Giving Young People a Voice: El Sistema USA

by Amy Nathan “Music is my life. I will never stop playing cello,” says Vanessa Johnson, one of the young people whose early experiences with music are featured in the book The Music Parents’ Survival Guide, published in 2014. Since more than five years have passed since this book went to press, we are checking in … Continue reading Giving Young People a Voice: El Sistema USA

Coming Together Side by Side: Avocational Musicians Performing with Professionals

Nagging feelings of self-doubt in their musical skills blocked many for a while from doing what they have since come to love—make music in their spare time. Finding supportive ensembles, teachers, and Meetup groups helped many take the plunge. Now, professional orchestras have joined the avocational-musician support team, spurred by the success of the Baltimore Symphony’s programs for non-pros that began in 2010.

Collaborative Composition: How Writing Together Helped The Kraken Quartet Evolve

When we formed The Kraken Quartet, we had no master plan for where the group would go. Like so many other college chamber groups, we had no five-year goals, no catalogue of repertoire, and certainly no major notoriety. We were just a couple of friends who knew we loved playing music together. Despite this lack of long-term direction, we had one crucial characteristic that tied our group together: the willingness to try anything. So, for the first few years of our existence, The Kraken Quartet gave everything a shot.