Thursday, September 8, 2022

The world is your oyster

Reaching expert accompanists of different music genres, styles and traditions has become so much easier over the last 25 years. A simple Google search on the phrase "Bandoneon instructor in Rio de Janeiro" or "Irish tin whistle teacher in Dublin" will give you pages of real contacts who are hungry to help you learn their craft. It's always intimidating to embrace new technology at first, but over time it's become hard to ignore the new paradigm. We've learned that the terminology and functionality of teleconferencing products is really the same and there are lots of tools to choose from; Zoom, Google Meet and Skype are probably the most widely known though. Skype (owned by Microsoft) has been around the longest and it is still a great choice for professional accompanists.
April Alsup discusses Scottish Cèilidh Music with Sandy Brechin from Edinburgh Scotland
Most accompanists will explore the underlying characteristics of different music genres, traditions and styles and often have to reach out to resources from various corners of the world to better understand a particular musical pedagogy. Here's an example: April Alsup, a Denver accordionist and music theater composer, was conducting research for a new musical theater work about a small island in the Hebrides and wanted to make sure to capture the nuances of Scottish Cèilidh music. An internet search, an eMail and Viola... she's able to setup regular meetings with a professional Cèilidh accordion player from Edinburgh Scotland and get all sorts of tips and tricks for Cèilidh dance accompaniment.