I need to follow more music related blogs and be followed by more music related blogs.
Please reblog this if any of the following apply to you:
-You play an instrument
-You study classical music
-You love classical music
-You play classical piano
-You love classical pianists
-You post about classical music
-You love talking about classical music
-You want to dedicate your life/you dedicate your life to classical music
-You study in a conservatory
-You want someone to talk to about classical music.
-You love any of the following:
*Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky
*Herbert Von Karajan
*Luis Herrera de la Fuente
As a second year undergraduate, I’m half-way through my BMus course – the English equivalent to a Bachelor of Music. I like to think I’ve learned a few things about surviving as a music student. Without further ado:
Make the most of every opportunity
Take advantage of your student status! Many stores, online retailers and concert venues offer some sort of student discount or concession - find out what is available to you. My local concert venues offer tickets for students at a very low price for any seat in the hall, so there is no excuse for me to turn down the chance to see exciting concerts. Last semester, I saw the world-renowned violinist James Ehnes for £5 ($6)! Any student will be aware that studying is expensive and any way of saving can only be a good thing.
(Even when that opportunity is free time.)
Additionally, after speaking to my various tutors, coaches and mentors, it has become clear that life as a student accommodates the most time for practice. and When you launch into the profession, time for practicing is drastically reduced. This little word of advice has really made me appreciate the fact that as a violin student at conservatoire, I have excellent facilities to enhance my practice. I urge any music student to treasure the practice rooms and other facilities at your institution, and to make as much use of them as you can.
Diaries, journals, and calendar are your best friends. Without these things your life will surely be very difficult, unless you possess a really gifted memory. Life at any college or university is very busy and even more so for musicians. I know from personal experience that along with my weekly timetable, numerous projects, and rehearsals with different ensembles, I would not be able to function without my planner. I like the fact that I can clearly see every class or event for the coming week. Whether your preference is the calendar on a portable device or a tangible diary or calendar, it is an essential for every student musician.
Find an equilibrium in life & Know your limits!
It is important to have a balanced life. Studying and practice can often take up most of our time, leaving little time to do other things we enjoy. I’ve learnt that as much as I want to work hard and see the results of my hard work, it is impossible and impractical to constantly be in work mode. Having down time, enjoying life is a good antidote. For me, doing things that are completely unrelated to music help refresh myself. On the other hand, the highlight of some students’ lives might be going out. Indulging in too much partying is impractical and doesn’t reap great results. Although it’s not always easy, finding a healthy balance is a sure-fire way to be on top op everything and makes life a little less stressful.
During your time at a music college or conservatory, you should have an idea about your career goals. It’s never too early to envision yourself as an artist in the industry. Try to figure out your place in the music world. For me having career aspirations is my main driving force through music college. The fact that I have an idea of where I want to be in the future makes the everyday struggles of studying and practicing easier. Don’t let your status as a student deter you from going for what you want. If you want to be an orchestral musician, go on orchestral courses. Many institutions have partnerships with local orchestras where they have side-by-side schemes and students can rehearse alongside the professionals. If you want to be a music journalist or critic, why not start a blog now and publish your own writing? Whether you want to be a soloist or session musician you should definitely launch your website, Youtube Channel, SoundCloud account in addition to other social media. Start putting yourself out there whilst you’re a student and you’ll have good prospects for when you graduate.
Mahaliah Edwards is a student at the Birmingham Conservatoire and a blogger for Behind the Bridge.
You know you want to, those high notes nearly killed your eardrum. Be warned, though, flutes can double up as good stabbing weapons.
Hmmmm… be cautious about that one. The oboe is angsty and tense, you do not know when they will lash out and you will never know when they will strike.
As a clarinetist, I can assure you that we are weak, mostly harmless, but WEIRD. You may not be the same after fighting us.
All bark and no bite. No brains either. Just fight them, they show off too much for their own good.
NO! Do not fight the bassoon, they are an endangered species and we must protect them.
What do you have against them, you can't even hear them. The french horn didn't do anything to you. The french horn is peace and chill, let them be, you have no reason to fight them.
YAAASSS! FIGHT THAT TRUMPET! PUNCH THEM WHERE IT HURTS- IN THE EGO!
Are you stupid you'll get knocked out with the slide you silly person
DO NOT FIGHT! Their instrument is heavy and metal and WILL give you a bad concussion.
Nope. Uh uh. Bad idea. They whack stuff. They move big, heavy instruments. They own numerous instruments that could double up as a weapon. Do you want your eye poked out with a mallet?
1st & 2nd Violins:
YOU'LL BE SWARMED DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY THERE ARE???!!!???!!!!!!
Yeah, you may as well fight them. But you've already hurt them by calling their instrument a violin, so I don't know why you'd want to cause them further pain. But sure, go ahead. You have nothing to lose.
Make sure to get them after a long, tiring rehearsal, that way their legs will be weak from sitting down for so long and they'll be close to an emotional breakdown. Just be careful, you don't wanna get hit their instrument.
Best not. Carrying around an instrument like that, they probably have SOME muscle.
HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET??? NOOOOOOO!!!!! YOU DO NEVER FIGHT THE CONDUCTOR! DO NOT FIGHT THE CONDUCTOR! IF THEY DON'T MAKE YOU PLAY THE PIECE ALL THE WAY THROUGH AGAIN, THEY WILL POKE AND JAB YOU WITH THEIR BATON THEN THEY WILL FENCE YOU WITH THEIR BATON AND BEAT YOU AND THEN THEY WILL USE THEIR BATON AS A HARRY POTTER WAND AND AVARDA KEDAVRA YOU OKAY? DO NOT FIGHT THE CONDUCTOR! YOU WILL DIE! THEY ARE MAD AND UNPREDICTABLE AND NOT TO BE FOUGHT.
PSA for string players: How to straighten your bridge if it’s starting to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa - especially due to the pegs pulling the top towards them:
Anchor both hands underneath the black parts (fingerboard and tailpiece) and use one thumb to gently push in the general direction you want to go and the other thumb is to act like a safeguard so you don’t push the bridge over.
In general, aim for a 90° angle from bridge to the top of the instrument on the tailpiece side.
Look for gaps at the bridge feet in case it’s telling you something different. When I fit a bridge to a top, it will fit seamlessly. There will be no gaps if it is standing up straight where it is supposed to.
***I have seen some rental violins that have the bridge carved at a lean and in order to get it straight - the feet don’t fit. I pull it as straight as I feel comfortable, which usually means not all the way. Get a new bridge if yours does this. The bridge will fall over more easily and pitch recognition might be off compared to a well fit bridge.***
If the bridge isn’t moving, make sure there is pencil lead in the grooves to help lubricate the crossing of the strings.
When I was in college as a player, I am aware that I probably broke a bridge because of letting it lean when I was trying to tune my violin after a peg popped due to humidity. 😳
I thought it was a fault of the bridge, but now I’m pretty sure it’s just because I let it lean for too long and it eventually folded under the pressure of the strings - equaling a broken bridge.
It was startling and I’m lucky I didn’t cause more damage from the tailpiece hitting the top after the bridge snapped in half. 🙊
Bridges don’t generally wear out. They might warp and eventually snap due to leaning, but if taken care of, I’ve seen well maintained bridges in action over 30 years old.
Person A is violinist and the heroine in a harem anime. Person B is a cellist and doesn’t stand out very much. Person A is not interested in the people in their harem because they’re super gay they think that kind of stuff is stupid. One day Person A hears Person B playing their cello and immediately falls in love. Love isn’t so stupid now huh? Person A tries to get close to Person B, but Person B is kinda prickly and doesn’t want to be in any relationship with Person A. This causes Person A to do stereotypical things people do to get their crushes to like them back. (Like serenading Person B with ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’). Doing all these things causes Person B to see that Person A isn’t some perfect god that nobody can touch; they’re actually a big dork and Person B loves that. They slowly become closer and become good friends.
This comes to the immense displeasure of Person A’s harem and they try to get in the way of their relationship. After many moments ruined between the two, Person A tells them off with a super cheesy love confession towards Person B. They end up dating and when Person B finally purposes to Person A they play ‘Can’t help Falling In Love With You’ on their cello for them.
Masterclasses can be a daunting prospect for musicians. Playing to a prominent musician who is then going to critique and teach is a big thing. In addition, there will probably be an audience. Here are a few ways you can bring your A-game to the masterclass:
Preparation is key; it goes without saying but it is absolutely vital to be prepared. Have your piece ready to perform. Try to arrive early to set up and relax before your performance. Make sure that you have had rehearsals with an accompanist (if you need one) before the day. If there is an accompanist you haven’t played with before, try to have at least a conversation with them about the way you want to play. If this is not possible, try to communicate clearly with them while playing. Make it known when you want to do something different with the tempo, etc. There is nothing worse than being prepared but having your performance suffer due to miscommunication with the accompanist. Good accompanists are like gold dust so when you find someone who you play well with, never let them go!
If you can, it’s always good to get a feel for the space you’ll be performing in. If you can have a prior rehearsal at the venue, it’s a good idea to get used to the acoustics and work out any adjustments you make have to make with dynamics etc. By being extra prepared, you’re giving yourself the best chance to do brilliantly in the performance.
Have an extra score ready for the visiting professor. This is useful, as they can pinpoint specific places in the music that they want to talk about. Also, the visiting tutor can write things onto the score directly which you can then study afterwards.
If you can, record your masterclass with audio and / or visual. You can then use the footage to add to your portfolio and for your own archive too. Recording the class is a good way to reference or remember anything you may have forgotten. The video footage is recommended because you can also look at the visual aspect of your performance.
Finally, remember that a masterclass is only someone offering their opinion and ideas on how you could play the piece. You don’t have to implement all their advice into the piece; you may not even agree with everything the teacher says. The point is that you have the opportunity to play to a professional and they give you ideas to play with. Be prepared to try new things and experiment with metre, tempo, timbre and everything in between!
Mahaliah Edwards is a student at the Birmingham Conservatoire and a blogger for Behind the Bridge.