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Things you would have liked to know earlier


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1. Pros are careless, poor players

2. Auditions are all rigged, so don't bother to play well or prepare.

3. The people who win jobs are political operators, rather than qualified musicians.

4. Being stuck in a top orchestra is a sad fate , free of interest or passion for work.

5. To hold these feelings is not negative it is just truth.

This is just nonsense. Read the topic of the thread, I merely point out some truths. I dont know where you pulled #4 from, this hasnt been brought up in this thread.

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and have consistently done well at blind auditions(where I didn't know committee members).

So Have I, I won 7 auditions, made the finals to almost every one I did.

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It strips much credit from this success to hear the tears and sweat of preparation dismissed so easily.

No it doesnt, quite the opposite. It brings me tears when I see somebody pay big bucks to take an Audition when there is no job available.

Since you are new and dont know me, I am the resident Rock Guy who turned his back on Classical Music and likes to play rock, but still does classical gigs to pay the rent.

What I say is true, regardless of your experience. I know more about this than you can imagine: I almost wrote a book about it. I interviewed a bunch of people, so you will just have to trust me on this. Some Orchestra's are Cool; HoosierGirl's Hubby had a positive experience, and I have heard nothing but good things about the Indy Auditions.

Some Bands are bad about this. I would rather not get into a pissing match, but some bands are nepotistic.

As I said before, my experience on the other side of the screen, about 25 times, was the most interesting. I personally saw a bunch of fixed auditions. I am in no way implying that every band does this, but I have seen several bands do some pretty Weird stuff.

I did an experiment a few years ago. An Orchestra was looking for a Concertmaster, the first Round was by tape. I was over-qualified and not interested in the job, but I sent a tape for research purposes. I marked the tape, I put a mark on the tape and a mark on the shell at 7 seconds.

I got a note back: Thank you, but your tape did not meet our standards. I sent them a tape of the Sex Pistols, they never listened to the Tape, the place where I marked the tape and the shell were exactly in the same place. They hired the local person who was assumed to get the job.

I had friends watch me mark the tape, and they watched me open the "Rejection Send back tape". I contacted the Band, and I was assured every tape was heard. I told them what I did, and they hung up the phone.

Although your experiences have been positive, do not dismiss my experiences. I have been around the block too, I am merely pointing out the truths that I have witnessed.

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I wish I were a violin teacher who teaches young kids. I can't help but wonder how amazing it would be to witness my pupils grow, that is, if I were a violin teacher.

Being a teacher--specifically, the FIRST teacher-- for young string players is one of the greatest jobs in the world. We are close to the end of the first year for my beginners. To hear them play "Allegro" and "Cotton-Eyed Joe" and catch their enthusiasm, to realize that a few months ago they didn't know how to open the violin case, much less the first thing about holding the instrument or bow, or the rudiments of making a good tone, is mind-boggling.

Yes, they have a long way to go. Many or most of them will eventually quit. Some will go on and on. Some few will become teachers themselves. But ALL will have had an experience making music and will have discovered things about themselves that perhaps they might never have otherwise.

If I can make music lovers out of my children, then I have succeeded.

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There is much truth to what Kabal is saying. My experience bears it out as well. Nepotism is prevalent not just in Washington and Hollywood.Even Fritz Kreisler was denied by auditions, and he was arguably one of the greatest fiddlers ever. The sleaze factor is something we must all come to terms with eventually, hopefully avoiding bitterness. True music is above politics!

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This is exactly the same thing which happened to me. I found the violin hard when I was about 12 or 13, and I wanted to give up really badly. But my dad made me continue. Why? I don't know, I was awful at the violin then (really really awful!). Anyway, I must have been 13 or 14 and for no reason I can fathom, I fell in love with the instrument. I bought many recordings of Yehudi Menuhin (early recordings) and Itzhak Perlman, my two favourite violinists back then. I realised I had almost left things too late, so I practised incesantly, jumping 4 grades in just under a year and a half. I am 16 now, having learned most of the Bruch and almost all of the first movement of the Mendelssohn. I wish I had started earlier though, because I know my playing lacks a lot because of this rush (like quite poor sight-reading). I hope to be able to play professionally one day though.


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Dude, your post makes me glad I chose writing as a career -- such an unsullied profession. I've never had to deal with such sleaze in NYC or LA.

Seriously, I'm sure everything you wrote is true. I've lived with the equivalent in my business. That I'm not the most bitter human being in the world -- that I still love what I do as much as ever -- boggles my mind.

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I wish I had spent a far greater portion of my time on Earth playing chamber music. I have missed out on so much of the great inspired string quartet literature, not to mention trios, quintets, etc. etc. I was sort of sold on the idea that playing in an orchestra was the only way to succeed, but now play in all kinds of small groups, from tango bands to folk ensembles. And I'm only just beginning to explore the oceans of excellent quartet recordings. Why isn't this aspect of string playing emphasized more among the young? color>

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[been away]

Good one -- The Sex Pistols - LOL. I'd be chuckling even louder if "the audition" process wasn't so dispicable and they had actually listened to the tape. But as least it was an experiment and you had the last word (and laugh)!

Sounds like an older relative who once related a story when she worked at an AD agency. The AD agency told a Mom, who brought her baby in for a possible modeling gig, what a great looking baby she had and that the kid was shoo-in but they needed a photo portpolio. So, the mother goes out gets some professional photos done ($$$) and brings it in. AD agency says great we'll call you soon. No sooner had the lady hit the door and the "portpolio" goes into the circular file. The interviewers laugh and make snide comments about the child's looks and then select some agency higherup's kid to do the shoot. Needless to say, my relative said she didn't stay long - couldn't handle the cronic dishonesty of management.

Like you posted, politics and nepotism are probably found in every field but I would venture that the ones where there is a subjective determination of talent may see these more often.

P.S. Hope the Elton thing works out.

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