Rejection and the Growth Mindset: The Power to Change

This is the season where graduating students are hearing from doctorate programs, festivals, grants, fellowships, professional auditions and other opportunities for which they have applied. Inevitably, there will be rejections along with a few acceptance letters. And with those rejections, it’s not hard to fall into the trap that you are somehow not good enough and that you will never …

The Growth Mindset Updated: 3 Ways to Help Music Entrepreneurs Achieve Success

As I sit in my office at Yale listening to a piano student next door repeating the same passage in the same EXACT way for what seems like hours, I have an urge to knock on the door and say to this person, “Mere repetition is not going to help you improve. You need smart new strategies and the growth mindset!” …

Riding On Talent: Why Musicians Need the Growth Mindset to Succeed

Working with the high-level graduate students at the Yale School of Music reveals an undercurrent that pervades a lot of high-achievers: riding on talent.  It stems from a mindset (known as the Fixed Mindset) that does not allow failure.  Paradoxically, those who ride on talent are not as likely to experience success as those who work hard and learn from …

Creativity for Music Entrepreneurs Part V: Design Thinking in 3 Steps

Design Thinking is all the rage these days in academic circles, often misused and overhyped as the perfect teaching tool. In fact, Design Thinking is an excellent process for advancing creativity and innovation when properly understood and applied. Design thinking is the human-centered design process that helps you understand the emotional needs of the people whose problems you are solving through …

Creativity for Music Entrepreneurs Part IV: 4 Steps to Develop and Improve Your Idea

What happens when you have come up with lots of big, juicy ideas for your innovative solution? Is that enough to create a workable solution to your problem? Not so fast! When we last left the music entrepreneurs in my Innovation and Collaboration class at the Yale School of Music, they had gone through the stage of the creativity problem …

Creativity for Music Entrepreneurs Part III: Have Fun with Ideation

Now comes the fun part: ideation! This is the stage of the creativity problem solving process where you generate a lot of wild, crazy ideas in order to come up with an innovative solution to the problem you are solving. When we last left our music entrepreneurs in my Innovation and Collaboration Class at the Yale School of Music, the …

Creativity for Music Entrepreneurs Part II: 3 Steps to Clarify Your Problem

My class on Innovation and Collaboration at the Yale School of Music is designed to teach music entrepreneurs how to innovate by solving a problem near and dear to their hearts in the world of classical music. My students are creative individuals who are eager to do something meaningful with their music.   They also want to come up with solutions that have …

Director of Development

Astrid’s sessions [at the 2016 Opera America Leadership Intensive] were, by far, my favorite. I have always considered myself a fairly self-aware person, but she helped me articulate those qualities and values that matter most to me; taught me how to identify my feelings and behaviors; and challenged my own pre-conceptions of myself. She made me think of myself as …

General Director’s Office, San Francisco Opera

[My favorite sessions at the 2016 Opera America Leadership Intensive were] Astrid’s by far! I really enjoyed her energy and the pace of her sessions. I felt that she gave us tools (such as the to do lists) that will help us apply what we learned immediately. – Claire Padden-Havens, General Directors’ Office, San Francisco Opera