5 Things Classical Musicians should know about being in a Band

MercyAcademy_NewAlbanyIndieFest

So, why aren’t you in a band anyway? One of the things I think all Classical Music students (especially performers) should be required to do is play in a band.  No, this doesn’t mean they should take up a guitar, bass, drums, or sing.  What this does mean is that it should become an integral part of the performing experience–even if for just a semester.  Learning the ropes on how to put together a set, getting booked, and dealing with a non concert hall type of venue would do more for teaching kids about the business of music than a class would, I’d think.  Along the way, students would also be able to dispel a lot of myths about the Pop Music scene that we romanticize as a result of media representation or unrealistic portrayals of the industry through engagement with big name Pop Superstars.

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“[W]hy not do pieces more accessible, more traditional and more ‘musical’?”

Noiseman433-instrument

It’s been a number of years I posted (warning: explicit language) Joe Roemer’s (of Macronympha) to my harshnoise blog.  It had been circulating around emails, listserves, and the net in online forums (when those were the primary online social networks after listserves) and I wanted it to be posted in a more “public” space.

(you might want to turn the sound down a bit before listening to the youtube video below)

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[Music] entrepreneurship will favor the very few and marginalize the vast majority

MusicMoney

The title of this post is from a recent piece by Andy Lee taking to task some things that Claire Chase (Artistic Director and CEO of the International Contemporary Ensemble) said at a convocation address at Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. The full quote is actually in the comments section of the piece:

I think a slight clarification on (what I hoped to make) the thrust of my piece would be that I’m saying that entrepreneurship under current conditions will favor the very few and marginalize the vast majority. I’m not saying it isn’t a path to success, but I see it as the great hope that others seem to.

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Unexpected non-standard cello techniques

non-standard-cello

Several years ago I came across George Dennehy, the boy who played the cello with his feet because he was born without arms and hands.  Every once in a while I’d take a look to see what other differently-abled* folks are doing with the cello (or other instruments) since I have a driving curiosity to learn about alternative string techniques.

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Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Classical Music, and why you might not want to follow your passion…

Carrey-ComSpeech

I’m sure most of you have seen the recent Jim Carrey commencement speech (or at least the shortened clickbait version).  If not, here’s the short one:

While it is inspirational and uplifting if we put aside some of the issues of privilege in Carrey’s situation which I’ve been having discussions about with some folks elsewhere, this Salon.com piece, Dear graduates: Don’t follow your dreams (A commencement speech for the mediocre), by Tim Donovan reiterates what I’ve talked about regarding Survivorship Bias in two previous posts. Interestingly, Donovan’s piece isn’t specifically a response to Carrey’s speech as the post was published two days prior to the Maharishi University of Management Graduation.

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