Entrepreneurship Among Public School Arts Educators

The Case of Music Teachers in New York State


  • Josef Hanson University of Massachusetts Boston


This survey study explored the entrepreneurial dispositions and behaviors of public school music teachers in New York State to better understand the incidence of arts venturing in highly bureaucratic school environments. On a broader level, the study brings to light the need for entrepreneurship pedagogy tailored for school-based arts educators, who constitute a large segment of the creative economy yet are virtually ignored in the teaching and learning of entrepreneurial skills. From a sampling frame of 1,351 teachers, 576 responded to an online questionnaire for a response rate of 42.6%. The questionnaire was modeled after previously- validated scales and assessed respondents’ history, intentions, and perceptions related to entrepreneurship. Results showed that a large proportion of the teachers surveyed were already creating new musical ventures at their schools or planning to do so in the near future. Further, teachers who were familiar with the tenets of entrepreneurship, possessed business experience, or whose postsecondary education included entrepreneurship coursework, reported stronger entrepreneurial self-efficacy, better support from their schools for innovative projects, and a higher likelihood of launching new pedagogical endeavors in the near future. Findings of this study underscore the broad appeal of an entrepreneurial worldview across a variety of arts subdisciplines, suggesting the adoption of a wider and more inclusive scope for the enterprise of arts entrepreneurship education. 

Author Biography

Josef Hanson, University of Massachusetts Boston

Dr. Josef Hanson comes to the University of Memphis from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he was Assistant Professor of Music, Coordinator of Music Education, and Music Program Director. He received an MA and PhD from the Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester and a BS from Towson University (MD). Before going to Boston, Hanson taught music in Maryland public schools and spent 14 years at the University of Rochester in various teaching, administrative, and advisory roles. As a teacher, mentor, and scholar, he seeks unique ways to illuminate the intersections between his two disciplinary passions, music education and arts entrepreneurship. Dr. Hanson pursues an ambitious agenda of publications, presentations, and practitioner-oriented workshops. His writing has been featured in leading music journals and periodicals, including Journal of Research in Music Education and Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts.

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How to Cite

Hanson, J. (2019). Entrepreneurship Among Public School Arts Educators: The Case of Music Teachers in New York State. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 8(1), 45–66. Retrieved from https://artivate.org/index.php/artivate/article/view/87