Relationships with people and music go through the same stages. First, you might really like (platonically or not) a piece or someone. Then, you become bored with them (and perhaps a bit annoyed). Then, you accept them (it) for what they are with all their flaws. X is just that way! Of course, you don’t have to choose to continue to associate with a person or a piece of music. No matter what, though, you have to give them your attention--and (people) give you theirs. It’s a swapping of attention. Even with music, you might as well make the attention you spend on it worth your time. Do something interesting. For people, be kind and mutually helpful and respectful. Above all, understand the value of attention. It’s the modern world’s true form of currency.
You can pick any audience and any audience can pick you. You can choose where and on whom to spend your energy and attention, but you can’t choose who will resonate with you. Maybe it’s who you expected, maybe it’s not. The attention you do have is the real resource. Whoever it is, take it and do something worthy of that attention.
If you want to start an ensemble, you have to choose whether you will be a nonprofit or for-profit business. Nonprofits can’t afford to be weak--they are still businesses after all. For-profits can’t afford to be ruthless. Both require the cultivation of audiences and our most valuable resource--relationships with talented musicians. Money matters with both. The main difference is who owns the business: for-profits are run by the business owners (you!) and nonprofits are run by boards on behalf of the public. Neither decision is good or bad--they simply come with different consequences. In the end, it’s an important decision--but not as important as the decision to work hard on whatever route you go. Both need your best work. Go on and start. We’re waiting.
There are other people out there who want what you want. Search for them. Find them. They are your allies and your real audience. You don’t have to convince them that what you’re doing is valuable--they already know. Use all the resources at your disposal. Then, you can inspire each other.
Sometimes it’s really hard to hit the send button. You’ve drafted and redrafted. But what if they misunderstand something? Think that you’re being rude? 126.96.36.199.1 *click send*
*Check out Mel Robbins to learn more about the 5-second rule.
If you’re doing something that raises eyebrows, you’re probably on the right track. It’s easy to create another string quartet, classical orchestra, or rock band. Everyone knows what worked before. But we’re doing something new, something different, something crazy. If people aren’t raising their eyebrows, you’re probably not going far enough.