The Fine Points of our Profession

My father used to tell me that a good book is read every 10 – 15 years. The reason he gave was that with time we read the book with ‘new eyes’. Our life experiences make us read further into the book, see elements we may have overlooked before.

After many years I am currently reading a book by Leopold Auer, the foremost violin pedagogue at the turn of the 19th-20th century. He raised a whole new generation of violinists, Jascha Heifetz, Mischa Elman who defined violin playing and are up to today looked up to by most violinists.

In his book,’Violin Playing As i Teach It’, Auer in his own words, ‘gives the serious teacher and violin student the practical benefit of t he knowlwdge acquired during a long life devoted to playing and teaching the violin’. As a student this book was my Bible. I analysed, reread the chapters on how to develop violin technique, learn new music etc.
But now, I discovered a chapter in the book that at the time seemed superfluous. Auer writes about ‘the feeling of the professional man for the detail of his profession. Not only is it necessary to know the technical aspects, details but grasp the fine points of his/her art and comprehend all the shades.’

Looking around me, I realized that those of us who do possess this feeling make the difference, take the step from ordinary to extraordinary.

Do you think this can make the difference in your professional life? Do you grasp the fine points of your profession?


My Crowdfunding Campaign

My crowdfunding campaign after 3 month is coming to an end. As there are 3 more days to go, am thinking on how it all started.

In May I read an article about crowdfunding, the possibilities it offers and just loved the idea. I saw it as a way to have people more engaged in the making of a music album. By following updates they can follow the process, comment on it, share ideas,get personalized perks. The perk idea is great as one can decide in what way you would like to contribute.You can get a private concert, be a music producer or just have ready gifts for family, friends etc. My previous albums were funded by companies who would sponsor the album and receive a certain number of CDs to give away as gifts – basically a similar concept.

As being  a new concept  I was curious about how people will react to it and also how I will manage it, the key word being „campaign“ .  It’s been very interesting to see people’s initial reactions and the psychology behind it and there have been a few surprises along the way. Every 2-3 weeks I posted music videos from the album and with each music video prepared a brief video speech on the piece to introduce the music. The reactions to that have been great. Apparently I’m a good actor!

Perks had to be built up gradually so that was the difficult part.  I did some research on what other campaigns were offering and then just let my imagination run. I do believe I spent most of the preparation time on choosing the perks – trying to meet people’s expectations and wishes.

It’s a great idea –I believe it does have a future for classical musicians. It allows you creative freedom in deciding what and how to record, but also demands lots of work and „non-musical“ skills: PC, internet knowledge, good networking base etc. Am sure more and more musicians will look into this option.

Here is the beautiful Thais Meditation music video I prepared for the campaign: