Many times, in a studio class at music school, your peers are invited to comment on your performance. While this encourages active listening and the ability to offer and receive criticism, the comments of fellow students frequently didn’t offer anything new, or that the teacher couldn’t say better.
And mostly, you got confusion, and conflicting ideas, either contradicting your own preferences or another peer’s thoughts. My favorite peer comment, after a performance of mine: “Raise your stand. You look overly tall.”
Perhaps your experience was better than mine; but even if it was, you can probably recall some hopeless peer comments and recognize the comedic potential for parody here.
Last night, I went to a concert with the Seattle Chamber Music Society. I heard 4 groups of people play their hearts out, and what a wonderful job they did. It’s unsurprising; they’re all absolutely the bee’s knees, top of their game. But during the last piece, a Brahms Piano Trio with James Ehnes, my all time top favorite violinist ever… I remembered my studio classes. For your entertainment, here are some of the comments that group could have received from a room of their peers. Keep in mind, it was a spectacular performance and this is a parody.
James, you’re so still Have more fun! Move around a bit!
Paul, hold stiller, your motions are distracting.
Guys, for real, don’t move your feet.
I loved the way even your feet got involved when you got ready for big beats.
Alessio, I couldn’t hear you enough. Don’t forget you’re behind the cello.
The piano was too loud, it covered up the cello in the tender moments.
Ummm like around measure 200, you nearly ran out of bow, so like, watch your bow distribution because like, Brahms? he’s like the hardest to not sound like you’re running out of breath. I mean, like, you really have to plan ahead, and like, not waste an inch? Yeah, so watch out for that.
So, I didn’t love your choice of mute. Have you considered using a wooden one? I’ve found it offers a warmer tone than the rubber ones you’re using.
I wondered how you’d handle the Presto non assai vs. Allegro Molto tempi. (tut) I think you played them both at exactly the same tempo. You should get together, and choose a metronome speed and then practice with the metronome, until you have that all ironed out.