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8S&W & You

Workshops and Master Classes

The Art of Communication in Chamber Music

Performing music as a group without a conductor is all about communication —conveying meaning through gestures both physical and musical. How well do you listen? Do you know how to respond to what you hear? Learning how to listen constructively and respond is a learnable art. In this workshop players of all skill levels learn how to work together to learn any piece of music and create an ensemble sound. This workshop is open to all ages. Advanced beginners and above are encouraged to participate.

Career Development in the Music Industry

As globalization continues and our cultures become more intertwined, we have an opportunity to examine, redefine and determine for ourselves what it means to have a  career in music. Economic support of classical music has dwindled and orchestra jobs, for example, are scarce. All three of us have had different approaches to building our careers with unique experiences along the way. This is a discussion workshop in which we share those experiences and explore creative ways to develop a satisfying career in music in the 21st century. You can get started by reading “Being a Professional Musician,” presented by Suzanne at Sigma Alpha Iota’s Province Day, January, 2008.

Demystifying Intonation: A Workshop to Develop Listening Skills

Many people believe that you’re either born with a good ear or you’re not. This workshop will help participants learn how to develop an awareness of sound and pitch, and thereby improve their listening abilities. All levels and ages are welcome.

I Hate Practicing

So you love to play but you hate to practice. Join the club! This workshop gives you methods to overcome those dull days of practice and remember why we call it “playing” in the first place. This is NOT a master class. It’s a group seminar in problem solving!

Posture and Breathing: a Flutist's Guide to Freer Playing

Many of us play our instruments with more tension than necessary. This workshop is designed to teach flute players how to use their posture to release tension, allowing them to breathe in a way that creates a more projected, fuller tone and greater technical facility. Flute players of all ages and levels are welcome.

An Introduction to the Suzuki Approach

The Suzuki Approach, also known as Talent Education, is founded on the concept that any skill can be mastered the same way that children learn to speak their native language: that is by creating a positive learning environment where the parent is the primary teacher. It is a popular but sometimes misunderstood way of introducing young children to instrumental music studies. In a short discussion seminar, parents will be introduced to the basic concepts of Suzuki education. A longer workshop allows parents to bring their children and build their first instrument, a pretend violin crafted from a box and learn a first “piece” together. Parents and their children ages 4-6 are welcome.

Master Classes

Master classes provide students of all ages and levels of ability the opportunity to gain new insights. Whether performing a solo work or in a chamber group—or sitting in as an audience member—getting a different point of view can breathe new life into any musician's process. Eight Strings & a Whistle offers master classes for both individuals and chamber groups. Working with a chamber group, we may focus on developing group sound, communication skills or refining phrasing, intonation and/or rhythm. Individual master classes can also focus on musicality, or on specific technical issues. Our goal is to give participants more tools to bring their playing to its highest level. Most importantly, both the performers and audience members can learn something that they can apply to any piece of music they work on. Master classes range from an hour to two hours long, with each player performing for 20-30 minutes. All levels and ages are welcome.