Here are 10 reasons why I love my trio:
Everyone loves their instrument, and music, and learning to play.
Everyone is dedicated.
Everyone takes private lessons.
Everyone practices on their own.
Everyone comes to rehearsals prepared.
Everyone works hard.
Everyone is reliable.
Everyone is kind and friendly and interesting and fun to be with.
Everyone brings musical experience into the group, and shares what they know.
Everyone listens to each other.
Everyone supports each other.
Everyone helps each other work out tricky parts.
Everyone focuses at rehearsals.
Everyone is easy and flexible with scheduling meetings.
Everyone respects our coaches and applies what is taught.
Everyone wants to get better, and to perform at our best.
Everyone is excited about working together.
Everyone brings joy and wonder to music and to life.
We started 3 months ago. Cello and viola are accomplished musicians on piano and french horn, but we are all adult-beginners on our string instruments, and this is the first small string ensemble for each of us. My violin teacher agreed to coach us on Haydn’s Divertimento VI. Our first lesson was about feeling a scale together, in tune, watching each other and breathing together. Just the basics! Our first attempt to play the piece was painful. However, after one lesson per movement, and 2 guest coaches on musicianship (Appoggiatura = tension/release = drama/calm = strong/weak, and it’s all over the place! Or, which instrument has the beat when? Rhythm is important! Or, where is conversation happening, and when do you play off each other?) we are playing the entire piece through, comfortably and musically. Our 4 performances will be the test of what we have learned and accomplished.
The most important aspect of a chamber ensemble is how the members respect and appreciate each other, to what degree they work together and get along. In this regard, we are lucky. For a random grouping of adult students, we share common work ethic and aspiration. Practicing and learning together some 6 – 8 hours a week over 10 weeks, we worked hard together, enjoyed each other’s company, and take pride in our joint achievement.
From my partners I have learned what joy it is to play in a small ensemble, and what wonder the making and sharing of music brings to life.
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