Audience development and classical music chat via #auddev

Yesterday I had my first official #auddev chat on Twitter. Although it came spontaneously, arising from the moment instead of being a planned event, we had a handful of tweeters join in.  The topic for the chat was #classicalmusic and audiences.

I have been seeing this conversation come to the forefront of articles lately.  Many articles I have posted are challenging us with questions to ponder.  Questions such as:

  • Are we asking “How can we get people to step up to our level?” instead of, “How can we make ourselves relevant?”
  • What are the main reasons why classical music is having a challenging time obtaining new audiences?
  • Is the way we present classical music, both in marketing and concert presentation, a barrier to obtaining new and young audiences?
  • We used to be part of the community (rituals came up).  How can we become part of the community again?
  • Do we have the right people on our boards to create enthusiasm for classical music? Are they the right people to help reach new audiences?

The two main articles that inspired the conversation were:

  1. Aging Audiences, Elitism, Strong Bass, & Dumbed Down Ears: A Kind of Rant http://bit.ly/g4sGen
  2. Hanging by a string: Can classical music adapt? http://bit.ly/gb0zZG

Enjoy the transcript, and if you have anything to add, please feel free to comment!  Also, please feel free to comment on the best days and times for future #auddev chats.

AudienceDevSpec: Spontaneous #auddev #classicalmusic chat starts now. For the next hour, tweets are dedicated to this chat. Hope I’m not alone! :O)
12:01 am AudienceDevSpec: So, what are the main reasons why #classicalmusic is having a challenging time obtaining new audiences in your opinion? #auddev
12:04 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS @mlaffs what are the main reasons why #classicalmusic is having a challenging time obtaining new audiences in your opinion? #auddev
12:05 am AudienceDevSpec: @Stephen_P_Brown what are the main reasons why #classicalmusic is having a challenging time obtaining new audiences in your opinion? #auddev
12:08 am Kingston_Grand: RT @AudienceDevSpec: Spontaneous #auddev #classicalmusic chat starts now. For the next hour, tweets are dedicated to this chat. Hope I’m not alone! :O)
12:08 am AudienceDevSpec: Are we asking: “How can we get people to step up to our level?” instead of, How can we make ourselves relevant?? #auddev #classicalmusic
12:11 am AudienceDevSpec: 1 of the reasons I feel #classicalmusic is having a challenge is awareness factor. Our branding/messages are not reaching new aud. #auddev
12:14 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Losing touch w/ community. Lack of music ed in schools. Little to no coverage in local media. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:14 am PMoADan: RT @AudienceDevSpec: Are we asking: “How can we get people to step up to our level?” instead of, How can we make ourselves relevant?? #auddev #classicalmusic
12:14 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Losing touch w/ community. Lack of music ed in schools. Little to no coverage in local media. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:15 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS so lack of music ed and coverage may be outside of our control. Glad you sited losing touch w/comm. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:16 am AudienceDevSpec: To tie into “How can we make ourselves relevant?” What can we do to become a part of community again? #classicalmusic #auddev
12:18 am AudienceDevSpec: Are there other ways #classicalmusic used to be a part of the community, but is dwindling now? #auddev
12:20 am AudienceDevSpec: Perhaps the #classicalmusic used to be a main event in the community and now is not? #auddev chat
12:20 am AudienceDevSpec: The feel for gathering community for a #classicalmusic concert that is. #auddev chat (join us!)
12:21 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec If can’t get media coverage, then it’s up to musicians & audience to talk it up. Share our love. #auddev #classicalmusic.
12:21 am SuziSteffen: RT @AudienceDevSpec: Spontaneous #auddev #classicalmusic chat starts now. For the next hour, tweets are dedicated to this chat. Hope I’m not alone! :O)
12:22 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS yes! If no media coverage it does fall on us to generate audiences. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:23 am AudienceDevSpec: During a workshop w/ org , found that the marketing was flat w/only who, what, where, etc, but not compelling with why! #auddev
12:23 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Sometimes I wonder if we could choose Board members better. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:24 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS I think board member choice is key to all of this too #classicalmusic #auddev
12:25 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor did your parents go to concerts at that time? #classicalmusic #auddev
12:26 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Board mbrs may need 2 b more diversified. Not just $$ folks, but also those passionate about music.#auddev #classicalmusic
12:26 am AudienceDevSpec: I’m wondering if attracting the right kind of board members is challenging due to lack of the why, sharing the love 4#classicalmusic #auddev
12:27 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Board mbrs may need 2 b more diversified. Not just $$ folks, but also those passionate about music.#auddev #classicalmusic
12:27 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec. Agree. Board mbrs also need to know what mission is, & their role to accomplish it. #auddev #classicalmusic.
12:28 am AudienceDevSpec: Let’s pretend the board is good, what can the musician/org do to become a part of the community again? #classicalmusic #auddev
12:29 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec Classical music used to be the sound of ritual: birth, death, celebration, mourning…less so now #auddev
12:29 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec Classical music used to be the sound of ritual: birth, death, celebration, mourning…less so now #auddev
12:30 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Parents never went to concerts. I learned my love of classical music thru piano lessons as a child.#auddev #classicalmusic
12:30 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec Most boards are too OLD. we need to make allowances for younger gen to participate even if can’t raise as much $$ #auddev
12:30 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter really good point! Could we become a part of rituals again? #classicalmusic #auddev
12:32 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS your parents at least thought it important to expose you to music through lessons. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:32 am FOTJS: @RachDMinor @AudienceDevSpec And yet Polar Express concert for kids sold out on Sunday. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:32 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter or it may be that the older gen. boards need to be able to think anew. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:34 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor there was a time that going to a concert was more a part of people’s lives. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:34 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS @RachDMinor so the parents still want their kids exposed to #classicalmusic #auddev
12:35 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor I was tracking events that our Phil did years ago, they had more outreach events, benefits 4 comm. etc. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:36 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec We need to take into acct trends: web 2.0, crowdsourcing and most of all, shorter attention spans. #auddev
12:36 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Most imptly, Board, Admin, Musicians, Conductors have 2 b listening 2 ea other, wrking together. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:37 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter @FOTJS @RachDminor sounds like the orgs need to be more community oriented within #classicalmusic #auddev
12:37 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec People now trust friends’ recommendations…focus marketing on enabling that. #auddev
12:38 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS @leapingotter @RachDminor shorter attentions spans do keep coming up – shorter concerts? #classicalmusic #auddev
12:38 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec People now trust friends’ recommendations…focus marketing on enabling that. #auddev
12:39 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Lots audition 4 music program at arts magnet schools here. Arts HS is 2010 Grammy Signature School. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:40 am AudienceDevSpec: @Stephen_P_Brown we are actually talking about number 2 not integral to American life/community #classicalmusic #auddev
12:40 am Stephen_P_Brown: RT @leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec People now trust friends’ recommendations…focus marketing on enabling that. #auddev
12:41 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Musicians cn reach out numerous ways: music lessons, community events, follow @soloflute’s example. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:42 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor there is a smaller % that will like it. Is it the way you were exposed or only certain amount will like #classicalmusic #auddev
12:42 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @RachDminor OR look at who IS interested & give them huge doses of what diminishes w age: respect & warm welcome. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:43 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Maybe more evenly spaced music choices with breaks in between? #auddev #classicalmusic
12:43 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Maybe more evenly spaced music choices with breaks in between? #auddev #classicalmusic
12:44 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Right now, sit for 45 min.-1hr, have 15 min. intermission, then sit for another 45 min.-1hr. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:44 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor perhaps we are not as a whole treating our audiences to respect and warm welcomes as you put it. Need more! #auddev
12:45 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS I’ve been speaking with people and 90 min. seems to be a good concert length total. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:46 am AudienceDevSpec: but that includes intermission. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:47 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Also mayb folks who r interested feel like only contacted when money is needed, & not otherwise. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:47 am Stephen_P_Brown: @AudienceDevSpec I have rehearsal in 15mins. #auddev Kreisler quote
12:48 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec We have to own the fact that we set up barriers: dress, venue, timing, cost, language, messaging. much work! #auddev
12:48 am FOTJS: @RachDminor Mostly teens and early 20s – those who grew up with vid games since infancy. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:48 am AudienceDevSpec: From article: “How in the world are you going to grow listeners if u keep telling them they aren?t as good as u are?”#auddev #classicalmusic
12:48 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec We have to own the fact that we set up barriers: dress, venue, timing, cost, language, messaging. much work! #auddev
12:49 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter @FOTJS @RachDminor are the very traditions of #classicalmusic then the barriers for today? #auddev
12:50 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Interesting u ask that… #auddev #classicalmusic
12:51 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor a more human factor to all we do needs to happen – agree! #classicalmusic #auddev
12:51 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec I don’t think classical music concerts started out to be the way they are now. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:52 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS @leapingotter @Stephen_P_Brown @RachDminor Yes, a point I make – the traditions may not be the traditions of the beginning. #auddev
12:53 am AudienceDevSpec: Maybe we need new traditions. Maybe we need to find a way to be more relevant to what is wanted and needed now. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:53 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec But I don’t think traditions are only barrier…just one part of it. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:53 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec Traditions are not carved in stone. Brides used to wear red. We just need to let change happen. #auddev
12:53 am AudienceDevSpec: Agree! RT @FOTJS: But I don’t think traditions are only barrier…just one part of it. #auddev #classicalmusic
12:56 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor @FOTJS scoring young audiences – not sure the boomers will replace numbers of generation lost.GenX&Y are not showing. #auddev
12:57 am seandaniels: RT @AudienceDevSpec: From article: “How in the world are you going to grow listeners if u keep telling them they aren?t as good as u are?”#auddev #classicalmusic
12:57 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor in what way doesn’t make sense? #auddev #classicalmusic
12:57 am cindymariej: RT @AudienceDevSpec: Maybe we need new traditions…..nd a way to be more relevant to what is wanted and needed now. #classicalmusic #auddev
12:58 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec trick is balancing the needs of the classical music “nerds” (don’t want change) with attracting new audiences #auddev
12:58 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec trick is balancing the needs of the classical music “nerds” (don’t want change) with attracting new audiences #auddev
12:59 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter @cindymariej @RachDminor @FOTJS how do we balance that? needs of the (don’t want change) with attracting new audiences #auddev
1:01 am AudienceDevSpec: @FOTJS @RachDminor we may need to fill the gap then – maybe this is where we can become part of community again! #auddev
1:01 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec Tough Love. 🙂 Mktg person has to keep the needs of the many in mind. #auddev
1:02 am FOTJS: @audiencedevspec I like UK/Eur prgms – not only have music ed, also required to learn & play instruments in school. #auddev #classicalmusic
1:02 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter lol at tough love. We do need to keep in mind the needs of many or the many won’t return. #auddev #classicalmusic
1:02 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @FOTJS: @audiencedevspec I like UK/Eur prgms – not only have music ed, also required to learn & play instruments in school. #auddev #classicalmusic
1:03 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec also need to rethink “accessible”. I’d chew my arms off before seeing Madama Butt, but would queue for S Reich #auddev
1:03 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec also need to rethink “accessible”. I’d chew my arms off before seeing Madama Butt, but would queue for S Reich #auddev
1:04 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter @FOTJS @RachDminor @Stephen_P_Brown thanks for being a part of the first #auddev #classicalmusic chat.
1:05 am AudienceDevSpec: @RachDminor great question – would love to see a more diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds. #classicalmusic #auddev
1:05 am AudienceDevSpec: @leapingotter new music is key to the younger audience I think. #classicalmusic #auddev
1:07 am AudienceDevSpec: Please feel free to add more thoughts to #classicalmusic #auddev chat. This hour went fast! Thank you for participating. Are Mondays good?
1:07 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Wish I cld find article I read about no shortage of younger folks @ Eur concerts. I’ll keep looking.#auddev #classicalmusic
1:08 am leapingotter: @AudienceDevSpec Thank YOU for hosting.My days all different, but look fwd to another chat. #auddev
1:08 am AudienceDevSpec: Wondering if need to be spontaneous or set schedule. #auddev chat
1:11 am FOTJS: @AudienceDevSpec Thanks for hosting #auddev chat.
1:13 am mollyblock: @AudienceDevSpec Chats work well when they occur on a set schedule & prospective participants are made aware of it. #auddev
1:17 am FOTJS: @RachDminor I ❤ graying audience 🙂 Worried if don’t reach folks earlier thru music ed, etc, won’t get them whn they’re gray either.#auddev
1:45 am arts_marketing: And traditions can B part of fun 2. @AudienceDevSpec: Agree! @FOTJS: But I don’t think traditions R only barrier. #auddev #classicalmusic
2:11 am mlaffs: @AudienceDevSpec we are bound to our box of expectations, tradition, and institutions and supporters have a hard time re-thinking #auddev
2:11 am GCComposer: @mlaffs I agree. For too many, classical music is not a living art form (which is ridiculous but true). @AudienceDevSpec @LaceyH #auddev
2:11 am mlaffs: @AudienceDevSpec there’s a lot of desperation and bad ideas going around. #auddev
2:12 am GCComposer: @mlaffs It’s a fine line, but I prefer bad ideas to no ideas. You? @AudienceDevSpec #auddev
2:12 am mlaffs: @AudienceDevSpec @GCComposer desperation leads to bad ideas, and sheep follow 1 good idea rather than taking risks #auddev
2:13 am mlaffs: @GCComposer but we’ve had the same bad ideas floating around for a while and not much progress @AudienceDevSpec #auddev
2:13 am mlaffs: @GCComposer i have a manifesto on this topic that i’m not quite ready to share with the world…but stay tuned ok? @audiencedevspec #auddev
2:14 am GCComposer: @mlaffs Sounds good. Bad ideas are only good when we learn from them. #lessonsfromfailure @AudienceDevSpec #auddev
2:15 am mlaffs: @GCComposer that’s our fault in many ways #auddev @audiencedevspec
2:16 am mlaffs: @musicgirlnyc @audiencedevspec @gccomposer bad management is a key culprit #auddev
2:17 am GCComposer: @mlaffs Finding the balance between pinnacle artistic achievement in the art we know/love & getting the hell out of the box is hard. #auddev
2:30 am ArtsAppeal: Speaking of FB’s value, why they’ll be around in 10 years & how they are changing search. Arts orgs listen up. http://ow.ly/3kYUi #auddev
2:43 am AudienceDevSpec: @mollyblock thanks Molly. I happened to be available, but I think next time, I will schedule it. #auddev
2:45 am AudienceDevSpec: RT @mlaffs: @AudienceDevSpec @GCComposer desperation leads to bad ideas, and sheep follow 1 good idea rather than taking risks #auddev
2:46 am AudienceDevSpec: They can! But whether people want them all the time now…RT @arts_marketing: And traditions can B part of fun 2. #auddev #classicalmusic
2:48 am AudienceDevSpec: @GCComposer @mlaffs I do think bad ideas are better than no ideas to a point. If they are tweaked, yes, if implemented as bad, no. #auddev
2:50 am mlaffs: @AudienceDevSpec yes, we have a responsibility to challenge ourselves and others to get it *right* that’s good marketing #auddev
2:51 am mlaffs: @AudienceDevSpec there’s a lot of complacency in this business, and some think that existence justifies status quo #auddev
2:54 am Stephen_P_Brown: RT @mlaffs: @AudienceDevSpec there’s a lot of complacency in this business, and some think that existence justifies status quo #auddev

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana

Shoshana Fanizza
Audience Development Specialists
http://www.buildmyaudience.com
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