Enthusiasm in Orchestra

A question came up recently about attrition, and digging a little deeper I realized this is something we all face unless we actively work to build enthusiasm and excitement into orchestra classes and rehearsals. The context here is in regards to teenagers, or tweens, when the social phase and brain development is underway.

As adults this time of our lives is easy to lose touch with but we all go through it. If you want the science on this, read up on it >>here or >>here, through respected academies and journals. For a very cursory explanation, this period of seemingly strange behavior during teen brain development is due to the fact that the frontal cortex, or where we learn the ability to reason and think before taking action, develops later, even into adulthood. (Although as with any theory, there are certainly scientific inquiries which would just as easily disagree.)

Off the top of my head I mentioned that it is important to make sure we are addressing the social needs of teenage participants, so what follows are things I and others have used to generate enthusiasm and retention beyond an intrinsic respect for excellence in music preparation and performance. These suggestions are not things you would use for every rehearsal, but should be built into a yearly plan so that over the course of a year there are things to look forward to.

Helping players take responsibility for their contributions in addition to concert preparation
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Junge Süddeutsch Philharmonie Esslingen 60th Anniversary Concert

It has been wonderful to see many of you at our concerts during the past academic year – thank you so much for your patronage! Live concerts are really the way to get to know this musical art form.

In June Bernd and I are honored to play in the symphony orchestra of JSPE, the Junge Süddeutsch Philharmonie Esslingen for their 60th Anniversary. This is the orchestra I first played with in Germany six years ago, with the amazing cellist Sol Gabetta as she received a prize in the castle in Weikersheim.

The program is fantastic with awesome Mozart and Schubert symphonies, plus a concerto for the double bass by Menotti. We do not often play in this orchestra any more due to our busy lives but we just had to make time for this one, as it is a very special and rare day for the double bass to have its moment in the spotlight!

If you have a love of classical music or would like to get acquainted with it you could make an event out of this; spend a few hours in the medieval town of Esslingen and have a nice dinner afterward. It’s not a late concert, on Saturday, June 16, starting at 18:00, so even children could come and enjoy this great concert.

Get tickets here >>ESSLINGEN CONCERT 2018 

I’d love to see you there!

xx

Bonny