Chops Beyond the Practice Room

As if it wasn’t sufficient to be a superb violist, Jessica Meyer is also a clinician of a unique kind. Her “Chops Beyond the Practice Room” workshops help musicians learn how to network, how to speak to an audience or a colleague, how to actually open their mouths and connect with a fellow human being in a way other than with notes – a less than universal skill among those of us who spend  a huge chunk of our days alone with an instrument and a music stand. Her next such event is this coming Wednesday from 7 to 9:30 in Manhattan – details here.

Although the majority of participants in Jessica’s workshops are performers, composers need to work on these skills as well. Maybe if I was more verbally adept I would be able to deal better with the dreaded question “so, what is your music like?” – not an easy task given the lack of context that most folks asking that question bring to the conversation. Maybe I should try the gambit used by the instrumentalist who, when asked by the engineer what kind of sound he was seeking in the recording studio didn’t say something about miking or the use of digital reverb, but rather said “I want a sound like, like… like the sun rising over the mountains in Vermont on a day in late spring…” Yes, that’s what my music sounds like, sure it does…

More to say about that lack of context I mentioned, but that will have to wait for another post.

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