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School of Music

Spark-Carolina's Music Leadership Laboratory

Spark Laboratory

Sparks ignite. Sparks are catalysts that fire innovation, creativity and imagination.
Spark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory taps into the creative and imaginative energy of USC music students, faculty, staff, and the community.

RSVP: Up Close & Personal

with composer, Nico Muhly
November 16, 2018, 1:10 - 2:00 p.m.
USC Music Library - Limited space available!

Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory

Focused on success, innovation and community, Spark prepares music leaders for the 21st century.

Spark’s formula for developing leaders is at the core of our mission:
Success + Innovation + Community = Leadership

Learn about these nine leadership pillars and the initiatives we support.

Success Innovation Community
Career Entrepreneurship Collaboration
Finances Creativity and Big Ideas Engagement
Wellness Technology Advocacy


Are there too many musicians?

Emphatically no! On the contrary, there are not nearly enough musicians. Music affects our mind, soul and psyche in a way that few other things can. It brings communities together and provides relief for the many stresses, large and small, that face humanity. In today’s culture of workaholics and high-pressure negotiations, where the bottom line often takes precedence over inner peace and happiness, music making has the potential of unlocking a better life.

Are there too many professional musicians?

This question is far more complex. If it asks whether there are too many individuals seeking existing traditional opportunities, the unfortunate answer is yes. We are now forced to confront a workplace reality that is over-saturated with well-trained, outstanding candidates vying for a shrinking pool of traditional positions. In the years ahead, these trends will likely intensify. It is the age-old equation of supply and demand.  But the ways in which people receive their music is changing, as are the types of experiences they seek, and that provides an exciting opportunity. Musicians who broaden their outlook and approach have distinct advantages.

We need leaders!

The music world is in need of creative artists who understand current realities and are brave enough to experiment with new solutions and paradigms. There are opportunities waiting to be discovered by performers who bring great music to new settings, educators who instill its transcendent and spiritual values to students, and administrators who foster new audiences while insisting that artistic integrity remain high. There is a shortage of entrepreneurial leaders unveiling new models for success and artist-citizens leading the crusade to keep meaningful musical experiences vibrant.