Monday, February 11, 2008

String Quartets Project

Chamber music has always been a dream of mine. It's probably the most musically and mentally challenging thing a musician can do. Practicing on your own, you're an individual. Rehearsing in a large ensemble, you just add your sound to the mix. In a chamber ensemble, you have to contribute 100% or your part is lost.
My epiphany came the other day while working on the WikiSpace for our String Quartets project: Chamber Music is the paradigm of collaborative pairing! There are clear, obvious goals of every ensemble (perform the music correctly, teamwork, nonverbal communication, planning/scheduling/booking performances, etc), and the only way those objectives can be met, is by the entire ensemble working together.
So here's a quick breakdown of the project, then I'll share the WikiSpace, which is still in it's infancy.

  • High School String Quartet is formed by teacher selected-students.
  • High School and Middle School orchestra students not in the H.S. Quartet are given form to create a quartet, find a rehearsal time, and decide on a name (based on our district's mascot/theme).
  • Rehearsals will be set up and music can be chosen both by the ensemble, and the orchestra director, (who acts as a coach for all ensembles).
  • Each ensemble will be responsible for managing their part of the WikiSpace, including performance photos, upcoming performances, repertoire, etc.

I'm going to leave you with the link to the Northern String Quartet's WikiSpace. It's completely open (the way a Wiki should be) if you have something important to contribute. The High School group, The Northern String Quartet has it's first performance on the 23rd of February, 7:30pm. If you're in the Central PA area, contact me and I'll get you more information!


  1. Robert-

    Finally! A music educator who sees the value of a wiki with ensembles...BRAVO! Can't wait to see/hear how this wiki project turns are on my blogroll.

  2. Ken,
    The wikis make so much sense with an ensemble. Performances, keeping track of what pieces were played (so you don't repeat something "too soon"), photos, press releases, etc!
    My goal is to put the power in the students' hands instead of mine (as it would be if we used the District's website).