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Over the years, I have engaged in a lively discourse with people in different parts of the world - students, colleagues, scholars and friends - exploring music, teaching, life, and just interesting stuff. In the old days these were mostly telephone conversations, often held very early in the morning to Europe or very late at night to the West Coast. More recently it has been through the medium of e-mail, that miraculous destroyer of hierarchy.

Now I venture to ask if it might be valuable to make this a more communal conversation through this web-site? Please feel free to participate by asking a question or making a comment....

   

 

IT BEGAN WITH MY FATHER
submitted: 2002
by: Benjamin Zander

In all the years we were growing up I never remember my father bringing home a brief case. When he came through the door, around the time of our evening meal, he was there for his family and his beloved gardening. Each Sunday morning, since I was about 9 years old, he would take me on his Sunday walk. This was, invariably, a stroll around Bulstrode Park, so named because, as legend would have it, in the 11th century the Earl of Buckinghamshire and his seven sons rode out to Windsor Castle to meet the King, riding on Bulls.

The walk lasted a little over an hour. As we strode out of the house, my father would utter the magic words: "Well", he would say. "Let's talk about the world". And that could be anything at all.

And so the conversation continues...

Currently in conversation:
class in Leipzig
submitted: 5/27/2012 10:21 AM
by: David Waters

 Dear Ben,

 

since I had to leave for a rehearsal this morning, I wasn´t quite able to say goodbye properly...

I still feel, how your flaming musicianship and warm-heartedness captured everybody´s hearts by storm. We melancholy and inbound "Germans", who tend to be so pessimistic from time to time, can learn so endlessly much from your inevitable positive and warm approach. It was so great to see, how fast you spotted the individual cross that everyone of us has to bear and to deal with and then pushed us decisively into the path we have to go. Words can´t quite describe how thankful I am (and we all are) for the memorable time, you have spend with us. :)

 

I hope you have (or had) a safe and comfortable trip home. Usually I would write, that I hope you enjoyed the time in Leipzig, but it is one of your unbelievable qualities, that you actually can make the opposite feel that you deeply enjoyed it...

 

Love,

David

"A Thank you to Mr. Zander"
submitted: 1/31/2012 2:25 PM
by: Anita I

 Dear Mr. Zander,


I watched your video on Ted Talks about music and passion. Actually, I

have watched it nearly a dozen times. I am so impressed by your

presentation, and your philosophy, that I just wanted to say thank you for

sharing it, and let you know what it has done for me.


The story about how the boy confessed to you that after listening to

Chopin he cried for the first time for his brother moved me. When I

realized and imagined how much of a difference that confession made for

you, it instilled a certain confidence in me to start saying thanks to

people who have made a difference in my life whether they are close

friends or distant strangers. It's so important to let others know what

they do well.


Another thing that really improved my attitude was your story about how

one's power depends on making other people powerful and helping them

realize their potential. That aspect is changing my management style in

business, and my attitude towards family and friends. I am not quite sure

about how to help others achieve their potential, but I really want to!


You can rest assured that now you have an additional member in the army of

people whose goal is to increase the amount of people with shiny eyes.


It's a great feeling waking up and asking who can I be so that the

people's eyes around me are shining. Then afterwards, it's great walking

into work and thinking that everybody is extremely excited about what we

do! Rather than sulking around and thinking we need to get from 3% to

4%...


Your philosophy is contagious, and I hope it spreads.


Sincerely,


Anita I

Hello Ben and Roz: Congratulations and Thank You
submitted: 1/3/2012 8:17 PM
by: solidgoldcreativity
Dear Ben,

I've just managed to tear myself away from yours and Roz's book, The Art of Possibility. I've read and read it. And I've written a series of blog posts about it. Perhaps you might care to read the final one, especially because I've written a "giving an A" letter to you. You can read it here: http://solidgoldcreativity.com/2012/01/01/possibility-part-6/

I have a dream that you and Roz come to Australia to do a series of masterclasses in Melbourne (where I live) and Sydney as part of a conversation I'm growing about leadership, and that I get to have the pleasure of organising it and making it happen, and having your ideas on possibility spread widely in this country. We need leaders of possibility here, as everywhere. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Yours in possibility,
Narelle Hanratty
aka Solid gold creativity, http://www.solidgoldcreativity.com)

"Conducting Business"
submitted: 11/4/2011 8:12 PM
by: lynn wehnes
I have just seen "Conducting Business" and even though it's a bit late here in Spain, I want to thank you and let you know how moving i found it, and inspiring. What a wonderful message you are giving to the world! Thank you so much.
Hello Mr. Zander!
submitted: 10/25/2011 8:25 PM
by: Logan Hedgepath
Mr. Zander,

It is such an honor to be able to work with you and YPO. This is my second year with a full orchestra, and It has totally blown me out of the roof! I cannot thank you enough for all that you do, and for letting me be apart of the YPO experience! When my father came up this past weekend for the Walnut Hill Parents weekend, He did not know what to expect... He came last year to listen to my first concert with the Youth Symphony, but that was totally different! Ever since I have shown my father the youtube video's of your talks with T.E.D, you have truly inspired the both of us! Before I came to Walnut Hill, I never knew that music was this inspirational. I never knew how the true value of music could take control of a person's mind. But now i know! It is crazy to think how music is apart of my life. It takes control of me every single minute of the day! I dont even feel like a human being any longer, Mr. Zander. All I feel like is a big body filled with musical notes bouncing around trying to run it! I have never felt like this before, but it is a feeling that i would NEVER give up!!

I could go on forever with this message, but I will try to restrain myself! Thank You so much for everything, Mr. Zander. I know that the next two years will be one of the best experiences of my life!!

With Very Best Wishes,

- Logan Alexander Hedgepath

*DOUBLE BASS*
Music and Passion
submitted: 10/4/2011 11:05 AM
by: jennna
Hello Mr. Zander,
I just got done watching the Music and Passion video,and as an ADHD coach,I was sooo inspired by "I realized my job was to waking the possibility in other people,and of course I wanted to know whether I was doing that. And you know how you find out. You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shinning, you know you are doing it."
I have actually seen one my clients shinning as you expressed, which has giving me the passion to know that there are other adults with adhd out there, who I can help them see their own possibility.

Thank You...

Take Care
Jenna Knight
opening up to the world
submitted: 4/6/2011 12:52 AM
by: Chen Li
Hi Professor Zander,
I just had a two-hour furious discussion with my roommate about how we should smile to the people pass by like the 5-year old child who did to you. She thinks that the child-way will put us in danger because the child doesn't know whether the stranger is a good or bad person, thus putting her safety in jeopardy, and she thinks that we should always put up a wall in front of people we don't know because we shouldn't put ourselves in the presence of dangerous individuals. I don't know how to convince her "realistic" view of the world today. If you were me, what would you do/say?
opening up to the world
submitted: 10/7/2011 9:02 PM
by: Jeff Williams
I just returned from the world business forum in New York where I was lucky to see Ben Zander speak. While we were walking back from the days event we found ourselves a little lost. We came upon a homeless guy who seemed at first sight to be the sort of person not to talk to after dark and my first thought was to keep walking. Before I could say anything my 77 year old Mother-in-law struck up a conversation without a second thought. It was a good thing that she did this. Not only was he freindly as could be he was kind, courtious and very helpful as well. He gave us directions to where we wanted to go and when we tried to offer him a couple of dollars for his efforts he refused saying that he was glad to help and even though we were dressed well he told us how to get a free ride on the bus. I think that our first impressions of people that are based solely on looks may not be truley justifiable. But at the same time I do think that the feelings that are involked by the presence of certain people should never be ignored.
To an inspirational maestro
submitted: 3/30/2011 7:59 PM
by: Jeremy Gonzalo
I just want to put out there that after watching your videos, I was inspired to express myself even more than my teacher wants! Which comes to my main question, do you prefer more musicality over technicality, or in other words, soul over mechanics? Because my teacher asks me to control myself (because the music takes me over when I'm performing, and sometimes I rush but all the expression is there still), I always ask myself if I should just concentrate over the skeleton of my music rather than the meat, skin, all the things that make it sound like a performer, not a robot. What do you advise me to do?
The Possibility of every being having their Music from their heart
submitted: 3/19/2011 11:41 PM
by: Susan Patricia Golden
The Possibility of every being having their Music from their heart creating a world of Peace. Love, Joy, Compassion and Justice.

What will you be doing on the second Saturday of October, the 08 OCT 2011 for the 5th Annual UniversalMusicDay.com?
the commentary on the Bruckner 5th recording
submitted: 2/27/2011 1:12 AM
by: Ray Barnes
Hello Maestro Zander, I believe in your commentary, you mentioned that this symphony was among a handful of masterpieces in its genre. I'm curious which other works are included in this list, whether composed by Bruckner or not. I enjoyed this album so much that I am purchasing the other releases with the Philharmonia, and can hardly wait to hear your thoughts on the Mahler 3rd and 9th in particular. Many thanks, Ray Barnes
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