by Barbra Weidlein
I’m convinced that a musician’s ability to connect with his or her audience has everything to do with how well the performance is received and how likely it is that the audience will come back for more. And purchase whatever you have to sell.
I’m hardly alone in this belief. Live music producer Tom Jackson offers great input on the subject in his YouTube videos. Angela Myles Beeching talks about it in her book, Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music. It’s not rocket science! But when I actually see musicians incorporating the audience factor into how they put on a show, it still feels like a welcome novelty.
I recently attended an informal lunchtime performance of an outrageously talented young trio who call themselves “Time for Three.”* Their genuine and humble display of appreciation and affection for their audience, their interest in answering their audience’s questions, and their extraordinary talent as string players of multiple genres led to their selling out the house the following evening at the Colorado Music Festival. I was there. And I bought the CD.
It’s one of life’s highest gifts to be able to perform music that moves an audience. Being able to connect with the audience, human to human(s), expands and extends that gift so much farther. It also leaves a memorable impression that distinguishes the performers in the minds of the concert goers and brings them back for more.
Musicians spend a good deal of their lives learning their instruments, their music, the use of their physical bodies to maximize their ability to perform, and all the nuances in between. But how much time do they spend learning the art of connecting? How much time do you spend learning what it takes to make yourself memorable to your audience?
In future articles on MajoringInMusic.com, we’ll be addressing specific ways to polish your audience-connecting skills to help fill seats at your shows, keep your audiences excited about coming back for more, buy your merch, and bring their friends to your next show. If you’ve already mastered this, we welcome your input and advice to pass on to others coming up the pipeline.
*Stay tuned to an upcoming interview with Time for Three on MajoringInMusic.com!