Open Music Stand Event
I've been thinking of organizing an "Open Music Stand" gathering/event. A venue and time where those of us who play from printed music can perform for each other.
I've heard of such gatherings in the "Fiddling" community but not amongst the "Dot Readers."
If there were one in your area would you participate, bring along your students to participate, bring your family and friends,...?
Perhaps you have already organized or participated in such an event. If so, did it work out well? If not why not?
Yes I would participate! The music school where I take lessons has such a thing and they call it an "adult recital." Your "open stand" concept is so cool, I love it because it just sounds so much less threatening. At our events, people can play from music or they can memorize their pieces, and there's no judgement cast on either choice. People play their latest Suzuki piece or they play more advanced rep, it all depends. People sometimes have collaborations (chamber pieces) that they've prepared, and that's all welcome. The event is held at the music school where there is an excellent piano available in a room with rather so-so acoustics (a rather dead space with a carpeted floor and a 9-foot drop ceiling -- basically office space.) Afterward we sometimes have cake and ice cream or even wine and hors d'oeuvres. Spouses come along and show support typically. Teachers are typically not present except for one piano teacher who is also the organizer and is also a Suzuki (probably Book 4) cellist -- she plays a cello piece and she often accompanies my violin piece. We love these events. I look forward to them for months in advance. Usually there are two per year. Everyone is busy.
That sounds like a terrific idea. It would be a low key way for people with stage fright to get some performance experience in a no pressure environment. I would only suggest that you time it during the school year if you’re expecting student participation.
George, it looks like ours is going to be July 7th in the afternoon. I'm going to play the Svendsen Romance Op. 26 -- a really slushy, late-romantic salon piece.
I agree with everything Paul said. My local community music school also has adult recitals, along with informal "house concerts" where adult students get together to play for each other in someone's home, and wine-and-cheese social evenings (which sometimes include performances). Plus, there is also a "performance club", where adult students get together to perform for each other, but an instructor is also present; this is effectively a casual masterclass format. And there are amateur music associations of various sorts that also arrange house concerts or masterclasses taught at someone's house (where not everyone attending is necessarily performing).
I'm involved in an informal amateur chamber music club that holds three house concerts a year on weekends: two for chamber ensembles (3 or more people) in January and June, and one "Sonata Day" for individual string players with piano in August. It's not affiliated with any community music school or music teacher. It maintains a list of coaches available to contact, ensembles typically have at least 2-3 coaching sessions before they perform, and most of the coaches seem to attend the concerts, but it's definitely not a masterclass format.
A few years ago someone in our area organized an "Orchestra Jam". He sent out parts beforehand to musicians in the area, and we all came together and took a run at pieces like Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 and Bach's Brandenberg Concerto No. 3. Quite informal, and far from perfect, but we had a blast.
Lydia, is the teacher who is present for the "performance club" compensated at the normal lesson rate? Curious because the whole idea sounds very good.
Paul, I'm guessing that they're paid more than they'd get for a normal lesson. They are paid by the community music school, and I'm guessing that the school turns a decent profit since every student pays a fee for the whole semester of the performance club.
I have arrived at the realization that the Violin community likes structure. Therefore, my idea of an unstructured or minimally structured venue with an open invitation to individuals or groups to take the music stand and perform isn't going to work.
It's not that we like structure... it's that you need a certain amount of it any time you do something involving more than one person. At the very least, there needs to be a set time and place so that people are there at the same time. There won't be an audience if people don't even know whether there will be any performers at all, and there's no reason to perform in front of what might be an empty room when you can just do that at home.
Too loosey goosey and I think people don't keep showing up.
George Wells - Maybe I'll just take my violin and music stand outside and play for whoever or whatever is out there.
James Stevens wrote: "Fiddlers, (hopefully not used in a derogatory sense by many here but I’m not sure of that) just look for other fiddlers or compatible instruments like mandolin, flute, upright bass, guitar (just one please) banjo (the travesty!) and they are perfectly content to just play with each other. No audience other than those who wander by is expected."
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