"In the opera industry there’s a saying: “take the note.” It was drilled into me as a student. Basically, it means that as a performer it’s my job to nod and smile whenever a director or conductor offers me instructions or feedback. After all, I’m supposed to be grateful for the opportunity to work in my field, so I can’t ever risk talking back or disagreeing. As you might imagine, this makes for a pervasive culture of silence—eyes meeting uncomfortably across rehearsal rooms, hoping that someone will speak up while knowing that nobody will... I’ve decided I would like to throw the phrase “take the note” directly into the trash. Or rather, maybe I’d like to throw it back to the people in power who have benefitted from this culture of silence. It’s time that classical music institutions learn to “take the note” and receive feedback from marginalized artists."