Here Are Four Steps For Starting Your Own Quartet:
Step 1: Find members
Step 2: Find music
Step 3: Rehearse music
Step 4: Make a plan and find gigs!
Remember: chamber music = communication + collaboration
Step 1. Find Memebers/Assemble a Team
Be assertive and choose wisely, you will need to find people who have a similar drive, dedication (time!), in order to find success. (Remember that many people in our current generation are notorious for making plans and not showing up, basically: no flakes allowed.) I value followthrough as one of the most important attributes however, it is also important to find people with different skill sets.
For example: making arrangements, writing (group bio, grants, etc.), making logos, web design/advertising, having connections, or simply being organized. Ideally each member can find his or her unique way of contributing to the group.
The best part about chamber music is that you get to potentially combine four different skill sets that all work towards the same goal. As long as each member of the group is committed equally (or close to equally), each individual won’t feel cheated. The best expectation is that everyone contributes 25% and uses their strengths to propel the group forward.
Step 2. Find Literature (buy before copying!)
Ask your teachers! (We also have a few pieces to get you started)
Make your own arrangements, being aware of copyright rules if you want to publish but if you just want to have music, it’s legally safe to just perform without making profit.
Ask people to write for you with the payment of a quality recording. More often than you’d think, the composer can only stretch $100 so far and would be more interested in exposure. He/She could “catch more fish” with a recording to showcase their writing skills. (Granted, money is always a good motivator)
Step 3. Rehearsals
One of the most challenging areas in chamber groups is getting everyone in the right place at a predetermined time. It is good to understand that everyone has responsibilities outside of quartet, and their schedules may not ultimately align with one another. Be prepared to communicate (hopefully in person or over a phone call) openly to your colleagues. Keeping your efforts professional, while understanding that this is a fun musical outlet, is a good way to approach quartet.
Frequency: 2 - 6 hours a week or more if you are all serious about achieving your goals.
Rehearse the group like you would your own practice- have a set of goals to achieve and bring your individual part as prepared as possible.
Step 4. Make a plan and find gigs
*Use group meetings to create goals.*
Every group must have a general sense of purpose and direction in order to move forward. Patience, communication, and unity/like mindedness are three crucial components can make or break any group.
Get out there, literally! (Go outside and play!)
Perform at your local mall, town square, or school. (Holidays are perfect)