"I wasn't terrified. I just kept focusing at the notes on the page," said Arnoldas to me yesterday after I live-streamed his practice video of Prelude in Classic Style by Gordon Young.
No panic, no freezing, just focusing on the music.
This is a mature approach to challenges in organ playing.
Most of the people I know would have said no, to what Arnoldas said yes. This happened at the beginning of our "Unda Maris" studio rehearsal.
He showed up before everyone else. Ausra and I turned on the light, organ blower and offered him to start playing.
I had this crazy idea. In the morning I had live-streamed a few of my videos and trainings to the world so I thought why can't he do it.
He said yes. I let him practice a few times to get adjusted to the organ and helped him relax a little by reducing his tempo by half.
"We'll name this video as practice", I said. "Don't worry if you make a mistake or two. It's a practice. A work-in-progress."
After he was done, I let him watch the video to get his approval and yes, he was satisfied. A few mistakes didn't bother him too much.
So I hit "Publish" and posted it online for everybody to see.
As of this writing, 821 people have watched it already, 31 have reacted with likes or love hearts.
Is it a lot? I don't know and it doesn't matter.
What matters is that Arnoldas said yes and moved to the next level as organist.
It wasn't his first brave act of sharing his work online. Some months ago he substituted me for playing in graduation ceremonies at Vilnius University.
I suggested he would record himself and he did. He wrote me a message about his experience and I asked him if he wanted to post this video on his YouTube channel? He again said yes.
So yesterday, after this live-stream I explained to him what he can do to earn attention and trust of his future fans not only as an organist but in his own field as well (he's a chemistry freshman at Vilnius University).
I asked him what he did with chemistry yesterday. Did he study, did he created an experiment in the lab?
No, but he studied a book on physics.
Even better. "Imagine", I said, "if you after reading this book would write an article on your own blog or post a video online about what you've learned from it?
Doesn't matter that he's a freshman. He already knows something about his field of expertise.
You see, how empowering it can be for him?
Little by little he can connect with his tribe, grow his fan base, earn the trust of 1000 true fans, people who would miss him, if he was gone, if he decided not to show up anymore.
What about you?
Can you share your work in your blog in form of text, pictures, audio, video or any combination of them?
If you do this regularly and long enough, some people will start noticing you, pay attention, like you and trust you. These days it's crucial to have a tribe of like-minded individuals who want to hear from you.
Otherwise you'll have to rely on people in charge to pick you. And unless you're already famous, they will pick someone who has a track record of constantly showing up.
Unless you're already playing multiple organ recitals in multiple countries around the world regularly, they're not going to invite you to play a recital in their venue.
Because they don't know you exist.
So take one step today towards empowering yourself as an organist and in one year you will move a mountain.