Got a student concert or an exam or any reason to perform coming up? Try these 5 tips to help prepare.Read More
So you’ve chosen your venue and the wheels are starting to turn. The next biggie when it comes to decision making is of course the date. After picking your venue, picking the concert date has to be the next most important choice you will make. But what should you think about before naming the day?Read More
In which we take a look at the pros and cons of a venue outside the main city area, but smack in the middle of a fantastic audience demographic.Read More
One of the biggest factors that will shape your concert is actually not the music. “What,” I might hear you say, “what could be bigger than the music?!”
And I’m so glad you asked that.Read More
Putting on your own concert is hard work. Full stop and underscored. But what makes it hard, and why bother?
The biggest challenge I have faced in being my own mini concert organiser is that I’m not just that. The reality is that there are so many different hats to be worn that sometimes it does feel like your hat-wearing head is about to explode.
Location scout, venue booker, emailer and phone call maker, graphic designer, marketer, mailing list collator, press release writer, media agent, accountant, social media wiz, website builder and ticketing manager.
I’ve got 4 concerts coming up between August and November and for most of the last month I have spent a least an hour a day working on admin related to the concerts. Often more than an hour.
And we haven’t even got to the music.
Or little niceties like what to wear.
Nothing beats the joy and satisfaction of sharing music you love and have especially chosen with an appreciative audience in a fabulous venue. The end goal is amazing, and worth every minute of blood, sweat and tears that you as an organiser and performer put in.
It’s so often the case in creative endeavours that the minuses can seemingly outweigh the pluses, or at least, in the long run, prove less memorable!
What stops you from taking the plunge and organising your own concert?
Shortly after I started playing the harp, I found myself getting into the habit of putting together concert programmes. I would happily look at all the music I was learning at the time, or all the books and scores in my growing collection and imagine how they would all fit together into the perfect order.
OK- maybe I just needed to get out more. But over time I found that this little exercise of constructing programmes just kept on going AND actually started to become useful. Studying music at uni meant there were lots of opportunities to collate music into concert order. Fast forward to the end of my studies though, and suddenly those opportunities weren’t around quite so much.
Because the unfortunate reality of life as a musician is that most of the time you play what you are asked to play. The chance to curate your own performance just doesn’t happen.
Unless you make it happen.
And that can be quite a scary thing!
So over the next few weeks I am going to be blogging about what it takes to actually put on your own concert. There’ll be a few reminiscences thrown in, and lots of gratuitous references to the concerts that I’ve got coming up (tickets now on sale!). Come along on the ride and maybe be inspired to put on a concert all your own, or support an independent musician who is taking the big step.
So tune in next week for a quick look at the pluses and minuses of staring in your own show
Have you ever dreamed of putting on your own show? Or if you have taken the plunge how did it go?
Last week I had an amazing time as harp tutor for the Australian Youth Orchestra's 'Young Symphonists' programme in Toowoomba. Those kids are seriously good. It was a week filled with hard work, great music and, well, just plain old fashioned fun.
On one of the mornings it was my turn to take the ‘warm up’ for the woodwind, brass, percussion and harp. Yep- a great combination if ever there was one.
By this stage of the week everyone was running the risk of injury from so much music making so the brief was to try to find something non-playing related to get everyone going for the day.
So to begin with I put on Yakety Saks (a.k.a the Benny Hill music) and got the kids to throw cotton wool balls at each other for 2 minutes.
They loved it.
Then my erstwhile colleague, the percussion tutor, had everyone clapping and stamping in ever increasing complexities of rhythm.
And finally we all got together and came up with a list of ways to play a scale. Some of those ways were instrument specific, others were more general. By the end of the session we had nearly 30 ways to play a scale.
Scales boring? Only if you let them be.
So here is just some of the ways you can play a scale. Feel free to add your own!
· Harmonic minor
· Melodic minor
· Dotted rhythm eg Long Short Long Short (dotted quaver/semiquaver)
· Dotted rhythm S L S L
· Contrary motion
· Similar motion
· Different fingerings
· Different accents on different fingers
· Offset rhythm in 3rds, 6ths, octaves
· Crescendo then decrescendo
· Decrescendo the crescendo
· Parallel 3rds, 6ths, octaves
· Different keys
· Dividing between the hands
· Hands separate
· Hands together
· Scale snippets
· Scale snippets adding on one note at a time
· Multiple octaves
· Individual octaves throughout the range of the instrument
· With your eyes shut!