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.

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.

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.

Learn to be the calm in the storm

We live in a last-minute, frantic world. Much of the time we’re rushing from one thing to the next, trying desperately not to drop all the plates we are spinning. No wonder then that we are attracted to people who move calmly, act deliberately, and refuse to panic.

Calmness - A Characteristic of Attractiveness

It’s grounding to be around someone who seems to inherently know what they have control over, and what they do not – someone who works to manage what is within their realm, and leaves the rest to turn out as it will. After all, in any given situation or environment, there is very little we can actually control. We are in charge of our contributions and our reactions, but the outcome is almost entirely out of our hands.

The calm performer

Music is a journey, and the performer is the driver. Our job then, when we play, is to do our best to allow our audience to be swept away by what they hear, without fear that we will run them (or ourselves) into a brick wall.

It’s impossible to relax and be transported by music if we are nervous for the performer – constantly worried that they will crash and burn. It’s like trying to watch an amateur figure skater, all the while knowing that they don’t really know how to stick the landing on a triple turn. We’re too busy holding our breath, feeding off of their panic, to really enjoy the experience. They are not calm, and so we are not calm.

Preparation goes a long way toward creating a calm, confident performance. If you’ve successfully played a piece a hundred times in practice, you are much less anxious about pulling it off in front of an audience. Still, life is unpredictable. Things do not always turn out as we hope they will. The trick to remaining calm is to learn to manage your reactions when things go sideways.

Keep calm and carry on

Pause, breathe, and consider the next right step. Don’t allow yourself to be carried away by fear or impulsive reactions. The modern world seems to praise busyness. We wear our franticness like a badge of importance, constantly running around putting out fires as though it all depends on us. After a while, that attitude becomes habitual. But habits are just the result of repeated choices, and they can be changed.

Choose to remain calm in the face of all the noise, and you’ll be able to offer something to others that very few can – peace of mind.

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. 35 “Understanding”

Classic Jabber
July 12, 2019

Some people demonstrate more understanding than others, but we seem to find people who are understanding 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. 34 “Creativity”

Classic Jabber
July 12, 2019

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