Musicians need the input of others in order to develop and hone their craft. Successful performing artists do not live in a vacuum. They constantly seek out the advice of others and incorporate these suggestions into their practicing.
Virtual Master Class Project Key Points
- Musicians submit recordings of themselves playing orchestral excerpts, solos, or scales. E-mailing them to me is best, but if you’re planning on submitting many tracks to me I will give you a login for a server I’ve set up for this project and you can upload the files to the server (anonymously). If it is easier for the user, you can also send me a CD via regular mail (e-mail me for a mailing address).
- I will give submitters a ‘Candidate Number’. All tracks you submit to the project in the future will bear this number (Candidate 1, Candidate 2 Candidate 3, etc.). Only the submitter and I wil know the identity behind the number, I will keep your identity completely confidential. Under no circumstances will I reveal the identity of any submitter without their permission. If you are interested in associating your name with your tracks, I will also put that information out there (and an e-mail address where you can be contacted if you like), but the default setting will be anonymous for everyone.
- Readers will then be able to leave comments for each individual track. Constructive criticism is what we’re looking for here—no “you’re bad, get out of music” comments will be published. All constructive, helpfully critical, non-malicious comments will be published, however. People can leave comments anonymously, or they can include their name (plus an e-mail address if they like) in the comments. Either way is fine.
- I will put these tracks out like regular blog posts, one or two a day, intermingled with the regular text posts. That way you can come to the blog, read some cat posts, check out a gig story, and also listen to and leave feedback on some tracks if you feel like it. I will also keep them all archived in a clear fashion, so if you want to just listen to and comment on tracks then you can easily do so.
- There are a lot of very experienced double bass performers and teachers who read this blog, and people submitting tracks will likely receive some very helpful practicing tips and general advice.
- If you ask me to remove a track of yours, I will do so immediately—no questions asked. It is your content, and I will respect any decisions you make regarding anonymity or user access to your tracks.
- I will index the tracks, allowing people to find all recordings or Beethoven 5, Mozart 40, Ein Heldenleben, and the like. I will cross reference everything to make it as easy as possible to call up different groupings of content.
- If you submit content but would prefer to only get private comments via e-mail, you can let me know that as well and I will turn off the comments for your tracks.
- The tracks that users designate as their favorites will be included in a “Best of the Excerpt Archive” page. People preparing for auditions will have a way to hear multiple renditions of the same excerpt or solo, and many other possible uses will appear as quality renditions of these excerpts begin to appear. For example, when a major orchestra is having an audition I would put up the best two or three renditions of the excerpts on that list to serve as a point of reference for those preparing that list. The idea of an audition list with a ‘play’ button next to each excerpt is, in my opinion, very cool.
- The project is not limited to just double bass excerpts. If you play an instrument other than the double bass feel free to also submit content. I’ll figure out how to keep the organization clear for people.
This project will hopefully serve two purposes. First, it will allow people to hear tracks in what amounts to a virtual master class setting. Put up your tracks and you’ll get comments from people worldwide, from any different schools of playing, with many different suggestions. You can get these comments with complete anonymity. This will likely prove useful for musicians putting together audition tapes, recitals, submissions to festivals, and the like.
The other purpose of the project will be to create a collective body of work for the educational and reference purposes of the entire double bass community. There is currently no practical way to hear dozens of players from dozens of countries perform the same excerpt or solo in a controlled environment. Creating a reference with multiple renditions of the same pieces in the repertoire will have immense educational value to students, and the comments on various tracks will serve as a virtual master class, allowing people to learn what does and doesn’t work in the eyes of different teachers and performers worldwide. Preparing for an orchestral audition? College audition? A great way to get some additional tips and advice would be to put your tracks up on the Virtual Master Class Project.
Once again, I’d like to emphasize the option of anonymity for both the submitter and the commenter. The only person who will know the identity of the submissions is me, and you have my word that I will not reveal this information to anyone. The default state of all submissions will be as anonymous unless you specify otherwise, and people leaving comments always have the option to post anonymously in my comment system.
Getting started is easy! Just fill out the form below and we’ll set you up with an anonymous ID.
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