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Perfect Pitch: Jennifer A. Heemstra

Founder, Director, Musician

Current City: Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Founder and Director of Pitch Pipe Foundation and Kolkata Classics

Notable Prior Jobs: Case Western Reserve University, Music Department, Lecturer and Staff Accompanist (2002-2010); Cleveland Opera, main stage rehearsal pianist for full scale opera productions.

When I Started Performing: 8 years old

Performing Arts Background: Started piano lessons when I was 8 years old. Started playing clarinet in middle school band and played through sophomore year of high school. Accompanied school choruses on piano (and sang) from grade 5 through grade 12. In middle school, attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for two summers and Interlochen Music Camp for one summer. First paying gig on piano, age 13. Received Master of Music in Piano Performance, The Cleveland Institute of Music, and Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Michigan State University.

How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? Having a marketable skill at a young age, I was able to enter the workforce in my long-term career earlier than most people. From age 13 I was earning money as a musician; learning not only what it took to be a pianist, but also how to market, bill and follow up with clients.

The study of music made me disciplined, focused and organized. I think that the main ingredients for all successful entrepreneurs are discipline, diligence, and focus. In business you must find something you love and stick to it till you succeed. That same discipline/focus is also critical to practice, performance and learning your instrument. Organization and hustle are critical for any working musician to balance gigs and schedules. These time management skills have served me well as I moved into the business world.

Touring in my early teens with choirs and other musicians gave me a taste of international life. This exposure to foreign countries, cultures, and opportunities through music made me more versatile, relatable, and marketable as an adult.

Finally, music is extremely competitive, and you must develop thick skin as you receive the most feedback from your mentors and teachers. This has made me driven to succeed no matter the temporary setbacks, failures, or bumps in the road in the business world.

Favorite Performer: How about three: Victor Borge, Stevie Wonder & Beyoncé!

Follow Jennifer A. Heemstra:

Instagram - @jennyclassics

Facebook - jennifer.heemstra.9

LinkedIn - jennifer-a-heemstra-

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