The world is full of musicians happy to speak with anyone about their newest project, who they are performing with, who they studied with, upcoming auditions, etc. I am not one of those musicians. The instrument I play, the bass trombone, rarely gets the spotlight. The best gig I ever had was as a member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra and I loved it in no small part because I could do my job in the orchestra pit while all the action was on the stage above me. I often compare playing the bass trombone to being an offensive lineman in football…if I’m doing my job correctly you won’t really notice. If I screw up (i.e. allow a career ending sack of the star quarterback) then you’ll know I’m there and I may have ruined your fantasy football season.
I have a public face…Director of the Music Department, Director of the SNC Jazz Ensemble, instructor of a few relatively popular music-themed Core Curriculum courses…but I am not terribly comfortable trumpeting my professional accomplishments out into the world.
And unfortunately, in my line of work I need to “sell” myself (and my work) more than I am confortable with. I need to sell myself to the members of the personnel committee for promotion. Sell myself to my colleagues in Faculty Development when I apply for funding to travel and perform. Sell myself to peers at other institutions to see if they are interested in having me share my work with their students. I would much rather be the type of musician that consistently plays at a high level and goes about her/his business without interruption.
So I am approaching the DigPins project with some enthusiasm, hoping it will:
- Teach me some skills for easily managing my professional online identity, and
- Motivate me to begin a few of the ideas I have been carrying with me for some time, waiting for the right opportunity.
Thank you for reading about my own little neurosis. I hope everyone enjoys the next few weeks!