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Create Your Musical Snapshot

Steps to Create Your Musical Snapshot with Laura Weiner | The Connected Musician

Laura Weiner—French horn player, teaching artist, and Ensemble Connect alum—reviews the steps of creating your own musical snapshot.

Now it’s your turn. Follow the steps below to create your own musical snapshot.

Step 1: Music

Select a piece of music. It can be any musical work in any style. Choose a piece that you love and that you want to explore more deeply. Ensemble Connect encourages fellows to broaden their knowledge of repertoire beyond what they may have studied in school. Read this article by Ensemble Connect fellow Laura Andrade about her own personal exploration of how she can contribute to a more inclusive classical music repertoire.

Step 2: Entry Point

Choose your entry point. An entry point is one single idea that highlights an element of the music. It can be either a specific musical element, a personal connection or interpretation, or a broader concept. Remember, a piece of music can have infinite entry points. It’s up to you to choose the one that is most compelling based on the combination of musical selection, plus your intended audience. Think about what you find most interesting, challenging, or rewarding in the piece. Put yourself in the mindset of the listener and imagine what about the piece would have the most impact upon discovery.

Here are some questions to consider that might help to generate entry points:
  • What mood is this piece?
  • Does this piece inspire a specific emotion?
  • Is there a specific musical element (dynamics, articulation, rhythm, etc.) that an awareness or understanding of would help your audiences listening experience?
  • Is there an analogy you can draw between an element of this piece and everyday life?
  • Is there a moment in this piece that is especially challenging?
  • What do you love most about this piece?
  • Did you have an “a-ha!” moment while working on this piece?
  • Does this piece remind you of a significant person, place, or time in your life?
  • Does this piece invoke your passion for music or for your instrument?

Step 3: Audience

Consider your audience. Think about what assumptions you are making about your audience and consider what skills and life experiences they have and what might be the most relevant for them.

Step 4: Script

Script your introduction. Feel free to stay as on or off the page as is comfortable for you but begin with key points and an outline.

Step 5: Recording

Record! Remember to consider what non-verbal and non-musical information you will be conveying to the audiences. Think about your body language, facial expression, and any props or visual aids you will be using. Consider the energy and mood that you want to capture.

Tips for Recording Your Own Snapshot with Nathaniel Stevens | The Connected Musician

Ready to record? Nathaniel Stevens, director, offers advice and tips to keep in mind to help you get the best video recording.

Step 6: Reflection

Watch, reflect, and refine your musical snapshot. Explore what connects your music to your intended audience and what you connect with in the music. Make changes.

Explore More

Welcome to Create a Musical Snapshot

Dana Kelley—violist and Ensemble Connect alum—introduces a Musical Snapshot and how she uses these skills in her career.

Part 1: Setting a Foundation

Eric Booth—teaching artist, author, and advocate—outlines the core components of being a connected musician in this three-part video series.

Part 2: Entry Points in Music

Brad Balliett—bassoonist, composer, and Ensemble Connect alum—applies the tools of teaching artists to music to engage audiences more deeply in this four-part video series.

Part 3: A Closer Look

Explore musical snapshots created by Ensemble Connect fellows and alums, and hear from Dana Kelley, Brad Balliett, and Laura Weiner about their process.

Part 5: Share and Connect

Show us what you came up with! Send us your musical snapshot and receive feedback from Ensemble Connect.

About The Connected Musician

Carnegie Hall’s The Connected Musician is a self-paced, interactive video series for collegiate and early professional performers. Inspired by the visionary mission of Ensemble Connect and featuring guidance from alums of the program and leaders in the field, The Connected Musician expands your toolkit to include new approaches to engage modern audiences and to spark joy and connection through music.

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