|Posted by Tiffany Chang on June 17, 2021 at 8:00 AM|
Imagine a cellist sitting in rehearsal about to play a few pages' worth of tonics and dominants in a Rossini Act I finale.
After the rehearsal, what's the likelihood of them being excited to tell someone else about it? Encouraging someone to come see a performance? Sharing the experience with a friend in a coffee chat the next day?
It's probably more likely that they'll complain about having to play the passage and how boring they find Rossini oper...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on June 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM|
When you make decisions or take actions, are they determined by whether they would be deemed acceptable by the leader, teacher, or other authority figure?
I answered yes numerous times throughout my own conducting training and while watching others teach conducting.
I find it interesting that conductor training usually involves scenarios driven by 1) pleasing the personality that is in the position of authority (the teac...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on June 3, 2021 at 8:15 AM|
When musicians sit in a large ensemble rehearsal, we often wait to be told what to do next, how to play something, or what we need to do to fix problems. Overtime, we become out of practice in thinking for ourselves, and we are afraid and uncomfortable in making decisions. In fact, this mode of operation begins way before the moment we begin our professional lives.
Throughout our musical education, we gain an abundance of skills and relevant concepts such as those from mus...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on May 27, 2021 at 8:35 AM|
Recently, I've become interested in ways we may revamp our grading and incentive structures for large ensembles in the pre-professional academic context - and by extension the professional context. (If we swap "grade" for "pay" or "incentive", for the most part, the ideas can be mapped onto the professional setting.)
We typically determine grades based on measurable metrics such as attendance. And at best we use subjective evaluations of etiquette, attitude, musicians...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on May 20, 2021 at 8:30 AM|
In the last post, I shared the evolution of Zappos' vision. Their focus shifted naturally from the largest selection of shoes to delivering happiness. "Selection" indicates a concern with short-term gain, external results, and achieving metrics, while "happiness" puts the spotlight on the intangible feelings of people and their experiences that are impossible to measure.
Today I want to talk about this idea of happiness, and to share with you Za...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on May 13, 2021 at 8:30 AM|
I want to tell you about Zappos, the online retail company well-known for its obsession with providing the best customer service. The record for the longest customer service call is currently at 10 hours and 43 minutes! Of course, that employee's goal was not to beat the previous record (because he would've stopped at 9 hours 38 minutes--one minute beyond the previous record). Instead, he was living out one of Zappos' core values of "delivering WOW through service." His exceptional ser...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on May 6, 2021 at 8:00 AM|
Today's post was prompted by reflecting on the frustrations I experience in my work (that I shared recently in a social media post). I touch on a collection of topics, including belonging, fitting in, status through the work of Ron Carucci, Brené Brown, Simon Sinek, and Seth Godin.
I am very fortunate to be a conductor at a name-brand conservatory. From the outside, i...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on April 29, 2021 at 8:40 AM|
What are the stories we tell ourselves in rehearsal? What are the thoughts that go through our minds? Do conductors and instrumentalists tell the same stories?
Consider these pairs of stories:
- CONDUCTOR: This is the most important thing in my life right now.Read Full Post »
- INSTRUMENTALIST: This is not the most important thing ...
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on April 22, 2021 at 9:00 AM|
One of the things I do after each rehearsal is to reflect on what happened (what didn't go well, what went better than I thought, where did I miscalculate). I then try to find ways to recalibrate the plan and strategies moving forward (tweaking the rehearsal schedule, what kinds of notes do I have and how do I give them). I'm always frustrated by something and my goal is to relieve or find a solution for that frustration. This is normal for all conductors...Read Full Post »
|Posted by Tiffany Chang on April 15, 2021 at 9:00 AM|
I wonder what are you afraid of as a musician when you do your work? Are my fears the same as yours?
If we could learn more about our fears, we can gain more perspective. Perhaps we could even develop strategies to help ourselves achieve more and be happier doing so.
So I decided to do an informal poll. 60 people responded and I want to thank each and every one of them for taking the time to help!
I asked the participants to...Read Full Post »