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Bantam Studios
Brooklyn, NY

Bantam Studios is the home of "Booze Violin and Booze Guitar", low-cost group violin and group guitar classes and lessons for adult beginners.

Founded in 2012 by Ginger Dolden and Pete Lanctot, Bantam Studios is a haven for a cross collaboration of Music, Graphic Arts, Creative Consulting and Music Education.

Chamber Strings I

Chamber Strings I: Week #1

Ginger Dolden

Week 1:

Welcome everyone!  This class is designed to help you sharpen your skills as a chamber musician.  The main goals are:

  • To gain rhythmic skills

  • To learn the basics of following a conductor

  • Fundamentals of playing in a section

  • Blending sound, intonation, and articulation in an ensemble setting

NOTE: Please keep in mind that outside practice on individual parts is crucial to the development of these skills.  Some section-specific work will be necessary in rehearsal.  However, to fully participate as a member of an ensemble, it is imperative that you should up prepared to play your part and can run through it with reasonable comfort.  

Drills, tempo markings, bowings

We went over some warm-ups and drills to help facilitate the material in this piece. Practicing scales and exercises in the relative keys of a piece will facilitate the piece tremendously.  It will also help ensemble blending and intonation as well. We also discussed the tempo markings and bowings and how to approach those.

Sonata Form

We went over the form of the piece, which is called Sonata Form. It’s a common structure used in classical music.  Generally, the sections are as follows: Exposition, Development, Recapitulation, and Coda. They are listed in your scores, and we’ll go over what each section means later in the semester.

We ran through the exposition (up to the repeat), or as much as we could get through.  Please practice this first section for next week.

Practice running through

Practicing for ensembles is different than individual.  Rather than fine-tuning first and then gradually playing the whole thing, ensemble members must learn how to run through a piece first.  That means prioritizing RHYTHMIC aspects; sticking to a tempo, counting rests, counting long notes.  It also means learning how to skim through difficult sections without losing the tempo or getting lost.  My recommendation for this week is: play through the whole exposition with a metronome on. Even the rests.  Familiarize yourself with the experience of running through it on your own so we can run through it as a group. Do not practice isolated parts until you’ve run through it a couple times. This is how the pros do it, folks!   


PDF: Haydn Violin 1
PDF: Haydn Violin 2
PDF: Haydn Viola
PDF: Haydn Cello
PDF: Haydn Score