Classic Jabber Ep. 39 “Stunning”

Classic Jabber
August 2, 2019

Some people are more charismatic than others, but we seem to find people who are charismatic as more attractive than those who are not! Why is that, and how do classical musicians come across in society? Click the link above to hear SPB in conversation with his friends and learn more about this.

 

Listen in on this excerpt from a live training with Stephen P Brown, conductor, composer, and founder of Concert University, an online coaching program dedicated to helping classical musicians build profitable performing careers.

Want to learn more? Check out Stephen’s next online presentation outlining 5 strategies you can implement today that successful classical musicians use to build a profitable performing career at http://spb.buzz/CUSPBonline.

Interested in receiving more content like this every day? Subscribe to my Youtube channel to receive daily coachings.

The People Pleasing Power of Creativity

Human beings are by their nature, creative. We imagine, invent, compose, and design constantly. Not all of these imaginings make it into the physical world, but they nonetheless are created in our minds. We all possess the spark of creativity.

Creativity - A Characteristic of Attractiveness

Even so, many people feel they need permission to be creative. Watching others be creative gives them that permission, and this is one of the reasons that we find creative people so attractive.  

The Trifecta of Creativity in Performance

We generally associate creativity with a specific creation. A work of art, a novel, or in the case of music, a composition. But this act of creativity is only the first of many involved in a classical music performance.

After the composer has created a piece, an artist then interprets the music – imbuing it with the emotion and dynamics she feels are most appropriate – creating an experience for the listener.

The creativity doesn’t end there, though. The final piece of the puzzle is the audience member. We know that if we ask five different people to tell the story they imagine while listening to the same piece of music, we will get five different stories. This is the creation that the listener brings to the table. And as a performer, sharing your creativity, this is the permission you give to your audience to experience their own.

Passion and Creation

Perhaps the most attractive, dare we say, sexy, thing about creativity is that it is born of passion. To create you have to care. That’s part of the reason that some places are more conducive to creativity than others, and why some people can be creative in careers that others find mind-numbingly dull.

You may have had the lucky experience of being taught something you weren’t much interested in by someone passionate about the subject. Suddenly, it’s more interesting, maybe even compelling. That’s the beauty and power of passion.

We aren’t all sparked by the same things, but we’re all drawn to passion and the creativity it breeds.  

This is part of our series on the characteristics of attractive people. If you would like to hear the live discussion about this characteristic, head on over to ClassicJabber.com now.

If you are ready to learn more about how to build a profitable, fulfilling career as a performing classical musician, check out Concert University, and the free webinar that outlines 5 strategies for success.

Classic Jabber Ep. 38 “Relationships”

Classic Jabber
August 2, 2019

Some people are more skilled in relationships than others, but we seem to find people who are skilled in relationships as more attractive than those who are not! Why is that, and how do classical musicians come across in society? Click the link above to hear SPB in conversation with his friends and learn more about this.

Listen in on this excerpt from a live training with Stephen P Brown, conductor, composer, and founder of Concert University, an online coaching program dedicated to helping classical musicians build profitable performing careers.

Want to learn more? Check out Stephen’s next online presentation outlining 5 strategies you can implement today that successful classical musicians use to build a profitable performing career at http://spb.buzz/CUSPBonline.

Interested in receiving more content like this every day? Subscribe to my Youtube channel to receive daily coachings.

The Pursuit of Inner Peace

What is inner peace? Is it even real? Is it something we should bother striving for, and if so, how do we do it?

Inner Peace - A Characteristic of Attractiveness

The Journey Not the Destination

Inner peace is a harmoniousness of spirit that provides a sense of calmness and purpose regardless of outside circumstances. Sounds wonderful, right?

Bad news: inner peace is not an attainable goal. By no means does this imply that you can’t ever have it, only that it is an ongoing pursuit, not a singular accomplishment. There will be times when you experience this calm – when you think you have arrived – only to find yourself feeling anything but peaceful just hours later.

So the goal isn’t to live in a state of inner peace at all times (that is unrealistic unless perhaps you are a monk) but to strive to cultivate it as much as possible.

Acceptance is Key

It’s counterintuitive, but sometimes it can be easiest to experience inner peace when we are in the midst of near catastrophe. When things are obviously far beyond our control and we must contemplate the worst outcome we realize that no matter what it is, we’ll have to accept it. We won’t have to like it, mind you, but we’ll have to face it as reality and move on from there.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for some near disaster to learn this acceptance. Instead, we can practice living in the moment (as if there’s another moment we could live in) and focusing on the process while letting go of the outcome.

Auditions are a great opportunity to practice. When you approach an audition focused on how much you need the gig, worried about whether or not you will get it, you are focused on something over which you have absolutely no control. You could be the very best player, but if the director has decided that he is giving the part to his nephew, there’s nothing you can do.

Instead, approach auditions as a performance. You are there to communicate with your audience. How your audience judges your performance is not your problem. Not only does this kind of attitude help you feel more peaceful, but it also eliminates the scent of desperation that is an automatic turn-off to those considering hiring you.

Acceptance goes beyond just letting go of outcomes. It also means accepting who you are, and what you are capable of doing right now, where you are.

As classical musicians, we find ourselves constantly competing with others. There is a never-ending litany of comparisons going on in our head. Is she better than I am? Do they like his style more? Will I ever accomplish what so-and-so has done? Why can’t I just be an accountant?

The truth is, you’ve likely tried to do other things and found them unfulfilling. You are a musician. Accept that. Today, you are capable of what you are capable of, nothing more, nothing less.

Accept that.

If you must compare, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Think about where you are going and look at how far you’ve come. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. You are you, not them. Accept it.

If you want to experience inner peace accept that you are who you are, follow your path to the best of your ability in the moment, and let go of the outcome. Inner peace is a process, so be process-oriented.

This is part of our series on the characteristics of attractive people. If you would like to hear the live discussion about this characteristic, head on over to ClassicJabber.com now.

If you are ready to learn more about how to build a profitable, fulfilling career as a performing classical musician, check out Concert University, and the free webinar that outlines 5 strategies for success.

Classic Jabber Ep. 37 “Joyfulness”

Classic Jabber
August 2, 2019

Some people are more knowledgeable than others, but we seem to find people who are knowledgeable (without being arrogant) as more attractive than those who are not! Why is that, and how do classical musicians come across in society? Click the link above to hear SPB in conversation with his friends and learn more about this.

Listen in on this excerpt from a live training with Stephen P Brown, conductor, composer, and founder of Concert University, an online coaching program dedicated to helping classical musicians build profitable performing careers.
Want to learn more? Check out Stephen’s next online presentation outlining 5 strategies you can implement today that successful classical musicians use to build a profitable performing career at http://spb.buzz/CUSPBonline.
Interested in receiving more content like this every day? Subscribe to my Youtube channel to receive daily coachings.

How to Keep It Real

There’s a lot of talk about being authentic and “keeping it real,” but what exactly does that mean, and how do we, as performing musicians, do that? After all, to perform, on a basic level means to put on a show, and shows are inherently not real, right?

Not necessarily.

Keeping It Real - A Characteristic of Attractiveness

Share your passions

As we communicate through this language of emotion we call music, we are called to connect with the people in our audience, to share parts of ourselves. The easiest way to do this is to ensure that what you are sharing is something you care about.

Obviously, if you are part of a large ensemble, you may not always have the opportunity to decide what is on the program. But if you are able to program your own performances, choose pieces that express who you are, not who you think your audience wants you to be. As soon as you begin pretending to be someone you are not you’ve lost your authenticity.

Deliver Your Performance to People Not Rooms

Regardless of whether you can choose the program or not, you can choose how you deliver your performances. An audience is a general faceless thing, however, the individual people making up that audience are very real.

It goes without saying that you should be well prepared for any performance. Feeling confident about your ability to get through a piece goes a long way toward allowing you to be present, as opposed to alienated and anxious.

But, whenever possible, also memorize your parts completely so that you don’t need to even glance at a music stand. If you own the music in this way, you can focus entirely on making eye contact with the people that have come to hear you perform. As sappy as it may sound, while you perform, look into the eyes of the people in the audience. Try to make a connection. Send them your love and gratitude. You are giving them a gift, and by their presence, they are allowing you to do what you love. Let the people you play for see that in your eyes.

Let Go of Audience Expectations

In the western world, we have a pretty strict idea of how audiences should behave. We believe they should sit still, listen attentively, applaud at the correct times. Though this is, in fact, pretty standard behavior today, it wasn’t always so, and it’s still not true in much of the world.

If you are wrapped up in judging how the audience is responding to you (Why are they chatting? Why does that man keep getting out of his seat? What could possibly be funny?) you aren’t connecting. It may seem like you’re focused on their experience, but what you are really doing is focusing on yourself and how you believe you are being perceived.

In many places across the world, people do not sit quietly and listen. Sometimes they even pull out phones, record pieces, and listen back while you are STILL playing. This doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying the performance, it simply means that your expectations of an audience don’t line up with their reality.

Composers of old never expected people to sit still for an entire performance. No one sat quietly through Beethoven’s performances. They were too long. Expectations are disappointments waiting to happen and they keep you from connecting. Even worse, they can cause you to try to capture the audience’s attention by being overly showy and cartoonish.

Give your best to the individual people in your audience, and let them respond to your authentic self as they will. You may be surprised to discover that they come to you later and tell you just how much what you’ve shared has impacted them, in a very real way.

This is part of our series on the characteristics of attractive people. If you would like to hear the live discussion about this characteristic, head on over to ClassicJabber.com now.

If you are ready to learn more about how to build a profitable, fulfilling career as a performing classical musician, check out Concert University, and the free webinar that outlines 5 strategies for success.

Classic Jabber Ep. 36 “Knowledgeable”

Classic Jabber
July 12, 2019

Some people demonstrate more knowledge than others, but we seem to find people who are more knowledgeable as more attractive than those who are not! Why is that, and how do classical musicians come across in society? Click the link above to hear SPB in conversation with his friends and learn more about this.