True Colors and your True Conductor

Listen, I know that all of you are still struggling with the Google font change and Kanye West jumping into the 2020 Presidential Campaign, but let’s see if we can set that aside and talk about something really important… YOU!

For any of you who have taken a “personality test” (Meyers/Briggs, True Colors, etc.) you know that they can be almost as much fun as they are informative. They help to provide you, and the people you share the information with, a window into the way your mind thinks and why you act and operate the way you do.
My wife was a guidance counselor and FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) teacher for twenty years and regularly used the True Colors test as a way of getting to know her students and helping them to get to know themselves. We all possess some element of all of the colors but have dominant colors that play a greater role in the way we work and play.
If you are interested in taking the test, click here, but if you are just interested in the synopsis, read below. Just for fun (having done no empirical research) I added some composers to the color spectrum to make it more musically interesting. The color analysis is based on materials from the True Colors website.

Leonard Bernstein (Orange): Bernstein was ACTIVE, DARING and EXCITING! Anyone who ever saw him conduct or heard one of his compositions would be hard pressed to come to any other conclusion. He represented energy, potency, power, and strength. Bernstein was the expression of vital force and nervous activity. He needed to achieve results, to win, and to be successful. He desired all things that offer intense living and full experience.

John Phillip Sousa (Gold): Sousa was RESPONSIBLE, LOYAL, and CONVENTIONAL. The structure of his music and years of service as the conductor of The Marine Band speaks to a sensibility appreciated structure and organization. Sousa fulfilled duties and obligations and enjoy being organized, structured, and having things put together. As a composer and business man he was practical, sensible, and always prepared. A “Sousa” believesthat people should earn their way in life through work and service to others.    

William Revelli (Green): Revelli was INVENTIVE, CONCEPTUAL and COMPLEX! He was brilliant and demanding and had little time for those who did not understand the importance of music and excellence. He operated with persistence and determination unlike any other. He valued intellect and musical capabilities above other attributes.  He was smart, capable, and valued being challenged intellectually. He understood both the theory behind a contract and the musical pedagogy required to achieve it.

Frederick Fennell (Blue): Fennell was COMPASSIONATE, POETIC, and DRAMATIC. Fennell packed as much intuitive feeling into each phrase as there was energy packed into his diminutive frame. In rehearsal, he was exciting but represented calm, tranquility, and contentment. He understood and valued balance and harmony both in music and in life. He was loyal, musically vulnerable, and understood the importance of belonging. He had a depth of feeling and a relaxed sensitivity that allowed him to create musical experiences that were exceptional.

Now that you have read about the four colors/composers, rank them in order of how closely they resemble you. As you sit back and reflect on your colors/composers, it might be interesting to note how your teaching style affects your ensemble, both musically and otherwise.

Despite our shared mission and similar goals of musical and personal excellence, we all set about achieving it in very different ways. This is but one of the many things that makes this profession so special. So I ask… what is your True Color and who is your True Conductor?

Have a great week!