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Hi!  I'm Dan, and I'm a professional composer, professor, and career coach/consultant for musicians. 


As a professor of music and chair of the School of Music at Westminster College, I am well acquainted with the needs of musicians, both inside and outside of academia.

One of the aspects of my career that I absolutely LOVE is mentoring students and other faculty.  In my coaching practice, I find that the music professionals who want to work with me are those who want to be the best they can be in their field such as . . . 

 . . . the pianist who wishes to perform more concertos with orchestras

 . . . the music historian who wants to write the next great biography of Richard Strauss.

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The problem is: most music faculty and musicians in general do not figure out how to get their talents fully recognized.  How many frustrated musicians do you know?  

Usually, besides being amazing at what you do, gaining more recognition requires effective networking, promotional materials, and social media marketing.  These are difficult skills to master, especially if you haven’t been trained in these areas.  And, it can be discouraging day after day trying to network and market yourself all the time.


I can help you with this.

Of course, if you are more focused right now on trying to get tenure and promotion, or promotion to full professor, I help with that too by:

  • Being a confidential resource outside of your institution for concerns you might be having when it’s difficult to talk with people within your institution 

  • Reviewing portfolios that includes my objective feedback as an outsider 

  • Providing check-ins and sessions on how to develop and maintain momentum in accumulating accomplishments for tenure and for promotion 

  • Providing assistance in balancing your time strategically so that you focus most efficiently on what needs to be done to get tenure, promotion to associate, or promotion to full professor 


For faculty interested in transitioning to administration, you can talk with me about that transition process.

  • Help with the process of networking 

  • Feedback on your bio and promotional materials 

  • Assistance with writing e-mail and social media outreach to concert presenters 


And, for new music administrators, it can be lonely or difficult to manage without being able to talk to anyone.  I provide confidential support for people in that role.



"Grad school took a toll on my mental well-being and I relied partly on Dr. Perttu’s continued mentorship to help me through. Amongst many things, he reminded me constantly that I had more career options than I thought despite my doubts or the doubts of others.   At the core of his guidance, Dr. Perttu wants the best for his students, including their career contentment. This was thrown into sharp relief when I confronted the crossroad: continuing to a PhD program or finding a different path. Dr. Perttu was one of many helping me list the pros and cons. He offered advice along the lines of: “you would do well at this school and remember that very few are accepted into this program but of course, you need to be healthy.” "

Deanna Nebel

Education Staff Member at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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