Currently Browsing: Mindset

The Dream Act

What kind of dreams do you have for your career? Take a moment to write down 2-3 top level priorities before reading on. This is a question I recently posed to a group of around 75 college freshmen. Some responded with noble goals, like bringing joy to audiences, educating middle school students, producing recordings by outstanding local...

The Mistake that Topples Careers and Industries

During the second half of the 19th Century, rail transportation in the United States was a booming enterprise. Expanding to every corner of the land, this lucrative growth industry seemed unstoppable. Yet within 70 years of its heyday, rail companies tumbled. And today, their impact of is negligible (beyond Amtrak and lines of Thomas the Tank...

No Need to be Nervous…

The next time you get nervous for a performance–whether soloing in Carnegie Hall or being put on the spot in a class–may be a sign that it’s time to get Fearless. This video, by the world-renowned horn player from Canadian Brass, Indiana University educator, Savvy Musician featured artist, and fearless performance coach Jeff...

Classical Music: Too Elitist or Not Enough?

I spend a good deal of time dreaming up bold and unconventional success solutions for the arts. While these proposals typically receive serious consideration from some corners, there are others who emotionally shoot them down immediately without any rational thought whatsoever. It seems the closer someone is to a position, the more threatening a...

What Artists Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Today, as the world mourns the loss of visionary leader Steve Jobs—responsible for creating Apple, the Macintosh computer, iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Pixar Animation Studios—is an ideal opportunity to reflect and grow as individuals.  Eric Jackson recently published an article in Forbes called The Top Ten Lesson Steve Jobs Can Teach Us—If...

Artists are Indispensable! But Are You Truly an Artist?

When reading Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, I was delighted to learn that “Our economy now rewards artists far more than any other economy in history ever has.”  Wow!!!  As someone who has devoted much life energy to helping artists maximize professional and personal success, this assertion definitely caught my...

Dumbing Down or Smartening Up?

It’s been an exciting week!  Since my article What Professional Orchestras Should Learn from YouTube was posted, many conversations have erupted, debating the question of whether initiatives embraced by YouTube’s Symphony Orchestra are appropriate and helpful for professional groups. As is the case when any significant institutional change...

Want Big Impact? Think Small

Most musicians and musical organizations truly hope to make a big impact.  And why wouldn’t they?  The potential benefits are numerous: more money, opportunity, reputation, personal fulfillment, and meaningful legacy bestowed upon the world. But many of us buy into the false equation that big numbers equals big impact.  The more people, the...

Why This is a GREAT Time to Be in Music

These days, we hear a lot of gloom and doom about the state of the music industry:  Major record labels are going the way of the dinosaurs! Many orchestras are struggling financially; some have closed their doors! Arts funding is drying up! Old career models are fading away!  The ship is sinking!!!  Surely these are dark signs for the future of...

Flops, Failures, and Fortitude: 5 Keys to Success in any Creative Endeavor

by Natalie Wickham The young teacher finished arranging the game pieces for the first planned activity of the evening just as the doorbell rang. A few minutes later, the first student was seated on the floor, eagerly anticipating the fun he would have during the group class. He was soon joined by another cheerful face, and the teacher chatted with...

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