Articles

  • More of the best advice you were ever given: Kevin Padworski Kevin Padworski  What is your official title? Director of Music & Organist; Artistic Director. What project are you currently working on? Sanctuary Renovation and Pipe Organ Installation. In one sentence, describe your role in that project: I provide artistic and musical vision for the desired outcome of the project. What skills are necessary for a person in your position? 1.) Excellent leadership skills, including ...
  • What exactly does “Intentional Cultural Responsibility” mean? Fashion is being intentional about the culture you choose to live in.I encourage you to be intentional about the contribution you make to the culture you choose to live in. Lofty words, but what do they mean, exactly?
  • More of the best advice you were ever given: Michael Seal Michael SealIf you could change one thing about the classical music industry, what would it be? What are the biggest mistakes you have made in your career? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you got started?
  • The one exciting environment you need to know about You might find a small ensemble environment very exciting!Something we all naturally navigate towards are experiences that make us feel good, but oftentimes we forget to consider some of the elements that contribute to those wonderful moments.
  • Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Pierre Boulez – a generation lets go of the torch Will you carry the torch flame next?Younger generations should not expect to fill anyone else’s shoes, but rather demonstrate their own value they bring to the world, of which we all have plenty. But there is a decision to make:
  • Your strongest support skill can improve your well-being What is your best support skill?Whether or not you know it, you have a skill you excel in. Another thing you are good at is at least one “support” skill that usually operates in the background. Which of the four support skills are you best at?
  • How can community music be more fascinating? Live community music is a core foundation of any CultureEvery organization has a specific characteristic that endears people to it. Consider how they make you feel. Do they match any of the following primary advantages?
  • Results of my Annual Readers’ Survey 2015 AnnualSurveyTHANK YOU. For reading this post, and For completing my Annual Readers’ Survey earlier this month (if you did!). The analysis is complete and it is fascinating! Here is a brief summary: According to my Annual Reader Survey 2015, most of my readers are Christian men aged 25-39 years old who live in the USA, about half of whom have a Masters ...
  • Am I helping? SPB's Annual Reader's Survey 2015It is time for you to let me know how much I am helping you build a better society through live music. Click here to take my annual Reader’s Survey 2015
  • What is the best way to boost your performing career? Jogging with a coach alongside makes it more fun and much easierThere are over 50,000 music majors graduating from higher education every year all over this easy-to-travel-and-relocate planet. How on earth do you keep your concert calendar full with all that competition? Well, many folk don’t and settle for a life with a ‘real job’ and amateur or community music, sometimes complete with a strong dose of bitterness. ...
  • Who are the best expert classical music life coaches? Flute in chamber ensembleIt seems we have hit upon a hot topic! My last two posts about how a coach can help classical musicians, and the mistakes people make when hiring a coach have been very popular, evidenced by both the number of shares (look at the share bar at the bottom of each post) and with the number ...
  • 20 ways to conquer the world with a behind-the-scenes coach #StayMotivated with a coachWhat do Steve Jobs, Jodie Foster and Daniel LaRusso have in common? The obvious answer is that they are all related to the movies. However, there is a far more important connection they all share…
  • 7 quick ways to embrace delightful simplicity Wall Storage Tidy SimplicityAs musicians juggling multiple poles within spinning plates on them, we can often be blinded by our busyness. So why should and how can musicians stuck in the “First World” keep life simple?
  • How do you deal with really arrogant or bumbling drivers? Calm Road RageThere are a great many arrogant and bumbling drivers on the roads these days. Especially worrisome are the inattentive ones. But of course, we are perfect drivers, right?!
  • 9 Daring Ways to Assault Negativity and #StayMotivated Autumn Fall Colorful #StayMotivatedToday we explore three articles that help us face negativity and stay motivated through difficult and trying times. The College Board has advice for all of us, not just students, and the motivational guru Zig Ziglar shares one of the most important actions we can take to improve our lives and get ourselves back on ...
  • How to overcome workaholism through a better #LifeBalance Live music and help bring a healthy work-life balanceToday we look at three articles that demonstrate pretty clearly how we often kid ourselves about how hard and how much we need to work, and what we can do about it.
  • 5 terrific exercises to conquer time and energy Time and Energy ManagementToday we explore three articles that will help us conquer our time and energy management. In fact, one of the articles says would should focus on managing our unlimited energy resources more than our limited time resources! We also look at what one CEO of five companies recommends we focus on, but we start with ...
  • 15 Inspiring Quotes about the Joy of Passion #ShareMyPassionToday we explore three articles that help us with one of the Western World’s most difficult things to express: what we are passionate about. For some reason it has generally become taboo to think of anyone as passionate about anything, so below we explore the energy and authentic joy when sharing our passions with others, ...
  • How to lead by celebrating humility and the classics Leadership: Study the classicsToday we explore three articles that help us define good and strong leadership, including why it is worth celebrating, as well as some solid advice to those starting out as leaders. But we begin with one of the most counter-cultural aspects of successful leaders that people generally do not like to talk about, or even ...
  • 10 Things You Need to Drop to Stay Motivated Writing things down may help you stay motivatedThree articles that help us stay motivated, including seven techniques that are so important they appear in articles in both Forbes and Inc!
  • Sir Richard Branson’s 5 inspiring tips for balancing a quality life Balancing work and life can be as much a sport as anything elseThree articles that could help us maintain a healthy work/ life balance, including the dangers of ‘switching off’ and the importance of allocating dedicated time.
  • 10+ Simple Ways to Avoid Wasting Time Keeping an eye on Time ManagementWe look at three articles that explore time management techniques, including a secret from Greg McKeown, 10 tips Entrepreneur magazine, and sage advice from Belinda Gadd.
  • Withhold no more your unparalleled true colors Suits and SocksWhen society let managers and agents become the top-of-the-pyramid decision makers of art, the Western World lost its grip on cultural reality. Do you think the Corporate standardization of classical music has hurt or helped society at large?
  • Five sources of healthy anger Angry CatIt is OK to be angry. Anger usually incites action. As long as we remain civil, our anger can produce amazing outcomes. Do you ever feel angry about the state of music in society? Or are you excited about its rapid transition?
  • Time, Location, Bewilderment What barriers are there to enjoying live classical music?Over the past couple of weeks one of my projects has been soliciting from folk in various stages of life what interferes with their enjoyment of live classical music. The fourth most popular response was that there are no barriers to their enjoying live classical music.
  • #PsalmQuest Annual Progress 2 Stephen P Brown's PsalmQuest PremiumSo, here we are. Two years down and five more to go. The project is currently 29.33% complete, and amazingly 1.2% ahead of schedule. Share your thoughts so far. THANK YOU for being on this journey with me and helping me to accomplish something bigger than me.
  • Being an “Amateur” is not an excuse lazy geekRecently I have come across a number of performers who hide behind their amateur status. It’s annoying and inappropriate, so stop it! What do I mean? First, let’s identify the differences between being and amateur and being a professional: What I find interesting in this list, is that only one of the sources cites anything related to the quality ...
  • A not-so-new genre: the Oprical? Classical Music Exchange75 years ago we began to experience more lively operas that included dialogue, which have become known as “Musicals.” 30 years ago or so, some folk started writing musicals that were non-stop music, like operas.
  • Why Share Your Valuable Creative Process Right Now? Creativity Sir Ken RobinsonProbably the best way to keep people engaged in your art form and looking forward to experiencing it live, is to share the process you go through to create it. Whether it is practicing a piece of music (see video below), layering a painting, or preparing a speech…
  • How to build the colossal fan club you need Gone are the days a newsletter costs a fortune - send it via email!The reason I consistently grow a solid core of SPB Groupies is because of my email newsletter. That’s right. My newsletters. Not the articles I write, the little booklets I put together, nor the concerts I produce or the music I write.
  • 2 of the most essential competitive advantages you need 2 of the most essential competitive advantages you need - hot dogsWe are rapidly heading towards the middle of the twenty first century. Yet many of classical music’s processes and expectations are still firmly rooted in nineteenth century antiquity. Some of that is good, such as concert halls, orchestras, chamber music, and so on. But if we operate the same way they did then, we are doomed. Perhaps that is ...
  • How to make a remarkable impact during a concert A smiling performerOur little experiment had worked: performers can choose to enjoy themselves, and that enjoyment is clearly infectious, regardless how ‘down’ everyone in the room is.
  • What is the most fundamental purpose of awesome music? Music is the most fundamental form of communication that connects us to our emotionsAs performers are perhaps the most closely intimate with live music, it surely makes sense that is it up to them. They are the masters of music and therefore are the ones responsible for passing on their trade secrets to others.
  • 3 Beautiful concert strategies all performers should use Program your music like an archApart from gimmicky tricks and over-bearing visual sensory effects, what can we do? There are three beautiful strategies to how you share music with others that, at least in my experience, keeps people engaged and coming back for more.
  • How to save your audience a mammoth time commitment Save your audience a mammoth amount of timeDo your audiences a favor and avoid hogging their time – they WILL appreciate it. If folk want to hang around afterwards, that is their prerogative, but be wary and conscious of what kind of payment you are expecting from them.
  • What will make your affordable concerts more successful? Sharing, partnership, collaboration all extend to venues as well as other performersThe bottom line response to these three misconceptions (and more) is an upbeat, encouraging statement “nobody owes me anything!” Some folk look down on such a phrase and get depressed. Well, that will be your choice. I see it as a very freeing perspective that allows…
  • 3 powerful performance strategies that will make you money Chamber music at Sandy Springs LibraryYou have spent years developing your craft. Time for payback, right? But time is probably the one thing you’d love more of and simply can’t get. So here are three workable strategies to help you make the most of the time you do have, and increase your income whilst you’re at it.
  • 5 secrets to more rewarding musical collaborations CollaborationProbably the most rewarding aspect of anything artistic is eyes & ears, a.k.a. The audience. Even if you do create something stunning there seems to be little closure until it is shared with someone. Here are 5 secrets to maximize your reward.
  • How to make classical music concerts awesome again Cello and Violin sharing music at homeIn his TED talk Ben Zander suggests that everyone DOES love classical music concerts, but that the music is not the problem. The way it is presented and shared could be the problem. You can change that right now. Take ownership of live music and share it.
  • What makes me tick? What makes Stephen P Brown tick?This does. In SO many ways. Afterwards, tell me what you think of it (especially if you want to hear my observations and opinions!). Did you even get through the entire video? (Funny – conductor of the Mahler composed this piece!?)
  • Do you remember when? TearApplause does make us feel good, and it is the easiest way for audiences to let us know they liked what we did for them. There are lots of people around us who say they don’t perform… Keep calm and take the next step.
  • You Cott me thinking round peg square hole“The arts are finally at the adult table.” Ugh. I think that’s upside-down: like a child serving their teddies and parents fake tea from a tiny plastic teacup: at some point one of those parents must return from play land to…
  • This makes me so angry Opera audiences in the ROTW are not declining as they are in the USAMy response: Highly educated in WHAT? For decades we have been drilling the arts OUT of education, out of people’s lives, and removing exposure… Does this make you angry? Or do you think I’m over-reacting?
  • Your resolutions are too extreme New Year's Resolutions Don't WorkIf some of your New Year’s Resolutions are already waning or behind schedule, have no fear. The first step to overcoming any concerns of failure is very simple. It is also the first step to establishing a healthy balance in life.
  • Harness your passion Stephen P Brown helps emerging and amateur musicians keep their balanceBalancing the need to survive with our desires to participate in music is how I help, and clearly the most pressing elements include… Is there a specific issue you struggle with? What are some of the ways you overcome it?
  • Why “Go To A Concert?” Stephen P Brown with the Dunedin Concert BandWhy do 20,000 online bloggers meet for an in-person conference? What’s the difference between a smiling face and a video of someone smiling? It’s the same with music but on a deeper and more human level.
  • Great Picks For Your Holiday Classical Music Christmas_MusicIf you are planning to host a dinner party, be sure to set the tone with some good Christmas classical music playing softly in the background. There is something special about listening to it during the holidays.
  • Annual Reader Survey 2014 – Summary Stephen P Brown's Annual Reader Survey 2014I am so very, very, VERY grateful that my cloud server deletion occurred just after my Annual Reader Survey, which I outsourced! The results and my analysis were not lost and I can share them with you now, a little earlier than anticipated (because it’s so exciting!) This is the first year I invited participation from everyone interested in ...
  • A sample of the new concerto Stephen P. Brown composes a concerto for Bass Clarinet  My next composition isn’t quite ready yet. But I really like it and want to share it with you NOW. So, there’s a sample below! It may seem my 7 year #PsalmQuest has been on hiatus and maybe you even thought I’d given up already. Well, I was ahead of schedule so after all the Christmas performances I did ...
  • Flashing is popular again Flash Mobs are popular by Stephen P. Brown  More and more musicians are doing it. Apparently there were over 40 reported incidents worldwide in 2013. Fortunately, many of them were caught on camera. Which of the following incidents from the past few years are worthy of international attention, and which are lucky not to find themselves in the Establishment’s penal custody for flashing in public? I’ll tell ...