All of us musicians work hard to maintain and improve our skills.
Too often, though, young musicians devote years to “getting better” without concurrently growing their distinctiveness, and then they struggle to attract audiences and bookings because they resemble so many other artists in their genres.
Here are 7 ways aspiring soloists and ensembles can cultivate distinctiveness and become intriguing, in-demand artists.
7 Ways to Cultivate Distinctiveness & Attract Audiences
1. Perform New Music
When we incorporate high-quality, new music into our repertoires, we gain relevance among diverse music and art lovers. So let’s seek opportunities to collaborate with composers, do arrangements, present premieres, and maybe even write our own music. Let’s each of us amass repertoires that reflect who we are, where we come from, and what we care about.
2. Design Alluring Concert Programs
Few things generate more interest among music lovers than alluring, one-of-a-kind concert programs. We might construct programs around concepts we find compelling, offer well-known music with new pieces mixed in, commemorate historic events, and so forth. In that way, over time, we assemble portfolios of programs that communicate our artistic personalities and enable us to deliver numerous exceptional concerts.
3. Interact with Audiences & Fans
Audiences crave interactions with performers. We deepen our relationships with people when we share well-crafted words from the stage, publish newsletters and blogs, communicate on social media, and grow our online reputations.
4. Connect with Communities
If we expect audiences to be interested in our work, it helps if we understand and take interest in our audiences. To that end, we can bring performances, music education, and supportive attitudes to diverse people. What’s more, community organizations are usually eager to work with musicians on projects in support of community-enhancement goals.
We can experiment with innovative musical partnerships as well as collaborations across disciplines such as with museums, filmmakers or choreographers.
The world of music is endlessly fascinating, and it’s our responsibility as music leaders to embrace lifelong learning. Among other things, we should read about innovative musicians, both past and present, local and far-flung; we should listen to recordings, hear live concerts, stay current with developments in the music industry, and be students of creativity.
7. Take Risks
Playing it safe is a recipe for stagnation. When we exit our comfort zones, we broaden our creative powers in countless ways. Our insight deepens, our art follows suit, and then we and our music become ever more intriguing.
Career Strategies that Drive Creativity
Don’t Be Like Your Teacher
The Secret to Sustainable Music Careers
Supply and Demand for Classical Musicians
© 2015 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © maradonna, licensed from Shutterstock.com