Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2019

Tall Poppy Syndrome

I’ve been reading about Tall Poppy Syndrome, since hearing SOMEONE mention it in a podcast interview.I’m embarrassed that I can’t source that podcast - too much travel recently, too many amazing podcast interviews.I have no idea who drew it to my attention.
Basically, though, it’s the concept that anyone who seems to be getting above their station needs to be cut back down.Someone who presents as better than other people should be brought down to size, because everyone ought to be equal. Don’t be sticking your neck out, don’t draw attention to yourself.
This shows up in orchestras a lot. An orchestra is rigidly hierarchical, and there’s only one principal flute, only one concertmaster.No one is surprised that a concertmaster gets to play a solo.But when a section player stands out in any way - starts a chamber music series, gives a recital, speaks at an event - that person begins to get the side-eye.Who does she think she is, right?
I don’t buy it.
It advances everyone if a member of the…