In my conversation with pianist, teacher, and administrator, Assaff Weisman, we discuss the importance of early teachers; the entrepreneurship required of a modern classical musician’s career; and the importance of building relationships and making peace with sales and marketing.
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Learn more about the stuff we talk about in this episode here:
3:54 – How the right teacher can change everything and why he credits his life as a musician to his early teacher, Seth Kimmelman.
6:07 – Seth Kimmelman’s tragic passing from AIDS.
7:59 – Assaff’s identity as an Israeli and an American.
10:15 – How Israeli Chamber Project started.
15:53 – The main learning points and challenges of starting your own organization.
18:20 – How our training at Juilliard at the time we received it did not teach us to think entrepreneurially.
19:34 – The secret to ICP’s longevity.
24:40 – The importance of making peace with being in sales and how musicians are really salespeople. Chamber Music America (CMA).
28:35 – Why artists resist the concept of “selling.”
30:50 – Approaching sales as a way to help and connect with people.
32:53 – The skills that classical musicians acquire through training that are useful for entrepreneurship.
35:06 – “The most important skill is connecting with people.” Why connecting is the most valuable skill.
36:46 – Seth Godin and Real Skills.
43:59 – How Assaff’s career is different from what he thought it would be.
49:39 – Assaff’s advice to his younger self: say “yes” to everything to combat rigidity of the mind.