Classic Jabber Ep. 31 “Calmness”

Classic Jabber
June 7, 2019

Have you noticed that some people are calmer than others, but we seem to find people who are calm 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.

Classic Jabber Ep. 29 “Supportive”

Classic Jabber
June 7, 2019

Some people can be more supportive than others, but we seem to find people who are supportive 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.

Can You Be Trusted?

Music is a uniquely personal business. It is the language of emotion, and in order to communicate in this language, we require that other people participate. We need an audience, and very often, we also need fellow musicians. The whole thing is built on relationships, and there are few things as important to relationships as trust.

Trustworthiness - A Characteristic of Attractiveness

Professional Trustworthiness

In a professional context, being trustworthy means being reliable. Doing what you say you will do, showing up on time, knowing your part so that rehearsal doesn’t have to stop while you get up to speed. Handle yourself and your emotions with integrity. Don’t fly off the handle when criticized or corrected.

Garnering trust doesn’t require being perfect; it just requires being honest and upfront about what you can do and then following through. The old adage, “under promise and over deliver,” is very good advice for building trust. 

It’s much easier to make plans with trustworthy people, and the only way to get things done is to make plans. It doesn’t take much sand in the gears to throw everything off. So, hold up your end – do what you say you will do and do it with quality.

Personal Trustworthiness

At its heart, trust is about honesty and truthfulness.

The music business can be challenging, and it can make a lot of performers desperate. There is often a mistaken feeling of lack, an idea that there are only a limited number of opportunities, and it’s every man for himself.

This isn’t true, and acting as if it is, is a sure way to lose the trust of everyone around you. Trustworthy people don’t betray others or stab them in the back in pursuit of success. As a result, people flock to trustworthy people. They build real relationships and connections – both of which are critical in an emotion dependent field like music.

The Trustworthy Performer

Finally, to build relationships and rapport with your audience, they must be able to trust you. When you get in a taxi in an unfamiliar city, you trust that the driver knows the way around. Similarly, your audience has to trust that you know your way through the emotional journey that you’re taking with them.

It’s okay to take risks and be playful – it’s wonderful, actually – but you must be certain that what you are going to do is going to work. It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect (in fact, your audience probably won’t notice if it isn’t) but you do have to arrive where you told them you were going to go. You have to provide the experience that they expect you to deliver. Like our taxi driver, it’s okay to take a trip down a scenic back road, but it’s not okay to end up out of gas in a dangerous neighborhood.

Ultimately, there is an element of trustworthiness that is out of your hands. You can act in a trustworthy way, but being deemed trustworthy is in the eye of the beholder.

No worries. Consistently show the audience that you are enjoying yourself. Display the joy and pleasure of the performance without anxiety. Stay calm, unharried, and confident, and your audience will trust that you will deliver them exactly where they want to go.

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.

Responsibleness

When we talk about responsibility, we usually think of things we have to do in order to avoid being irresponsible. Take care of our things. Show up on time. Responsibleness doesn’t automatically spring to mind as an attractive characteristic, but it’s opposite, irresponsibility is universally unattractive.

As adults, one of the worst things we can be accused of is being an irresponsible person. It’s easy to come up with a list of things that irresponsible people do: show up late, or not at all, neglect their finances, take poor care of their belongings, or worse yet, other people’s belongings. But what does it actually mean to be responsible?

Responsibleness - A Characteristic of Attractiveness

The Buck Stops Here

There are a bunch of definitions for responsible, but for our purposes, we’ll use this one from the Oxford English Dictionary: being the primary cause of something so able to be blamed or credited for it. In other words, it goes beyond just doing what you say you’ll do. It means taking ownership and being accountable.

Of course, there is a difference between taking ownership and usurping authority. No one is the boss of everything. Very often, especially if you play in large ensembles under a music director, you are under the authority of someone else.

Even so, there is always something you can take ownership of – your own performance, the creative choices you make, the direction of your career. Being responsible means stepping up and letting the appropriate buck stop with you.

What Are You Responsible For?

As adults, we are all responsible for all the things that make our lives run smoothly. We’re responsible for paying our bills, feeding ourselves and our families, remembering to get the oil changed in the car before the engine blows up.

As classical musicians, we can add to this list showing up on time, knowing our pieces, getting promotional materials where they need to be. The list goes on.  But more than anything, we are responsible for delivering the outcome our audience has paid us to deliver.

As a performer, you are accountable not just to the director or the venue owner, but first and foremost to your audience. It is a fundamental principle of success that we will only achieve our goals when we help others achieve theirs. So what is your audience’s goal? Why have they come to see you perform? Are they there to relax? To get pumped up? To escape?

You must take ownership of the experience that you provide your audience, and do your best to ensure it is meeting their goals. That is being a responsible performer.

Sometimes you’ll get it just right, and you get the credit that comes with that. Sometimes you won’t. You win some; you learn some. Responsibleness requires looking at those misses honestly, without blaming it on someone else, and figuring out what the lesson is and how to do better next time.

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. 27 “Confidence”

Classic Jabber
June 7, 2019

Some people portray more confidence than others but we seem to find people who are confident 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.

Classic Jabber Ep. 25 “Trustworthiness”

Classic Jabber
June 7, 2019

Have you noticed how some people are more trustworthy than others, but we seem to find people who are trustworthy 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.

You Don’t Have to Be So Serious to Be Taken Seriously

Classical music is serious business. Right? All those tiny notes, all that counting, all that Italian. Very serious stuff, indeed.

Many of us have spent years before teachers, adjudicators, and in competitions proving just how seriously we take our craft. We finally leave academia and discover that the rest of the world is just not that impressed with how seriously we take ourselves. They are, in fact, rather turned off by the whole stiff upper lip thing.

Why?

Because serious is BORING.

There’s a Reason It’s Called PLAYING Music

Hopefully, you began your life in music because it brought you joy, and not say, because you were forced into it by some terrifying schoolmarm who thought it would do you some good.

Learning to play well, being able to communicate real emotion through an instrument (voices included) is exhilarating! Expertly executing a tricky passage feels like flying down a rollercoaster at top speed and pulling into the station with your heart racing and your hands still in the air.

In other words, it’s fun.

And your audience should know it. They should see it, feel it, experience it right along with you because people like to see other people have fun. It’s how we spread joy. That joy that started this journey.

Cultivating Playfulness in Performance

There’s a misconception that playful equals sloppy. Not so. Playfulness is actually the masterclass.

We’ve all heard the expression, “Learn the rules so you can break them.” The equivalent here is, “Learn the music so you can enjoy it.” There is a difference between insisting on quality (which you should do) and taking it so seriously that executing a piece takes on an entirely different meaning.

Yes, some pieces are serious and deep. They call for a certain somber intensity. By all means, perform those pieces appropriately. But don’t include an entire program of that kind of music.

Make It a Game

Playfulness isn’t only an attractive characteristic for performance; it can also make the entire business of music more fun.

Turn choosing venues into a game.

Picture yourself playing in a particular space. Does it make you smile? Give you those little bubbles of joy? Book it.

On the other hand, if visualizing yourself on that stage makes you queasy or itchy, no matter what else it has in its favor, skip it. If you can’t even imagine yourself having fun, how on earth are you going to show your audience a good time?

Have a long list of business calls to make? Set a timer and see how many you can fit in before it beeps. Aim to break the record next time.

Joy is a Choice

Baring the few tragic events that inevitably occur in every life, each day, in each situation, you have the ability to choose happiness and joy. Playfulness is a way to get at that joy, and interestingly, it’s also what naturally happens when joy bubbles out of you.

Life is short. Look for ways to make it fun. You may be amazed by how many people will want to come along for that ride.

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. 24 “Responsibleness”

Classic Jabber
May 3rd

Have you noticed that some people are more responsible than others, but we seem to find people who are responsible 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.

A Beautiful Mind: Intelligence and Attractiveness

We’ve discussed many traits of attractiveness on this blog. Loyalty, empathy, compassion, adventurousness… these are all personal characteristics that can be developed, given practice.  Today’s topic, intelligence, is a bit of a sticky wicket.

Intelligence - A Characteristic of Attractiveness

Many believe that intelligence is inborn – that people come into the world with a certain level of intelligence, and that level doesn’t change much over the course of a life. This is the fundamental principle behind IQ (intelligence quotient) tests given to children.

The importance of intelligence, and whether it can be cultivated over time, is a hotly debated topic. We won’t be trying to reach a definitive answer, here. However, regardless of how intelligence works, there can be no doubt that it is a very attractive characteristic – but what is it exactly?

Intelligent Does Not Equal Smart

Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

According to this definition (which comes directly from the Oxford English Dictionary, by the way), intelligence requires action. A person who has read all of the Great Books, but can’t carry on a conversation about a single one is less intelligent than a person who cannot read at all, but understands the intricacies of electricity and rewires his house.

In other words, knowing a lot of facts doesn’t make you intelligent. Applying that knowledge for a particular outcome does.

Are You an Intelligent Performer?

As classical performing musicians, it is assumed that we have the knowledge and skills to play well. We know things about the music, the history of the music, the lives of composers that average people just do not know. That’s great. But it’s pretty much a prerequisite.

To be a truly intelligent performer, we have to be able to take that knowledge and those skills and apply them to the outcome we’re seeking to provide. That outcome is not to show off how well we can play. The outcome we’re going after is to better the lives of our audience – if only for the few minutes they experience our performance.

Being intelligent requires us to focus on the outcome – to flip the coin – so that we are no longer zeroed in on ourselves, but focused outward, on others. Being “smart” may get you As in school, but that’s about as far as it goes. No one other than your teacher cares how well you did on a particular exam.

But being truly intelligent? Applying your knowledge and skills to make the world around you a better place – that’s when the magic happens. That’s what audiences and others find attractive, and it can be yours regardless of your IQ.    

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.