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Yo Ma-Ma

How can I gracefully bow out of a dead-end quartet?

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Well, my friend played trios last night! She wrote me this morning and said it was a real eye opener! She said she's been playing totally off me all this time (and I was playing off her and trying to tune the others out), and had been so focused on that that she hadn't ever really LISTENED to the group objectively. She said she was really surprised at the level and the quality of playing (or lack thereof). She felt really discouraged and trapped now that I'm gone, and she doesn't want to double-whammy them and leave too. But she's got a good attitude about it and isn't mad at me for leaving or anything. She may try to phase out of it later on herself (time constraints!) but for now is just going to treat it as a mentoring opportunity. She's really good at encouraging and motivating people and making suggestions for improvement in such a way that people listen to her. I tried that for a while to try and make the best of the situation, but whenever I made a suggestion, they'd argue with me. :- Very stubborn, strong-willed types.

My friend said they didn't rag on me or anything last night (probably because they know she and I are close friends), and that they are starting to get over their hurt. So that makes me feel a bit better. I still haven't heard a word back from either of them, and maybe I never will! The one lady who "released" me from the group seems like the type who holds grudges and really wants you to feel it when she's mad at you. I had hoped we'd be able to part on good terms, but maybe it just wasn't meant to be.

I'm feeling better, though, and our other, better quartet is getting back together soon because we've been asked to play another wedding (and reception), so that'll be fun. It's over, I'm free, and we'll all heal before long.

Yo Ma-Ma

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Good, Yo - Seems your friend knows now more what you meant. You are vindicated. And, what Neil said! The healing has begin. Shirley

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I've been following your saga, but haven't chimed in because everyone else has guided you so well. Leaving a long-term ensemble is difficult, but occasionally necessary. You handled it very well, too bad the other group member did not. They need to understand that you and your friend are growing as musicians while they play for recreation. There is a huge difference. At least you have the other group to play with. That will do more for you as a musician, anyway!

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