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Telling the Faculty Story at Carnegie Mellon School of Music


Raising the profile of faculty was a key priority for leadership at the School of Music. In doing so, the school wanted to leverage the unique learning opportunities available to Carnegie Mellon students while also showcasing the extensive experience of their faculty.

At every stage of the recruitment process for the School of Music, faculty played a critical role in attracting prospective students. If a faculty member was also a private teacher, they became a significant influencer on the decision making process for prospective students and their families. Here are a few things we learned from surveying prospective students:

  1. 35% of them first heard about CMU from their private teacher.

  2. 36% of prospective students cited quality of faculty as the most important factor in deciding to enroll.

  3. More than 30% of prospective students cited their private teacher as the most important influencer on whether or not to enroll (based on the private teacher’s understanding of the School of Music).

“Dana’s collaboration and facilitation on many projects made him an outstanding colleague and representative of the School. Dana is willing and able to work with various constituents to achieve common goals. His work with me on recruitment efforts led to great finished products and, most importantly, results.” — Colby Carson | Interlochen Arts Academy


Taking these factors into consideration, the School of Music wanted to raise the profile of faculty in online recruitment campaigns to showcase faculty members who were significant influencers and demonstrate performance and learning opportunities available. To complement the recently rebranded website and print collateral, concepts for a series of videos to tell the stories of School of Music faculty members went into development as either:

  • Short promotional videos: under 30 seconds and designed to be used on social media with quick sound bites.

  • Full-length videos: intentionally kept to under 3-minute “episodes” and edited either based on a recurring theme or by a faculty member.

These two approaches ensured that each video could be used in multiple contexts and have a long shelf life as possible.


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