Live Streaming a Chamber Music Master Class

Associated Chamber Music Players Spearheads the Drive

By: - Feb 26, 2018

The Associated Chamber Music Players (ACMP) live streamed a master class from the Opera Center in New York.

The mission of ACMP is to stimulate and expand the playing of chamber music for pleasure among musicians worldwide, of all backgrounds, ages and skill levels.  They connect people and support chamber music activities for individuals, groups and institutions.

Since the organization began 70 years ago, ACMP has helped chamber music players to find one another to share and play music together. More than 2,500 members come from every part of the world and share one interest: The love of making music with others. Since the ACMP Foundation was founded in the 1990s, ACMP has supported programs for adult amateur players and community-based chamber music education programs for young musicians and others.

Jennifer Clarke, the ACMP’s Executive Director, introduced the program and invited the audience to send in questions which would be answered following each class. One of the first was the tough one: How do you bring emotion into music? Everyone laughed.  Feel.  

Participant chamber groups came from the Mannes School of Music in Manhattan, and a representative group from Connecticut. The Connecticut players are coached regularly by a member of the PubliQuartet who were helping with mastery on this occasion.

Today everyone is a photographer. iPhone cameras are at the ready and ubiquitous on the High Line and the Staten Island Ferry as well as Macy’s and Times Square. As a senior editor for books for professional photographers once said,  "If you take enough pictures of a subject, one of them is sure to be good or good enough."

Music is a different kettle of fish. We’ve all listened to instrumentalists who have not learned to bow and can’t produce a note that at best imitates an owl. You need practice. You need direction. Yet the rewards for people who love music are enormous. Anyone who plays in a chamber music group will tell you that the effort to play together, to deconstruct the music so it can be re-constructed is an exciting task.

The ACMP has come up with a way for amateur performers the world over to share the experience of a master class. Live streaming, members of the Publiquartet coached, and then concluded with a performance of Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango.

It was a treat to hear Oblivion by Piazzolla as the first music of the class. It was analyzed to bring forward the irresistible tango rhythms.  The cellist was up first to push the players around, encouraging them to come in off the beat.

For everyone who can join a group, the physical experience of performing, of working with your friends and fellow musicians who love music steeps you in a special world of sound. There is no question the concert goers of the past and present are made up in part of people who perform themselves, not matter at what level.  

Watching a master class will give amateur musicians ideas about approaching compositions for more satisfaction. As listeners, they will be tuned to more pleasure as their ears are trained to hear a beat, the shape of a phrase. ACMP in this shared ether experience is widening the world.

The superb and fun Publiquartet opens possibilities even further. They call themselves a band and beating their wooden instruments in the first piece made them sound like one. Their rhythms are infectious and their teaching too. See the website for future classes.