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Profiles In Online Learning: Classical Scholarship Winners

online learning profile - taylor, clarinet student

After the first ever ArtistWorks Classical Scholarship competition, we wanted to get in touch with the winners to find out more about their background playing music and also their experience with our online learning platform. We have already heard from our flute student, Arnold from Texas, and so we now are proud to present an interview with the remaining three winners: Taylor (clarinet), Ryan (trumpet), and Paul (violin). 

How long have you been playing?

Taylor: I have been playing clarinet since the 5th grade and am now a senior in college, so this is my 12th year of playing!

Ryan: I have been playing trumpet for about eleven years now. I began in the 7th grade after being placed in brass class because percussion, which I signed up for was full. I am pretty happy with the way things have turned out.

Paul: I've been playing violin since I was six. My mother started giving me and my four siblings piano lessons when we turned four or five, but one day she saw an ad in the paper for a Suzuki program and asked me if I would like to take violin lessons. I'm glad that I said yes!

Where do you go to school?

Taylor: I study at the Manhattan School of Music in NYC.

Ryan: I am currently attending Oklahoma City University.

Paul: I got my Bachelor's degree at Oberlin Conservatory, where my main teachers were Addison Teng, David Bowlin, and Karen Ritscher. Then I went to Indiana University for a Masters degree with Alex Kerr, which I finished in May of 2014. I'm still at Indiana University (Jacobs School of Music) working on a Performer Diploma in Orchestral Studies with Alex Kerr and taking orchestra auditions.

Would you recommend ArtistWorks to a friend?

Taylor: Yes! I think it a great resource to hear extremely valuable information from world-class artists. ArtistWorks has a very personal feel and is a great aid to all musicians studying everywhere!

Ryan: I would certainly recommend ArtistWorks to my friends, I feel it is a great online learning resource.

Paul: Yes! I have been telling my friends at the Jacobs School of Music about Nathan Cole's lessons on ArtistWorks. The online schools at ArtistWorks are making world class teaching available for many music students. It has been a great resource for me.

What features on the site do you use the most?

Taylor: I love how the topics are divided into excerpts, solo repertoire, and fundamentals. Every video is so in-depth and detailed and it is truly wonderful. I think the personal video responses are also really fantastic.

online learning profile - ryan, trumpet student

Ryan: I really enjoy watching Mr. Bilger’s response videos. It is kind of like sitting in on lessons, I find it very helpful to see his approach towards different pieces and his comments to other people’s videos as well as my own.

Paul: I spend most of my time watching Nathan Cole's video recordings of the excerpts that I'm preparing, or watching the video responses that he sends after I record an excerpt for him. Mr. Cole is an excellent musician who also knows what qualities an orchestra audition panel is looking for in their candidates. I am really happy with how Mr. Cole is helping me improve.

How much did you practice before recording your contest submission?

Taylor: I have been working on these excerpts and repertoire for a few years already so most of my preparation was getting them in tip-top shape for recording. These excerpts and solo pieces will be on auditions for the rest of our lives so they always need to be in our fingers! In general though with any of my preparation, I strive to be in the practice room anywhere from three to six hours a day. Of course every day varies depending on ones schedule and energy, but I think consistency is key!

Ryan: I practiced a few weeks out before I started working on recording the pieces. I would typically go up to school really late at night/very early morning so that I could use a large room without any interruptions, until the morning crew came in to work at least.

Paul: The excerpts that were required for the contest submission were standard excerpts that I had been playing since undergrad. However, the level that is required for winning an orchestral audition these days has become as high as some solo competitions, so I practiced them as needed and played them in my lessons. As far as my general practice hours go, I was satisfied if I practiced three or four hours in addition to listening to recordings of my pieces.

online learning profile - paul, violin student

How will your winnings be spent?

Taylor: Probably on reeds!! Just kidding – not all of it! NYC is an expensive place to live so it will just add some cushion to my living expenses!

Ryan: I am planning to save my winnings towards a new C trumpet.

Paul: I think that all college music students know the answer to this question: rent, school fees, and food! To be more specific, the food part is going towards cheese... I'm from Wisconsin.

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