A Higher Vantage: Cincinnati the City of Seven Hills
A short, but sweet visit to Ohio to work with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Music Teachers Association has allowed me to revisit my previous life as a touring concert musician. As I presented a workshop, masterclass and concert over the visit, I discovered that although I sincerely love my new life as a private music teacher, I definitely miss my life as a concert pianist.
As a concert pianist, the people that I meet on each stop become seeds of change in my artistic profile. Regardless of status, age or background, these people change my life, tinting my lens that I use to percieve the world. I firmly believe that everyone has something to teach me.
From this trip, I was reminded of the reoccurring cast of characters who I serve as an artist: the “..what’s a face book?” aged music teacher, the “my students should take more risks and follow their passions” professor, the “ready for change” middle-aged musician/teacher, the “brilliant but ever-safe” post-graduate student, the “I fall asleep at normal classical music concerts” audience member, the “outstanding” child pianist, and the “anything is possible” creative young child.
These archetypes are incredibly important to me and I care about them so deeply. Over the last five years, they have been the focus of my life as a touring concert artist. I have found these personalities reicarnated in universities, associations and cities all over the world. They are the people who gain the most from my creative voice and professional offering.
These people are my core customers. It is my responsibility to do anything and everything I can: to see the world through their eyes, to create solutions for their problems and to fuel their fire for personal growth.
The questions that forever flood my mind are: How can I help them to grow? How can I serve them as an expert problem solver. What type of experiences can I design to provoke them to truly believe, “It changed my life”.
Now seven months post-immersion tour, the largest effort in my career thus far, I feel that I’m getting ever-closer to the answers for these questions.
For the “..what’s a face book?” aged music teacher, the “my students should take more risks and follow their passions” professor, the “ready for change” middle-aged musician/teacher, and the “brilliant but ever-safe” post-graduate student, I am upgrading my artist-in-residency packages with music entrepreneurship offerings, innovation roundtable workshops and interactive music teacher and student technology training courses.
For the “outstanding” child musician, “anything is possible” creative young child and the “I normally fall asleep” audience member I envision a new through-composed genre of multimedia piano performance. It would borrow theatrical and thematic elements from opera, the engaging story-telling found in great plays, the expressiveness of ballet, and the wave of technology found in Broadway’s most advanced musicals. This revolutionary genre of multimedia performance will speak to a larger pool of people and use technology to birth moments of awe.
For all of these people, I have many ideas, but only one sole purpose – to create experiences that empower them to believe, “It changed my life”. Maya Angelo said that, You may not remember what someone said or did, but you remember how they made you feel. I have a burning passion to use music, art, and technology to help people feel that they are becoming the greatest version of themselves; I hope to spread a contagious meme of self-efficacy.
As an experienced, but relatively young artist, I do my very best to walk the line between being an idealist and a realist. My life as a touring concert musician has acted as a feedback loop, constantly educating and preparing me for the next hurdle. After my recent visit to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, I not only feel that I’m ready to tackle these mammoth problems ahead, but I now believe that there are possible solutions. For any artist or creative soul, simply believing that something is possible is half the battle. Thank you Cincinnati for helping me find my next hill to climb and for reminding me that perspective is everything.
Remember the good times,