I played for a terrific Keyboard Confidential over the weekend. I don't just mean that the guests went away happy—they were enthusiastic, conversational, and engaged in the event the whole time. They took seriously my description of the experience as a way to connect with one another through music, and the result was exhilarating.
In the process, I learned a very valuable lesson. The more empowered the audience feels to affect the concert, the better the experience will be. Some of the guests added their own jokes and stories, and I was amazed by how much more strongly they related to each other that way. It didn't feel like I was guiding our journey—just chaperoning it.
I can't guarantee that every Keyboard Confidential audience will be as invested in their participation, but I now know what I'm aiming for. My goal is to make all guests feel like they can contribute to the experience in just as significant way as I can. I need to give power to the people.