Linda Dusman, professor and chair of music, named Bearman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship

Published: Feb 12, 2020

By: Tom Moore

Linda Dusman

Linda Dusman, professor and chair of music, has been named the Bearman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship for 2020 – 2023. This role is designed to recognize and support a faculty member with an interest in entrepreneurship, outstanding teaching skills, and a strong record of scholarship in entrepreneurial studies or a field related to entrepreneurship.

The three-year appointment will enable Dusman to further her work with EnCue, an audience engagement app she co-designed for use during classical music performance. EnCue is intended to be used by the audience on tablets or smartphones in real time during performances, especially symphony orchestra concerts.  It helps listeners understand and more fully appreciate the music, thereby deepening the experience. EnCue was co-developed by Eric Smallwood, former assistant professor of visual arts, and received support from UMBC and the Maryland Innovation Initiative.

“Linda Dusman’s work exemplifies entrepreneurship in the arts,” says Scott Casper, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “Through EnCue, Linda translates classical music for broader audiences in ways that enrich the listening experience.”

A screenshot of EnCue for a performance of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Photo courtesy of EnCue.

Audience experiences around the world

“The thing I’m most excited about,” says Dusman, “is that Bearman support will enable me to try to answer the questions I started asking ten years ago, which are: Can people learn about music in real time during concerts, and if they do learn, does that make a difference? Does it enhance their engagement of the experience? Does it make it more likely for them to want to return?”

“Now I’m going to be able to actually work with an educational psychologist — Linda Baker, recently retired professor of psychology here at UMBC — to test that hypothesis,” Dusman explains. “I’ll also be able to travel to orchestras that are engaged with this process, to see how audiences respond in different parts of the world.”

Last fall, Dusman was asked to speak at a conference in Berlin at the German Orchestra Days (Deutsche Orchestertag) about real-time education using mobile technologies. There, she described how EnCue has been used by orchestras in locations as diverse as Baltimore, Winnipeg, London, and Augusta, Georgia.

“I want to better understand EnCue’s impact in diverse geographic regions with diverse audiences,” says Dusman. “Obviously, audiences in London are very different than audiences in Augusta, Georgia, yet they’re listening to the same music played by symphony orchestras. How does that impact the engagement of the audience, and what does the live classical music experience mean for them?”

The Bearman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship was established by The Herbert Bearman Foundation to acknowledge and honor the contributions of Arlene Bearman, who taught in UMBC’s administrative and managerial sciences program for many years.

Featured Image: Linda Dusman. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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