From Sally Whitwell: Adventures in performance

Sally CD

[From Greg: Introducing another guest blogger, Sally Whitwell, a pianist — and much, much more — from Australia. Her website says she's a pianist, composer, conductor, and educator. But she's still more than all of that. An exciting spirit, an innovator, one of the many people who's reinventing what it means to be a classical performer. While teaching music to kids, with the greatest enthusiasm. I met her when she took one of my branding workshops, in which we had fun strategizing how she should present her portfolio career(s). With great … [Read more...]

From Alex Shapiro: E-ing there

alex home blog

[From Greg: I'm delighted to introduce another guest blogger, composer and — is this the right word? — mentor Alex Shapiro. I call her a mentor, because she's very active working with ASCAP's Composer Career Workshop, helping young composers develop careers. Which she's eminently qualified to do, because her own career is so successful, and so individual. But somehow "mentor" seems too conventional, too hierarchical. She may teach, and teach things that people need to know. But I'm going to guess that she inspires the people she works with, as … [Read more...]

From Gerald Klickstein: Music education and entrepreneurship


[Jerry Klickstein commented on my own entrepreneurship post, and among other things linked to one he'd done on the subject, on his blog The Musician's Way, named after his book with the same title. I loved his post. Thought it made the best case I'd ever seen for entrepreneurship at music schools. I asked Jerry if we could reprint it here, and he graciously said yes. I should add that last week I had the pleasure of speaking to students at Peabody, in an event Jerry hosted as part of Peabody's new entrepreneurship center, which he heads. He's … [Read more...]

From Erica Sipes: Fear of talking

Working Together

In my first guest post here on Greg's blog I wrote about a performance I recently did of Franz Schubert's song cycle, Winterreise, and the words I spoke beforehand to the audience.  So many people I perform with seem surprised that I enjoy this aspect of performing and that I feel so strongly about sharing in this way.  It's made me realize how daunting it can be for many musicians, whether they are students, amateurs, or professionals, and it is this fear that is the inspiration for this post. I've had my share of public speaking … [Read more...]

What’s wrong with music schools (3)

entrepreneurship blog

Entrepreneurship is the newest, buzziest thing at music schools. I've been involved with it quite a bit, and I'm all for it. But there's one misconception I quickly want to clear up — that these programs are all about business, and have no relation to art. Not so! They're a shot in the arm for musical creativity, because if they give students the skills to build whatever career they want, why can't the students, building their careers, make music in ways all their own? Though I do think the business skills taught might be too limited. Of … [Read more...]

What’s wrong with music schools (2)

faun 13 blog

In my last post — the first in this series — I said that music schools aren't creative enough. Now I want to talk about how we can fix that. I should say here that I'd love to run a music school, or otherwise be in a position to put my ideas into practice. The first principle is simple enough, but very important. We can't turn the school upside down. There's an established structure, inhabited by people with a stake in how the school operates: students, their parents, faculty, alumni, donors. We can't tell everyone to start thinking … [Read more...]

What’s wrong with music schools (1)

creativity blog

Not long ago, I was talking to students at a major music school about performances from the past, like the ones from the 1920s through the 1950s that I assign in my Juilliard course on the future of classical music. (If you'd like to see them, follow the link, and scroll to the assignment for February 27.) The students loved these recordings, and some had heard one of them before. They kept saying how much personality those old musicians had, and how they all just seemed to "go for it" (as the students expressed it) — to put all of … [Read more...]

From Lara Downes: Letters from the front (part one)

korngold poss1

I have a personal/mission statement on my website, that says: Where I want to be is out here on the front lines making the world safe for classical music, one note at a time. True, every day. And out here on the front lines, life is fast and furious, and unpredictable. Sometimes very noisy. I was thinking about what to write about for Greg's blog today, and I thought that really I should write just about that. The sound and fury of the musician's life. Just the day to day, in all its beautiful, crazy-making complexities, in these … [Read more...]

Still more mavericks

OAE blog

Time to go on with our mavericks posts, in which I and many readers listed people and groups doing new things in classical music. And on that tip, I've started to create a mavericks document in our Resource sidebar, which you'll find if you look on the right of the blog site, and scroll down. You'll see that we now have various things there — Nathan Shirley's guest post about good classical music videos, for instance, and a summary of my research about how young the classical music audience was in the past. I want to turn Resources into an … [Read more...]