Prioritise relevance over deference

As Ruth Hartt espouses, we need to offer classical as relevant to all manner of people in manner of ways, not command people respect it

Arts marketer Ruth Hartt achieves a rare thing in her post about how arts administrators need help ‘outsiders’ understand how art can ‘offer them the transformation they seek’. The direction Hartt provides triggers thinking, and drives forward momentum.

At its simplest level it useful advice – it has been very useful for me and very well-timed.

It’s also old-school in the way that it offers insight. Just like the internet used to be – not just reactionary judgment and scathing criticism. It offers a solution. It’s a way of thinking that can be transposed to any sector. Stop telling people they should be doing something. Think instead of how your product might help.

This basic principle is a fundamental principle of being an entrepreneur too. Don’t expect people to come to you for help with a problem they’ve got – they may not even realise they have a problem; instead propose a solution. It was what I heard endlessly from experts and other seasoned professionals when I took redundancy and went it alone five years ago. It is incredibly reassuring to see someone else articulate the same principle from her own perspective and for a specific audience (thereby manifesting the very principle she espouses).

The bottom line is that classical music features in the lives of others in a variety of different ways. Showing how it can play a part in the lives of different people is key.

There are a myriad of ways we connect with music in its widest sense, whether it’s the impact creativity has on those with severe mental health issues (as I learned from a Baring Foundation report), whether it’s for self-discovery, reflection or increasing self-worth, or whether it’s to aid focus and establish a ‘flow state’.

Philip Pullman take note. Stop thinking this is something we must be deferential to. It is something we need to constantly communicate the relevance of.