Originally I had drafted an insightful blog about our environment and how they promote or negate creativity.
Well, I’m saving that one for another day because I’ve been bitten by the inspiration bug. This little bug infected me just after I finished up a chamber coaching with a wind quintet of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble.
Holy mother of pearl I had a blast! The kiddies were sightreading, so trying to actually work on musicality was out of the question. Regardless, this gave me an amazing opportunity to work with the group on other…dare I say, more important concepts. None of these guys have played in a wind quintet before, so it was like working with a blank canvas.
As a coach of a quintet, or any chamber group, I’m not a conductor and not there to force feed the material to them…it’s our responsibility to guide them to find their voice both as a means of rehearsing as well as a musician.
Communication, conversation, critical assessment of whats going on at that very moment. My three C’s for chamber music. Communication means looking at each other, making some gesture when you pass a melody line to another player, cuing, and playing together.
Conversation, in many regards, probably fits under the aspice of communication, however I’m talking about rehearsal conversation. Converse with each other as musicians and students, make conversation and agree upon certain key elements of playing: articulation, phrasing, texture, style, etc. And lastly Critical assessment, it’s important to be able to assess what you just did, make suggestions to fellow players and communicate, in a conversational manner, what can be done differently.
These kids got it and it was amazing to see this. They were communicating better and conversing and critically assessing everything. I just smiled and giggled a little bit because there are some graduate students I know that cannot do this.
It was refreshing and reaffirms my career path. I cannot wait to get my fist college job and start chamber coaching and teaching!!!
Sorry, this was a rant of a blog and frankly I’m too tired to go back and edit.