Here is the BRAND NEW SITE!

It's time for celebration!

As I announced last week, Geraldine in a Bottle is moving to a brand new site! So let's end the suspense... The new site is...

The Successful Musician!

Go check it out, read the new articles, and tell your friends about it.

Also, today is my birthday! So if you want to give me a birthday gift, please "like" and follow the new facebook page.

I raise my glass to you, who have been supportive all along the way! Cheers!


Big Announcement!

I am very excited to announce that Geraldine in a Bottle is MOVING!

There hasn't been new articles in couple months, because I've been working on a BRAND NEW SITE!

It will be revealed next week, but I can already tell you that it is everything you love in Geraldine in a Bottle, but even bigger and better!

So come back next week, and be ready to celebrate with me!


How to be clear AND fun with your opera chorus

Many opera choruses consist of amateur singers who are there for the fun of it.

It can be hard for the music director to keep rehearsals fun while getting the production underway, particularly when people have different editions of the score, and may not understand musical lingo to find a specific spot.

Conductor Andy Anderson's answer to keeping everyone on having a good time AND on the same page is to give nicknames to specific passages that he knows will be frequent starting points.

For example in Rigoletto, he nicknamed a spot "Jaws" because it sounds similar to the music of the movie "Jaws." Everyone gets a good laugh out of it, and everyone always knows just what to sing.

Photo from http://www.portlandopera.org/company/chorus


3 reasons why we don't want to practice

We all go through times when we do NOT feel like practicing. But knowing why we do not want to practice can actually help us practice better, so here are three common reasons.
  1. Overwhelmed: Too much music to learn in a too short amount of time can make us scared of practicing because we don't even know where to get started.

    When that happens, the most important thing to do is to find the hardest spots by either playing through the whole music up to speed and see where we fall apart, or listening to the whole piece while looking at the music and marking down the tough spots. It is more manageable to learn a few important spots than to learn three hours of music. 

  2. Negative self talk: We can't practice well when we are harsh with ourselves, so it's important to deal with our fears before we even try to practice.

    Negative self talk can be self-defeatist: "I'll never reach the level I want," "I hate how I play," or "No matter how much I practice, my teachers and colleagues will still think I'm not good enough." It can also be self-pressuring: "I have to prove to my parents that I made the right choice by picking this career," "I'm gonna practice until this spot is absolute perfection"

  3. Fun: Sometimes we don't want to practice because we want to do fun things like hang out with friends, enjoy beautiful weather, or simply sleep. When that's the case, many of us push through that feeling and go practice anyways, and then get frustrated because our practicing isn't going well.

    Why not follow our needs and take some time off? Because we're afraid that if we listen to the voice of fun, we'll never go practice ever again. However, the best practice sessions come from being excited and inspired to play, and that often happens when we have a good balance in our lives.

Photo from http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-violin-on-grass-image15540237


Living with a musician 101

Considering moving in with a musician? Make sure you know what to expect with these four aspects.
  1. Practicing: You will hear a lot of practicing, often the same music played over and over again, many times along to a metronome.

    What this means to you is that you may not be able to play your own music at the same time, and that you'll always hear background sound even when you're watching tv.

  2.  Schedule: Know ahead of time not to expect your musician to be home every evening, or the whole weekend. Rehearsals and concerts are often during those times, and musicians will often use their free time to practice. Embrace the lifestyle because changing it rarely an option.

  3. The space it takes: Musicians take up a lot of space with sheet music, gear and instruments. This is normal and often necessary, even when piles of scores never seem organized, and gear or instruments lay on the floor between practice sessions.

  4. Listening to music: Many musicians are quite particular with the music they listen to. Some need to listen to what they're working on at the moment to get ready for a gig, some prefer to listen to the opposite of the style they play, and some even need complete silence after rehearsal and concerts. It's best if you can follow their lead on that one.

Picture from http://www.arnewde.com/interior-design/contemporary-bedroom-decoration-for-boys-stemik-living-by-flyteam-creative/


    Why apply to that job when you know you're not gonna get it?

    Looking and applying to gigs takes time, so it's tempting to weight our chances before wasting our time applying to a job we don't think we would get.

    But here are the three reasons why we should always apply.
    1. Put our name out there: When an opening has been posted for a while, it's likely the position will have already been filled. The reason we still need to apply is to get our name known in the company.

      We may not get that job today, but we may get another job with that same company down the road because of that first application we sent in.

    2. In case things happen: Things happen. The company may not have hired someone yet. Or they may have hired someone who ended up falling through.

      In any case, if you sent your application at a later time, they'll be happy to receive a brand new application, and will look at it more closely than they would have if it would have come in with the previous couple hundred applications.

    3. For fun: When we only apply for a few select gigs that we think we match perfectly, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, which makes us doubt ourselves if we don't get the expected outcome.

      But when we apply to many gigs including the ones we don't think we'll get, we can stop worrying about the outcome and start enjoying the process more. In other words, applying for more jobs than we can keep track of helps us keep your sanity, so that we can remain focused on our music.

    Picture from http://work.lifegoesstrong.com/functional-resume-right-you


      Is it your turn or mine?

      Some singers sing along the piano part during transitions and postludes.

      What would happen if pianists sang along the vocal lines during the song?

      Photo from http://www.ronrobinson.com/STYLOBJECTS-Tamara-Hensick-Your-Turn-My-Turn-p/15675.htm
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