Author: Nate Zeisler

Long Tail Sessions, Vol 11–Wednesday, December 6th with Vijay Gupta

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vijay Gupta, friend, Violinist with the LA Phil and Founder of Street Symphony. In our discussion, we cover the work Vijay has been up to with Street Symphony, his upcoming Messiah Project at the Midnight Mission on Skid Row and a growing partnership we’ve created between Colburn and Street Symphony.   In addition, Vijay has contributed an amazing Spotify Playlist for you, as well as a few recommended books and resources to help you in your life and career. Enjoy! Here’s where you can find Vijay: Facebook Instagram Twitter Street Symphony Website About The Long Tail Sessions: Last winter, I traveled from LA to NYC on a Virgin America flight and loved that the in-flight entertainment featured musicians in alphabetical order. At first, I found it jarring to see Beethoven next to the Beatles, but then I thought “Of course they’re featured side-by-side, that’s how we enjoy music these days.” With this in mind, I’m pleased to present a weekly series of playlists dedicated to those of us …

Announcing a partnership between the Colburn School and Street Symphony

I am thrilled to announce a partnership between the Colburn School and Street Symphony, an organization run by my good friend and violinist, Vijay Gupta. This partnership will solidify and bring into focus work that has been happening on an ad hoc basis for the past several years. Last week, there were two events, led by Vijay, which officially launched the partnership. First, Colburn faculty members Clive Greensmith, Richard Beene, and Fabio Bidini along with students Aubree Oliverson, Bree Fotheringham, Emma Wernig performed at Pitchess Detention Center, located in northern LA County. Second, on Thursday, students Madeleine Vaillancourt (performing in photo above), Madi Vest, and Ryan Davis performed for an audience of residents at the Weingart Center on Skid Row, which was the first of several performances scheduled.  In addition to having Vijay speak about Street Symphony with Colburn students and faculty at various times of the year, there are three major touch points that mark this partnership: Ensemble in residence: Street Symphony will select one ensemble from the Colburn School to be in residence …

How to set up a community engagement program that is diverse and inclusive.

In many ways, Los Angeles could be considered an arts education desert. Children are not afforded the opportunity to receive sequential learning in the arts. At Colburn, I was asked to develop a pipeline of learning that was sequential in nature and helped students in the program develop the skills necessary to thrive.The school altered its mission, ever so slightly, to reflect a new way of thinking about how we engage with our community. Instead of providing “Access and Excellence,” we now provide “Access TO Excellence.” It’s incredible how changing one word makes such a difference in our vision for programming.My guess is that some of you are thinking. “Wait, if we pursue excellence, isn’t that an elitist pursuit?”My answer is simple. Programming is not elite if it’s diverse and inclusive!If organizations are going to tip the scales towards excellence, they should be offering the same type of training that any family of means could provide for their children. At Colburn we have developed programming rooted in excellence for about 200 students. This is the …

The Best Tool for Discovering your Strengths.

One of the biggest challenges we face in the arts is that we tend to be conformist in nature. We look back at traditional approaches to learn our art in order to catapult us into the future. We need to separate the formal practice of learning our high art from our future career path. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do believe there is a standardized course of study that prepares us to be artists. The art of careful, diligent practice under the guidance of a mentor and a commitment to beauty and fluency are especially important for artists to be successful. However, beyond a specific scope and sequence for your applied art, there is no “one-size-fits-all” rubric for career success.  We are all different, with a diversity of hopes and dreams, wants and needs that define our career. On top of this, we all have different personalities that are ever-present during our pursuit. In my experience, I haven’t seen a particular personality have a better shot than others at forging a successful career. …

7 tips for artists considering work in a traditional, 9-5 job.

On my way into work this morning, I stumbled upon this article, which provides great insight into ways employers can retain a highly engaged team working on a common goal for their organization or business. This type of mindset is important for artists to think about for those who are considering more traditional, 9-5 work. This got me thinking about the following question: As an employee, what can artists do to help them love their work, stay engaged and play a role in building a highly effective business or organization. Here are some thoughts: Understand the potential differences between your values and the business where you choose to work — Ideally, your values will be the same as your employer, often times they are not. Figure out where to stretch your values and what values are not up for compromise. This is often the biggest reason I see individuals seek work elsewhere, and also the source of some of the greatest frustration for those stay on the job. Know before you go — Before you take …