TAG: flow

Being in the Flow: The Start of Authentic Leadership

This past week, I attended the 2014 Opera America conference in San Francisco where I had the privilege of working with the 2014 Leadership Intensive participants.  These 14 talented mid-career opera administrators from North America and Europe were selected to participate in a program that provides training and resources designed to “bolster their leadership capacity and advance their careers”. My …

Find Your Life Purpose in 4 Steps: Your Compass for Navigating Career Success

As someone who has experienced many career transitions, I know what it is like to feel at sea and unsettled by not knowing what direction to take your career. This feeling to “stuck” can happen at any stage of your career: in the early stages of your career when you are not sure which of the many options to follow. …

Career Planning for Music Entrepreneurs: Tapping Into Vision and Going for Plan A

The past two weeks, I have had a great time working with the future stars of concert music and talking a lot about how to create a successful career as a musician. First, I spent two days with the Fellows at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, located in the picture-perfect hills of Northwest Connecticut on a beautiful estate where the …

How Arts Leaders Manage Challenge: Change Your Perspective

Rising arts leaders face a host of challenges including too much to do with too little time, constant deadlines,  not enough money, time or staff to carry out the great work, conflicting priorities and having to respond to numerous constituencies.   In these situations, it’s easy to focus on the negatives.  Yet happily, there are some very effective strategies to …

Managing Challenge for Arts Leaders: How to Empower Your Leadership by Changing The Situation

This week, I had the honor to work with the 14 participants in Opera America’s Leadership Intensive, a program dedicated to identifying and forming the future leaders of opera by providing them with the skills and contacts that can help them advance in their careers. My role was to teach the “soft” skills of leadership:  how to empower yourself to lead …

Top 10 Public Speaking Tips for Arts Leaders and Music Entrepreneurs

What is the first thing that comes up for you when you think about addressing a group of people, whether it is a wedding toast, a speech to a live audience at a music performance or a presentation at your local charity? If the answer is “fear” or “dread”, you are not alone! Fear of public speaking or glossophobia is …

Living “in the Zone”: How Music Entrepreneurs Optimize Their Flow Experiences

Creative people know the feeling of being “in the zone”,  the state of effortless concentration and joy where your skill level meets the challenge at hand, you know what you want to achieve and you are receiving the feedback on how well you are doing, time whizzes by because you are doing something that you love, and you are thus inspired …

Fighting Your Way To The Top: 5 Ways to Manage Inner Conflicts

We live in a complicated, interesting world today where many in the classical music world are wringing their hands because of perceived lack of opportunities for making a successful career, while others (myself included) view our world today as one of tremendous possibility and opportunity.

This is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about teaching musicians how to look at the world as one of opportunity.  One of my objectives is to help my students adopt a positive attitude towards their lives and their careers since I believe very strongly that happiness and optimism breed success and not vice-versa!
Optimism is also essential to the mindset of the music entrepreneur of the 21st Century.

In my class, we start by examining the different attitudes that one can bring to a music career. This attitude is formed by past experiences and perceptions and it translates into energy:

•    stressful energy for things that make you feel hopeless, fearful, angry, or conflicted or

•    motivating energy that makes you feel that you can manage your life, inspires you to keep moving forward, be of service and find opportunity.

“Be good” vs. “Get Better”: Optimizing the Experience of Performing

I have just returned from my summer vacation in California wine country where I learned some valuable lessons about optimal goal setting while improving my piano skills!

Where did all this happen?

At pianoSonoma, a festival that brings together serious adult piano students to study with Juilliard faculty members Michael Shinn and Jessica Chow Shinn, and collaborate and perform chamber music with Young Artists ( current students at or recent graduates of Juilliard), as well attend concerts by the faculty and the Young Artists.  It is a thrilling week where I can indulge in my passion for learning and playing the piano and share the joy of making music with superbly talented musicians.

On the plane ride out to California, I had a chance to catch up on my Kindle backlog and settled into a short book called “9 Things Successful People Do Differently” by psychologist  and goal-setting expert Heidi Grant Halvorson.  Now success is what I teach, coach on and advocate so I was interested in her 9 points.  And the one that resonated most powerfully with me was point #5:

Focus On Getting Better, Rather Than Being Good

What does she mean?

Confidence vs. Arrogance: Know Your Gift to Boost Your Personal Power

We have all been there:  you meet someone at a competition or a reception or a class who dominates the conversation, talks only about himself, projects an aura of knowing it all and could care less about you or other people around him. What’s your reaction? “Boy, am I intimidated! Why can’t I be that confident?” Or perhaps “What a …