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How to Bring Music into Your Busy Life

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jun 27, 2018 12:21:00 PM

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!

Val Jaskiewicz

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.

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Topics: Chamber music, Strings, Blog, Ensemble Playing, Music Careers, ACMP

Practical Passion: How an Independent Artist Took Charge of His Own Career

Posted by Jeremy Cohen on Jun 4, 2018 8:34:36 AM

Practical Passion: How an Independent Artist Took Charge of His Own Career

 

 “. . . as much as I know what lights me up inside, I also know that the future will look different from what I plan.” With these words, violinist Rebecca Fischer offered us a glimpse of the shape shifting that is an integral part of an artistic calling. Her blog article, “Courage: Starting Fresh, Again and Again”, part of “SHAR’s Lives of Artists” series, goes on to describe that new beginnings sometimes require something old to end.

 

Violinist Jeremy Cohen knows a thing or two about new beginnings. Studying with Itzhak Perlman, performing solos with symphony orchestras and extensive work with chamber ensembles provided Jeremy with the solid foundation necessary to enjoy a fruitful traditional orchestral or conservatory career. But the music of Jeremy’s childhood neighborhood – jazz, Tango, Latin music – called to him, and he just couldn’t abandon it. Fortunately, Jeremy’s skills enabled him to have plenty of work, including live performances, extensive film and television work, and touring as concertmaster with major artists. All this was to change for most independent artists upon the arrival of the internet, smartphones and Netflix, all competing with live music. For Jeremy Cohen, there was no choice except to become a champion . . .

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Topics: Violin, Composers, Ensemble Playing, Flexible Ensembes, String Quartet, The Lives of Artists... In Their Own Words, Music Careers

Introduction to Associated Chamber Music Players (ACMP)

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on May 14, 2018 11:07:59 AM

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.

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Topics: SHAR, Classical Music, Chamber music, String Community, Blog, SHAR Ann Arbor, Ensemble Playing, Flexible Ensembes

COURAGE: STARTING FRESH, AGAIN AND AGAIN

Posted by Rebecca Fischer on Mar 5, 2018 4:15:34 PM

Last month, writing for SHAR’s blog series, “The Lives of Artists . . . In Their Own Words”, Formosa Quartet violinist Jasmine Lin explained that being open to an unclear future is what enabled four individuals to coalesce into one ensemble fifteen years ago. Trusting their own intuitions, and each other’s, has allowed them to continually renew themselves artistically, engaging deeply with their audience in the process.

But sometimes a change is needed. Artists are explorers at heart, and since they trust their own intuitions, they develop the courage to venture out. This is not the same as fearlessness. It’s quite the opposite: It’s venturing into the unknown despite their fear. For violinist Rebecca Fischer, that meant giving up something that she still loves and that still brings her joy, as her beloved Chiara Quartet lovingly disbands after 25 years together. As Rebecca passionately puts it in her blog article, “What I want to do in this next stage of my life is both clear and completely open to me.” And that’s how “The Afield” was born . . .

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Topics: Ensemble Playing, Self-Improvement, motivation, The Lives of Artists... In Their Own Words, Music Careers

Are You Ready to Play Irish Fiddle on St. Patrick's Day?

Posted by James Engman on Feb 23, 2017 3:18:01 PM

 

Have you ever been to an Irish pub or special gathering where a small circle of people pulled out their various instruments and just started playing, without pause, energetic and mythical sounding sets of tunes that just turn and turn into the night? The group may be as small as two people, or as large as a small orchestra, and while some people may be close friends, others are total strangers. What they all have in common are their memorization of dozens, sometimes hundreds of tunes, all shared in a common ancestry - not hereditary, but simply musical. If you play a stringed instrument and haven't been a part of what is most often called Irish session music, you absolutely must, and this St. Patrick's Day is a great opportunity. If you are hooked on Celtic fiddling, a tune book and some advice will help you in becoming one of that timeless circle of musicians.

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Topics: Sheet Music, For Fun, Fiddle, Ensemble Playing, Irish Fiddle

Christmas Sheet Music for Strings - Part Two: Advanced String Quartets

Posted by James Engman on Nov 21, 2016 5:47:52 PM

Is your string quartet booked for any holiday gigs? Do you have a group of advanced players in your orchestra that might want to showcase a quartet at the Christmas Concert? The string quartet is one of the most enduring and popular ensembles because of its limitless possibilities in expression, tone, and dynamics. However, there is so much sheet music for string quartet floating around out there, that it can be tough to find actual good arrangements - many are poorly notated or thoughtlessly adapted from other instrumentation. When arrangements are bad, there's is often nothing that can be done to make them pleasing. To make your search much easier, I'll suggest these five books containing arrangements of Holiday tunes that go far beyond your standard sing-along carol book, and are perfectly arranged for string quartet! These are all in the intermediate to advanced difficulty range, which allows for much more interesting music than basic arrangements.I hope one of these quartet books becomes your annual musical tradition!

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Holiday Music, Christmas, Ensemble Playing, Flexible Ensembes, String Quartet

Christmas Sheet Music for Strings - Part One: Easy Flexible Ensembles

Posted by James Engman on Nov 14, 2016 1:57:27 PM

Do you have sheetmusic ready for this year’s holiday celebrations? The Holiday season is a hectic time, and if you’re in charge of getting music students ready for concerts, I certainly don’t have to tell you that. I also don’t have to tell you that if you are trying to get string players together for an ensemble - whether it’s for church, school, a charity collection at the local mall, or just for grandma’s enjoyment – you can’t be too picky about the instrumentation! The chances are slim of ending up with a standard string quartet of exactly two violins, one viola, and one cello. Publishers and arrangers know this, which is why so many have put together collections of music that can work with many assortments of violin, viola, cello, and bass. So, why not be prepared with one of these flexible ensembles that will make your Christmas, Chanukah, or other winter holiday gathering jolly? Having an assortment of this type of music can be very helpful for getting holiday season gigs on a moment’s notice, or just always being prepared for spontaneous string caroling!

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Holiday Music, Christmas, Ensemble Playing, Flexible Ensembes

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