Don’t Take My Word For It!

…take theirs!

“Thank you, thank you for giving such an amazing tea, delighting everyone with your incredible story and song, and being so incredibly kind and patient to each individual student who lingered to talk with you and ask counsel and advice. I enjoyed every minute myself, felt lucky to be there, and could have spent much more time listening to you talk and play.

And thank you as well for coming to Fellows and taking part, again with such patience and interest. You were so generous and terrific. Please think of me if you are around in future.”

Penelope Laurans
Senior Adviser at Yale University Head of Jonathan Edwards College, retired

“Great to meet you yesterday in my Sudler classroom. The business you talked about is something the Yale students really need to hear. I love the Spanish language bid for the Lottery Account! Awesome idea. My students have often heard me lecture them that the goal is Get out of the Big Pile!”

Richard Gard
Yale School of Music

“Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your dynamic and compelling presentations during your Yale visit with us. You did a very fine & terrific job and at each session the students were clearly engaged – and their teachers were, too!”

Kathryn Alexander
Prof. of Composition & Music Technology Department of Music Yale University

“Thanks so much for speaking to my class and Richard’s. It was a great presentation. I just wish we had had more time! If you have any time and would like to test drive the Hammond or any of the other vintage keys, let me know- you have a free lifetime pass!”

Jack Vees Director
Center for Studies in Music Technology Yale School of Music

“Many thanks to Jonathan Wolff for a fascinating lecture at Yale University this morning! Mr. Wolff will also be presenting a Composition Seminar at Yale tomorrow afternoon, providing two valuable new additions to the OHAM archives.”

Libby Van Cleve
Director Oral History of American Music at Yale University

“It was an absolute pleasure to meet you and to hear your talk. Ever since, I’ve been raving to various people that it was one of the best and most insightful lectures I’ve heard. You held our interest. And informed. It was terrific information for the students to hear. For music law students, the biggest challenge they face is learning the business of music. There are so many intricacies and deal permutations. The creativity of how you made deals occur, the value of relationships, and of learning the people details and about factual backgrounds all was invaluable insight for them to hear about. Not just in theory but from someone who made the strategies work. You were very generous in imparting your thoughts and time, and I am very grateful that you came. I can’t imagine how it could’ve been done any better. Thank you for being our guest. You’re always welcome. I hope we can remain in touch.”

Brian K. Price
Clinical Professor of Law and Director Transactional Law Clinics of Harvard Law School

“Thank you so much Jonathan for coming to speak to us, your insights were greatly appreciated!”

Rebecca Rechtszaid
Harvard Law School

We thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and we have had a lot of positive reception from it! It was really refreshing to not only hear your experience with your lawyer in drafting unique deal points, but it was also great that you had concrete clauses and anecdotes to support your theme.

Jennifer Marr
Harvard Law School

“My husband Mark Gailus and I were at your talk at Harvard Law yesterday and enjoyed speaking with you more afterwards. Thank you for an inspirational presentation, which is actually of use to anyone in any field! Our son Arshan also said he enjoyed your presentation at Tufts and appreciated having the chance to speak with you.”

Tanya Bartevyan
Harvard University New England Conservatory of Music

“Just a quick but heartfelt “thank you!” for coming and all of the great, practical, “here’s how to separate yourself from the pile” advice for our students. They spend most of both semesters learning the musical side of scoring for film/TV but not hearing about the practical business side. So this was a great couple of hours for them, and I know they appreciated it.”

Jon Burlingame
Screen Scoring Program USC Thornton School of Music

“I want to thank you for an incredible visit and for inspiring our students. I loved your delivery, your message, your story.

Eager to do lots more together. Thanks again for your generosity and commitment to education.”

Panos Panay
BerkleeICE: Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship
Berklee College of Music

“It was a pleasure to host you Jonathan!
I love seeing a room fill up with students when we have a great speaker with really relevant and crucial info, and Thursday was definitely one of those days.”

Nicole d’Avis
Operations and Events Manager
BerkleeICE: Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship
Berklee College of Music

Jonathan Wolff visited the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program at the Seattle Film Institute and gave an energetic and enlightening talk. He spoke about the one thing that most educational programs do not discuss – how to promote ones self to get you name out there in order to attract and get work. His talk was not only informative but also extremely entertaining. He showed that part of what made his career as successful as it was, besides his musical and creative talents, was his approach to the business of the industry. This lecture should be required for all music students, be they players or composers. Too many schools do not prepare their graduates to join the freelance world, which is the way most professionals make their livings – Jonathan shared some great insight and pointers that come from his years of experience as a professional player and composer.

Hummie Mann, D.M.A.

Film Composer/PNWFS Program Creator

Thank you so much for stopping by SFI yesterday! It was an absolutely captivating morning. And it’s heartwarming to hear from you that it’s still about personal connections.
And hilarious pilot ads!
Looking forward to ruffling feathers and building great relationships.

Anton du Perez
Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program at SFI

“Your presentation was every bit as entertaining as I expected. But your smartly weaving in some policy points was beyond my expectations! I greatly appreciate you moving your plans around to be with us.”

With gratitude,

Daryl P. Friedman
Chief Industry, Government & Member Relations Officer The Recording Academy/GRAMMYs

“LOVED your stories. What an incredible gift!”

Claudette Silver
Silver Muse Productions

“Thanks so much for coming out and participating. It was so much fun watching you work and seeing the level of engagement everyone had during your presentation. I hope we get to do it again soon.”

Clay Upton
Director of Production & Event Development
The Recording Academy/GRAMMYs

“Jonathan, I’ve been hearing about you for many years and was so pleased to meet you. Your message is invaluable for budding musicians, and for entrepreneurs of all stripes. Let’s keep in touch.”

Larry S. Miller
Music Business Program NYU-Steinhardt

“Thank you again for your presentation, expertise, and willingness to share your invaluable experience. We are so appreciative for your sharing and presence.”

Ronald H. Sadoff, Ph.D.

New York University
Dept. of Music & Performing Arts Professions

“It was a pleasure hosting you. The students had a great time–they have taken your words of wisdom to heart, thinking more about marketing stategies, probably having their soundcloud pages and web addresses printed on coffee mugs as we speak!

Great yarns, great time. Thanks so much.”

Mark Suozzo
Film Scoring Program
New York University

“No composer has shared with us as in-depth of their experience reaching the top as you did.”

Madeleine Tan
NYU Steinhardt
Scoring for Film and Multimedia

“Jonathan is so delightful. He spoke at a class earlier in the day which I attended and he was so interesting. You are in for great show tomorrow evening.”

Anne Witchner
Assistant Dean Student Affairs
Carnegie Mellon University

“Once again, thank you so much for doing the event. You were very engaging and had great energy. Your incorporation of clips and your explanation of your process was great, and people didn’t notice the lack of piano!

We really enjoyed having you.”

Madiha Shafquat Lecture Director
Lecture Series Committee

Having observed kids & parents wondering how they will make a living after graduating, I think that your presentation was exactly the kind of real world point of view that is needed. Students who are interested in pursuing this career path need to hear first hand from successful pros like you. I think that had we had the opportunity for a second session, I would’ve like to hear more about 1). contracts 2). budgeting 3). working with union & non-union musicians 4). the process of licensing from your music library. These are are all very practical and useful topics but for the time that we had you on campus, I think what you presented was extremely informative and it was presented in an inviting, humorous and honest way. Thank you again. It was such a pleasure to have you on campus.

Kareem Roustom
Lecturer of Music Tufts
University Department of Music

“Thank you very much for speaking with our composers yesterday. Your approach and charisma were a breath of fresh air for our students. I really appreciated how you linked your experience to actionable advice for them.”

Daniel Wood
Musicianship and Composition Chair
SFCM Pre-College Division
San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Thank you for sharing your time with our students! It was truly a pleasure to have you present here at NEC. I appreciate that you were so responsive to what our students were interested in learning. It was also very impressivethat you memorized the students’ names, and were continually remembering them throughout the conversation – that really benefitted the connection to you and the information you were sharing. Thanks again for making time to visit NEC. If you’re in Boston again, please do reach out. (Or, if you’re in Texas anytime, I’ll connect you with my twin sister!) PS – I heard your interview on Radio Boston. Your stories (and playing!) are really enjoyable!

Rachel L. Roberts
Director of Entrepreneurial Musicianship
New England Conservatory

“Jonathan Wolff is not only knowledgeable and entertaining, he is absolutely brilliant! Our students were thrilled to have such an experienced professional speak to them about the ins and outs of the music industry. Having someone of that caliber speak of the industry standards during the early part of one’s career is an essential component for success.”

Mark Koch
Director of Jazz Guitar
Assistant Academic Advisor Duquesne University

“Your masterclass really energized the students and I look forward to your next visit to CCM. All of the CMP students can learn so much from you and your career path is exactly the direction that many of them aspire to achieve. Your insight is really valuable to them and it is wonderful that we have the opportunity to learn from you.”

Kim C. Pensyl
Director of Commercial Music Production College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

“I can’t thank you enough for having made yourself available to CCM Commercial Music Production students and faculty on your recent visit to Cincinnati. I have heard rave reviews from all concerned. I’m glad we might be able to keep you engaged with the college for at least as long as your daughter is a UC student.”

Peter Landgren, Dean

College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

“Thank you so much for coming and speaking to us at CCM yesterday! I took a lot from your presentation, really enjoyed your story lessons, and hope to hear you again soon. I am very interested in learning as much as I can about the business. I think that most aspiring musicians don’t take it seriously enough and that is what breaks them. I have always loved the idea of the’independent-business’ model and seeing that you have become so successful with that approach is very inspiring.”

Dan de Groh

Commercial Music Production Major
College-Conservatory of Music University of Cincinnati

Thank you for visiting my class! I think they took away from the class sometips about standing up for themselves in a competitive world – very important! And I’m glad you have a good sense of humor!

Melinda Wagner
Composition Department
The Juilliard School

“Thank you for coming to give the master class for our composition majors. Thank you for your time, and for your generosity. The students enjoyed your class.”

Michael K. Slayton, D.M.A.
Associate Professor/Chair
Department of Music Composition & Theory Vanderbilt University
Blair School of Music

“Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed listening to you during your evening presentation at Belmont University in Nashville a couple weeks back. I was especially inspired by your story of when you “drew the line in the sand” and declared yourself a composer. I’ve struggled with that my entire career. I’ve been quite successful here in Nashville, but I’m that “Jack of all trades” guy. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for coming to Nashville. You inspired me.”

Scotty Huff

Record Producer | Film Composer
Nashville, TN

“It was a pleasure to meet you Sunday night at the SESAC party and you were very kind to invite us to your wonderful Monday performance At Belmont. As Ben Bradlee said about Norman Lear, an evening with you should be bottled and consumed regularly. We so enjoyed it.”

Kent Grizzell
Franklin, TN

“I recently saw your presentation at the Belmont event. Your career is very inspiring and it is great that you are now giving back to others!”

Dr Dave Tough
Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business
Belmont University

“Thank you for giving your informative talk at Belmont a few weeks ago! Hearing just a few of your stories about your experiences in the
entertainment industry was incredibly inspiring and informative. I spoke with you briefly afterwards – I’m double majoring in motion pictures and commercial music with a composition and arranging emphasis. I would love to go into a similar career path as yours.”

Bethany Brinton

Belmont University School of Music

“My name is Becca Darling, and I greatly enjoyed your visit to Belmont this past Monday. I attended both presentations, and asked you about how you kept that tambourine on the piano at the very end (I sat up front for the last show). I also play piano, so the night concert was a treat for me. Your journey as a musician and pianist has inspired me and helped to clarify in my own head where I want to go and what I want to learn next. Knowing that many songs and genres, and being able to play them at the drop of a hat is the mark of a versatile player, and is something I want to achieve now. Thank you for being so open with your time and experiences; it was invaluable for me.”

Becca Darling
Belmont University School of Music

“It was our pleasure to serve you and hear your stories. Thanks for giving back to students with your experiences, there is only so much that they can hear from an old ‘road dog’ like me and some of the staff and professors around here.”

Rusty King
Production and Facilities Manage
Belmont University School of Music

“I have had several students tell me that your lecture was the most beneficial of the guest lectures that we have had at Bellarmine. I agree %100!!”

Dave Clark

Head of Jazz Studies Program
Bellarmine University
“I attended the talk today you gave at Clemson and thoroughly enjoyed hearing what you had to say about your experiences as well as your advice to us college students involved in the music industry. I am both an Audio Engineering and Electrical Engineering student at Clemson and I’m hoping to work in the pro audio industry to develop new and innovative tools for musicians and music producers. I was interested to hear your perspective of where you feel the audio technology of today is headed within the context of your experience as an audio engineer and musician over the course of the analog to digital revolution.”

Christian Steinmetz

Clemson University
“Thanks for your lively presentations and for all the time you spent with our young composers here at Furman. It was great to have you on campus and to get to spend time with you.”

Mark Kilstofte
Professor of Music
Furman University

“I wanted to thank you once again for the generous gift of your time this past Monday! Our students are still buzzing about your extraordinary lecture! We spent a good portion of our Composition Seminar class on Tuesday discussing your talk. You had a very profound impact on our students and I remain most appreciative of your visit.”

Nickitas Demos, DMA

Professor of Music Composition Georgia State University School of Music
“I made sure to follow up with them on the main practical messages you had for them – work hard on your musical chops, develop a diverse and large skill set, network and develop relationships, and put yourself out there and take chances. The emphasis on needing business and music tech skills was also great. We have the music tech thing going here, but we really do need to offer more music business learning here, and you got me thinking about how we can make that happen.”

Dr. Robert Spittal
Professor of Music
Gonzaga University

“Thank you so much for giving you talk today. I am sure that the students found it as interesting as I. Erich Stem and I would like to meet with you inthe near future to discuss some other possible collaborative projects. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in pursuing and we can set it up.”

Tim Haertel
Lecturer in Music Industry Advisor for Sound Engineering and Music Business Indiana University Southeast

“Thank you on behalf of my whole Arts & Entertainment Finance class at Loyola New Orleans. We really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to come speak to us about what you do and how we can further our own careers in the business.”

Ethan Germann

Loyola University New Orleans

“Thank you very much for coming. I received lots of positive feedback about your visit.
I hope we can get you back soon. I’ll be in touch.”

Tim Kappel
Professor of Entertainment Law
Loyola University New Orleans

“The feedback that we received was so great that I wanted to check to see if you are interested in presenting on the first day of our Music Industry Program at the LYNX Camp this summer. The date would be Sunday, June18th. No worries if you aren’t available or would prefer not to do it. I just thought I’d check because everyone loved your presentation last year.”

Dave Walter
Assistant Director of Outreach and Admissions Director of the LYNX National Arts & Media Camps College of Arts & Media University of Colorado Denver

“A quick follow-up note to say again how great it was to meet you and talk with you, and hear about your career in music. I really enjoyed the presentation, and I think the music students did also. It is really important for them to hear and see and be able to interact with (ask questions of) people like yourself who are successful professionals, who have “made it work” in their careers, and to know that dedication, hard work, and lots of preparation are necessary beyond talent. Not to mention keeping your eyes and ears open for opportunity, and learning how to *create opportunity*. So, thank you. This morning I was thinking that your session with the composition students (plus others) was in a number of ways more valuable and informative than an entire semester’s worth of Pulitzer Prize winners (even though that is also worthwhile). And to have that in an entertaining manner, well, what more could we ask?”

Dr. Jonathan B. McNair Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition, UT Chattanooga Department of Music

“I wanted to thank you for presenting such a wonderful class to our students at UB. I think we all could have listened to you for at least 3 more hours, and I started thinking of questions as soon as we parted. In academia, we reallycan benefit from a jolt of real world experience, and your life’s story has so many things we all could learn from. In my discussions with students since your visit, I can tell that you made an impact on them, as much of what you presented relates in some way to their own career paths. I’ve been talking up the experience to my colleagues at other schools, so you may get some seemingly random invitations.”

Jon Nelson
Professor of Music University at Buffalo

“Thank you for sharing your stories with the UB Concert Band. They were very interesting. I play french horn in the band but am mainly a pianist. I loved how you mentioned artists such as Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers etc. as I listen to the music of pretty much all of the groups you mentioned and also play my own piano covers of many songs from the 1970’s. It was truly interesting to hear your take on some of those songs as well when you sat down at the piano. You are an awesome piano player! Thank you for taking the time to share your amazing talent with us!”

Joshua Tixier

University at Buffalo

“Thank you so much for speaking to the concert band! I think I speak for us all when I say that we thoroughly enjoyed hearing from you. Though I am not currently pursuing a career in music, it is a big part of my life and I appreciated your candor about the realities of working in the industry. I found myself feeling inspired after hearing you speak. Through multiple ups and downs you have been able to cultivate a pretty sweet career/life for yourself. I hope that someday I’ll have those things as well.”

Maddie Collins
University at Buffalo

“Thank You for your wonderful presentation. You have had an amazing career. It was great for our students to be able to receive all of the inside information that you were generous enough to share. I have heard nothing but extremely positive feedback regarding your workshop.”

Edward A. Petersen
Professor in Jazz Studies University of New Orleans

“Thanks SO much for your presentation today to our VCU students. As you noted, you got heavily into the business side of things here: our students are really curious about how careers might be possible. Your advice to them–with illustrative tales to match each point–was exceptional and appreciated by all and certainly by me! Your engaging nature also prompted them to ask questions much more readily than when in the company of most other artists. You captivated them for the full 90 minutes, plus inspired them so much that they remained for more than a half hour afterwards to ask you more questions. (Or even longer: I apologize that I finally had to leave so as to catch a bus!) I am grateful that you have been so willing to give of your time and energy to young people around the country. I’m grateful to Jamey Aebersold for pointing you into this important track of interacting with the current generation of students and telling them what the deal really is. And I’m grateful that you emphasized over and over again the importance of building relationships–something that I and my 15 or so guest-speakers in the Music Industry class have highlighted again and again and again.”

Antonio J. García
Director of Jazz Studies Virginia Commonwealth University

“Just wanted to thank you for your talk today at VCU. My name is AndrewRandazzo, I graduated from the jazz studies program at VCU in 2012. (I was the guy in the yellow shirt with the glasses asking too many questions) I loved hearing your advice on everything today and I want to delve deeper into my song writing skills. I dug your analogy about pulling the ball out and working on weaknesses.”

Andrew Randazzo
Jazz Studies Graduate
Virginia Commonwealth University

“I would like to thank you again for all the advice you gave me last September, both at your lecture at Indiana University, and in your response to the email I sent afterwards.

I followed your advice, and attended a workshop in California earlier this summer. It was great fun; I met people and made connections, as you suggested, and from it I got a gig! Your advice about making connections and being persistent was so helpful, and I am very thankful for it.”

Kathryn Jorgensen

“Big THANK YOU to the inimitable and wonderfully generous Jonathan Wolff who visited our Columbia College Chicago Music Composition for the Screen MFA program this morning for a gripping (and extremely entertaining) lecture. This man owned network TV comedy for well over a decade – by sticking to his plans with no detours or apologies, as well as by being a brilliant, effortless musician. Jonathan does not think outside the box, he refuses to acknowledge the existence of any box in the first place – and nobody thinks through opportunities in a more strategic and thorough fashion. Lots of actionable information to take home. Plus, he’s a riot. Thank you, sir, for a GREAT morning!”

Kubilay Uner
Director, Music Composition for the Screen MFA program
Columbia College Chicago

“Thank you for speaking with SELS and IPSO today. Your presentation was terrific! It was great to hear your perspective as an industry insider who has a vast array of experiences. The event was engaging, informative and a great addition to our programming for the semester.”

Laura Lamansky
Sports and Entertainment Law Society, President
University of Wisconsin Law School

“I found that your lecture was riveting! Thank you for your advice on being a successful and relatable lawyer and distinguishing ourselves from the pile. On behalf of SCELF, IPLS, and Professor Irwin’s entertainment law class, thank you for coming!”

Noelle Klockner
The University of Notre Dame Law School
J.D. Candidate Class of 2019