Category Archive: Gigging

Oct 29

How to Plan a Student or Solo Recital

When I was younger, the word “recital” conjured up a distinct memory of only one thing: “Coda,” Episode 7 of Season 2 of The Wonder Years. I love this conversation between Kevin Arnold and his piano teacher, Mrs. Carples: MRS. CARPLES: Have you thought about what you’d like to play for the recital this year? …

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Oct 16

Orchestra Rehearsal Etiquette

At Kennedy Violins, we want you to succeed as a performer whether you’d a first-time player or a seasoned professional. 99% of musicians at all skill levels participate in an ensemble: playing with other people. Whether you’re in an orchestra for the first time or you’re an experienced orchestral performer, you’ll soon notice that there …

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Sep 04

Pit Orchestra: The Land Down Under

One of my most memorable experiences in high school was my very first time playing in a pit orchestra. I remember it very clearly: the musical was called The Nifty Fifties, all the girls on stage wore poodle skirts, and there was a song called “The Blob” about the 1958 sci-fi horror film with choreography …

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Aug 06

Musical Olympics: The Spirit of Competition

While nations around the globe tune in to the 2012 Summer Olympics, I’ve been thinking about the spirit of competition. What is it that drives us as individuals and societies to compete with each other? What motivates us to be better, stronger, faster, and smarter than each other? Is the spirit of competition healthy or …

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Jul 09

Busking: Taking It to the Streets

Maybe you’re getting tired of practicing. I mean, come on, it’s summer—everyone is taking trips to the beach, chasing after the sound of “The Entertainer” playing from the ice cream truck, and riding bikes in the sunshine. What could possibly be so appealing about confining yourself in a small, hot, stuffy room to play scales? …

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Jun 11

Safe Travels: 8 Tips for Transporting Musical Instruments

  With vacations nearly in full swing, you may be packing your bags to head out on that much-deserved trip to the Bahamas, your family reunion, or a huge holiday celebration. Are you planning to take your instrument with you? Whether you’re serenading a couple down the aisle, fiddling for your grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration, …

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May 20

The Fine Art of Tuning

In high school at the beginning of each concert, like all orchestras, we would take some time to tune.  Once the squeaking and squawking settled into a common A natural, our conductor would say, “Thank you very much.  Our first song was ‘The Fine Art of Tuning.’”  The audience, slightly confused, would laugh and we …

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Apr 28

Musical Role Models: Depressing or Inspiring?

  It seems there are two kinds of people in the world: those who react positively and those who react negatively in the presence of someone who is “better” at something than they are. For example, while observing a successful performer having accomplished a specific task, individual A might be discouraged and tempted to throw …

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Apr 02

Stage Fright Tips: How to Overcome Performance Anxiety

Studies show that amongst a general list of “greatest fears,” there’s one in particular that consistently takes the cake. Surpassing a fear of spiders, heights, and even death, the act of public speaking (or performance) leaves most people shaking in their boots. “So, you’re telling me that at a funeral, most people would rather be …

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Mar 21

Healthy Obsessions: Embracing Your Passions Leads to Success

  The successful theoretical chemist Henry Eyring once said to his son while working on complex mathematical equation, “We were working a problem just like this a week ago. You don’t seem to understand it much better. Isn’t this what you think about all the time?” As the young man responded negatively, his father asked, …

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