Personal Branding and the Modern Classical Musician with Drew Alexander Forde aka That Viola Kid


Exploring intersections between creativity, music education, string playing, DIY music business, and culture

On Today’s Episode…

Picture of Drew Alexander Forde hugging his viola
Join us with Guest Speaker Drew Alexander Forde (ThatViolaKid) as we talk about his work as a violist, composer, entreprenuer, and social media wizard. 
Violist Drew Alexander Forde has a reputation not only as an accomplished performer but also as one of classical music’s most recognizable online brands.  He is the co-host of Faking Notes Podcast and an acclaimed expert in classical music’s social media and brand building with an Instagram following to over 118,000 people. Check out his website, here.

Our discussion includes...

  • How do you identify with different styles and roles you occupy as a musician?
  • If you had to choose, would you rather be a teacher, composer or player?
  • The joy of playing
  • Accountability in performing
  • Looking for creative expression outside of classical music
  • Working on impatience in high school orchestra / Playing viola has taught me how to be patient
  • Wanting to be challenged further in education
  • What do people ask you to speak about when you speak?
  • People are missing out by avoiding social media / Don’t be afraid of social media
  • Having the courage to put your voice out there
  • Showing authenticity and the struggle / challenges in your public persona
  • “Every day you have to choose your mission or your fear”
  • “I look at social media as just business. Would you agree?”
  • Comparing social media to jumping into a cold pool
  • “What do I have to do different?”
  • What are the top things classical musicians can do to make more of an impact?
  • Importance of building skills that either build on or complement your current playing
  • Relating viola playing to photography / other artistic fields
  • Importance of playing genres outside of classical
  • Drew’s insecurity over lack of improv skills
  • Letting go of Conservatory sentiments
  • Break the thought of ‘know your place’ as a player instead of composer
  • Getting in a different headspace as a teacher than performer
  • Why LA over NY?
  • Performing on a cruise ship
  • What did you do to generate work for yourself?
  • What did you do differently in LA than NYC
  • Importance of networking
  • How do you do branding w/o sales
  • “Put yourself out there because whether you like it or not, you’re a media company now”
  • Playing the 10 year game with setting goals.
  • People pick the searchable names for gigs
  • Importance of having a commanding principle
  • Learning how to be musically interesting but also connect with an audience
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