You mentioned to me, prior to this interview, a strategic plan you are carrying forward with CIM. What initiatives is Cleveland taking to enhance its education?
In December, we will be publishing our strategic plan.
This is the premise:
The Cleveland Institute of Music is too large.
The Cleveland Institute of Music is too expensive.
This is a finding that drove our entire planning process.
On the financial side of the house, the institute just announced a 15% tuition reduction for next year’s incoming students.
The long-term goal we have been communicating to families is a journey to get even less expensive over time.
In fact, the plan is to reduce the net cost of our education by 1/3rd in the next decade.
We are currently at 400 students; we would like to get into the 300s.
Eventually, we would like to get to the size in which we can provide CIM education tuition-free.
The ultimate destination we are headed toward is free.
But, there are steps to take to get there…
The Cleveland Institute of Music is launching a brand-new plan called the Center for Innovative Musicianship. Can you tell me more about this program?
We want to prepare students as highly for their off-the-stage professional life as for their on-the-stage performing careers.
We show our students many examples of these…
We want our students to know the fundamentals of being successful in music.
This includes fundraising.
Intellectual property rights.
I want the next generation of orchestral musicians to know the fundamental principles of labor relations.
I want them not to have to learn it on the job, but here, in our classrooms.
We have always done these things informally; in our new plan, we are codifying these principles and putting them into our curriculum.
That is a specific program we are putting the Cleveland spin on.
Do you feel like you are one of the first schools to be adopting these philosophies?
The question for how we are preparing students off the stage has been approached by our colleagues…
…We all do it differently.
The mistake we could make on the entrepreneurial side is saying “that school has a program we should do. Or that school has a program we don’t even know about.”
Ours is about creating what is right for Cleveland, with our traditions, with our students.
It is about creating the best philosophy for our students.
I am sure the topic of diversity has come up in the boardrooms of other schools…
In the rooms and conversations in which I am involved, we are, right now, often the only conservatory at the table on the topic of diversity.
This is partially due to the fact that I am new here, and that a portion of our leadership team is new, and this is one of the things we all are interested in and came here to accomplish.
We have been able to move very quickly because of this.
With these new initiatives you are taking, how are your students and families reacting to this?
I hear students say, with great enthusiasm, that these types of programs are making them excited.
The cost considerations, the inclusionary aspect of it all, the professional career development…
Upperclassmen are saying “I wanted this my whole career.”
On the next page, we discuss Paul’s take on the outcome of an education at Cleveland Institute of Music…