An ongoing problem in this business is the distinct disconnect between board members and musicians. I recently had a conversation with the director of a Mid-Atlantic area PAC that regaled me with a conversation he recently had with one of his local symphony’s board members…
According to this manager, the board member was telling him that the only reason he joined the symphony’s board was because his wife made him do it. He said that they only go to a few concerts a year and although he really didn’t want to attend the concerts, he now loves to go because it’s the best napping experience he’s ever enjoyed,
“We always go out to eat and have a big dinner before the concert,” said the board member in question. “Afterward, we get over to the hall and once we get settled into those soft chairs, the lights go down, the music starts, and I go out like a light”
Sadly, I’m willing to bet that just about every manager out there is shaking their head with the kind of recognition that only comes from empathy.
Fortunately, there’s a fun, new tool you can use to help overcome this hurdle and others like it. It can serve as a good starting point for getting more board members in contact with your orchestra’s musicians. After all, understanding what it is that artists do is the cornerstone of appreciation (and therefore, increased effort in their board responsibilities!).
The tool is a little 39 question quiz entitled If you were in an orchestra, what instrument would match your personality? Of course, this is entirely unscientific and based on my test results, it’s not very accurate either (it said that I should be an oboe player! Oboe, can you believe that? I didn’t have the heart to write to the quiz author and tell them that I play the tuba).
Regardless of the quizzes accuracy, it’s still a fun place to get the ball rolling when attempting to set up some face-to-face time between board members and musicians. Best of all, it’s free. You can find the quiz at quizfarm.com and before you run off, send Patty Mitchell, the always on blog mistress at www.oboeinsight.com (she loved the fact that I’m an “oboe”), a thank-you email for running across this quiz in the first place.
| You scored as Oboe. Oboe.|
You’re an oboe.
What instrument does the quiz say you should play?
Postscript: Don’t forget to tell everyone how you scored by submitting a comment (I think it would be interesting to see if there are any patterns, perhaps this quiz was designed by an oboist that has a grudge against clarinetists!).