A visit with the Maestro

How lucky am I to be studying at the University of Miami in the Frost School of Music? We have a world class staff and faculty, amazing facilities, wonderful musicians, and most of all great opportunities.

Just last week my mentor, Dr. Robert Carnochan, arranged for his current conducting students (Christian Noon, Chee Weng Yim, and me) to go to a rehearsal of the New World Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. If that wasn’t enough, he had also arranged for us to meet with MTT and have a brief conversation with him regarding conducting.

During the NWS’s break in rehearsal, MTT invited us to his office where we discussed lots of things from the role of the conductor to how the politics of a top ensemble work, from inspiration to application.

My favorite topic was that of positivity and imagination. MTT expressed that when working with musicians of the top most level, you know they can do what you want, the trick is motivating them to want to do it. Through positive comments and the striving for achievement much more will be accomplished than the “fixing of problems.” Having an imagination, expressing that imagination through positive analogies and creative means, that’s how musicians are moved to make music.

Thank you Michael Tilson Thomas. You are truly an inspiration. And thank you Dr. C, for making it happen!