that some more concentrated work would make him more useful in those newer capacities. The ability to study with AES remotely and for what Nils considered a reasonable price is what drew him to the program. While these factors are what helped him to choose the program originally, he also fully appreciates what the courses offer. “Through the courses, I have learned and pondered so many things that have filled me with excitement, new questions, and the ability and desire to grapple with complex problems that I had not previously considered.”

AES was Nils’ first experience with online course, but he quickly found that the ongoing conversations that occurred with the other students in the courses are what made the courses work for him. “All the courses were well structured and taught, the feedback was immensely helpful, and I was able to have extended, thoughtful, and complex conversations with others that allowed me to look at both the arts and at management in new ways.” With students coming from different geographical locations and working in a variety of professions, the conversations that occurred were full of learning from each other’s experiences while also developing a perspective on one’s own concentration.

Last fall, Nils took our Financial Management in the Arts course. Out of all the courses Nils had enrolled in, he had the least experience with financial management. The tools and knowledge he gained from the course ultimately gave him the confidence to step up and take the role of treasurer within his own board. On the contents of the course, Nils stated, “In the process, I found myself enjoying the demystification of one of the more important aspects of institutional and managerial sustainability.” He appreciated the engaging discussions from the class and how Professor Barnwell Williams framed the information in terms of real life situations. When reflecting upon the overall experience of the course Nils found that “it’s a class that everyone should take, and AES is a great place to take it.”

Currently, Nils is very happy with the balance of activities and responsibilities in his life, though he does see the possibility for taking on additional responsibilities down the line. He hopes that some of these additional responsibilities would allow him to make a difference for other is the music education field. “Should my career take such a turn down the line, I will be grateful to have built a foundation now, which will serve me well in any case, and already has.”

Nils has found that since studying with AES, he has become more mindful and aware in all of his jobs and activities and not only the ones that relate to Arts Management. “I feel better positioned to take on responsibility and contribute to discussions and decisions, I can inform my subjective impressions with a better level of objectivity, and I can appreciate and understand the work of colleagues differently.” With these new skills and tools, Nils has taken on the role of Vice President for the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc. (NATS), a task that he is looking forward to greatly.

Learn more about Nils and his career on his website here.

Read the course description for Financial Management in the Arts here. It is still possible to join the class prior to the September 16th Add/Drop deadline. Contact AES at 413-545-2360 or aes@acad.umass.edu to be registered this week.