Category Archive: Performance Tips

Mar 29

The Musician’s Résumé – Part 1: Getting Started

In a previous post on our Kennedy Violins blog, “How to Find Gigs: Musical Networking,” I talked about ways to make connections within a music community when searching for performance opportunities. Diving further into the networking process, I want to zone in today on a specific and powerful networking tool: the musician’s résumé. DO I …

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Feb 04

How to Use a Metronome

Instrument, bow, stand, music, pencil–that’s all you need when you sit down (or stand) to practice, right? Wrong. One of the most essential and useful tools for the wise, efficient practicer is this marvelous, magical machine: the metronome. The timekeeper. That thing that clicks. As a string bassist who grew up classically trained, I was …

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Nov 12

Classical Music Genres of the Common Practice Period

Playing music is more than just playing notes on a page. Simply playing the notes would be like saying words without expression, asking questions without the rising inflection at the end of the phrase, writing without punctuation, eating food without salt or spices, seeing the world without color . . . you get it. Creating …

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Nov 05

Music Theory Basics (Part 1)

Music is a language and like any other language it has a written form.  The parts that make up the written form of music and the rules for writing is are know as music theory.  No matter your age or experience level, reading music and understanding music theory is a valuable skill.  Not yet music …

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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 17

String Instrument Techniques: How to Learn Vibrato

One of the trickiest, but most essential techniques to learn on a string instrument is the practice of vibrato. What is Vibrato? Vibrato is the act of actually altering the pitch of the string by rocking or vibrating your finger the pitch of the note through the physical movement of your fingers. It’s an artistic …

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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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