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Topic Options
#2186679 - 11/22/13 02:38 AM Playing Chamber music
Cassiesmom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
I had a conversation tonight with my teacher about someday playing chamber music. (It's been a bucket list goal for me since returning to the piano-- I'm about 9 months in as an adult restarter after 30 years) So It's still probably a few years down the road before I would be ready to give it try).--

Does anyone here play chamber music? How did you get started? (did you start with playing piano duets to get used to playing with another musician)? How did you find people to play with ? ( I don't have any friends that play music)?..

On a related note, while surfing around home tonight I came across this older (from 2006) article about Condoleezza Rice playing chamber music that others might find interesting as well.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/arts/music/09tomm.html?pagewanted=all

Thanks for any thoughts,
Cassiesmom

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#2186705 - 11/22/13 03:50 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Cassiesmom]
Ganddalf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 725
Loc: Norway
Unfortunately I had few opportunities to play with other instrumentalists. However, I have a lot of experience accompanying vocal soloists and choirs, and the challenges doing this are much the same as playing with other instruments.

The main challenge when playing together with other musicians is that you have to be very focused listening to them. There will always be a need for adjusting tempo as well as loudness. When everything works well, performing such music is a great experience. I even feel that I relax more when playing in a group than playing solo.

Being a member of a choir may give some good learning for those who want to play in groups. There you also have to listen to the others all the time.

It may also be a good idea to start accompanying a single soloist to begin with. As soon as more musicians get involved everything gets more complicated. When I work with choirs I usually try to keep track of each of the choral parts along with my own playing. Occasionally this may be quite difficult, especially when the singers do not know their parts well.

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#2186718 - 11/22/13 04:36 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Ganddalf]
Cassiesmom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
Thanks Gandalf,

I think joining a choir is out of the question for me... Can't carry a tune.. and I'm not being modest.. smile In addition, not really familiar w/ the world of choral singing..It would be quite intimidating to try and play for a group of singers right now (if there even are any groups in this area)

But.. I really like your suggestion to maybe do some accompanying as a pre-cursor to playing w/ others. I have a brother who sings in his church. I'l try to get him to come for a visit so we can work on some stuff together w/ no pressure to perform.


Thanks!

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#2186723 - 11/22/13 05:47 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Cassiesmom]
peterws Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 4195
Loc: Northern England.
Not the same,. but I used to play in a group. Now, we all used to sound splendid. But only after having had a few drinks. Those of the audience (function participants) who had also partook felt the same, I`m sure. Those who did not were strange people whose opinion wasn`t too important except they held the purse strings. That was always a bit awkward.

Now, if you apply this criteria to a Chamber Orchestra, who knows what might transpire? But it could be fun .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2186735 - 11/22/13 06:55 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Ganddalf]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12553
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Ganddalf
Unfortunately I had few opportunities to play with other instrumentalists. However, I have a lot of experience accompanying vocal soloists and choirs, and the challenges doing this are much the same as playing with other instruments.

The main challenge when playing together with other musicians is that you have to be very focused listening to them. There will always be a need for adjusting tempo as well as loudness. When everything works well, performing such music is a great experience. I even feel that I relax more when playing in a group than playing solo.

Being a member of a choir may give some good learning for those who want to play in groups. There you also have to listen to the others all the time.

It may also be a good idea to start accompanying a single soloist to begin with. As soon as more musicians get involved everything gets more complicated. When I work with choirs I usually try to keep track of each of the choral parts along with my own playing. Occasionally this may be quite difficult, especially when the singers do not know their parts well.


This is really good advice. From accompanying singers (and being a singer) I learned a lot of how to work with other musicians and to listen.

I agree that the OP is not ready to do this at this point from what they've told us, but taking steps now can help. Ask your teacher to play duets with you, and request to do a duet at a studio recital with another student of hers. This will at least get your feet wet, and can be done at any level. Then when you and your teacher feel you are ready, you can try accompanying solo singers.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2187398 - 11/23/13 03:07 PM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Morodiene]
A Rebours Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 222
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


Ask your teacher to play duets with you, and request to do a duet at a studio recital with another student of hers. This will at least get your feet wet, and can be done at any level. Then when you and your teacher feel you are ready, you can try accompanying solo singers.


Good advice.

My teacher and I have always played duets as part of my piano education from the very beginning. At every recital one of our pieces is a duet. When there was another adult student in her studio we performed the duet together. But now I am the only adult so I played the duets with my teacher.

Playing with others is my weak point because I don't get as many chances to play with others like the high school age students my teacher teaches. They all seem to play another instrument, in addition to piano, and they play in their school bands or orchestras. They are really good at duet playing!

For anyone interested in resources for duets, here are some of the ones my teacher and I have used:

Martha Mier, Jazz, Rags, and Blues for Two (graded levels)

Robert D. Vandall, Celebrated Piano Duets (graded levels)

Masterwork Classic Duets (graded levels). This series is new and are graded duets by classical composers.

So whatever your taste in music, there are lots of duets available. I've only listed a few with which I have experience.

A R
_________________________
Sauter 122 Masterclass (M-Line)

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#2187589 - 11/24/13 02:21 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: A Rebours]
Cassiesmom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
Morodiene and A Rebours.

Thanks for the duet suggestions..I'll ask my teacher if we can add that to what we're already working on ..and thanks for the book/music suggestions as well..

I did a few duets as a kid and loved them.. should be fun now as an adult !

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#2188351 - 11/25/13 11:21 PM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Cassiesmom]
ElaineAllegro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Midwest US
For Cassiesmom-

I went back to piano a few years ago after a many decades break, and also wanted to play chamber music. It was slow going at first, but through persistent online searching and word of mouth, I have now found many opportunities with informal local groups through Meetup.com, as well as coached workshops ranging from a day to a week to a series of weekly lessons through a music school.

In my experience, as a would-be pianist, it helped to learn some repertory first (Haydn Piano Trios, for example), bring the other parts along (violin, cello, etc.), and often there are people at meetups who can sight read them. I am still amazed by the people who show up at meetups and are able to sightread extensive advanced pieces, but am glad I persisted to find some compatible fellow musicians willing to work with me. When I am learning a new trio, my teacher helps by playing the other parts (violin, cello) on another piano while I play my part - especially good when there are tricky entrances, or one instrument takes the melody from another.

A few personal preferences: I find the coached sessions much more useful at this point. It helps to work on a piece consistently with a group, focus on communication among the players, and work on musicality, not just getting through the piece. Also, I found it easier to work on duets and trios at first, rather than quartets or anything beyond.

I don't know what city you are in, but hope you can find some similar resources there. Enjoy!
_________________________
Adieu to Mozart K332; on to Grieg-Holberg Suite I, II, V; Chopin-various Nocturnes & Mazurkas, Rach C# minor prelude, 2 Haydn piano trios.

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#2188400 - 11/26/13 01:06 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: ElaineAllegro]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1774
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: ElaineAllegro
. . .
I went back to piano a few years ago after a many decades break, and also wanted to play chamber music. It was slow going at first, but through persistent online searching and word of mouth, I have now found many opportunities with informal local groups through Meetup.com, as well as coached workshops ranging from a day to a week to a series of weekly lessons through a music school.
. . .


My first thought was:

. . . There must be some organization that "tracks" chamber-music groups, and connects players.

and my second thought was:

. . . . Meetup.com ?

Here's a start:

http://chamber.meetup.com/

There are "classical music" categories within Meetup.com.

A local music store, or teacher, might know what's going on.

One problem is that many of the players might be both _good_ and _serious_. You'd need intermediate-level skills (or better) to handle the classical repertoire.


. Charles

PS -- I'm learning a lot about music, by singing in a choir.

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#2188538 - 11/26/13 09:29 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Cassiesmom]
KurtZ Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 1102
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
there is a group. Amateurs Chamber Music Players. www.acmp.net

Kurt
_________________________
One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.

Rumi

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#2189654 - 11/28/13 01:03 PM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: Charles Cohen]
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 2563
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

Thank you for this resource Charles! I was able to locate a group in my area because of your link. I'm looking forward to my first meetup smile
_________________________
Carl


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#2189926 - 11/29/13 02:20 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: ElaineAllegro]
Cassiesmom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
ElaineAllegro-Thanks for sharing your own experience -I checked out the Meetups in my area and there is a group within about an hour to an hour and 1/2 of me!!

(Thanks to Charles as well---I used the chamber link you provided to meetup.com).

I"m not quite ready to join yet due to my experience level (I'm an intermediate player, but don't think I'm ready to play with others for quite a while---i'm still having a hard enough time playing alone) .. I'm glad to know that there are opportunites out there to meet others w/ the same interest!

I will plan on picking up some repetoire and getting started though. (I'll check out the Hayden piano trios)..

The only chamber music I do have is for the Brahms PIano Quartet # 3 in C minor-one of my favs.. ..YIkes ..out of my league smile

Thanks!
cassiesmom

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#2189928 - 11/29/13 02:35 AM Re: Playing Chamber music [Re: KurtZ]
Cassiesmom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
Thanks KurtZ...I've bookmarked the link for future reference. I found other good music links on the site as well.

Thanks for sharing.
Cassiesmom

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