Performing with a Purpose:

Creating Engagement Projects that Endure

By Katy Ambrose and Lauren Hunt

International Horn Symposium Ghent, Belgium -- July 4, 2019

  1. Finding your purpose
    A. Schoolpreparesusforatraditionalcareer,butthat’snotalwayspracticaltoday B. Studiesshowthatitisimportanttofeelmeaninginyourlife

    1. Physiological health improvement through purpose

    2. Mental health benefits

      1. a)  Volunteering improves depression

      2. b)  Exposure therapy for performance anxiety

    C. Balancepersonalvs.altruisticgoalsasisrightforyouandyourproject

  2. Logistics
    A. Partneringwithanexistingorganization

    1. Search online for the topic/community you’re interested in helping

    2. Ask your existing contacts what they’re involved in and if they need help

    3. Post on social media to let people know you want to get involved

    B. Buildingyourownproject

    1. Why should I?

      1. a)  Don’t let imposter syndrome get in your way

      2. b)  Many social movements started with one person voicing their opinion and finding

        out that others agreed with them

    2. Self-promotion/marketing

      1. a)  Don’t only use traditional means, such as putting up fliers

      2. b)  Online presence is the most important! Especially social media

      3. c)  Helps your mission, ex. raising funds for your cause

      4. d)  Helps your product, ex. getting people to come to your concert

      5. e)  Does not need to be arrogant or boastful to be effective

    3. Funding
      a) Budget

      (1) Consider multiple revenue streams (2) Budget checklist for grant applications

      (a) Determine timeline

      1. (i)  Set yourself a target date for peer review before


      2. (ii)  Submit early in case of problems

      (b) Set goals

      1. (i)  Prioritize your financial goals

      2. (ii)  Clarify strategic plan
        (a) Who, what, where, when, how?


(c) Develop draft expense budget

  1. (i)  Determine costs (expenses) to reach program goals

  2. (ii)  Determine costs to reach organizational and strategic goals

(d) Develop draft income budget

  1. (i)  Project income based on current fundraising and revenue


  2. (ii)  Project new income based on new activities

(e) Consolidate and review the income and expense budgets (f) Submityourproposal

(i) Always get a second opinion before submitting (3) Example budgets online

  1. (a) dget-example-included/

  2. (b)  Grant Space has downloadable templates


b) Grants

  1. (1)  How to search for available grants

    1. (a)  Databases through professional organizations

      1. (i)  Chamber Music America

      2. (ii)  GrantForward

      3. (iii)  ProQuest’s Pivot database

      4. (iv)  Foundation Directory

    2. (b)  University/conservatory career centers

      1. (i)  Can help find grants

      2. (ii)  Can help with writing and language

      3. (iii)  May have funding available for alumni projects

    3. (c)  Government foundations sponsor grants

  2. (2)  Application process will be different in every country

  3. (3)  Eligibility may depend on:

    (a) Project type
    (b) Citizenship/residency status (c) Incorporation status
    (d) Student status
    (e) Other factors

  4. (4)  Application process will usually include:

    1. (a)  Project description

    2. (b)  Budget

    3. (c)  Timeline

    4. (d)  Discussion of the need for the project

    5. (e)  In-depth description of actions to be taken when the grant is


    6. (f)  Projectedoutcomesormeasuresofsuccess


III. Musical elements
A. Programming

c) Fundraising
(1) Institutional

(a) Benefit concert/event

(b) Silent auction (2) Individual

(a) Friend and family who may wish to donate (b) Crowd-sourcing

  1. (i)  Go Fund Me

  2. (ii)  Kickstarter

  3. (iii)  IndieGoGo

  1. Choosing repertoire

    1. a)  Traditional approaches like themed concerts

    2. b)  Arranging repertoire (see below)

    3. c)  Social focus

      1. (1)  Addressing composer’s personal belief system

      2. (2)  Acknowledging racism, sexism, bigotry, misogyny increases inclusivity for


  2. Balancing the program

    1. a)  Vary recognizability, style, and genre

    2. b)  Limited attention spans

    3. c)  Improvisation

B. Integratingsenses–studiesshowusingmoresensesandhavinginteractivecomponentshelps learning and retention

  1. Technology/apps

    1. a)  Synesthesia

    2. b)  En Cue
      (1) Could modify to add an audience participation element with tweeting,

      texting or similar

    3. c)  Tinmendo

  2. Physical movement

    1. a)  Cirque de la Symphony

    2. b)  Mnozil Brass

    3. c)  Teaching a dance to audience (existing or make one up)

  3. Audience sings. Consider different notation styles for inclusivity

    1. a)  Line contour drawings

    2. b)  Tactile notation (Braille for blind trained musicians; physical line contours for


    3. c)  Cartoon, shapes, or colored noteheads



● El Sistema (original program in Venezuela; programs in different areas will have different names but will likely reference “El Sistema” in their descriptions)

  • ○  Global Leaders Program

  • ○  Play on Philly

  • ●  Ellipses Ensemble

  • ●  Lullaby Project

  • ●  Mnozil Brass

  • ●  Music for Food

  • ●  Music in the Key of Free

  • ●  Shelter Music Boston

  • ●  Street Symphony

  • ●  Victory Hall Opera


Some quick tips for making your own arrangements:

  • ●  Start easy. You can find lists of songs with just 2 or three chords online. Gradually move to more and

    more difficult pieces.

  • ●  Pick something you enjoy. You will listen to it a ton during the arranging process!

  • ●  Start from an existing score. You can find arrangements of most non-classical music for voice and

    piano online. This provides the basic chord structure and melodic line until you get more advanced and

    your ear is able to discern them.

  • ●  Theory and ear training helps, but isn’t required, especially with the help of notation software.

    Lauren’s steps to making a good arrangement:

  1. Listen for the overall form. Strategic use of repeats can mean a lot less work for you!

  2. Use your ear or a published score to figure out the basic melody and chordal structure. Guitar chord

    charts can be helpful for this step too.

  3. Input melody and chords into notation software. I like Sibelius best myself, but Finale is another great

    program. MuseScore is a notation software that is free to download, but it has some limitations compared to paid programs. Even though there is a learning curve to notation software, it is super helpful to have the playback and instant feedback on your ideas.

  4. Adjust and expand basic chordal structure into something interesting. You can be as close to the original as you would like, or feel free to be super different! Be sure your work isn’t in any way copying the score that helped you – that would be plagiarism. Instead, just use the basic chordal structure, which is not protected by the prior arranger’s copyright since it is taken directly from the original piece of music.

  5. Make it fit the horn well. Sometimes you will need to adjust things like key, range, articulations, and amount of rests to make things playable on the horn. You should also consider your intended performer – a professional and a middle school student have very different needs.

  6. Check for mistakes. Read through each part alone, and then with the whole group if possible, to check for any typos or other issues with your arrangement.