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Any M1/M2s playing in a symphony?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Petitpois, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. Petitpois

    Petitpois Member
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    I'm going to start med school this year and was wondering if anyone out there is able to fit in playing in a symphony with their schedules. I'm not talking about the New York Philharmonic or anything, but just a medium-sized community symphony. Is it doable the first couple years of school? Or, do practicing and rehearsals take up all your free time outside of school and leave you with no time to do other stuff?

    Thanks for your input! :)
     
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  3. Kalel

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    We have a musical group made up of students and professors at my school that occasionally plays in the hospital lobby for patients and visitors. It's a pretty informal thing, so they don't get together all that often to practice. You should look into starting something like that up at your school if you are interested; it certainly is possible to get together with a small group every now and then and practice playing an instrument for fun during first and second year.
     
  4. LAZYGUY

    LAZYGUY Playing the match game
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    Wow that is impressive that some people can still play in symphonies. I would LOVE to do that during medical school, but I know it's not a reality for me cause I had to drop my symphony my sophmore year of college. It's just too much, have you seen the violin parts for symphonies like Shostakovich, they are incredibly difficult! I haven't seen the band parts but I'm sure they are cake compared to the violin stuff ;) But in all seriousness is it that necessary to have us violins flying all over the place while the band holds whole notes? I remember having to practice so much, so so much. Maybe I'm a little jealous, but hey it's not fair! Oh yeah, but coming back to the real topic, I guess it really just depends the level of the symphony and the level of music that they are accustomed to playing and also the caliber of players they have; even some of the community symphonies demand alot from their players.
     
  5. caffeinegirl

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Playing in a symphony during the basic science years is totally possible if you make it a priority. That's true about anything is medical school!
    A classmate of mine played in the University symphony for the two basic science years...she made it a priority, and made it to the rehearsals twice a week.
    As I mentioned earlier..you can do ANYTHING you want in med school if YOU make it a priority :)
     
  6. snapdad

    snapdad Rock and Roll Doctor
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    This is really nice to hear. I play cello and am hoping to do the same thing, but wasn't sure if it was a realistic goal or not. Thanks for the inspiring post! :thumbup:
     
  7. J-dog

    J-dog Guinness Taster

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    I don't play in a symphony per se, but several of my classmates and myself play in a local band. We play a lot of original music and tour around the local bar scene. We have been doing this for a little over a year. Half of us are third years and the other half are second years. You have the time to do it if you MAKE the time to do it. Music has been and will always be a priority for me and my friends, and for that reason we have been successful in our endeavor.
     
  8. bioviol

    bioviol Junior Member
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    I'm just going to undergrad and looking for med school info. But I know what you mean by the Shostakovich stuff! Ok, this is a kind of off topic, but in my youth symphony we played Shostakovich's 9th symphony.. It wasn't impossible to play after a year of practice, literally, but at first the 1st violin part just seemed impossible. And I've never thought of the winds section but now when I look back, yes indeed the winds parts are much easier than violins, maybe except bassoons who had solos.

    At any rate, I hope I will be able to continue playing in symphonies throughout my life.

    By the way, do you think that there is a possibility that being a concertmaster in a youth symphony and playing violin solos with some orchestras help getting me into a med school?
     
  9. LAZYGUY

    LAZYGUY Playing the match game
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    absolutely it will help, but make sure you emphasize how music is important in your life and how you plan to continue. Even more importantly than being concertmaster, have you ever used music to help others through sad moments in their life? Any charity events? All that stands out more than having any one position. You and I have alot in common, I too was concertmaster for my youth symphony and it was one of the most exciting times in my life. Few people people except those that have been in our position can understand that feeling. If you need anything pm me. Cool?
     
  10. bioviol

    bioviol Junior Member
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    Thank you. I actually am not concertmaster yet, but I hope I will be next season. This season I'm just one of the assistant concertmasters. I wish I will have opportunity playing in hospitals or schools, but I am not sure how, since I'm an entering freshman. Maybe I will play solo or form a string quartet. In my high school we had an organization in which people perform at nurseries, but the group was a kind of disorganized..

    What kind of charity thing in terms of music did you do? :thumbup:
     
  11. OTheHorror

    OTheHorror Senior Member
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    uhh...who doesnt play in a symphony?

    i mean comoooon
     
  12. LAZYGUY

    LAZYGUY Playing the match game
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    Yes, I agree playing in a symphony is pretty "comoooon". However, that's not what I said. I said few people know the experience of being concertmaster in a symphony. That is not common at all since only the first violinist gets to do that. ;)
     
  13. LAZYGUY

    LAZYGUY Playing the match game
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    You don't necessarily have to have an organized group to do any kind of community service with music. Call any nursing home and ask if they are willing to let you play for the residents for a bit. Believe me they will fall over in disbelief at how nice of a gesture you are making. Few people take the time to interact with the elderly population in that way. There are always opportunities to give back with music, you just have to take the first step and everything will fall in place.
     
  14. pjv2410

    pjv2410 Member
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    Not exactly on topic for the entire post ... but as regards the above, I play flute and violin. Their orchestra parts are equally difficult (actually flute is harder than 2nd violin in general). The violin parts have more notes because they're capable of playing more notes. The only thing that winds have easier technique-wise than strings in playing chromatically. String players have an easier time in fast passages because they don't have really awkward fingering combinations and coordination to deal with, and crossing strings makes large leaps easier. And strings can double/triple/quadruple stop. So give wind players a break! (and don't call them "the band" unless you want to be called "the fiddles" :laugh: )


    Anyway, I hope to be able to continue in symphonies. I'm going to Mt. Sinai, and the 92nd St. Y in NYC has a community "reading" orchestra where you read through different orchestral pieces each week and perform a couple times a year. I'm hoping to do that.
     
  15. Rudy1223

    Rudy1223 Member
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    Ha, you sound like a friend of mine! Anyway, I will agree that some flute parts can be hard, but not the majority. I guess when you're flying up and down the music and you only hear a few notes coming from uh-hem "the band" you think that their parts of cake. Some of us still think so... :smuggrin:
     
  16. pjv2410

    pjv2410 Member
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    Well, I'll agree that the brass have easy parts. Woodwinds, especially flutes, have much harder parts. String players can move their wrists and arms much faster than wind players can move their tongues ;) that's why they "fly up and down the music"
     
  17. !dr_nick!

    !dr_nick! Loves you AND your mom!!
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    Actually string crossing is annoying when playing really fast passages, esp when crossing more than one string :thumbdown: But usually there are alternate fingerings to fix that. But i tell you, if you play a wagner opera as a violinist you are going to be hurting, even if you are a pro.

    And yes, chromatics is probably one of the most annoying things for the violinist. But what is more annoying is being told to play triple piano way up in the stratosphere and make a pretty sound. OMG, ive walked away from so many practices with aching rhomboid muscles and forearm tendons.

    Also, in my opinion, second violin music in romantic music is often as difficult as the first violin part due to crappy rhythms and notey passages that are not idiomatic of the instrument. 1st violins usually get the melody, even if it is three octaves higher than it should be.

    And quadruple stops have to be rolled or divisi, and if rolled suck donkey balls when you have to do them either fast or up bow.

    Never played any wind instruments, i dont think my brain works that way :D
     
  18. bioviol

    bioviol Junior Member
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    I totally agree with you, as one of the fiddlers. At any rate, I think every instrument deserves the right to be admired in any orchestral music.
     
  19. pjv2410

    pjv2410 Member
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    I totally agree with all that. I was commenting more on what was possible on strings, rather than what was comfortable.

    At any rate, I guess each instrument has their own particular difficulties.

    And as a wind and string player, I know what you mean about your brain not working that way. I can actually feel that I'm using different parts of my brain to play the different instruments. :D
     
  20. bioviol

    bioviol Junior Member
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    oh, I am really interested in that topic.. do you know where/how I can find more about the brain, such as how it works when listening to music, etc..?
     
  21. pjv2410

    pjv2410 Member
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    Check out "Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy" by Robert Jourdain. It's a good introdution to the mind and music. It's not too technical but still in depth and can lead you to more resources.
     
  22. linuxizer

    linuxizer MS0
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    Alright, I'm going to have to step in here and defend the honor of brasspersons everywhere. My name is Inigo Montoya...you kill my father, prepare to.... Sorry, wrong script.
    Anyway, I will disabuse you of any notion that brass parts are easy in a few words:
    Resphigi Pines of Rome, Stravinsky Firebird, Carnival of Venice (Arban, I believe).
    Brass are bored a good bit of the time in orchestra, it is true. But this is mostly because of people like poor Mr. Mozart, who failed to truly understand the wonder that is brass until he wrote Requiem.
    So the point is, any instrument has difficult parts in its own canon. Concertmasters certainly have a higher percentage of difficult parts, but the compromise is that violin is basically limited to one style of music.

    The same holds true for brass instruments.

    Back to the original topic, there's an M2 in the Penn Orchestra (6 hours/wk rehearsal, plus more around concerts), so it's definitely possible. Oh, and a hearty second for the Jourdain book. It's wonderful.

    --Ari
     
  23. pjv2410

    pjv2410 Member
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    Point well taken :D
    I guess each section of the orchestra has preconceived notions of the others.
     
  24. potential

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    brass have hard parts too.

    check out the trumpet licks in amahl and the night visitors :eek:
     

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