By Bradley Jay, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

Bradley Jay talks with local artist singer and Berklee professor Livingston Taylor to glean musical performance tips for part seven of the ten-part series, The Boston Music Scene.

BOSTON (CBS) – Musically speaking, Boston has a big advantage over other communities due to the presence of performance greats like Livingston Taylor, who teaches his students that there’s more to musical success than virtuosity. It’s also important to connect with your audience on a personal level.

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“The first thing to teach them is that they need the audience and the audience does not need them,” says Taylor. “It was their idea to be in front of an audience. Nobody begged them to do this. So let’s get the relationship clear: you need the audience, the audience does not need you.”

Live performance can be overwhelming to new musicians. But Taylor teaches his students that there is no easy way to avoid the nerves.

“Young people are racked by nervousness. I wish I could be more gentle with them about it, but what I say to them is, ‘Knock it off, don’t be nervous! This was your idea to be in front of them. Your audience is not your problem, they’re your salvation.’”

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“I like artists who have sat on the streets and played their music, and they’ve become enormously skilful at watching their music land,” says Taylor.

The professor advises musicians to trust their insticts when performing.

”When you do something they like, do that again. When you do something they don’t like, don’t do that anymore,’” he said.

In the next segment, Bradley Jay delves into the differences between jazz music and the blues.

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