Creative Beginnings Video with Michael Jones and Conrad Hilberry: From A Head Nodder

For Canadian pianist and writer Michael Jones, one of the participants in the
April 2010 writer’s retreat at the Fetzer Institute, music and words brought him joy from an early age. Kalamazoo College professor emeritus Conrad Hilberry developed his artistic talents a little later in life.

This video reminds me that one can listen deeply without head nodding (which I do too much of here). I’ll try to remember that when I listen to you answer the following questions:

When did you first find joy in art?

Do you nod your head while listening to others?

Shirley Showalter


  1. Richard Gilbert on November 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Great interviews! Head nodding fine, shows your engagement. The important thing you did was listen and let them talk. Too many interviewers interrupt and interject to no end. Terry Gross is my ideal, and I bet she nods! But it’s radio, of course, so we don’t see. And she doesn’t look at all like her voice sounds, to me . . .

    • doradueck on November 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      I agree with your comment on head nodding, Richard. The nod is a gesture of encouragement, and perhaps keeps us from jumping in too quickly. I’m an eager, curious listener, but the downside of that is the premature interjection. So I will practice my nodding!

  2. Shirley on November 26, 2010 at 12:06 am

    You make me feel better, Richard. How sweet. Yes, my job was to ask questions and then to listen and encourage the speaker. I enjoy being a listener and encourager, but I will still try to monitor how to do that best. All of the videos in this series have a listener involved, sometimes in front of the camera and sometimes in back. I like to watch artists listen to each other. Naseem Rakha and Paulus Berensohn are especially good at doing this, I think.

  3. shirleyhs on November 27, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Thanks, Dora, for another vote of confidence. As the interviewer, I was told to avoid making any sounds, like “uh huh” or “hmm” or “yes!” as people spoke. One of the reasons I nodded my head was to repress my energy to jump in. I too am prone to premature interjection. I’ve tried to work at it over a lifetime. Fortunately, God isn’t finished with me yet. Nor with you, I’m sure. 🙂

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