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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000847.txt from 2001/05

From: Lacy Schroeder <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Performing/non-performing
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 14:38:13 -0400

Yes, I completely agree!! I am not too happy about playing all by my
lonesome, which is why I've challenged myself to get into a music festival
every summer so that I don't have to go all summer long without having
anybody to play *with*. I didn't go to one last summer after having gone to
one the summer before, and felt as if though I "rotted" musically. I don't
want to do that again! Practicing by oneself is of course essential, since
you need time to learn the pieces and listen to yourself, but to me it seems
as a step towards preparing to play with others. Even the people who are
soloists have other people backing them up, playing in the orchestra (maybe
with the exception of a pianist playing sonatas or etudes, or any other
unaccompanied solo for any instrument, but y'all know what I mean), or
chamber group.

The nice thing is that when I attend a concert, I feel as if I become part
of the orchestra and everyone in the concert hall, the musicians, the
conductor, and the audience, become a whole. They're not only playing *for*
us at that point; it goes much further than that. It's a very spiritual
thing for me.

What you said about the competitiveness; the glaring across the room and
such, is sad but true. I remember in high school being threatened and
enduring psych-out attempts by the soprano clarinet players because I was
switching from bass cl. to soprano at the next tryout. I remember one in
particular said that if I bear her, she would make my life hell. That's sad!
And yes, I ended up beating the pants off of her, and thank God she was a
senior that year and I didn't have to put up with her for long. But it shows
to prove that some kids take the competition too far. You do need to have a
sense of competition, or else there's not much motivation for improvement.
But these kids who go to these extremes miss the point of being in music in
the first place!! I want to be said about me: "Plays well with others." Not
"Beats the pants off of others."

I'm going to go back to enjoying my fudge brownie. Wow.


Lacy Schroeder

> -----Original Message-----
> From:]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 1:04 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: [kl] Performing/non-performing
> <><> Lacy Schroeder wrote:
> I've always thought that it is much more satisfying to play
> for living,
> breathing humans than for the four walls of a practice or band room.
> I agree with you, and I hesitate to debate anything while an ad
> hominem flame war is brewing elsewhere. Anger can be infectious.
> But my point involves the preposition "for". Playing
> "with" other
> people is a different goal than playing "for" other people.
> I don't denigrate the "for" aspect of playing music ---
> I would be
> devastated if all my CDs disappeared and if I couldn't attend concerts
> and so forth. I do become unhappy, however, when musicians
> lose sight
> of the "with" aspect of music and when they allow competition
> and status
> to become the primary icons --- which does happen sometimes. 'Being
> best' --- as opposed to 'doing my best' --- is a powerful urge.
> Someone will probably post that you can't be a true performer if
> you don't receive social pleasure from playing with others and if you
> don't receive physical pleasure from the music itself, and I *do*
> believe that this *is* true.
> It's when the two aspects get out of balance that things
> go wrong,
> and it is worst when 'for the audience' changes into 'for me only' ---
> such as weekly challenges for seats, shame at being second
> seat, glares
> across the room and thoughts of bringing a knife to rehearsal
> (the most
> extreme example that we've seen on this list since I subscribed).
> I take private lessons mostly to learn how to make
> sounds that make
> me 'feel' good. But truthfully, I also look forward to playing with
> someone else (my teacher) and to chatting about music ---
> until the day
> comes when I can walk into a room of other musicians whom
> I've never met
> and ask "Can I play with you?" without worrying that I'll
> mess up their
> pleasure.
> While I have done one student recital, I can't say that
> it was 100%
> fun for me. Nevertheless, when I get a certain piece (that
> I'm working
> on now) down cold, I will probably drop a hint to my teacher that I'm
> willing to recite again.... as a _duet_ _with_ her.
> Cheers,
> Bill
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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