Sometimes you have to take a break from all those "think" videos and do a review for an amazing company's earphones. Huge thanks to Meze for sending me their Meze 11 Neo earphones for free and letting me say whatever I want about them! No, I'm not paid to say any of this stuff--their products really are amazing.
A lot of earphones are very bass-heavy, but I find that Meze's earphones are not, which I LOVE. You can clearly hear every SINGLE part in an orchestra piece. It's almost overwhelming because you can just hear so much! So far, every single Meze earphone has had this effect on me. Just utter clarity... every time I listen to a new Meze for the first time, I almost start to tear up a little.
Check out Meze's website!
Meze 11 Neo:
Meze 99 Classics:
I clearly spent way too much time thinking about section divas. I've always wondered what their side of the story was. Surely not everybody hated them. They have family and close friends who know them and love them very much. There had to be something redeeming about them.
It wasn't until many, many years after I experienced my first section diva that I made one ridiculously simple observation: Section divas simply do not see themselves as being a diva! Well, then, of course they didn't "just stop" being a diva. They didn't know they were being perceived as such in the first place!
You may find that if you ever accuse someone of being a diva, they will always deny it vehemently. And they're not lying either! Most of the time, they mean it truthfully (unless, of course, someone is really just being an entitled idiot... that's a subject for a whole other post...). And just how can they mean it so truthfully when their actions seem to say otherwise?
It's as simple as reframing the story. The same words and the same actions can be interpreted wildly differently between two human beings! Just because you had good intentions doesn't mean it actually came off that way.
So how do you solve this problem? Another ridiculously simple solution: You talk it through.
No matter how awkward it gets, just talk. Trust me, it's worth every bit of cringey stuttering to get everyone on the same page. You realize that these people you're making music with most likely aren't out to get you. And you might also begin to find value in less experienced players who are learning from you.
Communication is key--after all, music itself is a form of communication. :)
I used to think that if a pianist didn't work well with me, that pianist was not good. It's a pity it's taken me this long to figure out that that is completely wrong!
In the same way that we non-pianists don't all play the same way, pianists also don't all play the same way either! When finding the appropriate pianist for your piece, recital, competition, or jury, it's important to review the type of music you're playing and what kind of musician you are (solo or chamber?) so that you can find the best pianist to match your style of playing.
When your style of playing doesn't match, it shows. One musician will overshadow the other, or one musician expects the other to respond musically as an equal but doesn't receive the response they're expecting... It can be disastrous on stage.
But if you guys do match, MAGIC HAPPENS. I had one friend who described my performing a trio with a pianist and oboist (at the oboist's graduation recital!) as "jedi mastery". She asked us how we did it, how we could "read" each other without even looking at each other! The simple answer is that all 3 of us connected. We became 3 working members of the same body, so we could read each other's queues in the same way that if you feel an itch on your ear, your hand will naturally gravitate upwards to scratch it.
So go forth and find your piano soulmate! Make magic happen! :D
Oh gosh, you guys, do you know how nerve wracking it is to make a video with people painting your house outside? I can hear them... so of course, they heard me.
I'm almost certain they also heard me editing this footage the following day. Now they also know about my experience with solo playing vs. chamber playing...
There's actually so much more that I want to talk about with that flute camp masterclass experience. As a kid, I always looked upon that memory thinking that it was one of the mostly awful flute things to ever have happened to me, and I thought the instructor was extremely mean. But now that I'm a teacher, I think I know what she was getting at. I want to share that experience with you guys in another video soon. :)
Keep those tough questions rolling in. I love that you guys are such wonderfully sensitive and profound thinkers.