What’s in a Name: To be or not to be “Maestro”
A commentary by Robert Nance
Maestro – noun. (from the Italian ‘maestro’ meaning ‘master’ or ‘teacher’) – A title for distinguished artists, especially those in music. It may be given to teachers, composers, conductors, or performers.
Freelance musicians such as I must always be mindful of ways to earn a living. While there’s a sense of freedom being a freelancer, there is certainly nothing close to job security. If you want work, you need skill, self-reliance, determination and entrepreneurism. You also need to be good at marketing (or know someone who is), which is the prescribed tool for getting the word out to potential clients.
Several years ago, I began to be more proactive in marketing my skills as a professional musician. Having spent well over 35 years cultivating my skills as a conductor, a keyboardist, a vocal coach, a composer, a teacher and more recently as an arts advocate, it seemed appropriate to create an effective way for potential clients to learn about who I am and what I have to offer. So, I created my professional website <www.maestronance.com> and began using the term maestro to succinctly represent who I am and what I do.
Why Maestro? Well, why not Maestro? Many have called me Maestro for years and, by definition, the term certainly describes what I do and who I am. For these reasons, the choice of Maestro as a marketing brand seemed appropriate for me, and therefore I adopted it.
Since that time, many have asked about the use of the term Maestro, so I decided to write about it and post it on my blog.
Here are some of the questions:
Q: Did someone confer upon you the title of Maestro?
A: No, and no such institution (to my knowledge) exists for that purpose.
Q: Did you earn the title Maestro?
A: I believe if one could earn the title, I would certainly qualify; thirty-five years of successful, professional performance and teaching experience ought to count for something.
Q: Must one call you Maestro?
A: No, absolutely not. Despite the fact that for years many have called me Maestro long before I began using the term as part of my marketing effort, most people just call me Bob or Robert.
Whatever you choose to call me, I am who I am: a dedicated, master music teacher who happens to be an experienced, professional musician active as a conductor, a keyboardist, a vocal coach, a teacher, a composer and an arts advocate.
So, call me whatever you like…just let me hear from you!