TAG: Yale School of Music

Two Confidence-Boosting Tools for Music Entrepreneurs: Strengths and Flow

One of the goals of my entrepreneurship class at the Yale School of Music is to help my students develop a mindset of positivity and project confidence since this is at the heart of being a successful entrepreneur. My students have learned two great tools for boosting their confidence—strengths and Flow.  These are more than “feel-good props”.  Both originate from positive psychology, the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive and whose mission includes “find[ing]and nurture[ing] genius and talent”.

What’s not to like?

So here is how strengths and Flow can help you to become confident in your professional and your personal endeavors.

What’s Working for Music Entrepreneurs?: The Power of Living at Choice

Spring Break is here.  My students are on overload.  They have been performing a lot, as well as auditioning for DMA programs, summer festivals and orchestra jobs, interviewing for internships and jobs on top of all their schoolwork.  We began our last class before Spring Break with a check-in on what’s working.

What’s working is a great question because you focus on the positive aspects of your life.  It is another way to change your perceptions and use the forces of positive energy to motivate you.

Here’s the way it works:

1.    First you identify what is working in your life.

2.  Then you figure out what about it works, analyzing the steps you took to create your success.

3.  Finally, you apply your methodology to areas of your life that are not working as well so that you can overcome your challenges.

Let’s take a look at what is working from my class.

 

Music Entrepreneurship: Out with the Perfect, In with The Impossible

Recently, marketing guru Seth Godin wrote an explosive blog post entitled “Perfect and Impossible” wherein he takes on the digital revolution in music and examines how a once “perfect” business

“Radio, record chains, Rolling Stone magazine, the senior prom, limited access to recording studios, the replaceable nature of the LP, the baby boomers”

has now died. And for him, that’s a good thing because it’s a revolution that “destroys the perfect and enables the impossible.”

I immediately thought of my class and what we are teaching:  to help musicians think and act like entrepreneurs so that they can create their own version of success.

Your Brand and The Perfect World: Branding as a Vehicle for Audience Development

This week, my class took on the subject of branding. I love teaching musicians about how to create and use their brand because the right brand is a self-empowering message about the best of you and your promise of quality to your Ideal Audience–the people whom you are eager to attract. 

A brand is not about you-it is about communicating your promise to your Ideal Audience.  By helping to forge a powerful emotional connection with that audience, a brand becomes a tool that not only inspires you to be your best but also boosts your confidence and projects positive energy to those around you: a true win/win

Audience development is one of the major challenges facing classical musicians today and we are living in a world where the relationship between musicians and their audiences presents a tremendous opportunity to advance the field. That was certainly an important theme in the recent seminar at Yale on the Role of Technology in the future of music.

While musicians sometimes resist the idea of “pitching” to a target audience on the theory that it is antithetical to their authenticity and personal growth and is too limiting (until they realize how connected a brand is to one’s artistic purpose), I firmly believe that identifying and connecting with the right audiences is critical no only for one’s professional development but also to solidify our field.  Thus, I include the target audience into my branding discussions so that my students begin to carve out the part of the audience with which they resonate. 

That brings us to artistic mission: 

How Musicians Can Leverage the Power of Technology: Advice from the Experts

This week, I had the privilege of moderating a panel at the Yale School of Music on the Role of Technology and its impact on the field of classical music. Our three speakers contributed their unique perspectives on the impact of technology on the dissemination and promotion of classical music: Greg Anderson, a 2008 Yale School of Music graduate and …

Case Study of 4 Music Entrepreneurs: How do they do it and what keeps them going?

Many young musicians wonder how to go about creating a career in music.  They may have a general idea of what they want to do but they are not sure of the steps to take.  To help them see that it is indeed possible to create a successful career path in music,  I invited four recent alumni of the Yale School of Music (who graduated from YSM between 2004 and 2010) to talk to my students about their career paths and what they have learned about creating successful careers as musicians in today’s world. 

The panelists were:

Timo Andres: pianist/composer with a hit CD and an active freelance career as a pianist and composer;

Tina Hadari: violinist, member of the Haven String Quartet and founder of Music Haven, a non-profit in New Haven that provides tuition-free string instruction to underprivileged youth;

Paul Murphy: free-lance trumpeter and teaching artist with the NYPhilharmonic; and

Sam Quintal: violist and member of the Jasper String Quartet.

This wonderful group of artists showed my students that it is indeed possible to make one’s way in the world as a musician and that there are many different paths to creating career success.  Here are some of the top lessons that I gleaned from their remarks.  Next time, I will share my students’ observations.

Using Your Brand to Write Your Professional Bio: Top Tips to Help You Stand Out

One of the great things about having a brand is that it can be used in so many ways.  A brand is fundamentally a marketing tool that connects the best of you with your ideal audience.  Your brand has a practical application as follows: Logo and tag line Website Promotional Materials Career Materials, including a professional bio, resume and CV. …

Personal Branding for Musicians: How What I Do Makes Me Unique and Memorable

I have been doing a lot of work with students these days around branding and the results have been fascinating! 

First, I worked with the Choral Conducting students at the Yale School of Music to teach them the basics of branding and how to use a brand statement to write a professional bio.  Then I was at Juilliard to help the students create a brand statement that we then converted into an elevator speech. 

A lot of the focus of these classes is to help students discover how they are unique so that they can best present themselves to the audiences that will hire them. One of the best ways to do this is by looking at what you do besides music and figuring out what that says about you.  But first, some basics.

Thoughts on Ben Zander’s TED Talk on Music and Passion (Leadership and Possibility)

I am in the process of finalizing the reading list for my course next semester at the Yale School of Music on “Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts” and am including Ben Zander’s TED Talk on Music and Passion. TED Talks originated from a conference with the world’s thought leaders in Technology, Entertainment and Design around the theme of “ideas worth spreading”.  The talks have broadened in scope to include inspirations voices that anyone can access for free online on the ted.com website. I have chosen this particular talk because not only it is an inspiration for today’s conservatory students to hear one of the world’s great proponents of classical music but also because it contains some powerful leadership lessons that transcend music and apply to all areas of life.