Rewarding Musicians’ Entrepreneurial Spirit

Running Start Competition awards $2,500 grant to College of Music student.

A master’s student from the MSU College of Music has been selected to receive a $2,500 grant from the MSU Federal Credit Union through the second annual Running Start Competition.


Alex Smith, a percussion performance and musicology/ethnomusicology student, was selected for the 2014 grant based on his proposal for a new business that crafts affordable instruments through local resources and sustainable production practices. The Running Start grant will help Smith purchase tools and other equipment to help launch the project.

“We created Running Start as a way to get students thinking about big ideas for innovative projects that can impact their careers,” said Michael Callahan, assistant professor of music theory, who helped originate and coordinate the competition. “Alex's proposal demonstrated his commitment to his art as well as to the broader community through an ecologically minded business.”

The Running Start Competition is part of a larger multi-disciplinary effort by the College of Music to prepare students for long-lasting and successful careers by employing business ingenuity and entrepreneurial practices.

“We continue to see lots of excitement around this program that helps students develop business portfolios to move their careers forward,” says James Forger, dean of the College of Music. “It's a way to give students the tools they need to maximize their potential and to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”

You can read more about entrepreneurship in the College of Music at the Running Start Program’s website.

The Running Start Competition is coordinated through the MSU College of Music with support from the MSU Federal Credit Union. For information on supporting the Running Start Program or the college’s efforts in music entrepreneurship, contact the Advancement Office, (517) 353-9872.

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