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Thoughts on Music Stands

Posted by Alberta Barnes on May 11, 2012 8:47:00 AM

Having trouble finding the music stand you need? Here are my personal favorites!

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, SHAR Apprentice, Music Stands, Product Reviews

The SHAR Apprentice Program

Posted by Joseph Chapman on Apr 19, 2012 1:47:00 PM

In today's blog post, Alexandra Ostroff and Katie Thompson, two senior apprentices at SHAR, promote the SHAR Apprentice Program by sharing a little about their time here. Interested in applying? Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more details. 

Hi Alexandra! So, you're now a senior apprentice at SHAR, but what were you doing before? What has your time as an apprentice like here? Do you perfrom in town?  


I applied for the Apprentice Program upon earning my Master in Music from The University of Louisville in May 2008. I’d gone straight into my graduate work after I earned my Bachelor in Music from Baldwin Wallace College in 2006 and, needless to say, I was burnt out on school. As an apprentice I’ve had a few projects that I’ve worked on. I looked into carrying more orchestral excerpts, did a brief write up on the most popular method books here, blogged about a quartet with co-workers, helped co-ordinate the Sassmannshaus Workshop in the Showroom, and organized the Apprentice Ensemble’s outreach to local Michigan schools.  I’ve really enjoyed writing reviews for products and the monthly “Notes From An Apprentice” blog.

During my time working at SHAR, I have worked in several departments and helped out where I can. I enjoy working in the showroom. I have learned a lot about the many products available for violin and viola (my primary and secondary instruments) and even cello (which I couldn’t play to save my life). 

I’ve also carved a niche for myself here in Ann Arbor as a working musician. I took several auditions and sent my resume to the many Southeastern Michigan orchestras upon my arrival.  I’ve actively searched for playing and teaching opportunities in the area and have learned to balance them with my full-time position at SHAR.  

Hi Katie! You're also a senior apprentice. When did you first join the apprentice program? And how have you spent your time in it? 

I came into the program in Fall of 2010, after I finished my master’s degree. When I moved to Ann Arbor, I wasn’t sure of much. I didn’t know where I wanted to end up, just that I wanted to play the violin! While I’ve been here, I’ve clarified goals and learned important skills that will help me in my future endeavors. I’ve gained a lot of tools for understanding and helping people. I’ve worked on a number of projects, both on my own and with my colleagues here. I’ve met many wonderful musicians and teachers, both at the ASTA trade show I attended and here in Ann Arbor. Through my contacts, I’ve had the privilege of playing gigs in this area. Being in this program has helped me define what I want to do and has given me many tools to actually accomplish those dreams!

Are YOU graduating in May (or did you graduate in December 2011)? Are you not sure what path to take next?

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Topics: SHAR, SHAR Apprentice

SHAR's 3rd Annual String Quartet Competition

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Apr 17, 2012 11:50:00 AM

SHAR Music is proud to announce the winners of its third annual Quartet Competition!

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Topics: Violin, Parents, Education, Beethoven, Viola, SHAR, Cello, Auditions, High School, Classical Music, Chamber music, Dvorak, SHAR Apprentice, Schubert, Strings, String Community, Performance

The Ice Cream Pedagogue

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Mar 9, 2012 9:55:00 AM

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Topics: Violin, Beginner Violin, Education, Classical Music, SHAR Apprentice, Performance

Notes from an Apprentice - SHAR Way: Better than Renting

Posted by Rachel Krueger on Sep 12, 2011 2:11:00 PM

Looking for a rental?
Try the SHAR Way - It's Better than Renting!

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Topics: Parents, SHAR, High School, SHAR Apprentice

Notes from a SHAR Apprentice - Metronomes and Tuners

Posted by Rachel Krueger on Jun 1, 2011 2:21:00 PM

Metronomes and Tuners: For you, not against you!

In my lifetime as a musician, I have owned several metronomes and tuners. From a basic metronome with a dial and an off/on switch, to a DB90, I have owned the economy model, the deluxe, and most things in between. Of course, how you use the metronome or tuner is more important than what metronome or tuner you have! Here are a few of our favorite practice methods that will hopefully make metronome and tuner practice more enjoyable.

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Topics: Tips, Metronomes, Tuners, SHAR Apprentice, Practice

Notes from a SHAR Apprentice - Bow Concerns

Posted by Rachel Krueger on May 3, 2011 2:00:00 PM

Common Bow Concerns
Troubled by misgivings about bows? Don't know if these bow inspector specials are a good idea for you and your family? Wonder what to do if you are on a budget, break a bow, or need to travel?

Here are some answers for you!

We may not be playing very long...
Young children who want to play because their best friend plays or adults who always wanted to try and have decided to take a chance on string playing; these are just two of many situations where there may not be a long term commitment to string playing. Many people start lessons and then, after a few months, decide to invest their time in something else. The bow specials are a way to obtain a good bow at a realistic price, so you can go ahead with your experiment without worrying about your wallet.

My student is ready for a new bow, but can’t really afford it.
Inspector Special bows include all levels of our student bows at discounted prices. Often inspector special bows are at just the right price point for a student with a limited budget.

Help! I broke my bow by (dropping, sitting on, running over, sword fighting with) it!
Let’s face it. Life happens, and sometimes fragile things like bows are casualties of existence. If you have a child who is extremely active and breaks bows like tinder, you may not want to invest in an expensive bow every time. These reduced prices allow you to replace that bow for as little as $15!

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Topics: SHAR Apprentice, Bows, String Community

Notes from a SHAR Apprentice - Cases

Posted by Rachel Krueger on Apr 21, 2011 11:59:00 AM

When you're picking out a violin case you usually have three choices of materials - compacted foam, wood, or carbon fiber. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type as well as structural factors which contribute to safety and weight of each case. So, to break it down simply, here are some facts about each type of case:

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, SHAR Apprentice, Cases, Instrument Care

Detroit brings home String Project of the Year Award!

Posted by Rachel Krueger on Mar 11, 2011 2:49:00 PM

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Topics: Education, SHAR Apprentice, String Community

Notes from a SHAR Apprentice - Shoulder Rests

Posted by Rachel Krueger on Mar 2, 2011 11:34:00 AM

Shoulder Rests:
Choose your own Adventure!
by Christine Beamer

Like most violists, I have tried pretty much every shoulder rest out there in search of a perfect fit. While some people find a shoulder rest that fits them to a tee, do not panic if you love the height of one shoulder rest but the curve of another! There are many ways to customize a rest so it fits your personal body shape - here are just a few to get you started.

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Topics: Tips, SHAR Apprentice, Shoulder Rests

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