Lilylynne

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About Lilylynne

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  1. Okay, so I was able to get in touch with the alzheimers association and pitched my benefit concert. They are willing to work with me, but what was a concert is now turning into a dinner to play at with art work being shown for an exihibit. I don't want this to turn into a strolling violin job or playing background music. My idea was a concert. Would making sure that this is a formal performance as a opposed to playing in the background, by asking for more details, be too prima donna like?
  2. Hi everyone. Its been a long time since I've posted. I would like to have a benefit concert to raise money for the local Alzheimer's association. My mom has had Alzheimer's for about two years now and I want to do something to help. I have played solo concerts before, just locally in a few libraries. I also sit first chair in a couple of groups. I'm not sure how to go about trying to organize a concert though. My friend told me to call up the alzheimers association and go from there. He also said to research which local businesses support the organization to get them to help with the publicity, as well as to contact a local library to see if they would donate their concert hall. Does all of this sound correct? Any advice is appreciated, thanks.
  3. Thanks for all the info. I'm just trying to get my feet wet with this gig. I don't know yet if I want to do wedding gigs on a regular basis. I don't work with a regular quartet, so I think I'm at a disadvantage there. Also, occasionally when I have to play a gig in which the client requests a particular grouping of instruments, I contact many acquaintances who sometimes want to get friends of theirs in on the gig as well. So, what started out as my gig ends up being taken over by other musicians. It turns into too many cooks in the kitchen ruining the stew. So I rather just play with a pianist. Of course I would make sure that's okay with the clients. In my first wedding gig, it was the church's musical director (not church director as I previously stated) that gave us a hard time. I wasn't even in charge of that gig. I was just playing 2nd violin for my friend's wedding. The music director came over to us and said that she would take Panis Angelicus in B-flat as if she was ordering food off a menu. Well we weren't aware that we would be accompanying her and had planned on playing it as a string quartet which is what the bride asked us for. The cellist (who was in charge of this gig) informed her that we had Panis Angelicus in G and that the bride had asked us to play it. Well that sent woman into a tizzy and she replied: "This is my turf and I run the show here. We do things my way. I've spoken to the bride and this what she wants." Well anyway, the cellist replied that she had also spoken and met with the bride and that we were all very close friends with her. We ended up letting her sing Panis Angelicus with organ accompaniment. And then throughout the ceremony she kept telling the cellist that we really should learn that piece to add to our wedding repetoire. I'm also concerned with the having musical requests thrown at me last minute. Sometimes people deviate from the original requests and all of a sudden you're asked to play such and such. What if when your playing at the gig, all of a sudden you are asked to play something that isn't included in the music you have on hand? How do you handle that?
  4. My friend's friend needs a violinist for her son's wedding. My friend recommended me to her. Here is the problem, I don't do wedding gigs. I've only played at one person's wedding and the church director made the experience a nightmare. The playing was fine, but the church director was horrible. Anyway, my friend was trying to convince me to do it. I'm really reluctant to do weddings because as one cellist from my orchestra said, she doesn't rehearse with her group, they just sightread the music at the wedding. I guess that is fine, but I don't think this cellist plays with a set group of people. I'm the "likes to rehearse everything" type, so I guess I stay away from weddings because it seems to be more of sightreading performance gig. I do more solo work and orchestra work, because there is usually set rehearsal time for that. Anyway, I decided to give this a try. I called up the woman and asked where, when, what type of ensemble and music they wanted. I didn't get set answers as they don't know the details yet, but they were thinking of a cellist and a violinist. They will be calling me back. I normally work with a pianist. I guess I could find a cellist to work with if they really want it. Originally they just wanted a violinist. Okay, so as the musician: Do you give them what they want? OR Do you suggest what may work better? Here are some other questions I have: Is there a flat rate or is it depending on how much music they need? How much should I charge them for two people playing? Do I have to give them a sampling of the music beforehand? I've seen some collections of wedding music for violin and piano, but have found less for cello and violin. Does anyone have a suggestion of good arrangements of wedding music for either violin and cello or violin and piano? Should I be upfront about the fact that I don't normally play weddings or should I just not mention that because it will make them think that they aren't hiring someone good? I'm trying not to look too green, so any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
  5. Interesting topic. 1. As a freshman in college, listening to the conductor of the community orchestra tell the audience that we omitted one movement of the piece we were playing because the orchestra as a whole didn't have the chops to play it. (Well he didn't use those words exactly but, pretty close to it.) I was shocked by that. 2. Ah the joys of playing outside in the summer. At an outdoor concert a few summers ago, the woman sitting in front of me had rather large beetle that was nestled in her hair. She had an updo that day. She didn't have a choice but to play an entire piece with the little critter crawling around in there. She got it out between pieces and thankfully it didn't land on me! 3. This was at a school concert with my elementary school students. My colleague was conducting a number for the orchestra that had about 50+ kids in it. I guess I didn't leave enough room (when I set up the stage) for the conductor because halfway through the piece the right side of his jacket wrapped around the stand of the first cellist, covering her music completely. The poor girl panicked, unwrapped his jacket off the stand and continued playing.
  6. I am revamping my press kit. One of the things my pianist and I would like to do is have new recordings made. I used one of my older violins for the current recording. I have since upgraded to a better sounding violin which will improve the overall quality of the sound. Also, my current demo was done at someone's home. The guy who recorded us, gave my pianist the option of using a steinway piano or a digital piano. I believe he wanted my pianist to use the digital piano as he could correct any mistakes that occured, but could not do so if my pianist used the steinway. My pianist really dislikes the feel of digital keyboards and preferred the sound of the Steinway, so he chose the Steinway. The recording ended up being somewhat muffled, especially the piano's sound. Lastly, my pianist and I have been playing together much longer than we had been at the time of the recording. Another recording would be an improvement in many ways. How much does having a decent recording made cost? Does the recording have to be done at a studio? The last one cost about $200, if I remember correctly. The gentleman who recorded us the first time came highly recommended, and although the outcome was pretty good, I would like to go have a better recording this time. How much should I expect to pay?
  7. Hmm, interesting topic. I've never thrown anyone out for not practicing, but have been close. I had one teenager whose mother really wanted her to play violin, but never made her practice. I was her 4th teacher. My friend used to teach her until she moved out of state. It was interesting to see the comments written the music by her previous teacher. Everything was spoonfed to her and I soon found out why. She didn't play in tune at all, didn't hold the bow correctly and gripped the neck of the violin by nearly making a fist around it. It's not like she couldn't do these things, but she never took the time to. I would always stop her in lessons and remind her about bow grip and keeping her left palm away from the neck. I would really make her listen to the intonation. She did it at the lesson, but just didn't do these things at home and was very honest about that. She also had a major attitude problem. She once turned to me and said in a sarcastic tone: "Do I offend you because I don't practice?" to which I answer "No, I don't have to perform this piece and I also am not the one paying for your lessons." She didn't give me anymore attitude after that lesson. You would think that I wouldn't see her again after my remark, since I'm pretty sure she told her mom what I said, but she still took with me for up to another year. I repeatedly spoke to her mom about the fact that maybe I wasn't the right teacher for her, but her mom said that I was the most patient teacher she had ever had. I didn't like taking their money when it was clear that the only time the kid played was in school or at the lesson. Even her mom told me this. But, it was really apparent that for this family money was no object. She doesn't take privately anymore and just plays at school. If a kid doesn't practice for private lessons, it's really a waste of the parent's money. But, what gets to me is that sometimes the parents don't even care. Some parents just treat private study as just another practice session. I find it frustrating that many if my school students don't practice. It's such a waste even when the lesson is free. You take lessons for free with your friends at school and you wouldn't want to take advantage of that? I already have many students in the public school who don't practice. I really expect that my private students step it up because they are usually taking lessons because they are really into playing the violin. The private teaching is something I do because I want to help students get further in their playing and a one on one setting is really ideal for that. If I have a student who isn't practicing at all, it's a waste of my time and theirs, so stopping their lessons isn't a necessarily the wrong thing to do. If the parents are shocked, maybe it's a good lesson for them too. Sometimes even the parents need to know excusing their child for not practicing isn't going to be tolerated by the teacher. No amount of money can buy hard work. The fact is practicing is necessary to improve. All the patience and reviewing in the world on the teacher's part cannot make up for a lack of practicing on the student's part. (And by lack of practice, I mean the kid who only takes his/her instrument out at the weekly lesson.)
  8. I'm an elementary school orchestra teacher. My district had to hire an instrument repairman from the bid list. That means, I can't use my repairman who is a string specialist. The new repairman isn't doing a good job. He has had to fix some cracks along the body of a few violins. Some of them were well repaired and others were not. Shouldn't a repaired crack feel smooth? Because a couple of the violins he repaired have had the cracks on the body glued together, but one part of the wood is higher than the other. He still hasn't returned my cello that he picked up in June! When I called him he said that the first time he tried to repair the crack it didn't hold. Is this normal? I have another broken cello, but don't want to send it out for fear that I won't get it back. There is a third cello I have whose endpin slides back in while I am playing. I take the the endpin out, tighten the knob all the way, to ensure that the endpin locks into place, but it still slides back in. Is this something that I can repair, since I don't want to send it to the repairman? I'm sorry, but I don't know all the technical terms in instrument repair.
  9. I just spoke to my teacher about some differences in opinion and he was very understanding about the whole thing. He said that since my ideas were sounded good musically that it was fine to follow them. He also added that if they didn't sound good musically he would definitely let me know. Just to clarify, I don't follow interpretations blindly. If I did I wouldn't have enough of a case to disagree with any point of view. I can play something convincingly enough, even if I don't agree with it. I sometimes have to do that in orchestras depending on the conductor. Also, any interpretations (coming from myself or my teacher) are based on musical/theorectical knowledge. Any time I disagree, I have to give a musical reason as to why I prefer to do it differently. But, sometimes phrases can work different ways and I may prefer it one way, whereas my teacher prefers it the other way. A decade with a teacher is a long time, but I am still learning a lot. I think that being an "adult" student changes things in the teacher-student relationship.
  10. I have studied with my teacher for almost a decade (and have played the violin a decade more than that), but I'm an adult student. I've been out of school for a few years now. When I started studying with him, I was still in school. I appreciate everything he says, but once in a while I may disagree with his viewpoint. I try it his way in any case, however I find that I can't always play something convincinly if I don't get it or feel differently about it. Okay, maybe I play it convincingly enough, but not as convincingly as if I played it "my way." Does that make sense? I don't want my teacher to walk on eggshells around me during the lesson and withold corrections. But, I also don't want to walk on eggshells during a performance in an effort to remember his interpretation of a piece. That's when I get into trouble during performances. I don't play as well when I hold back, which is what happens when I'm thinking about what others (including my teacher) think. Also, I know my limitations, so for example sometimes I know that a fingering works better for me in one position as opposed to another. I think we all have certain patterns that are more common to us than others, so occassionally after trying the fingering I'll let my teacher know that it's just not working for me and most of the time he is fine with it. I guess the problem I'm having right now is that my accompanist and I have rehearsed before my teacher had a chance to coach us. BTW, my accompanist is also a teacher (of piano) and a concert pianist, so she has a viewpoint in this as well. We haven't had a common time when we could all get together, so the coaching has taken place after the fact. My pianist is pretty open to my teacher's ideas and my teacher was very careful when coaching a colleague. That was also interesting to watch. Maybe it's just that there are "too many cooks in the kitchen" and I'm not sure which stew to taste. But, I don't necessarily believe that my interpretations is better; it's more like.....hmmm how do I explain it.....it's somewhat like prefering one violinist's recording of a particular piece more than another violinists. So it's more like my teacher and I both like the same piece, but I prefer the way Milstein plays it and he prefers the Menuhin recording. And who knows which "recording" my pianist prefers. If I stray too far from my teacher's interpretation during the performance, will he be angry? It isn't that this is the first time I'm performing with my teacher being at the concert, but we're both older now. I think he realizes that it's different teaching me now because I have more musical ideas of my own (many of which he helped develop). But, can a teacher come to resent that?
  11. I've been studying with my teacher for many years now and have learned and continue to learn so much from him. However there are times when I disagree with his viewpoints on things such as fingering, phrasing or interpretations. If the disagreement is more technical like fingerings, it's not as difficult to explain my point of view. For example, there was a passage that my teacher thought I should play sul G, I agreed however knowing how nervous I get in a performance, I knew that I shouldn't risk it. My teacher understood and let me do w/o the sul G work. However when we start talking about phrasing or interpretations, I find that I don't always agreed with him. I guess what I'm trying to do is to disagree without my teacher feeling like I don't value his wisdom and advice. It's a very fine line. For example he was coaching my friend and I for an upcoming performance. Some of his ideas I liked and a few I didn't. I also felt a bit nervous because while I was performing the piece, I kept thinking: Am I playing this the way we talked about in lessons? Halfway through the coaching I thought: Am I playing the piece through his interpretation or through mine? And how do remember all of his coaching while I'm performing this piece and since this was coached into me, is it going to sound generic? And how do I keep my interpretation in the piece? My teacher has A LOT of experience and has worked with many wonderful performers and conductors. He has really helped me become a fine violinist and has given me a great sense of phrasing. In fact my phrasing is the one aspect of my playing that I'm usually complimented on. So, I realize he has so much to draw from in that department. But, sometimes I just disagree and want to play something my way and not because I feel that I know better, but just because I feel differently about the phrasing. I've been told if what I do sounds convincing then it will come off sounding good. But, how do I play in a convincing way when I know my teacher disagrees with it? And how do I not hurt my teachers feelings when I disagree with him? How am I going to perform the piece with all this stuff going through my head?
  12. Ooops, I meant to say: "unless you are super talented" NOT "unless you aren't super talented" in the previous post....sorry for the typo
  13. I think it is possible to have a career in music even if you have started later. It all depends on how hard you work. Being a "professional" musician has a lot of different definitions: soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, teaching and performing, free lancing etc. A kid may start playing when they are 5 or 6, but may not take playing seriously until much later. I think we live in a culture that in some ways is obsessed with youth. So unless you start playing when you are 3 or 4 years old OR unless you aren't super talented as a kid, we often get the message that music, as a hobby, is all we can hope to achieve. But, the truth is there are plently of people out there that didn't start playing until later, but we are so enthralled with prodigies, that the late starters often get lost in the shuffle. Carter Brey, principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic started playing the cello when he was 12. Personally, I started playing the violin when I was 10 and even that is considered late! I was a very good violinist in high school, but not the best one and that made an impact on me. I decided that I would go to college and just minor in music, after all if I wasn't the best in high school what chance did I have competing in a bigger pool of musicians. Then something wonderful happened, I switched teachers and started improving. After seeing my improvement, combined with the fact that I really missed music, I decided to get a degree in masters degree in music. It's 7 years later, I'm a string teacher who performs on the side. I have the best of both worlds. You can start late and be successful in music, don't limit yourself.
  14. I'm knocking on 30, so I'm hoping it's not arthritis. Computer use may have something to do with it. That's the one piece of technology I've been using lately. Maybe I'm using the mouse too much, since I have been surfing the web more than typing. Whatever the reason, I hope this pain goes away.
  15. For the past few days, my right thumb has had some pain at the bottom joint when I clench my fist/bend my thumb. I don't know if it is muscle or bone pain. It hurts the most, in the morning. Or maybe I just get used to it during the day and notice it more in the morning. It's not unbearable pain, it's more like the type of pain that you get when you press on a bruise. My thumb or hand isn't swollen and it doesn't hurt when I play. I don't remember doing anything strenuous to hurt my thumb. I doubt it comes from playing because I grip my bow very lightly and it doesn't bother me when I play. What's the best treatment for soreness heat or cold? Thanks.