Monday, July 21, 2014

Updating the Resume

A true lesson in humilty: updating your resume(s).  

As a freelance pianist, it can be difficult to maintain a steady presence in any one area.  Many times*, one will take the jobs that are offered/found - and then adapt as needed.  Here are some examples: taking a church gig (without knowing how to play the organ), taking a theatre pit band job (never having dealt with keyboard patches/volume pedals/Mainstage), or accepting a piano teaching job (yet having little experience with an expected age group).  These are fairly typical events, and the good news is: over time, a freelance musician ends up building many different skill sets.  

On the other hand, a freelance musician can watch skill sets go completely unused.  That's what I realized after putting together an updated set of rep lists and CV info.  I have learned way more Musical Theatre repertoire over the last five years than Classical Voice rep - just because those were the jobs that fell in my lap.  Now I have the luxury (in many senses of the word) to ask - what do I want to do?  As I ponder this question, please enjoy (and critique if you like) my resume/rep lists as they tentatively stand. Keep in mind these are resumes, not CVs, so I prefer to keep them to one page. Getting a new headshot comes up next. God help me.  

*The situation of employment opportunities differ from pianist to pianist, from city to city, and can hinge on that frustratingly elusive element - luck.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


*Recently, I have been enjoying a unique privilege: to weekly perform on an incredible (beautiful Steinway full grand piano) instrument.  This also happens to be coupled with immediate feedback from trained ears - another HUGE privilege.  Most students call this 'piano studio' - and it usually isn't appreciated until way after the fact.

And I appreciate it now.  A lot.

I didn't 'get' it back in undergrad - it wasn't appreciated as a luxury because it became expected.  Access to excellent instruments often isn't appreciated at the time because performers don't know the range of suck-ness that exists out there: the disparate jangling of notes eliciting a sympathetic jangling of nerves - missing notes, strings, etc.  Pedals not working. Keyboards with only 4 octaves. Pianos barely in tune with themselves, sticking keys (rising slowly by the minutest of increments), keys that draw blood upon trying to execute a glissando - or how about keyboards that have notes that do not sound**.

It's so wonderful to hear how an ideal instrument can fill a room.  The world is filled with non-ideal piano situations - that much more reason to enjoy the access to excellent instruments when/while you can.   

*I wrote this and forgot to post it during the school year.
**Or worse - my latest experience has been with a keyboard that the F#2?  sounded like it was being smacked with a hammer, no matter how delicately you touched it.