Click to go back to member page

Improve facial expression during performance

Practicing without bells Maybe some helpful ideas to use at home when practicing. Take a read. Click to read articles
Another article and a video posted by the Handbell Brothers on their site.

Professionalism #3   (An article from “The Musician’s Way”) 
“A musician’s reputation is shaped as much by consistent professionalism (or the lack thereof) as it is by artistry.” The Musician’s Way, p. 115

Although we musicians spend vast amounts of time practicing alone, professional music making is largely a collaborative art form: for the most part, we rehearse, perform, record, and tour collectively.

Not surprisingly, then, cultural norms have arisen among professional musicians.

Performers who abide by those norms thrive; ones who don’t wind up unemployed. So it’s vital that aspiring artists understand and live by professional standards of conduct.

I distill professionalism into 4 elements: Punctuality, Preparation, Courtesy, and Integrity.

Here are some ways in which collaborating musicians can reinforce those elements during and outside of rehearsals.   

Arrive early. If a rehearsal is scheduled for 5:00 p.m., that’s when the first downbeat occurs. Before that time, all of the musicians should be set up and warmed up.
Work efficiently.
Rehearse at a pace that enables you to achieve all of your musical objectives in each session. To that end, plan in advance, shirk irrelevant conversation, and stay on task.
Finish on time. Wrapping up on-schedule strongly supports your professional culture. But before you disperse, set goals for subsequent rehearsals and confirm when and where you’ll meet next.

  • Preparation
    Master your part. Pace your individual practice such that you’re ready to play or sing your part with ease.
    Grasp the whole. Prior to an initial rehearsal, listen to recordings, study scores, and get to know an inclusive composition and how your part fits within it.
    Report underpreparation. If an illness, accident, or other unforeseen circumstance undermines your rehearsal preparation, report it to your colleagues well ahead of your meeting so that your plans can be amended.
    Keep yourself and your gear in shape. Avoid preventable problems by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, carrying spare parts such as strings, and performing regular maintenance on your instrument.
  • Courtesy
    Employ businesslike manners. Although some of your musical colleagues might also be your friends, adopt professional speech and work habits as you rehearse, and save personal exchanges for breaks.
    Be open and positive. When working in egalitarian groups, try out each other’s interpretive ideas and otherwise establish an environment that supports creativity.
    Reply promptly to messages. Collective decision-making depends on timely communication, so never put off responding to ensemble-related inquiries. And consult all members before you make decisions that affect a group.
  • Integrity
    Be true to your word. Unfailingly carry out your responsibilities.
    Manage money honestly. If you oversee finances, keep open records and distribute payments promptly.
    Help each other succeed. Build trust and camaraderie through supporting each other inside the rehearsal studio, on stage, and beyond.

Idea for Bass Ringers in assigning bells
The “Hilty” concept of breaking up the keyboard line is useful in bass
assignments. Ringing “bass in 4th’s”, or “Hilty bass” assignments —
Ringer 1 has C3, F3, B3, Ringer 2 has D3, G3, C4, and Ringer 3 has E3,
A3, D4 — allows for smooth 1/8th note runs. The concept can be
applied starting at G2 (with a designated CD3 ringer). After ringing
the A2 two-handed, the D3 didn’t seem so heavy to me, as Ringer 2!

Professionalism #2
Practice more seriously
Help each other out
Every pitch can do something
Trust your team..if you don’t, you can’t do it
Don’t spend time complaining…
Ask your team and/or partner “How would you approach it?”

Marking Music  Some really good suggestions on how to mark music or just reaffirm what you already know.   Just a reminder, do not leave anything to chance…mark, mark, mark the music.   Some things covered in this article are:

  1.  Ringer set up notes
  2.  Bell Changes
  3.  Repeats
  4. Watch Boxes
  5. And more…..

Professionalism vs. Talented Locals   This was the first part of our conversation last Thursday (9/10/15) on professionalism.    Read it over every so often and put it inside your brain and heart.