Performing as a non professional
Recently I have decided that pursuing a career in music is not for me (as a violin/viola player). So I have changed my focus onto something I feel I would do better at.
My question is, can people have a performing schedule, if somewhat limited, around a normal sort of 9 - 5 job? I saw on wonderful David's feed about that doctor bloke who plays in places. But was wondering if it works around other professions as well?
Well, play music pieces that you can master. You don't need to perform big works that are better performed by a virtuoso.
What sort of performing are you interested in? I wouldn't call it a schedule but for several years I'd moonlight once or even twice each weekend as a "stiffener" for many amateur orchestras in London, usually accompanying a choir. It made me some pocket money and a lot of sight reading practice. You need good contacts (my then girlfriend was also a violinist with more professional ambitions) and these days and in other cities it may not be feasible since such amateur groups are on the decline. After a few years it got to feel like a treadmill and I let it run down
I'd go so far as to bet that part-time musicians outnumber full-time ones significantly, and one demonstrably need not be a virtuoso to get paid for it, sometimes quite decently. (The attached caveats here are probably obvious enough that I don't have to bang on about them.)
I don't have any interest in like concertos or anything. More recital type things in local churches etc.
You can set up whatever recitals you want to do and can afford as long as you can find a venue willing to host (there will probably be a rental fee), an accompanist (will definitely be a fee), and an audience--family and friends will most likely comprise the bulk of your audience. Of course you can put up bills, advertise on social media, etc., but that's unlikely to draw in very many people off the street.
Jake, you can find a portion of my performing schedule in my profile (click on my name).
Weddings almost always require that you have some friends that you can play weddings with, and a varied group of friends because brides may want different combinations of instruments.
I don't really want to play weddings or funerals. Playing in a church that I have booked myself (with my job, I'll have enough disposable income to book a few a a year maybe). They'd mostly be solo as when I go to university I doubg there will be a decent student pianist to get together with and I'm not gonna book a random pianist. To me there needs to be chemistry and history between two people when playing together.
"Decent" student pianists are very easy to find at many universities. As for developing a history with a collaborator, every well known pair had its first time together at some point.
I am more a viola player than a violin player currently
So I have been looking into unaccompanied viola stuff as well
No. I generally say no to almost all paid gigs currently because my husband doesn't feel like the pay is worth an evening home alone with our preschooler.
The unaccompanied viola repertoire is even more limiting than that for unaccompanied violin. In either case, the audience is also somewhat specialized.
I'm not against it. Just not very hopeful for finding one
I know this isn't ideal, but how about playing pieces that, although they're supposed to have accompaniment, unaccompanied? I think some showpieces by Kreisler, Wieniawski and Sarasate sound pretty good without the piano part, for instance. Sonatas are not good for this, however.
I think there's a difference between playing concerts that "seem" professional (i.e. programs played by professionals in professional venues, attended by the general public) and playing in typical volunteer settings where there is no expectation of skill but where any music is considered a gift (church, hospitals, etc.)
I was meaning a concert calendar, a number of performances in venues (not necessarilly churches)
There are two core things to think about if what you want is a concert calendar -- i.e. regular solo recital (accompanied by piano, for the most part) appearances.
Very often when people go to university they assume that everything they do and everyone they know will necessarily be affiliated with the university. Not so. There are likely going to be pro-level pianists in the town (unless it's truly tiny) who have both skill and repertoire and will accompany for recitals for an hourly fee. Often they are Suzuki teachers who would love to do something besides watch children play Clementi Sonatinas. With student accompanists, the trick is to find one you gel with who can make a commitment to a serious project like accompanying a recital because it's going to mean practice time in addition to what they're working on for their piano professor. That's why I suggest you look for a "townie." Just make sure you know how well they can play before you ask them. The piano professors at the university will know these people and can make recommendations.
In my area, 19th century wives of wealthy men started chamber music societies, and as professional wealthy wife-ing started to diminish throughout the 20th century, retirees mostly run those societies. :-) (The biggest one manages an endowment and has a full-time director.)
As I say, I'm not looking to do a music degree. The university I go to may not have a music programme. I know this won't mean that there won't be any musicians at the uni, however
What profession are you expecting to enter, Jake?
Proceeds from any performance I do in any capacity will go to a charity of my and/or my accompanists choice
If you're going to go into medicine, you need to figure out how you're effectively going to manage a decade-long hiatus from violin-playing. Some people manage to study efficiently enough and are willing enough to give up a social life to be able to practice in their first and second years of medical school. During the third and fourth years of medical school, and your three to five years of residence, any "spare" time you have is generally spent dealing with severe sleep deprivation; nobody has time to practice. (Maybe you take an hour a month to do exercises to try to prevent your skills from completely deteriorating). If you do a fellowship after your residency (generally a year or two) you may also be extremely busy then.
I am the sort of person who has a routine schedule everyday. Even if it is only 30 minutes per day of scales and tone production, I will factor it in somewhere
I'm English living in a town about 30 miles outside of London currently. And yes. An MD to become a medical doctor
Ah, the English system of medical training is totally different, and then you have the NHS as your employer. I've read that the NHS basically works junior doctors like dogs, though.
I'm not too concerned about that. My current employer does that to an extent
I used to work as a clinical scientist in an NHS hospital. Some of my MD colleagues were pretty talented musicians, but they were so busy (even the consultants) it was a nightmare trying to get together with them to rehearse!
Either your schooling/career/life will allow you time to enjoy music and practice your violin, or it won't. You deal with it as it happens. There's no way to "prepare" for it because, what are you doing to do, practice 5-6 hours per day now to get ahead on your technique so you can take several years away from your instrument? That might be solid advice for an 11-year-old, but not for an adult.
In Bristol (England) we have an orchestra that was set up many years ago to accommodate the musical wishes of staff at a local hospital. They found that the best arrangement that would suit them was a Sunday evening rehearsal once a month. This was sufficient for them to be able to give an annual concert to Friends of the Hospital, together with their own friends and relatives.
I wonder whether this isn't really about performing per se but about keeping a central role for music in one's life and continuing to develop as a violinist/violist. And I think the way to do that is a) continue to practice and learn technique and repertoire and b) find musicians you want to play with. I think you really need both.
There is an amateur orchestra in my town. I tried joining a couple of years ago, on violin, but they sent me away (my teacher at the time wasn't very good). I've been meaning to go back on the viola but haven't quite got there yet
An option not yet mentioned: House concerts. You have an ensemble, you rehearse a piece or two, maybe with a coach (highly recommended). Then one of you (who has a large living room) invites everybody with their friends and family to a party where you play your program, followed by drinks and food. You get a benevolent audience and an intimate setting (which is ideal for chamber music, especially for small ensembles like string trios or duos). And it is low cost.
@Albrecht, thats what I was thinking while reading your comment
Groupmuse is designed to facilitate organizing house concerts, and is aimed at people who would like to get paid for them.
There will be oppurtunities (probably) while at university (with student orchestras) etc even if they don't have a music degree on offer. However, I may only do it to find some partners or something (quartet, pianist) and then leave and focus on the chamber music/sonatas