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Joining an Amateur Orchestra
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Crazymotive
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April 27, 2012 - 7:40 pm
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Hello. I was recently invited to join a local amateur orchestra. I told the lady who invited me to join that I haven't played in many years, that I am still in the learning process and trying to improve but I indicated to her that I might not be good enough to play in the orchestra. She told me that it doesn't matter. She said that the orchestra is a low pressure group, there are no auditions, anyone with an interest can join regardless of their personal skill level or experience. She said that there are many different people, from experienced players, to beginners, to people who haven't touched an instrument in decades and are just wanting to get back into playing again. They meet once a week for rehearsal. She said you basically just show up, sit in on the rehearsal and try to play along.

 

I figure it would be a great opportunity for me to watch others play and maybe play along with them. It would also be inspirational.

But at the same time I am nervous about it.  I keep thinking that I will get there and make all sorts of mistakes and / or my playing won't be up to par and I'll end up looking stupid.

What can i do to build up confidence ?  Has any one else out there joined a similar type of orchestra ?  Wwhat was your skill level and how did it work out ?

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Oliver
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April 27, 2012 - 8:20 pm
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One word.  "Do it"

I never joined a community group but I was very close to three people who played in THREE groups at the same season and I also knew people in the administration staff.

There is NO experience just like it and your skills will be improved in short order.  They let me practice alone with 2nd chair music but then I moved. (darn!)

 

coffee2

skill level ........ most groups no audition ..... that should tell you something !

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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April 27, 2012 - 8:23 pm
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Crazy? That's wonderful... Sounds like that lady is really cool. Don't pass on that opportunity !!! Go for it and don't worry about your playing skills. Making mistakes is how you learn. I really don't understand people when they say they are too nervous to play in front of people. Go for it Crazy!!!

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dionysia
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April 27, 2012 - 8:32 pm
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You can always post a bunch of vids here to prepare yourself

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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April 27, 2012 - 8:37 pm
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Yeah! Go for it! 100%
You could do it for those of us who would love to but don't have any orchestras like that near to where we live. Then you can share your experience with the rest if us and tell us what it's like.
Maybe treat it as an experiment

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Gail
29 Palms, CA
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April 27, 2012 - 8:38 pm
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Crazy, it's a great opportunity.  Go for it.  Everyone else started at the beginning, too, so don't be bashful.  They'll understand.

I've learned so much from my mistakes that I've decided to make some more.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 27, 2012 - 8:56 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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You will learn to fake what you can't play like half of them do anyway. 😉
Just go and try it out. If you can get past the first rehearsals you will be fine. It will get easier after that.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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April 27, 2012 - 9:00 pm
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FM, have you ever seen/been in a situation where the whole section "faked" it at exactly the same moment!

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 27, 2012 - 10:42 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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It really doesn't happen in a professional orchestra unless it is a SUPER technical, almost (sometimes completely) unplayable contemporary music part. I mean PURE garbage. Sometimes it can be so exaggerated that no one would know the difference if you actually played the exact right notes.
So to answer your question, I think it has happened.
I am obsessed with playing every note even when it is almost impossible. I've been in situations where everyone drops out except for me at rehearsals. Sometimes players get pissed at the composers for writing such garbage. It's doubtfully the kind of stuff that you will have heard.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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NoirVelours
Quebec
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April 27, 2012 - 11:51 pm
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Well like in everything, moderation is best, too many notes doesn't make a song nicer. Do it Crazy, I'm sure there is a lot to learn and a lot of fun to have also!

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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April 28, 2012 - 12:57 am
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I say go for it!!  You'll be nervous at first.....that is, until you sit in your section and meet everyone around you!  Local community bands usually are filled with musicians who are more than willing to talk with ya and offer some advice!  

I wish our local community bands used violins! cry  I actually asked a local band about violins and was told that they tend to not use strings because of the lack of players around here.  So they pick songs accordingly.  I might join them still as a trumpet player if my wife goes with me (she's a clarinetist.....and yes, we met in high school band LOL)!  Just so I can sharpen up my site reading ability for different, unrecognized parts!  

Try it out!  Even if it's just for the experience!  thumbs-up

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

SkullSmall-1.jpg

 

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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April 28, 2012 - 3:58 am
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Fiddlerman said

It really doesn't happen in a professional orchestra unless it is a SUPER technical, almost (sometimes completely) unplayable contemporary music part. I mean PURE garbage. Sometimes it can be so exaggerated that no one would know the difference if you actually played the exact right notes.
So to answer your question, I think it has happened.
I am obsessed with playing every note even when it is almost impossible. I've been in situations where everyone drops out except for me at rehearsals. Sometimes players get pissed at the composers for writing such garbage. It's doubtfully the kind of stuff that you will have heard.

Thanks FM.
I watched the 'Young musician of the Year" competition last night as it was the String section and I got the impression that to show their brilliance at the cello and violin, exactly those types of music were chosen.
Good for competition maybe but unlistenable to the awakened yet untrained ear such as mine. LOL

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Joe
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April 28, 2012 - 4:22 am
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You might watch the Fiddlerman Christmas presentation and just listen to what a bunch of amateurs and a few professionals can sound like.

http://fiddlerman.com/2012/01/.....-a-pirate/

You'll find it at the bottom of the page

It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.

I wish I lived near you...I started playing just last week, but Id take the invitation and run with it.

Best of luck.

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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April 28, 2012 - 4:46 am
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joe said

You might watch the Fiddlerman Christmas presentation and just listen to what a bunch of amateurs and a few professionals can sound like.

http://fiddlerman.com/2012/01/.....-a-pirate/

You'll find it at the bottom of the page

It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.

I wish I lived near you...I started playing just last week, but Id take the invitation and run with it.

Best of luck.

Big Ditto!!

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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NoirVelours
Quebec
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April 28, 2012 - 10:27 am
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FM needs to start his own little beginner orchestra on Skype thumbs-up we have youtube project I know.

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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April 28, 2012 - 2:00 pm
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WoW! What a GREAT opportunity You have, CM!

Join it!

Definitelly! 

violin-studentviolin_girlpink-violin-girldevil-violinserenade

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 28, 2012 - 2:39 pm
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NoirVelours said: "FM needs to start his own little beginner orchestra on Skype thumbs-up we have youtube project I know."

It can be done you know 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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NoirVelours
Quebec
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April 28, 2012 - 3:04 pm
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Stop teasing us! You know we would love it, I even bought a webcam!

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 28, 2012 - 3:12 pm
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Here is what we can do. I can pass out parts to something that you guys learn and we rehearse together on Fiddlerman TV.
Then I count off and you play with me. While playing with me you record yourselves. Then everyone sends the recording to me to mix.
Because of latency it wouldn't work any other way.
Could be a fun test.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Crazymotive
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April 28, 2012 - 3:13 pm
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Thanks for all the support. Yes, I have every intention of joining them in an upcoming rehearsal. It will be the first time I have ever played in an orchestra since I was 10-11 years old. I am a bit apprehensive but, the way I figure it the worst that can happen is that I have trouble playing whatever the selection is that they chose for the evening. If that happens then I just practice it at home until I can play it. I played in an orchestra back when I was in grade school. But when I was promoted to high school they had a band (mainly brass and percussion) rather than an orchestra and thus no need for violin players.  That pretty much ended my public school music career.  Over the decades I practiced a little now and then. But never improved my skills.

 

I think it will be fun to be back rehersing with an orchestra again. Even if I don't get to play the concerts it should still be fun.  And who knows... If I really stick with it and really get good maybe one day i can stand up in front of the orchestra and play the solo  to Tcaikovsky's famous Violin Concerto in D major. Well, I can dream...right ? sleep

In the meantime I'll be happy playing the rehersals and doing the best I can and learning andf improving. And it will be fun to play along with a group Practicing alone at home is nice but now and then it;s nice to play along with someone. 

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