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7 Tips for Musicians in Training

For developing musicians, opportunities to perform as a soloist and with others help cultivate skills that are necessary for a career in the arts. That’s why UT violin professor Brian Lewis founded Texas Rising Stars, an annual free concert featuring the winners of the Butler School of Music’s String Concerto Competition. The concert is a collaboration between the University of Texas and Austin Civic Orchestra, which accompanies the soloists.

Leading up to this year’s Texas Rising Stars performance on March 25, Lewis and ACO Music Director Lois Ferrari share their top tips for musicians in training.

Lois Ferrari, ACO Music Director

  • Always formulate your own interpretation and do not endeavor to copy someone else’s. Listen to recordings for general reference only.
  • Do not let the pursuit of technical perfection get in the way of making music.
  • When performing with an orchestra, YOU are the leader. Be sure of what you want and be clear about leading when you need to.
  • Only practice when you feel physically and mentally up to it. Practicing in a poor physical and/or mental state is useless.

Brian Lewis, Professor of Violin at UT

  • Be sure to do stretches before and after you practice. Remember, you are an athlete!
  • It is important to listen to three or more reference recordings. Not only does this serve as a source of inspiration, it educates regarding tempi, interpretive choices, how the parts sound together, harmony, phrasing, dynamics, and helps secure memory.
  • When studying a concerto, be sure to own a full score in order to go deeper into the music.
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