Mentoring Program

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Cello. Violin, and Viola with a Piano accompaniment.
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello
Key: B flat
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 105
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title

Comments   

#5 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-03 15:17
Dear Rachel,
Thanks for entering your piece for Opus 32. Unfortunately, it was not chosen for performance. It was a fine beginning, you just ran out of time to work on it, given how busy you were. Nevertheless, I enjoyed mentoring you, and look forward to working with you on the piece for Opus 3.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#4 Erik Nielsen 2017-03-27 15:44
Dear Rachel,
I don't want to add to "senior pressure", but your piece is due in its final version this Thursday by midnight. Let me know if there's anything you need from me.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#3 Erik Nielsen 2017-03-22 14:57
Dear Rachel,
You may be off on your vacation when you get this, and I know you're a senior and extremely busy, but I just want to let you know that final versions of Opus 32 works are due by midnight next Thursday, March 30. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#2 Erik Nielsen 2017-03-01 11:27
Dear Rachel,
I wanted to let you know I'm your primary mentor. I know you're on vacation this week, but I wanted to write to find out how your piece is going. You haven't posted again in the past four weeks. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help. I look forward to seeing more from you soon.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#1 Erik Nielsen 2017-01-29 12:10
Dear Rachel,
Thanks for posting the first version of your piece for piano quartet. You have some lovely cello writing and the piece does a good job of establishing B flat as the key note. I don't know who your primary mentor will be, but I'll get you started.
Two things that we as mentors find helpful are 1) some written comments in your description to tell us what your intent is and 2) a shorter first posting so we don't have to write so much initially and also so that the composer isn't so totally fixed on what's written that it's next to impossible for her to envision changes. We can't do anything about #2, but for next time if you can let us know what you want your piece to represent or do it will really be helpful.
One other favor I'll ask is that you invert the parts completely so that it's violin, viola, cello and piano from top to bottom, respectively. That's standard for chamber music and it will make it much easier to read.
I wrote that the cello part has some lovely moments and that's certainly true, but I find that the piece as a whole needs a clearer direction and form, as well as more variety in the parts. The upper strings only play pizzicato, the piano only has a few ostinato patterns it plays, with a few short answering phrases, and the cello, despite the strength of the opening phrases, never develops beyond this. So I'm going to ask you to take a step back, think of four musicians playing this, and see whether you can get them all involved more fully. Think what form you'd like this to take (ABA, AABA, rondo, theme and variations, etc.) and how each one of the people playing gets to shine more often. Not only that, but think about how this gets to be a four-way conversation with each instrument making a more significant contribution.
Rachel, I know you've got over two minutes' music here, and that's a significant investment, but I want you to think hard about how to make it two minutes that hold onto us and won't let go because we are pulled into this story. You have the makings of a strong piece here, so really think about what I've written and see what you can do. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik
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