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Making Music in a Community
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Making Music in a Community

Why make music in a community?

The best reason to share your music with a community is because your music expresses you, your individual experience, and your relationship to those around you. Equally important is listening to other people’s voices and understanding their perspectives. Sharing music is a valuable way to communicate with others, receive new ideas,  and contribute your ideas to the communities you’re a part of.

Performers!

Your music needs to be heard! it is always nice to have others to perform your creations. You may, like many, love the sound of a cello, but not have a cello or know how to write music for it. By building a community of music makers, you can learn from each other about instruments and perform each others’ works!

Listeners!

In a NextNotes Lab, you will have a roomful of attentive ears. Your peers will listen and share with you their impressions. Or, if your focus is on ‘electronic dance music,’ they will be prepared to get in the groove and move.

Learning and Fun!

Perhaps the most valuable benefit of starting a NextNotes Lab is what you’ll learn from your peers. If your Lab has a flute player, they can tell you all about how the instrument works, what sounds good on it, and how to compose for it. They can even play your music while it’s in progress to see if you like the way it sounds! You might learn from your peers how to use notation software to print off clear looking scores or how to use software to change the pitch of a sound file. What special skills and knowledge can you share with the group to help them!?

What to do at Meetings

Your NextNotes Lab should do whatever feels musically inspiring and engaging. Here are a few ideas to try out. When you discover what works well for your group, do that!

  • Share original music. Have members bring their original music to share, including works-in-progress! This could be in the form of an audio recording or a score to view and discuss. If the creator is looking for feedback, take a look at the [Giving & Getting Feedback (link)] page. 
  • Workshop a piece. It will be worth hearing it live, even if it’s under rehearsed or being sight read. If it’s written for instruments that members have with them, play through it. Even if the wrong instruments are around, see what substitutions can be made to get a sense of what it sounds like. Take a look at the [Rehearsing Music (link)] page. This can be a great way to [Give & Get Feedback (link)].
  • Rehearse original music for an upcoming concert (see [Rehearsing Music (link)]).
  • Improvise together. This could be in an established tradition, such as the blues, or it could be completely free. Try recording the improvisations and listening back to foster discussion. See how the group’s improvisations change over the course of a few weeks.
  • Listen to some of your favorite music and discuss what you like about it. Ask what others hear when they listen to it. Discuss how it relates to the creative interests of your NextNotes Lab colleagues. Try using the listening as a basis for improvisation.

There are many other things a group could do together, including eating some snacks, and watching a movie with great music! The activities of the Lab should reflect the interests of the group and fuel the creation of new music!

Another Accordion

Why make music in a community?

The best reason to share your music with a community is because your music expresses you, your individual experience, and your relationship to those around you. Equally important is listening to other people’s voices and understanding their perspectives. Sharing music is a valuable way to communicate with others, receive new ideas,  and contribute your ideas to the communities you’re a part of.

Performers!

Your music needs to be heard! it is always nice to have others to perform your creations. You may, like many, love the sound of a cello, but not have a cello or know how to write music for it. By building a community of music makers, you can learn from each other about instruments and perform each others’ works!

Listeners!

In a NextNotes Lab, you will have a roomful of attentive ears. Your peers will listen and share with you their impressions. Or, if your focus is on ‘electronic dance music,’ they will be prepared to get in the groove and move.

Learning and Fun!

Perhaps the most valuable benefit of starting a NextNotes Lab is what you’ll learn from your peers. If your Lab has a flute player, they can tell you all about how the instrument works, what sounds good on it, and how to compose for it. They can even play your music while it’s in progress to see if you like the way it sounds! You might learn from your peers how to use notation software to print off clear looking scores or how to use software to change the pitch of a sound file. What special skills and knowledge can you share with the group to help them!?

What to do at Meetings

Your NextNotes Lab should do whatever feels musically inspiring and engaging. Here are a few ideas to try out. When you discover what works well for your group, do that!

  • Share original music. Have members bring their original music to share, including works-in-progress! This could be in the form of an audio recording or a score to view and discuss. If the creator is looking for feedback, take a look at the [Giving & Getting Feedback (link)] page. 
  • Workshop a piece. It will be worth hearing it live, even if it’s under rehearsed or being sight read. If it’s written for instruments that members have with them, play through it. Even if the wrong instruments are around, see what substitutions can be made to get a sense of what it sounds like. Take a look at the [Rehearsing Music (link)] page. This can be a great way to [Give & Get Feedback (link)].
  • Rehearse original music for an upcoming concert (see [Rehearsing Music (link)]).
  • Improvise together. This could be in an established tradition, such as the blues, or it could be completely free. Try recording the improvisations and listening back to foster discussion. See how the group’s improvisations change over the course of a few weeks.
  • Listen to some of your favorite music and discuss what you like about it. Ask what others hear when they listen to it. Discuss how it relates to the creative interests of your NextNotes Lab colleagues. Try using the listening as a basis for improvisation.

There are many other things a group could do together, including eating some snacks, and watching a movie with great music! The activities of the Lab should reflect the interests of the group and fuel the creation of new music!

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