HOW TO USE ACAPELLA APP

For us classical chamber musicians the lock down has been a real ordeal. But also an opportunity to try new things. Miles apart, not being able to see each other and play together, we had to find another way to stay connected musically. We discovered for us how to use the acapella app.

This is who we are – Duo Fantasie

on how to use acapella app


how to use acapella appThe strength of Duo Fantasie is that we play together every day. You really get to know each other musically and personally. Moreover, you evolve together.

The best compliment we heard was “we cannot distinguish anymore if the sound comes from the flute or the piano, you play as one entity”. To learn more about our story and understand how this is possible, please read this article.

Before I explain how we used the acapella app to get a little of that magic back into our lonely lock down days,

I wish to share our top three secrets to playing well together and

Become a real Duo


1. Breathe together, even when you are not playing, imagine you play your partner’s part and breathe with it. Also, breathe with the flutist even if you play the piano, or a string instrument. Try to breathe as one. You can exercise that by playing back-to-back without seeing each other. This will help you to start and feel the other’s musical phrase and air stream.

2. Which leads us to the second secret of becoming a real musical entity: Get to know the other one’s musical ideas and learn to anticipate them. Learn to imitate and lead them into your ideas which the other one will follow. The best compliment we received was that it was impossible to distinguish from which instruments the sounds were coming, so much had we merged the voices.

3. To trust each other and learn to depend on and guide each other, you should also spend some time together without playing or practicing. Have dinner, go out, play a game, go to the beach, or in times of Covid have a coffee on zoom or Skype, participate in a Yoga or Zumba online lesson together and then talk about it, etc….do whatever you can to increment mutual trust and knowledge. Create common ground outside of musical practice and above all, HAVE FUN!

I hope our secrets inspire you. Get to know us on our Facebook page

But what you came for is

How to use acapella app


So let us get right to it. You can download a free version that allows you to record 30 sec. However, that is enough in the beginning to become acquainted with how it works. Furthermore, I should mention that it is for ipad, iPhone and mac only.

But nowadays, most of us have both and can use at least one device for this purpose.

In the beginning of how to use acapella app


When I discovered the acapella app I was desperate for finding a way to play together from a distance. I didn’t intend to record in the beginning. But there was no way whatsoever to do that with normal internet connection. Only big institutions with super fast internet can do that, play or do things simultaneously. We tried with all the video conferencing tools, but it was impossible.

So I had nearly given up, when I found this funny way of reproducing yourself many times and singing a song with 6 voices just by myself! That was quite cute and I tried to adopt it for the flute. Most classical pieces developed in much longer than 30 seconds so it didn’t make much sense.

Starting a project on how to use acapella app


I chose to play the slower parts of our Fantasies, like on Traviata and Ballo in Maschera and record 30 seconds that concluded at least one musical idea.

When you sign up, you give your contact information or use your google or Facebook account. Then you are in and can follow other peoples’ projects. Even more so, you can join collaborations with them and see open proposals of cooperation.

But we wish to explain how to start your own first project. In order to do that, you need to click on the white mics on red background and a window opens where you choose the red bar to click on “record new”. After that you have a choice between different classic options, which are not too bad! Even without going premium you can select how many windows you need and what the layout should be. Just click on your option.

A window will pop up and allow you to select the time frame. You are on a free basis and should click on the 30sec. If you play less, it will automatically cut the rest. So go with the maximum length allowed on free membership basis. Click next!

Recording on how to use acapella app


As you are the first one to record, choose the side you like by clicking on it. The system will load and prepare. Place the device where you like the view of yourself playing. Possibly that one can see you well and follow your gestures as indicators on how to record on top.

When you click the red record button in the middle, it will offer you a countdown of four to prepare. Just play and stop it on the same button. If you are ready earlier it will trim the video down to the actual time you played, otherwise it will just stop after 30sec.

Now you get the choice if you’d like to redo or continue. If it wasn’t that bad, just click on continue! At least you will be able to listen to it and learn a lot from listening to your own recording. However, most probably after that first one you figured out what sounded better and will like to redo it. No problem, just cancel on the x in the upper left angle and do it all again.

Make sure you use a piece of music where you guide and your colleague follows. No rest bars or accompaniments in your part.

Recording on top


Once you have your recording you can decide to pre edit your sound by clicking on the loudspeaker below. You might want to lower the volume just a little if it was all up and add some reverberation. If you like playing around a little you can also add filters and styles by the other two buttons below the window.

But remember that the final say has the one who last records! The next step is to click on “save and share” in the upper right angle and this will open several possibilities. You should go with collaboration and send the link via whatsapp, messenger or sms to the other musician. I had trouble with that part and always created the link with the sms function to copy and paste it in an email.

The other musician also needs to download the app on an apple device. When he or she has done that, just by clicking on the link, it will allow collaboration. Furthermore, the same project opens and by clicking on a free window recording is able to start the same way described earlier.

Only this time, you need headphones or ear bugs, to be able to listen to what was prepared for you. However, both of you should make sure to play in tune, even when apart.

Finishing a project on how to use acapella app


When the second one is satisfied and he or she is also the last one, the sound, style and filters can be edited and saved. If you want to get a last say as well, you need your colleague to send it back to you with a collaboration link, otherwise you cannot work on it anymore.

Same procedure as your sharing with him or her. When you are happy with colors, style and sound (for non pros it is best to only adjust reverberation and volume), you can save it on your camera roll and upload it wherever you please. Make sure to save it outside of the app and save a link to the finished project as well.

You can also use that link to share on social media. But if you have different channels, it is best to host it on one of them.

What to keep in mind when using the acapella app


It is not like playing together. However, it can be uplifting and create a feeling of collaboration and shade of normality. Moreover, it helps each one of you to become a better musician, because you have to be very precise and can listen to your own recordings to improve.

Choose musical pieces or parts where one of the two is in control and the other can accompany. It will take some time to get used to this way of “playing together” and be able to anticipate and imagine the other one’s musical ideas. Hopefully, you have played together for some time now and find this process easy.

The instrument that can be tuned should make sure it has tuned to the right A, especially when playing first. Then you have no reference sounds.

Last step in how to use acapella app


This brings me to our last progression, playing on our own concert recordings. As a result, we could also play music where there is not just one leader. This was so much fun that we decided to go premium, just one of us is enough. So now we can record for a longer duration and choose from the premium themes.

Thus, listening to a recording and giving a clear starting sign, like a deep breath, you can play more complex chamber music.

If the concert recording is your own, it will be easier for the other person to remember and record on your recording alone.

But what can you do in a case there is no such recording? This is the case of a double concert that was written for us to be performed for the first time this summer. “Two Souls” for flute, piano and orchestra. As it will not happen this summer, but somewhere in the unforeseeable future, we decided to take little excerpts where there is less or no orchestra and send very short recordings to the composer as a thank you.

Enlarging the collaboration to an Opera singer!


This was quite a difficult project! We had many attempts at it and many failures. In the end it is the best to record the leading voice first, even if she opposes! She can listen to a recording of her choice while she records the first part.

I had gone premium for a weeks trial, and so I prepared an empty project to ask her for collaboration. Furthermore, it is important to know that you need to record whatever you wish, talking, cooking, nothing, for the full duration and send this default recording. Make sure you use the window that is best for the other one recording first. She will simply click on it and record over it, while listening to something else on her headphone.

When she was happy with the sound, and it is not easy, singing opera from home, she sent the collaboration request to our pianist. In addition, we had decided which notes she would play and in which octave, so that I could arrange a flute part that fitted. Now, surprise, I had planned flute and piccolo, so we were working with 4 windows.

It took a lot of trial and error, but in the end we came up with our arrangement of “Saper vorreste” from “Un ballo in maschera” by G. Verdi. Here is the result:

How to use acapella app for an unedited concert


This concert is very special and nothing alike has yet been written in the classical environment. It was our wish and describes our personalities and cultural backgrounds: “Two Souls” – double concert for flute, piano and orchestra

The concert is based, as the title suggests, on the characterization and juxtaposition of two “musical souls”: on one side the Swiss-German one by Jana Hildebrandt (flutist) and on the other one Cuban by Monica Jimenez Calvo (pianist). Composed between 2019 and the beginning of 2020 on commission of the two concert artists. “Two Souls” uses an immediate, modern and captivating language, also making use of some references and thematic ideas like the following:

We might recognize, on the one hand, the beginning of the 1st beat of the VI “Pastoral” symphony by L. van Beethoven, some ideas from “Der Freischütz” by C. M von Weber, references from “Abendsegen” by E. Humperdinck taken from Hansel and Gretel, hints of Viennese waltz by R. Strauss (An der schönen blauen Donau) and on the other a reference to the famous “Guantanamera” together with the use of pressing rhythm with the use of the “clave”, references to the Cuban style .

Everything is packaged in the form of the Classical Concert, with an energetic and dancing first movement in tripartite bi-thematic “Sonata form”, a poignant Pavana and a sparkling Rondò on the rhythm of the “clave”.

Our two souls, Cuban and German are fused to a great concerto which will be presented live as soon as possible!

 

Thank you for reading, share and like our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

 

Janie

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how to use acapella app

UNLEASH THE BRILLIANT FLUTIST IN YOU

Are you tired of never feeling good enough? Even though you put in crazy practicing hours? Do you sometimes secretly start to hate the flute? And then feel guilty and get yourself to practice even more? Then this article is for you to help you unleash the brilliant flutist in you. You will learn how to manage your time and energy efficiently and how to allow yourself to rise to your potential and above!

 

Unleash the brilliant flutist in you


In order to allow yourself to forget about your limits and rise above them as if it was a piece of cake, you need to start seeing the unleash the brilliant flutist in youbroader picture of being a flutist. It is not only about practice hours and mistakes. About physical pain or mental exhaustion. It is about allowing your unique qualities to arise and unfold.

Most of the time we are not even aware of our qualities and accomplishments. We are busy punishing ourselves for mistakes or presumed laziness. At least that is what I did.

I focused on the absence or lack of something, instead of being grateful for what I learned or was able to do better than the day before.

Concentrating on the absence of a skill, will never let that skill break through in you.

 

The mindful flutist – unleash the brilliant flutist in you


Instead of focusing on the gap between where you are and where you want to be, which will result in negative thoughts impeding real improvement, start your day with an appreciative thought.

Yes, this is an important step on changing your resisting focus onto a more allowing way of thinking. We flutists have something in our life that is always there and that deserves appreciation: breathing! Breath and air, filling our lungs and body, what a wonderful mechanism that we do not even have to think about.

Just stop for a second, breathe in deeply through your nose and out again through your mouth. Follow the air with your imagination and be thankful. Appreciate your ability to nurture your body with oxygen and to gently control the air going out again.

Meditation would be a wonderful idea to practice the feeling of appreciation and thankfulness. There are also inspiring explanations you can listen to on youtube.appreciation and thankfulness

It is hard when you are feeling down to feel thankful immediately. Try rising your energy slowly, to a thought that is a little less negative than your actual ones.

Try to focus on things that you have no hard feelings or thoughts about. Ones where it is natural to acknowledge that they are good (the sun, a pillow, facial cream etc…). It is easier from acknowledging a positive thing to get to appreciation eventually. Don’t be hard on yourself.

Read more about meditation in the article I dedicated to this topic.

Try to get yourself in a grateful state before you play. While you play beware of your thoughts. Just notice them and do not judge.

Are they more critic of your playing or do you sometimes give yourself an imaginative pad on the shoulder? Whenever you notice a positive thought, stick with it. Focus on it and milk it all you can! As for the others, just let them pass. No judgment.

You can also train your imagination and start with inlcuding natural elements into your practice thoughts, like the image of water, the sound of the wind, the feeling of the sun on your skin.

Read more about nature and flute practice in this article.

One last tip on being a mindful flutist, who is allowing the full potential to unfold, is to visualize the good outcome of whatever you practice for.

Imagine your teacher complimenting you, your audience applauding you or yourself playing well and being satisfied with the result, maybe winning a competition or audition.

Imagine the scene as clearly as you can. What are you wearing, who is there, what is the temperature, the smell, the general feeling. What is your sound like and the acoustics of where you play? Is there any noise or someone else playing with you?

Imagine and visualize the scene over and over. This is as important as the actual practice so do not skip the mental preparation!

 

The fit and healthy flutist – unleash the brilliant flutist in you


Playing the flute is like doing sports on a professional level. Your whole body is there to support the creation of your sound. So you should try to get a good connection with it, first of all of appreciation and thankfulness. It helps you experience and express yourself through the wonderful art of music.

Get to know your body through exercise. Beware of your limits. When it asks you for a rest, you need to give it a break. Do not over practice as this is very harmful. When parts of your body become tired, others will take over their part and you unlearn the best breathing technique or posture, that it took you so long to learn. So give your body a rest. If you are interested I talk about some stretching exercises and muscle training in these articles: stretching and muscle training.
fit and healthy

But also train it as an athlete would. You remember the fitness studio exercises? They always come in sets of three. Never over the limit, just a little under. Like sets of crunches for example.

So learn from this experience and divide your study into three sets. In all of them you need to stay fully present, focused and with all your attention on the task at hand.

Find out for yourself what your limit is and do not go over it. Instead, try to be more focused when you practice and stop when you could still go on.

Like an athlete warm up before and stretch afterwards.

Translate that for yourself onto the flute practice. As an example, I start my day with playing anything that comes into my head, softly slowly improvising. When I get a good feeling I start with some scales or exercises that help me study the music I need to learn.

Always start slow, no rush. Difficult passages I start to study with the metronome extremely slowly. So that I am sure I can play every note and memorize my body position and energy distribution as well as the sound that I want to produce.

Then you take it up in little steps, faster and faster. When you lose control, start going back down again. That is the stretching of the mind and body. Slowly getting down again. Then give yourself a little rest.

On average, you should include some minutes of rest after every 20min. That is the time one can really focus. Unfocused playing is like unlearning what you did earlier.

So as for a healthy life, especially for a musician, move, exercise, get into the sun, fresh air, do gymnastics especially for the parts that are on heavy-duty playing the flute, like shoulders and back.

Eat well and sleep well. More on that you can read in my articles by clicking on EAT and SLEEP well.

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The social flutist – unleash the brilliant flutist in you


Think positive about yourself and others. Find positive things to think and say every time you can. Focus on what you did well while you play and after as well. Sometimes it is easier to do that with others, so start there if you like. Watch a video of a different flutist every morning and find positive things to say and think. Even comment and write to them.

As a musician it is core that we create a positive and uplifting surrounding for us. Already while studying in college be sure to make friends and study in a group as often as you can. They will hold you accountable and carry you through darker times and you will do the same for them. Furthermore, it is very inspiring and motivating to be part of a group with similar goals.

friendsIf you do not have such a group, look out for them on the internet. So many of us have found support and inspiration.

We all need a nourishing environment and mentors that we can count on. So start creating that as soon as you can.

Also, always have a safety net for when you fall. Create connections and bonds that uplift you and be interested in other people’s stories. You can learn from anyone and anything.

Live your life fully. Form healthy relationships, friends and family, outside of the musical world. Fall in love and live through it. You need life to give life to your playing. Live your experiences and translate them into music. Create something to tell while you play.

Last but not least, while you learn start sharing what you learn. It is through teaching that we really learn what we thought we already knew. Teaching helps you grow and helps others.

Be of help and connect!

 

FluteProfiles.com - Find Flutists and Flute Teachers Online

 

The accomplished flutist


So now you got some tools that have not that much to do with practicing the flute, but are even more important. The accomplished flutist knows his or her own limits and how to manage their time and energy around them. Limits are not fixed and can be pushed, but you should do that wisely and gently.

Time is not the same as energy and both need to be organized in an ideall way to unleash the brilliant flutist in you. There might be other things in you life that take up your time and you will have to organize your day in a way that allows you to spend the right amount of time in mental and physical preparation and actual study.

But even more important is your energy management. Find out if you are a night owl or an early bird and when your energy is highest. There are also different types of energy to consider. The mental concentration and the explosive physical force. Divide your flute practice accordingly. As well, take into account the time of the day when you need to play the concert, competition or audition and start to train your energy to spike at that time by putting in enough rest in your day. This is super important! It is when we rest that we learn. Our mind rewinds everything we did and organizes it to be retrieved when needed.

The accomplished flutist is gentle with himself or herself and allows their art to flourish from the inside. Simply by not resisting it and appreciating every brilliant creation that has happened that way, paving the tunnel for yet more of them to surface.

 

unleash the brilliant flutist in you

 

What are your ideas on the different topics above? Please let me know in the comment section below.

I sincerely hope that I help you to unleash that potential of a brilliant flutist that you force yourself to waste so many times by over studying or focusing on limiting beliefs and negative thoughts.

The accomplished flutist is not free of doubts or fear, he or she has just learned how to create a safety net in themselves so that they can just let them go and focus on positive aspects again.

In a fertile environment this is much easier, so find your best spot and grow!

Janie

             topflute

topflute

 

 

 

 

Italian Moka Coffee Maker- Best Italian Coffee Beans

I admit it, I am German by birth. But hey, I can tell a good espresso from a not so good one! Since 2001 I have had the privilege to study and live, later work in Italy. As a complete zombie without my quality coffee, I can assure you, I know! I need an Italian Moka Coffee Maker with me at all times.

Even Andrea Bocelli, famous Italian Tenor, loves the best Italian Coffee!

Have a look

If you love espresso, this article is for you!

Filter coffee drinkers do not know how much they are hurting their stomachs, as the filter also blocks the fatty parts of the coffee bean, that would protect your stomach and intestine. Espresso has everything, protection and taste!

If you’d like to know more about coffee as a means of beauty read my article about the use of good quality coffee for scrubbing. Instead of throwing the rests away, why not use them for a beneficial body scrub? It leaves your skin clean and moistured. Only use it though if you can be sure that the beans were not produced with an awful amount of pesticides and chemicals. I go Illy or organic.

——————-> read my article.

Best Italian Coffee Beans


Especially now, in those dreadful and frightening times we live in, make sure to get your coffee delivered to your house without extra costs, no minimum sale necessary. Just have a look

O well, Italians know how to make their coffee and how to drink it. It is a sacred ritual and has to follow strict rules. Those traditions are jealously given on from generation to generation. The secrets are kept in the families and taken to the tomb when there are no heirs.

illy Ground Espresso Medium Roast Coffee

But as a blond German girl I was able to get a glimpse behind the scenes of after lunch and dinner coffee making. Fortunately, Italian maybe future mother in laws let their guard down: So I was introduced to the secrets of Italian coffee making.

Even if it was for the sole purpose of making their sons happy!

As a wonderful byproduct, I made myself happy too, in coffee heaven. With boyfriends from central and south Italy, I learned very quickly which are the best Italian Coffee Beans: Let me reveal this gourmet secret to you: It is Illy coffee.

  • Fewer pesticides than any other non organic coffee.
  • 100% Arabic from 9 different countries in the world, those handpicked beans preserve the aromatic qualities.
  • sustainability for environment and employees

sustainable qualityNot only that, Illy cares about sustainable quality, which includes quality of life for the workers. They have chosen to follow the highest ethics.

Which is why I drank it a lot in left-wing, and academic environment. But also at the home of every one else, dedicated to good quality coffee.

You can find out for yourself by clicking the following link

 

———————–> Illy Sustainable Coffee Culture

 

 

Italian Moka Coffee Maker


 

So what about those traditional secrets to coffee making at home?

In Italy, we use this little thing called Moka. And it is still preferred to capsules and other machines. To get an idea, here is the link to find pictures and get an idea!

Illy Caffe US Homepage

illy Alessi Pulcina 1 Cup Moka Pot - Red

Well, they are also where your personal coffee making style and secrets come through.

So let me reveal them to you

Never ever wash the Moka with soap, or anything but water. Do not scrub off the coffee rests or coloring in the inside. Only through time does the Moka acquire real Italian coffee making taste. So just water, no scrubbing!

Then you need to fill it up only until under the pressure valve. Do not cover it or, god forbid, surpass it! The valve is for steam only, no water, not even close. The water needs to be low calcium, tab water is good, if you are not living where there is a lot of chalk in the water. COLD WATER! Heaven sees you! No warm water. It will alter the taste of the coffee.

Do not fill it up with coffee, 2/3s is enough. Do not flatten it. Put the gas (or whatever you use) on low. Very low. You wouldn’t want to destroy the taste by shocking the beans with heat. The more time the water spends running through, the better the taste.

 

How to make your true Italian coffee at home


And the instructions go on:

After it came through and it starts to make some noise (air coming
through with coffee), turn off the gas, but do not touch it. This is a
sacred moment. Let the last pearls of coffee gather with the crowd and
wait for it. When you do not hear anything anymore, you can serve the
coffee, slowly. Do not use sugar or milk.

Taste it as it is and enjoy!

Illy Caffe US Homepage

coffee becomes music!!!

Now,
for the experts, whenever the coffee is ready, the first part, which
spent less time with the beans, has less caffeine. So if you have
someone who needs to limit the intake of caffeine, this is the perfect
time to serve the first cup without mixing.

If you are all lovers
and just wish to enjoy the best coffee ever, mix with a spoon in the
Moka first. This way the Italian Moka Coffee Maker will give you the
best exquisite experience!

Espresso machines or Italian Moka


In Italy, we love our Mokas. Forget George Clooney, he has a house in the very north, near Switzerland. We will defend our Mokas and go on with the true tradition till the end!! With a Moka, it is less strong and with more Aroma, as it takes longer to go through.

illy X1 iperEspresso Anniversary 1935 Machine - Red

At the bar, trust only when they have the long handles to put down to attach the coffee to the steam. And when they serve Illy. They tell you outside already.

So what about those machines and capsules. Well, if you love them.

Go Illy, anyway! It is much healthier and more stylish.

You can also have a look at the Illy art collections, cups and plates, machines as well.

 

ILLY ITALIAN ART OF LIFE

illy illy Art Collection 25th Anniversary Can Dark Roast Ground Espresso

Well, if you do not have the surrounding family to chat while waiting and preparing and you are on a tight schedule, at least make sure your espresso machines are Illy.

Have a look at the wonderful offers for a truly Italian life style and coffee —————————> HERE

 

 

With coffee, trust the Italians!


And trust Andrea Bocelli!

Why wouldn’t you? There is so much music in a good cup of coffee, that you can here him sing!

Especially when you study Italian music, you’d need to get tuned into the true life style and quality!

Very well, you know why I drink Illy, why most of Italian musicians do and also many mothers-in-law!!!

Coffee is one of the finest things in life, and we all should pay the utmost attention at with whom we share those sacred moments and secrets.

Let me know, what you think and experienced and why you chose Illy!

If you like our input, please share this article in the social media world with the buttons below,

Have a fantastic coffee, life and stay happy!

Topflute

 

Famous Italian Tenor drinks Illy

 

Musicians And Stage Fright – Fight Or Flight?

Many musicians seemed to be born to be on stage or in front of a camera. They give their best and enjoy the moment with great confidence. On the other hand, however the majority of musicians have to deal with stage fright at a certain point of their carrier. And the good news is: Musicians and Stage Fright, it’s just a passage to be the stage animal you dream of being.

 

Musicians and Stage Fright

Musicians And Stage Fright – Do You Fight Or Take a Flight?


When it comes to performing in front of an audience powerful emotions kick in and cloud our judgment of the situation. Does it feel like your hands are tight and you are your own prisoner?

There are various forms of stage fright. Some are light and easy to reduce to pure excitement. This article deals with those situations where we are nervous, shaking and not breathing right. Maybe sweating, cold hands, hot cheeks….

We have all been there and we can cope with it and learn a way to use those feelings to our advantage. So this article is for you when you deal with light to medium stage fright, which we can also call performance anxiety.

If you are having straight panic attacks just thinking about a performance in front of an audience, you should seek professional help. There a many famous musicians who had to do that and overcame their fight or flight response or freeze state. Panic attacks are serious and should be dealt with professionally.

Look at a list of musicians who went through extreme stage fright ——> here.

 

Do You Fear Stage Fright? Musicians And Stage Fright


fear of stage fright

That is often how it gets worse. You have been through a situation where you couldn’t control you fingers or breathing anymore and it all went blank. Maybe you lost you track and didn’t know where to enter or you didn’t play you solo.

Those horrible experiences are very strong. They stick in our minds and produce anxiety. This is how the next time you will be afraid to walk on that stage again, or maybe even playing just for you friends and family. That one time could become more times if you give fear a way into you preparation and mind and it will fulfill the prophecy of failure.

At that point there seems to be no way out and you won’t even fight it anymore but just never put yourself in that position again.

Stop and think. We are made like this, fly dangerous situations if we can’t fight them and how should we fight ourselves when we are sure we will fail?

 

Are Musicians The Only Ones With Performance Anxiety?


No actually. There are many forms of it and the most common is Speakers’ Nervousness. That one is so strong that some people prefer to be in the coffin than giving the eulogy. Just have a look at the Anxiety and Depression Department of America and their article on how to deal with Stage Fright.

This article is very helpful as it gives 10 steps to prepare and overcome performance anxiety that anyone can implement to improve any type of performance including an audience.

Furthermore, it is imperative not only for musicians to eat well, sleep well and practice. A state of health and well-being is the best way to reduce performance anxiety. How to prepare as a musician?

For more information on those different aspects read my articles about

sleep

food

practice

How do you put yourself in the best position to perform? Let me know in the comment section below.

But also consider this idea: Life and strong emotions are born from the hip flexor muscles.

If we can train those we will be able to control life and feelings about life. Have a look at the training —————————–>here.

Where Does Stage Fright Come From?


self-doubt musicians

Maybe you are an introvert and many brilliant musicians are. Some of us lack the confidence to be able to make others have a good time by playing for them. Many of us are perfectionists and judge ourselves very harshly. We then assume the audience would do the same and become afraid of their judgment.

Some of us have had bad experiences, like memory loss, freezing on stage or shaking so much we were unable to control our movements.

Sometimes we haven’t had the time to prepare right and do not feel ready. Still, in other occasions we have to fight with a dry mouth, overheated head and very cold feet, literally.

Often we lack the imagination of it being a wonderful experience because we are caught up in the dreadful experiences we had and our mind will reproduce what it knows.

The adrenaline produced leaves us two chances, fight or flight. If you can do neither of both you freeze and self sabotage in a kind of flight on the spot.

I personally suffer from overthinking while I’m playing. What happened a lot of times was that I was performing wonderfully and my mind went “how is that possible? you never played that well. Something has to go terribly wrong in the next passage” and guess what, it does. Never fails to go wrong when I think it will. Can’t we use that to our advantage? Isn’t the opposite just as true?

 

7 Ways To Overcome Stage Fright For Musicians


That leads me to ways to overcome stage fright. Here are 7 ways to get to the same result, a fulfilling performance for you and you audience. Remember that musical performance involves an audience. No way around it, so when you play, play with them. Not against them. Open yourself up to the idea that all of you just want to have a great time and feel something amazing. You need to feel that amazing feeling to convey it, so it all starts with you own attitude to what you are going to do.

1. The first and most important is to be prepared. To study and practice well. You cannot fool yourself into thinking of being prepared when you know you are not.

2. While you practice you should also imagine you are in the performance situation. Imagine the lights going out in the audience. The applause when you enter and yourself smiling and confident. No tricks, you are prepared. Imagine yourself playing the very first sound. Listen to it as it leaves you and comes back to you. Imagine the acoustics and the audience carrying you sound together with you.

3. Visualize the moment that the audience breaks into a long applause after you performance, the tension has left and the light is turned back on. This is what is going to happen if you are prepared and willing to share a beautiful moment with you audience.

4. Change you focus. Do not think about yourself, you playing, the long hours of practice and heaven forbid the way you are going to fail anyway. This is what we usually do. Our panic feeling is a response to the unpleasant thoughts we are thinking that anticipate a situation we would rather not be in.

Think about what you are going to offer to you audience, focus on them not yourself

About why you play for them and about why they came. Connect with them and smile at them the whole time, also in your visualization. Try to greet them innerly. One by one. Welcome them.

5. Find out the right breathing exercises and meditation to relax and calm down before and after a concert. You can read about breathing and stretching exercises in my other articles here and here.

6. Be yourself, no perfection needed. It is perfectly fine to make a mistake. You do not have to be flawless. No one is. Your connection with the audience will be so much deeper and more enjoyable on both sides if you can just relax and smile about you own shortcomings. Acknowledge you are afraid. You can even tell them. Just use positive words like excitement and energy. Be generous to them and to yourself. Everyone can relate much better! be yourself

7. My very own way is to create a bodily feeling of the sound of my music. It has to be a strong positive emotion. Like feeling at home. E-motion is energy in motion, vibration.

I create my own positive vibration and inhabit it. I then open the door and welcome everyone to have a sip of the energy, sit down and make themselves comfortable.

To enhance each of the aspects you could also implement a regular meditation practice routine. Nothing special, just some time to align and build a home base to come back to when you need it. Read more on the topic in our latest article meditation for flutists.

Music Is Vibration, Feelings Are Vibration – Vibration Is Our Essence


But this is just the result, a natural result. The important thing is to inhabit your sound and create a positive vibe. Besides, this feeling has the duration of a second or even less, but I can create it whenever I want and keep out thoughts of self-doubt. There is simply no space as the feeling is huge, even limitless. No way of breaking in. And then I play the first note and it is a self-fulfilling prophecy again.

The good feeling enhances the sound, the sound enhances the feeling. We can then just glow and shine and invite everyone in.

Does that make sense to you? Feelings are the strongest vehicle we have. Therefore attach different strong, reassuring and warm feelings to every passage while you study. Relive them every time you play and you will be back in there on stage.

That feeling is what the audience remembers, not a mistake. Moreover, they will feel enriched because you did generously give them something. A pure wonderful vibration that uplifted them. After all, that is what music is all about, isn’t it?

 

How To Get Rid Of Stage Fright, Light and Bright Insight!


cabbage field

There are some fun ways as well. My mother, a flutist, told me that her grandmother (farmer) told her to look at the audience and imagine that they are all cabbage heads. Not as an offense, but the way a cabbage field looks like. And play for the food you will be blessed to eat.

However, my mother somehow wasn’t that much into cabbage and found another way: She imagined everyone naked! Literally without clothes. She was the only one dressed and her sound would dress the audience slowly. Piece by piece.

At the end of the concert everyone is dressed and happily applauding. Lights are turned back on and she can smile at the great job she had done!!

Understandably, I’m very happy that her audience never knew why she was radiant and smiling so much. They just thought she was confident and a fantastic musician, offering generously good feelings and beautiful sounds.

Isn’t that awesome? Try it out and let me know if it worked! Or find you own story and let us all know how you did it.

Link it to a vibration of joy, fun, lightness, ease and happiness.

 

Musicians And Stage Fright No More – Highlight!


How do you handle stage fright? What is your solution? Please share you experience in the comment section below and let us know how you deal with stage fright.

no more stage fright

What have you tried and does it work?

We would love to read you ideas.

Leave us a comment below!

 

Happy and fulfilling performance,

 

If it has been a while since your last performance, read our article about how to get back up to speed quickly!!

Janie from Topflute

founder of

Musicians and Stage Fright

 

 

topflute.com

myflutelife.com

3 RULES ABOUT PLAYING TOGETHER IN A MUSIC GROUP

Following the  2 ways to create a music group here come the very fundamental and not to ever forget imperative 3 Rules about playing together in a music group.

3 rules about playing together in a music group

 

 

 

 

 

When you come together and play music there are

3 Rules about playing together in a music group

kind of unwritten but binding


Rule number 1

1. When you play in a group, it goes without saying that you have to listen to the others. No Prima Donna in chamber music!

Your playing is of service for the overall outcome which is so much more than just a few people coming together. When everyone is feeling the same energy and communicating it, magic starts to happen. It doesn’t matter anymore, whether you are the best there is on your instrument or not.

Whether a note cracked, no one cares, as long as your playing is communication and contribution.

This truly is what the audience perceives. When everyone with the same idea, being inspired and inspiring the others, when it is an ongoing give-and take, it becomes an art. The people who come to listen to concerts usually wait for that moment.

It will take them up and let them be. Feeling of beauty and freedom. The flow state or forever box, or being in the zone.

Whatever you call it. If there is more than one person feeling it, it gains so much momentum, it becomes irresistible.

Rule number 2

2. Be on time and be prepared. The rehearsal is not to study the parts. That should be done at home.

When playing together the rehearsal is not about your part. You should already know it and have also written on your music which instrument enters where and when you are accompanying or leading. This should already be very clear.

Because different ideas of the music have to come together, be experimented with and finally share one overall idea of the piece of music. That is why we rehearse.

Rule number 3

3. Be generous with compliments and only ever express positive constructive criticism. Even better when put into a question.

The best are the humblest of all and full with praise to others. Do not judge and always try to improve. You can learn from everyone. And they can learn from you. The group is so much more than a linear addition of people. A musical group is fire and can grow exponentially!!

 

What if I want to play in a band?


 

3 rules about playin in a music groupLuckily, I have a dear friend who has written a perfect article about playing in a band.

My fortunate readers can thus look it up by following this link

——-> Aussiemuso in the music room.

The big difference is that you should express the general wish to play somewhere, but not ask the band of your choice.

Follow them, go to their concerts, compliment them and tell them you play too. If there is a possibility to play with them, they will ask you!

This can be a good way to enter existing chamber music groups and chamber orchestras as well.

 

3 Rules about playing together in a music group are simple

if you have those 5 things sorted out


Make sure you have 5 things in place –

if you want to create a music group that lasts or play in one

1. A music stand that is suitable for the situation.

To help you pick one, I have written this article —> portable music stands

2. Magnets and instrument holders are very important and professional looking too.

So be sure to check them out! Here is what I use —-> power magnets.

3. Be sure to bring enough food and water. You can’t be of help and a good colleague if you are starving or thirsty.

To enhance performance with the right food have a look here ——> food for musicians.

Rehearsing is energy costing and you will have to sleep enough to recover. Your brain will thank you for that!

Some ideas on how to do that ——-> sleep to enhance performance.

4. Have one spare instrument if yours is down for reparation or maintenance. It is very unprofessional to cancel a rehearsal because your instrument need a work over. For a cheap spare flute you can have a look here

——> flutes for beginners.

5. Don’t forget to protect your ears. They are your basic fundamental instrument to be a good musician and enjoy it.

So check out my advice on professional ear plugs as well! —–> ear plugs.

 

3 rules about playing together in a music group

Now, rules and unwritten laws, but above all,

have fun and share one of the most beautiful things in the world: MUSIC.

 

PLEASE SHARE AND SUBSCRIBE TO KEEP THIS WEBSITE GOING AND ENCOURAGING OTHERS!

Janie

                     topflute.com

3 rules to play together in a music group

 

 

2 WAYS TO CREATE A MUSIC GROUP

Life in the orchestraWhen I started playing the flute I loved when my teacher (my mother) played Duets with me. Moreover, she has shown me ways to create a music group I wish to share with you today.

Playing together however taught me so much more than I would have learned had she just explained it to me.

Making music together is fun and very educating.

And can become a profession!! So let us get to it

 

 

With whom should I play – 2 ways to create a music group


You can ask your teacher if anyone else has expressed the wish to gather and start a group. You should also look for local advertisement, there might be places like a Junior band or a Youth Orchestra. Look out for situations with other musicians your age and when you start to get to know them you can “ask them out” also for playing in smaller groups.

As an example, I myself enjoy a lot when we play with my woodwind quintet Kelder Club.

We are all first parts of an orchestra. Same level, same fun!

create a music group

 

Before you go out there and ask anyone to form a chamber music group, make sure of two things!

 

2 ways to start a chamber music group – create your group

 


Way 1 – preparing the grounds

 

  • Find some music that you absolutely love and get the sheet music for everyone. You can search for flute related music for free on flutetunes.com.

Always check out the offers on other sites as well, as flutetunes has no original music.

For one of the most complete sheet music selections




They often offer special discounts for famous editions and teacher discounts.

Furthermore, you can check out 8notes and musescore.

Get a YouTube recording of the piece and be sure to print the PDF sheet music for everyone.

  • Find a room where you can go and practice. Might be your music school, your home, garage or a friend’s place.

Make sure it has adequate acoustics and temperature and is easy to reach for all the future members.

  • Make a schedule of possible rehearsal times and think about a name of your project.

 

Way 2 – setting an inspiring goal

 

  • Look for a concert. Try to organize at least one concert, even for free for starters. A free concert is very good to invite friends and family, but also teachers and people who are further along the way than you. So you will receive reliable feedback and refine your project.

 

  • Write a project with a name and purpose (concert(s)), write an appealing concert program. It should be appealing to the audience and interesting repertoire for the musicians.

 

  • Submit the project to more places who might organize a concert.

 

If you have no idea where to start, here come some simple ways to get out there and let people gain awareness that you exist: Offer concerts in libraries, cultural associations, Uni 3, hospitals and retirement homes.

Furthermore, try  places where people gather to have a coffee. You can offer free concerts leaving your little project books with contact addresses on the fun with singers

tables.

 

Always record rehearsals and performances


You need to go social. So make very short videos of rehearsals and performances to invite people to like your group. 60seconds is enough!

Of course, after having created a Facebook page. No one goes without anymore! Schedule life sessions on your page and invite your friends to assist a small part of a rehearsal or a preparation of a concert!

Nothing is more interesting than the backstage!!! So don’t worry about playing perfectly. Be genuine and fun! Remember that you are broadcasting your passion, not doing an exam.

This will also boost the group’s self-esteem and help you get together even when it’s hard to find the time.

Some advice on how to do that: find out more —-> create your own website, free and easy.

 

Knowing how to create a music group you are now all set up for a successful experience in playing with others.

Likewise, from the start, you should prepare a good presentation that the audience can engage with and the whole group can share. Read my article on doing that here.

Even better if everyone in the group can add to it. On how to do that, have a look at my most recent article about presenting concerts and music groups   HERE!

 

Ways to maintain a music group


Let me know if you have questions on any of the ideas I have expressed and don’t forget to share this page on your social media. You might just find the right person to play with by sharing this post!!

There are certain rules to maintain when playing and working together and you should make sure that they are clear to every one in your group. Have a quick look at them ————-> here.

I have found my duo partner, a Cuban pianist! Creating music and programs together has become a lifestyle. We have our own brand and story, which you should create as well.

create a music groupCheck out our Facebook page on
DUO FANTASIE.

Now, go and create your own life filled with beautiful music and wonderful people!

If you need more help, you can read my article on LIFE DESIGN FOR MUSICIANS.

 

Happy music making!

Janie

                             topflute

logo JTH

Life design for musicians – 3 ways online

This is Janie again! I’m a professional flutist, performer and teacher. For sure, many of you are professional musicians and you are going to understand exactly what I will tell you about our current situation and what we can do to create a satisfying life design for musicians.

Training for musicians is hard


SEO training for musiciansAs musicians, we are used to training hard, study long hours or very quickly and under varying circumstances.

Many times we have to be on spot when we would rather run away or binge watch our favorite TV show.

If at all in our life we had time to get to know any TV shows.

But we can’t, you cannot run from the stage. You cannot say “no” to a project because they might not call you anymore for work. So you will have to squeeze in those students and hurry from one place to the other.

Speeding tickets start piling up, like the breadcrumbs in your car, from those damn bread rolls we eat as a meal in very different times a day then would be healthy.

Sleep, food, free time, Sundays off, so many things we have to say goodbye to, we are used to it. Sometimes we feel like a musical god, sometimes we feel worse than our students. This roller coaster day in day out in terms of life makes us become adrenalin junkies. We couldn’t be living without it anymore. We might even have had to overcome stage fright or still be struggling with it to add some extra stress. Read more on how to deal with performance anxiety in my article ————–> here.

The price to pay in the long run


exhausted musicianThis level of stress is a hard toll on our body and mental health. I know many musicians, who even had the wonderful lifetime job of playing in just one orchestra, fixed rehearsal times, retirement payment, fixed shows and performances at always the same places.

Maybe a tour to a foreign country or a different conductor now and then. Maybe sometimes some composer shows up with a life-changing piece of music where you have to spit into your flute, or jump around on stage….but even those, whom I admire, because they have made it, they won a position in a symphony orchestra, have high stress levels.

They have been measured for research and are out stressed only by pilots. I know several of those musicians with nervous breakdowns, nerve health issues and ticks they cannot control, sometimes it costs them their job. I also know two who changed carrier radically, one became a fitness trainer and the other one a …… what if not…a pilot.c

Check out how to improve your sleep and food in my two articles related to health. But that won’t be enough. Just slowing down the process of slow exhaustion.

———————-> Food

————————————-> Sleep

So here you got the history you have already know in your own environment.

 

Does it really have to be that way?


Do we have to stress out to get in far away places on time, playing music we do not like? Is it like we can here so often:

You should be happy, you are doing what you love! Not every one can make a profession out of their passion.

Yeah, yeah….right. Sometimes that is just the problem. It is our passion. Our soul hurts that we have to nearly prostitute it sometimes, just so that people will want to hear it and pay for it.

However, what did I do?

sleep for musicians

After believing in the “You should be happy” words for a while, I felt completely lost. I had fought such a long time to be able to live on music. Why am I not satisfied? Why have I also lost the desire to play my flute in my free time, to study music that I’m interested in, but that doesn’t pay?

Something is not right and there has to be another way. Luckily for us, there is! The internet.

A new life design for musicians is possible


It doesn’t have to be that way at all!classical musician websites

For starters, we are done with selling our precious time by the hour. You can’t pay an artist by the hour.

We will record lessons, online and sell them to as many students as we can. Furthermore, we will create courses which we have to give only once, and record them. I will help you learn strategies to sell them online and be paid for what they are worth, not for the time we have put in. We will begin to see, how much unused potential the internet has for us.

It will give us back our lost time. We can also share our expertise on our own websites and become an authority in what we do, so that we can finally decide what to play and which concerts to give.

Let us become our own managers! The music industry is broken and leaves us only breadcrumbs. Let us take our fate in our own hands and decide what our life and time is worth.

Musicians can do it! Create a life style that is satisfying


online marketing for musiciansWe musicians have the strength and determination to do just that.

Discipline and passion are our every day. The result is nowledge and experience. Who would be better indicated for opening up an online business?!

We can learn to become entrepreneurs, that is not hard.

It was hard what we did so far. Where we have come to and what we have endured made us strong and resilient. We also learn fast and put everything in something when we know it serves a purpose.

Those nights on the train to get to an audition in the morning, pizza in parking lots, endless bus-tours and formula 1 rides on the high way.

All this is over. We will decide about our time and whereabouts and revive our passion once again.

 

Online marketing for musicians – a 3 way street


Let us take advantage of this day and age and all the possibilities we have online and with social media.

There are three streets we can follow, even all together.

website design for musicians

1. One is affiliate marketing and blogging,

2. Another one is creating a brand and lessons online,

3. the other one is social ad campaigns for concerts we create.

All is possible, all is sustainable.

 

 

I will create free training on my website ——–> myflutelife.com.

 To learn more about affiliate marketing you can check out my article ———> here.

I have already started the passive income creation way. Read about it ———> here.

 

Next one on the list is how to create video lessons and sell them online, not just you tube them randomly, but with strategy and sold as webinars through sales funnels.

The last way is going to be shown in another category, where I will get to what can become a dream job if you do it right.

If it has been a while and you feel you need to get in your best performance mode again read my new article ————————->                     HERE! And do not despair. Music is life and life is MUSIC:

Stick with me, and hear me out! You won’t regret it.

What is your experience so far? Which way would you choose?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section and hit the share buttons for social media on this website and post.

 

Stay blessed and healthy,

Life has a tune for you!

Janie

founder of

www.topflute.com

www.myflutelife.com

life design for musicians