Artist Mentorship & Advice

Artist Mentorship and Advice

Mitchell Korn coaches and mentors the careers and artistic decisions of musicians and artists. His vision-centered approach of helping artists define and process their artistic mission and discipline their focus on their mission is the center of Mitchell’s work with his artists. His work enables artists to emphasize their core artistic principles and develop higher levels of productivity, commerce and success.


Paul_vasterling_2012Paul Vasterling, Artistic Director and CEO, Nashville Ballet


Paul Vasterling stepped into the role of Artistic Director of Nashville Ballet in 1998, ten years after he began his association with the company. He came as a company dancer and later served as a teacher, ballet master and choreographer. After several years of artistic turnover at the company, Vasterling applied for the job, a position he has held ever since. In the spring of 2010, at the Board’s request, Vasterling took on the additional role of CEO for the ballet.

A choreographer with a deep affinity for music, Vasterling has created more than 40 works, ranging from classical, full-length story ballets to more contemporary one-acts set to the music of local artists. Vasterling’s penchant and particular gift is for storytelling, which he has done vividly in such ballets as Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, and, most recently, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His ballets have been performed from South America to Asia, everywhere to great acclaim. Stateside, reviews have been equally glowing, with New York magazine Attitude writing of his work, “America has not lost its sense of value of elegant dancing as art.” Beyond his own choreography, Vasterling has edited and updated classic productions of Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, and has expanded the company’s repertoire to include works by Salvatore Aiello, George Balanchine, James Canfield, Lew Christensen and Twyla Tharp, among many others. He has also encouraged company dancers who have shown an interest in choreography, giving them the same opportunity to create that he received from artistic directors.

In 2004, Vasterling received a Fulbright Scholarship that enabled him to work with three different companies in Argentina, paving the way for Nashville Ballet’s tour there a year later. In 2008, Vasterling raised the curtain on Nashville’s Nutcracker, making a holiday tradition local and newly relevant. His 2009 premiere of Carmina Burana, a ballet he had long wanted to present, was a huge success with critics and audiences alike. Critic Pamela Gaye noted in her review for Ballet.co.uk, “Choreographically, Carmina Burana challenges dancers… because of the call to intensify the dance and render it equal in power to the music. Few choreographers have been able to achieve this momentum, and it is at this task that Vasterling excelled.”

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Loyola University, Vasterling has set a new standard for arts development. Under his leadership, the company’s resources have grown by close to 300 percent and Nashville Ballet became the first local performing arts organization to purchase its own building. He has transformed a troupe of 12 professional dancers into a company of 22, and his commitment to developing the dancers of tomorrow inspired him to establish a second pre-professional company of 25 dancers. Vasterling has shaped Nashville Ballet into a company high on artistry and dramatic power as well as commanding technical ability and virtuosity.

21st Century Artistry: Seminar Series and Workshops

The purpose of this area of study is to best prepare your live and recorded presentations and professional success in 21st century performance: skills for your control of your artistic and professional work. The seminar series emphasizes the learning of the most advanced practical tools for artistry, employment, audience engagement, communications, and the business of real world, live music performance and recording.  Here, you will learn specific content in live and recorded stage and communication presentation; the utilization of laptops as recording and live technologies; and the artistic and creative application of technology, creativity, advocacy and business skills for employment.  Each content area will be followed by a practical application of the skill set, where you create work furthered by guidance, development and processing of the teaching team. You will first develop the means of identifying and articulating an artistic mission. You will present initial presentations of a mission while learning stagecraft and effective communications.  Following, you will learn about digital recording and compose and record an original work.  Further, you will develop mixing and mastering skills and then the use of the laptop of as a musical instrument.  The artistic and creative approaches to your instrument and art form will be further explored and you will create small works experimenting with these ideas. Further, you will create example collaborations, business designs, and plans. The concluding sessions are dedicated to you creating model performances, recordings and communications for presentation to the class and for use in your professional careers.


IMG_4614*Tracy Silverman, revered electric violinist, demonstrates the development of his violin into its current 6-string design using digital technologies for live performance including repeaters, synthesizers, and pedals.  He teaches performance skills that encompass the classical canon to rock and his contemporary works. He shares his collaborations with composers John Adams, Terry Riley, The Calder Quartet and many others in the development of the 21st century performer.




Mitchell Korn, musician and music advocacy and communication pioneer, builds with students their stage, communications and programming strategies for live performance and audience building. Performance tools include stage communication, the use of technologies to further audience building, direct engagement of audience with music and its artistry, and successful means of educating audiences for sustained support.