Editor's Note: The following blog post originally appeared on Arnold Steinhardt's blog In the Key of Strawberry and is republished with permission. Steinhardt is the founding member of the Guarneri String Quartet and the author of two books: Violin Dreams and Indivisible by Four. For more stories visit here or follow on Twitter.
Most of us violinists (as well as violists, cellists and bassists) are our most comfortable in an orchestra setting. Of course, the music is fantastic, and usually very challenging to learn and play. But learn and play we do, after woodshedding our parts carefully at home. Our teachers have been able to impart their technical and musical know-how to allow us to learn difficult pieces on our own. We take those skills, now finely honed, to the concert hall, where we deeply breathe in the joy of a beautiful performance, in amazing rhythm with our colleagues. If we’re lucky, our family and friends in the audience will enjoy our performance as much as we do.
There are more people who miss playing music than there are people who actually do play music. There are countless reasons for not going back to playing, including fear, lack of time, bad memories from childhood experiences, not knowing others who may be playing partners; the list is endless. The common thread running through all these stories is the regret most people express for no longer participating in an activity that they once enjoyed so thoroughly.
SHAR is so happy to be partnering with Associated Chamber Music Players to encourage people to get back into music making! For over 70 years, ACMP has passionately advocated for and led efforts to help people realize their dreams of getting back into playing with others. ACMP’s latest resource in this effort is author Amy Nathan . . . read ACMP executive director, Jennifer Clarke’s, interview with Amy Nathan, and how her new book, Making Time for Making Music (available at SHAR!) offers both inspiring stories, as well practical expert advice, in how you can get back into the most enjoyable and rewarding experience possible – making music with others!
Editor's Note: The following Q&A transcript by Jennifer Clarke originally appeared on the Associated Chamber Music Player's website and is republished with permission. Click here to learn more about this organization and its members.
SHAR is excited to announce a new partnership with Associated Chamber Music Players, encouraging everyone to experience the joys of playing chamber music while enjoying special benefits from SHAR. The following blog describes one violinist’s experience with chamber music, his journey away from his violin, and back again.
Alberta Barnes is orignally from Boise, Idaho and began playing the violin at a young age. She continued her study of the violin at Lawrence University and graduated magna cum laude from the Conservatory of Music in 2009 with a degree in violin performance. While studying under the instruction of Wen-Lei Gu, Alberta also played in numerous chamber ensembles, local symphonies, and was co-concertmaster of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra. After finishing her undergraduate studies, she worked toward a master’s degree in theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, briefly living in Rome and studying at the Pontificia Università San Tommaso. She is currently a SHAR Apprentice and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She plays regularly at a local Italian restaurant and performs as a part of the SHAR Apprentice Ensemble.
Joseph Chapman was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a B.A. in English and creative writing and the University of Virginia where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in poetry writing. Before joining the web department at SHAR, he taught writing part-time for the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, and Semester at Sea. His honors include the Ann Williams Burrus Prize in Poetry (2005), a Henry Hoyns Fellowship (2005-2006), and an Academy of American Poets prize (2007). From 2007 to 2008, he served as poetry editor for Meridian magazine, and his poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, The Cincinnati Review, Best American Poetry 2012, and elsewhere. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Julia Hansen.
Nerissa Nields has been a member of the legendary folk band The Nields since 1991. She has toured North America, been on major labels, shared stages with 10,000 Maniacs, Suzanne Vega, Indigo Girls, The Band, and James Taylor (to name a few), played to tens of thousands from stages all across the continent and has passionate fans all over the world. Between the Nields and her duo with sister Katryna Nields, she has made sixteen CDs. She is the author of three books, most recently All Together Singing in the Kitchen: Creative Ways to Make and Listen to Music as a Family (Shambhala/Roost Books 2011). With her sister Katryna, she is the co-creator of HooteNanny, early music programs for children 0-10 and their grown-ups, and HooteNanny Guitar, a program for parents to learn to play guitar with and for their children. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with her husband Tom and their two children. Photo by Sarah Prall.