Learning an instrument is a lotta work. Learning how to be a part of a Chamber Group can be even harder! Musikiwest ChamberFest is training young aspiring chamber musicians to be the best in both respects. Participants in their programs explore the means by which to identify an unhealthy collaborative experience and develop the skills to create music with grace, flexibility and sensitivity. This week, from July 7 to July 10, 2019, at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Artistic Director Michelle Djokic has guided 4 Fellows and 4 Artists through workshops, discussion sessions and rehearsals.
This year workshops have been held exploring the Art of Successful Teamwork, Creativity and Emotional Health, plus Empathy and Communication. The Open rehearsal session will highlight the Essentials of Positive Collaboration. Presenter Dana Fontaneua began the Festival with an in depth look at how a Chamber Group can make beautiful music together in a positive environment for all players. She drew on her many years as a performing cellist, her training in psychotherapy and her successful corporate presentations. Participants learned to recognize what outcome each person envisions and received tips on how to work toward those objectives.
The workshops the next two days delved into how our body works and how to manage performance experiences in a healthy way. Presenter Jennie Morton led us through the neurology of a musician, the physical conditions typical for string players under stress, and how a musician can manage the complicated relationship between performing musicians. She drew on her many years as a dancer and singer, her training as a Performing arts Psychologist, and therapist, and her successful years helping musicians perform music in a better way.
These ideas were put into play immediately through rehearsing. This year participants include Artists Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu (violin), Siwoo Kim (violin), Ayane Kozasa (viola) and Paul Wiancko (cello). They were joined by Fellows Cher Lui (violin), Quinn Price (violin), Alexandra Simpson (viola) and Josh Halpern (cello). The inaugural ChamberFest concludes Thursday and Friday with Concerts. I found the subject matter well presented, the participants engaged and the learning very productive. These subjects are so crucial for talented young musicians to master and pass on to their Chamber Groups. These skills will carry over into all aspects of life. Thank you to Musikiwest for working hard to bring this ChamberFest to our area. I look forward to future workshop opportunities.