Jen Guzmán

Music Entrepreneurship Teaching Fellow
Texas Winds Musical Outreach
Interview Text: 

What’s the venture you’ve recently launched? I am the Denton County Program Director for Texas Winds Musical Outreach, a nonprofit that brings classical music to nursing homes, hospitals, veterans, and children in DFW. For our Denton County outreach, I secure funding, schedule concerts, and perform in a duo with my husband, saxophonist Tony Barrette.

How did the UNT music entrepreneurship program help your business come to life? The courses provided the structure and guidance that I needed to get my plan down on paper. Once it was on paper, I took advantage of opportunities UNT has to offer, including the Internship Program, the Music Entrepreneurship Competition, and the Westheimer New Venture Competition at the College of Business. These opportunities provided me with the funding and mentorship I needed to bring my plan to life.

What’s your favorite part of music entrepreneurship here at UNT? My favorite part of music entrepreneurship at UNT is getting to meet and work with the various guest speakers that come to our classes and to our bi-monthly departmentals, whether it be in person or via Skype. I learn a lot from hearing their stories. I also really enjoyed the Music Entrepreneurship Competition because it gave me the opportunity to prepare and deliver a concise pitch for my business idea.

What’s your advice for students who don’t know if they have the time for the music entrepreneurship coursework, in addition to everything else they have going on? It’s crucial to think about what’s urgent versus what’s important. As music students we are usually very busy completing the urgent tasks that are due tomorrow, or next week. Those tasks are absolutely important and essential to getting the most out of our time in school. But there are some other important tasks that are often neglected,, like writing a resume, creating a website, or getting a business idea down on paper. I would urge everybody to make the time for these important tasks. If you need structure to ensure you complete these tasks, I would highly encourage you to take our music entrepreneurship courses.