We all have strengths and weaknesses – things we are good at and things we are not so good at.
- Businesses do SWOT analyses.
- Individuals take personality tests.
- Some organizations encourage their members to take a Spiritual Gifts test.
If you are a musician or a supporter of live music, what are your industry-related strengths and weaknesses?
Wouldn’t it be a dream if we could combine some of the latest practical psychological research with the most realistic music research conducted in recent years?
I like making dreams come true, so I did. And now YOU get to benefit!
Sally Hogshead has spent fifteen years collecting data on hundreds of thousands of individuals from all over the world (we’re talking 700,000 at last count), focusing on the personality traits that people seem to find fascinating. She hasn’t stopped her research, but has simultaneously made her tests available to the likes of you and me.
The result I got from Sally’s Fascination Advantage Assessment and Report two years ago has transformed the way I approach life and my understanding of how the world sees me, and I get it. (You can get it, too! Use this link.) But it’s not industry-specific.
One reason I was fascinated by Sally’s Fascination Assessment is because I have been studying psychology since enrolling at Trinity College of Music in London in the late 1980s. One of the first pieces of advice I heard that wasn’t too well known in those days, is that Conducting is as much about Psychology as it is about Notes-on-the-page. I dived deeper and found it to be SO TRUE!
Study vs. Application
Do I have any degrees in psychology? Not yet. But I have a practical, working knowledge that is constantly expanding through practice and continuing research. And there are now PLENTY of academic articles and resources dedicated to the psychology of music. But I am more interested in helping people SHARE live music with others, not advancing my own knowledge for my own benefit.
You probably remember that earlier this year I interviewed twenty-two music-related individuals who I respect. Their activities and professions ranged from an Australian Music School owner to a Canadian Audience Development expert, from an Amateur Performer in the USA to a British Writer/ Director. And, of course, several professional musicians.
Their opinions, perspective and advice provided invaluable insight to the state of live music in the Western World today, and I remain truly grateful that they gave their precious time to share themselves with us.
Next, I combined Sally’s Fascination research, my own psychology study, and the State of Live Music as shared by those actively in the field, and determined that there are FOUR TYPES OF PEOPLE who get involved with music.
I labeled them Performer, Director, Maestro and Impresario, but to be honest, those labels grew out of a desire to be cheesy and relatable rather than dictionary-perfect definitions. These labels are definitely very closely related to the type of person they represent, but don’t go looking for associations that aren’t there.
Indeed, you will probably recall just how much I DISLIKE (not strong enough) really can’t stand labels. For years, my mantra was “Don’t be fooled: there is no box” because I was fed up with everyone telling me to think outside the box. I always asked “What box? Who put a box there in the first place? Don’t even THINK of boxing me in with a label!” [Dammit!]
Of course, we’re human, so we need to use labels. We can’t escape it. We haven’t figured out how to use our brains without assigning labels to everything, so there we have it. Even I had to join the bandwagon and now call myself a British American Conductor Composer (And yesterday morning, a Dodecapus Multipotentialite!)
Regardless, after categorizing the four primary types of people who involve themselves in music-related activities, I became interested to find out how many of each type are in my own musical world.
After some in-house testing with my crew, we invited my regular newsletter readers to take a quiz. Guess what? About half my email subscribers are Maestros!!! Bravo 🙂 And the feedback was very encouraging.
So much so that I’m willing to put this little Musical Character assessment out into the world.
Take it. Share it.
Seriously, the more folk we can get to take this assessment, the more accurate the outcomes and results can be. We can all find our little niches and focus on the activities we really are most suited for, and help live music get back into mainstream society’s conscience!
In other words: we can work together to bring good music to life, and bring it to peoples’ lives wherever we are.
Please, go ahead and share the Musical Character assessment today.