Today I was thinking what to write about when I received a message via Messenger from an unfamiliar flutist asking for an possibility to play with me in my town.
Usually I just ignore such messages but today I thought it would be a great material for a post.
So this flutist (for privacy reasons I won't give you his name or his country of origin here) wrote in which countries he has played and after asking for recital opportunity to play with me in Vilnius wrote that he is hoping for a favorable reply and left his CV and audio sample with his playing attached and mentioned that money isn't important for him.
All of this is very nice, of course, and he could be a great flutist but I'm not going to reply. Why?
Simple. Because I'm not looking for concert opportunities to play with a flutist.
I could write to him asking what performance of mine with a flutist did he enjoy recently? Send me an answer to this question and I will try to arrange a concert for you.
But of course, there isn't such a performance of mine at least recently because I'm not in the business of playing with unfamiliar flutists.
It's all about trust. If there is some degree of trust we tend to communicate with people more deeply.
What he should have done instead is to do a little research and offer me something that I'm actually interested in. Otherwise his message feels like spam to me.
Not personal. Not anticipated. Not delivered to the person who wants to get it.
Does it mean it's wrong to ask for recital opportunities from people who don't know you? Well, not necessarily. At least not in the case when you know that this person who might be a concert organizer is actively looking for performers.
I write such messages myself occasionally. But only to the venues that I know hold regular organ recitals. And I don't just offer to them my services as an organist. No, I'm writing a message with an offer which is so unique to me that if my name might be omitted they could still identify me from this offer through my reputation.
And obviously people who reply value my reputation otherwise they wouldn't even bother.
The first step in this strategy is asking yourself a question, "What unique skills do I have that position me beyond my competition?"
In other words, why should they choose me instead of somebody else? Certainly not because I'm cheaper than anybody else...
If somebody can't answer this question, then their task is obvious - go get some unique skills.
By Vidas Pinkevicius (get free updates of new posts here)
I'm on a mission here. I want every organist who can play decently in public get more chances to play organ recitals.
I hope at least 10 000 organists will be playing recitals in 12 months internationally.
Will you be one of them?
Join My Free 10 Day Mini Course And Learn How To Get More Organ Recital Opportunities in 60 Days Or Less Using My Exact Blogging System Which Got Me Invited to Play Recitals at St. Paul's Cathedral in London (2018), Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (2019) And Many Other Places.
Organ recital opportunities
By Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene (get free updates of new posts here)
Do you want to play more organ recitals but don't have the permission to do so?
The best opportunity, of course, is when you don't need a permission.
If you want to play - play.
Record yourself, post it online, watch it spread. Repeat.
And when you do ask for permission, most importantly - do not spam.
Earn the trust of your prospects by helping them many times before you ask anything in return.
Even then, know that they don't owe you anything.
There's too much noise in the organ world and in order to cut through that noise, you have to answer this question:
If somebody substituted their name instead of yours in your proposed organ recital, would the proposal still make sense?
If it would, then it's not a good proposition and you are not likely to get an invitation to perform. Maybe by accident once or twice. And waiting for accidents is not a reliable way to build a career, though.
The magic happens when you propose to do things that no one else can.
Find out what those things are.
If organists want to secure more recital opportunities on organs that interest them, current practice is to contact the local organist directly and ask him/her. This reaching out is so easy today as so many organists use social media and/or have their own (or their churches') websites. Contacting an organist is as easy as writing a short email proposal or messaging them on social media with little info about yourself and what it is you want from them.
This rarely works, though. If it did, we all would be circling around the globe with multiple recital tours each month. The No. 1 reason for this is that it is and feels like spam - the recipient doesn't know you, doesn't expect your message and in many cases, your proposal may not even be relevant to this person.
It would be better to approach a person who trusts you, who expects your email, and to whom your information would be relevant. What I recommend is that you invest time and effort into building a genuine relationship with this person and help him/her solve their problems long before you even think about asking something back in return.
Here's why I think with this approach you are much more likely to succeed in finding new recital opportunities:
1. The person will get to know you better. Remember that you are just one of the hundreds of organists they communicate with. By showing up in their email inbox regularly you will become your own category, not just one of the many.
2. The person will get to like you more. By helping them solve their problems, it's far more likely that you will be treated as a sincere person whom they would want to recommend.
3. The person will get to trust you more. Nothing can be achieved without mutual trust. Because you have helped him/her in the past so much, a normal reaction is to reciprocate - to spread the art of giving gifts further.
Going forward, as our email inboxes become more and more crowded and our days - more and more hectic, it's vital you continually ask yourself this question, before hitting that "SEND" button: "What can I do to increase their trust?" so that you won't need to chase them but they would come to you instead.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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