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Side By Side

Amateur Music Network’s Lolly Lewis spoke with SF Chamber Orchestra Music Director Benjamin Simon about AMN’S Third Annual Side by Side partnership with the SFCO: what drew him to this music and why he keeps coming back to working with amateurs. Ben Simon has successfully made the transition to conductor following twenty-five years as a violist performing in several of the United States’ most elite ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Naumburg award-winning New World String…

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Learning Medieval Singing

Medieval Singing Workshop mentor Phoebe Jevtović Rosquist AMN’s Lolly Lewis asked mentor Phoebe Jevtović Rosquist about what drew her to Medieval music and how she approaches this repertoire, music that can sound so alien to modern ears. Here is a sample of her thinking. Amateur Music Network (AMN): I’ve always been really fascinated by the rhythms in medieval music. How is the meter structured, and why does it sound so different from music we’re used to? Phoebe (PRJ): There is so…

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Midlife Crisis: How Bass Playing Changed My Life

A Guest Blog by Steve Schaefer   I started playing the bass at the age of 50, and it has become a very important part of my life. Sometimes it just takes a while to be ready.     I got my first guitar in 1967. I fell in love with it and played for fun alone and with friends for several years. My bass story, though, begins in 1972. I’d been playing the guitar for five years and picked…

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Tell us your story!

Amateur Music Network is all about people who love music, and we want to hear their stories! If you have an idea for a blog post, or wish to submit a short piece to the AMN blog, we would love that! Use the contact page and select “Guest blog submission” to send us an email, containing your piece or with your idea. We’ll get back to you with our reply and, if we wish to publish your piece, a request for more…

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Orchestra music is Awesöme!

I had such a great experience at the Awesöme Orchestra reading that I just can’t resist telling you about it. Awesöme is a collective that presents open readings for local musicians. It’s all about people having fun playing orchestra music – how is that not great??? The reading I attended was of the Kyrie movement of Requiem without Words, a beautiful new work by local composer Arturo Rodriguez that was written in response to the Ghost Ship tragedy in 2016. Which made…

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17 reasons to love amateur musicians!

A friend just sent me this great article by Ariane Todes! You should read the whole thing HERE. Ariane is a terrific writer who lives in London and runs the website Elbow Music. Check it out!! 17 ways amateur musicians contribute to the classical music world: We go to concerts We offer solo performing opportunities for young stars, orchestral players and international celebrities who need try-out gigs We support venues by booking concerts in them and usually filling them up…

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Amateur Music Network Singing Workshop, Larry Batiste, mentor

That great new team sport: singing!

Everybody’s saying it: Choral singing is good for you! Just google “choral singing” and you’ll get tons of references for how singing with a group boosts mental health, boosts mindfulness, and is just an all around good thing. I saw an interesting segment on “Face the Nation” recently, an interview with author Daniel Pink, whose book When (“The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing”) focuses on the physicality of creativity and how to maximize our bodies’ natural rhythms to be more…

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Hello from Lolly Lewis

Hello and welcome to the Amateur Music Network blog! This is my first post so I thought I’d introduce myself: I’m Lolly Lewis, the founder of AMN. I’m a recording producer and an amateur singer, and I sang for nearly 15 years with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. This is where I learned how porous the boundary between “amateur” and “professional” is in music. I studied music and singing in college, and I have sung professionally (that is, for money)…

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