She just started the Bruch Concerto - her previous program was Kabalevsky/Beriot no9 concertos/Sonata/Bach. She played very well in her previous program which led to the option.
She is already in an youth orchestra program that is 2 hours a week (mandatory for next year - it is easy for her) and she will have a reasonably big program next year (Bruch/potentially Lalo/Beethoven Sonata/Unaccompanied).
I am wondering if it is a good idea for her to join the Chamber program at this point? Is there a major advantage to join the Chamber music program?
We are worry about the time commitment and honestly have no idea how chamber music works (2 violinist, 1 viola, 1 cello?). Not too sure if this is a good idea yet.
Thank you in advance for your advice!Tweet
This still leaves her plenty of time to be a kid and go to TikTok university. The one thing you have to consider that we probably don’t, is that she’s going to HS next year. Mine takes HS math and will likely also take HS language next year, but that’s not the same as a full course load.
To be honest, the absolute most growth in playing ability and important musical skills tends to occur in a chamber music setting. It is arguably more important than orchestra. In a chamber group, you need to be both a soloist (at times) and a collaborator (all the time). It improves listening, communication, and overall ability. In addition, kids tend to find it really fun because the groups are usually small enough to foster a lot of social interaction.
The most common group types are string quartets and piano trios, but there are a wide range of options available. Of course, having a good coach helps a lot as well, so make sure the program is somewhat well-done.
My daughter has been playing duet every year with another student that is around the same level. She is also in two different orchestra/ensemble groups as first violinist: one runs from Sep. to May and another from Sep. to Dec. only. It's fairly easy for her so there's no need to practice for those groups.
We will try to fit her into the chamber group and see if there's option to slow down on the other orchestra/ensemble. Another unknown is that we do know how they pair the students and the quality of the play of the students in the chamber. I hope it will be at similar skill level!
We sight-read as much as we worked on music formally, and we gigged around at restaurants and such, too. A great social and musical experience.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine
You'll want to find out more about the chamber music group. (Number of musicians; type of music. Etc.) Usually it's more than four musicians. I would think one or the other; but, not both. I gather that she will be taking lessons. So those, along with both the youth orchestra and the chamber group would be a bit much.
If the chamber group is typical of other chamber groups, I think that between the youth orchestra and the chamber group, the chamber group would definitely be more beneficial for her development.