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Joined: Nov 2016
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Hello,

I live in Washington, DC and want to start getting into what I THINK is ensemble work. I'm an ok soloist but loved accompanying in undergrad.

I sent a feeler out on my apartment building's forums to see if anyone wants to work anything up, but I'd also like to start exploring real ensemble music in the city. I think I can do it.

But I don't know where to start! The universities don't seem to be interested in helping unless someone is currently a music student (I tried at the University I did my graduate work in, Library and Information Science, the Music school wouldn't even answer my emails). There's a "conservatory" in my neighborhood but when I wrote to them with my background, they just tried to shove me off into adult piano lessons. I've been playing since I was 6 years old, I'm 40 now, and I don't need to be in an Adult Beginner's Group.

How would you guys recommend I go about this? Should I be working up a couple of pieces for auditions? How do I find the conservatories that aren't snobs and will hook me up with musicians who I can work with? Ultimately, I'd like to accompany an undergrad music major from freshman to senior year. I think a student can get into some really heavy pieces if they've got a steady accompanist. (Not to mention parents who will pay bank for a good accompanist.)

Looking forward to your responses!

Last edited by metaresolve; 08/19/17 10:54 PM.

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Somebody at a music school will be "accompanying coordinator," and you will probably stand a better shot by contacting them directly (especially if the school doesn't have graduate piano students pressed into accompanying assistanceships). Most opportunities seem to revolve around voice students and lessons.


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Oohh, that's a good call. Would you recommend I go back to my grad school because I've got some history there? Or do you think I can reach out to the more local Universities? There's one in my neighborhood and another just a few metro stops away.


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Well, it's the old networking thing--getting to be known by the musical community without being a stalker, LOL. Find out who is doing collaborative stuff on faculties (chamber music, voice recitals, choral music with pianists) and go to their recitals and concerts.

Theatre people, high school musicals, churches, often get into binds, needing someone on short notice.

Short term piano lessons could actually help--your teacher will get acquainted with your abilities and might direct you into some accompanying gigs.

Another tip might be to take group voice lessons (you'll get familiar with some literature from both sides of the coin, and everybody usually sings the same stuff, albeit in different keys).


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See if there are amateur music clubs in your area.


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You could try acmp.net to find other vocalists and instrumentalists in the area that might want to play music with you. There's a self-rating system on people's level of play which isn't always accurate, but at least you living in D.C. will give you a lot of people to contact. Also, sometimes the local conservatories may be able to link you with other vocalists/instrumentalists via their continuing education program.

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If the University of Victoria is typical of what may occur in some other universities, the music department has notice boards all over the place. People (who knows if they are current students? there is no official indication) often put up notices, some even with tear-off strips including a contact number, asking for accompanists, soloists, collaborators, etc. Surely you could give that a try with or without permission of the office secretary.

Regards,


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I'd guess some of what you are thinking about is now called collaborative piano, and some of it is basic chamber music. The repertoire is not easy, I'd say, to start it's a step above what you're working on in your signature.

Have a look around at repertoire like Mozart's Sonatas for Piano and Violin, (the order of the wording is important) or Haydn Piano trios, or Beethoven Piano Trios.

Since you are in DC you could go to Levine Music and see if they have any ensemble programs for adults.

If you really like it, you can even go to summer camp for adults. Interlochen has one, and the University of Wisconsin at River Falls has a mixed camp for kids and grown ups.

But if that's not what you're thinking, a lot of kids doing Suzuki will need someone for the piano parts at their Suzuki recitals. Unfortunately if the kids study at a music school they'll normally get someone from the staff to do it. Otherwise independent teachers is your best bet. I'd drop them a line. In general, most of the kids will be in books 1 and 2, not too many beyond book 3.

Last edited by prenex; 08/19/17 11:48 PM.
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Originally Posted by aliao
You could try acmp.net to find other vocalists and instrumentalists in the area that might want to play music with you. There's a self-rating system on people's level of play which isn't always accurate, but at least you living in D.C. will give you a lot of people to contact. Also, sometimes the local conservatories may be able to link you with other vocalists/instrumentalists via their continuing education program.


+1. acmp.net was made for exactly this scenario.


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