“You know, you’re a first class jerk. A real idiot.” A phrase heard by just about every musician who has sat in a principal chair, served on a committee, or performed the duties of a local union officer. Often, those comments are laced with colorful metaphors designed to drive home the impact of the message.
Nevertheless, Utah Symphony principal flute and President of Local 104 AFM, Erich Graf, appears to have developed a system for how best to deal with these events when he writes, “..the most significant caveat for ongoing survival and success is to learn not to take people and their actions personally. In this workplace, diplomacy is the recipe for success.” As we all know, you don’t learn how to be diplomatic at conservatory so how, exactly, did Erich arrive at this seemingly Zen-like philosophy?
Give his article a read and you’ll begin to understand that if a player gets to the point where they realize there’s more to being an orchestra musician than just playing, how they cross that threshold can make the difference between satisfaction and disillusionment. Erich’s contribution is an enjoyable read and one which I know will leave you full of introspection about where you are in your career, how you got there, and where you plan to go.Read More