“Anyone can play the notes. Music is what happens between the notes.” This wisdom of Isaac Stern, celebrated violinist and master teacher, continues to be quoted today by his fellow musician, cellist Yo-Yo Ma. This beautiful insight by Stern carries a lot of meaning. As a musician you consider what happens from one note to the next. Is it silence? Is there a transformation, a change, a movement in a particular direction?
As a listener the pilgrimage from note to note, whether we are holding on to that last phrase or experiencing quiet anticipation for what’s next, is an emotional process. Champion musicians take their audience on this expedition with confidence, knowing exactly how it will end.
I see the role of musician, where communication and timing are critical to the audience experience, equivalent to the function of a nonprofit leader. As you connect to your supporters or potential supporters you are leading them, taking them from a place of interest to understanding to investment. The tone of your communications and what happens between these connections is the trip you are giving to your audience. Thoughtful consideration will get them exactly where you intended.