Tag Archives: Gustavo Dudamel

American Idol, Universal Dream

In a previous post, we discussed the Tavis Smiley PBS special featuring Gustavo Dudamel and noted a quote regarding the role that music can play in providing children with a vehicle for hope:

“Sometimes we focus on physical poverty. There’s also a poverty of hope and of dreams. That’s what music involvement gives low-income children.” (Dudamel)

Now that the new season of American Idol is underway, it’s easy to look for reasons to criticize. Sometimes the focus is more on the exploitation of the dysfunctional, “pitchy” attention seekers more than the contenders, Steven Tyler’s flirtation with teen-aged auditioners is quite creepy, and style sometimes trumps substance. But in the end, there are always a few stories that are genuine and compelling – because of the power of the dream and of the medium.

A daughter sings for her father recovering from cancer, a young man sings for his fiancée, traumatically injured in a car accident prior to their marriage date, and a single mother sings for her special needs child.

Because no outlet for emotions is as powerful, moving, and universally understood as song.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway. ~ Emory Austin

Gustavo Dudamel & The Music Lesson of Passion

Last night we discussed Tavis Smiley’s PBS Special Dudamel: Conducting a Life that profiled the conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic Symphony and examined the many benefits of music education. When you watch Gustavo Dudamel, never is it more evident that a successful life is one that is lived with passion for your work.

One of the 9 Common Lessons of music education that translate into success FROM THE BAND ROOM TO THE BOARD ROOM as identified in my book Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music was PASSION.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that includes one of my favorite quotes from Mark Truman regarding passion in the world of business:

9. Passion (Play it With Feeling)
Hand in hand with finding your unique talents is the discovery of your passions. We have too many people on the planet who are square pegs trying to fit into round holes. They have jobs and no purpose, a living but not a life, and they are avoiding the pursuits that they are uniquely qualified to offer to the world due to fear or complacency.

Yet nothing great was ever achieved without passion.

“When it comes to success in business, the first place that people fall down and fail is by refusing to own up to their actual dream. Rock bands teach us that the actual dream is to be world-famous. To play huge arenas and change people’s lives.

“When people come to business, I wish more of them would say that. Your goal is to change the face of the world through what you do. If more people came to the table like 16 year-old rock musicians, they would find a lot more success and a lot more happiness in the success they find.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Truman, Executive Director & Founder,
Omniac Education
College entrance consulting, tutoring, and test preparation
Guitarist/Vocalist

Tavis Smiley Examines Gustavo Dudamel and the Role and State of Music Education

Tonight I watched the PBS Special Dudamel: Conducting a Life in which Tavis Smiley profiled the young, charismatic Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, a product of the very successful Venezuelan program “El Sistema” which exposes impoverished children to classical music. The program looked at the broader issue of music education and its role in education reform.

It’s always great to hear confirmation of the concepts and opinions expressed in this forum regarding the benefits of music and music education. Here are a few of the notable excerpts (paraphrasing) from the discussion that I found noteworthy:

  • “It’s not about creating musicians. It’s about creating the sensibilities of an artist that can be used in any vocation.” (Dudamel) 
  • “Sometimes we focus on physical poverty. There’s also a poverty of hope and of dreams. That’s what music involvement gives low-income children.” (Dudamel) 
  • “There are benefits of music education and of sports. In sports, however, a lot of kids sit on the bench. Music programs tend to be more inclusive and more participative.” (Berklee Fellow participating in the program designed to replicate El Sistema) 
  • “I feel like the doors of heaven have just opened up to me. I’ll let out all of my emotions in those drums.” (Young boy involved in a program in the U.S. modeled after the El Sistema program) 
  • “Kids are like a Polaroid. They just need exposure to develop. And they should be exposed to the best in order to develop into complete adults.” (Smiley) 
  • “It’s going to take something radical to reform education. Shouldn’t something so universally accepted as music be a part of that education reform equation.” (Educator)

Play on!