Sunday, December 29, 2013

Playing In A Small Group

Chamber groups are small ensembles such as string quartets and piano trios, who play music intended for performance in close chambers such as parlors and living rooms, churches, or virtually any venue smaller than a large concert hall. While their small sizes and are ideal for intimate settings, chamber groups can, of course, also perform in great concert halls. Chamber orchestras with fifteen or more players blur the definition of a chamber group somewhat; however, while chamber orchestras are relatively large, they remain small and "chamber-like" in comparison to the immense size and volume of full modern orchestras.

It's the best way to meet people. It's much easier than a party. You go to a party, you wonder if someone is going to be approachable or not, but when you play music together, somehow you're communicating immediately, and you go to that level socially as well. Once you start playing music, you can communicate in a way that you could never do just with words.

You form bonds with people you might not otherwise have a conversation with. But because you've shared something so personal, it becomes easier.

It's the ultimate egalitarian experience, because everyone is necessary all the time. Everyone's complete focus is necessary all the time. Everyone coming into the experience understands and respects that. We all realize that we're bringing our best, and we're each bringing unique contributions to the group.

That's one of the best things about it, too. Each person brings something unique, so you have access to the brains of the other people to make a product that you couldn't make on your own. Sometimes there are heated debates, but it's all in good fun.

Playing chamber music helps enhance your musicianship. It’s easy to ‘hide’ in a large orchestra or
band, but in a small group your skills are much more exposed. You work harder to play accurately
and in tune, to listen and blend, to create musical phrases – and as a result, these musical skills
improve.

Playing in a small group allows you to be more autonomous and independent. You can make your
own rehearsal and performance decisions, and you can choose your own repertoire. You’re not
beholden to a conductor. You can tailor your performances to your own interests and/or the jobs
you’re hired to play.

Playing in a chamber group helps develop your communication skills. All members of the group
have an opinion on how the music should be played. Listening to all ideas and implementing the
ones that work best help to hone collaborative skills that you can use later on in college, your
career, and in everyday life.

There is a wide variety of music available for almost any instrumental combination. Some include
piano and/or voice(s). Pops, holiday, classical, jazz, etc…. You can find just about anything by going
online or checking with your music teacher.

Chamber groups are portable! It’s a lot easier to take a trio, quartet or quintet ‘on the road’ than a
full band. Small groups fit better into more venues, creating more opportunities to gig.

Playing chamber music is both a social and musical activity. Start a group containing friends you
already have, or start a group with people you hope to become friends with. Either way, you will
have fun!

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