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How do I find out about apprenticeships and other ways to get practical experience during college?

#music #orchestral-music #music-performance

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Alex’s Answer

There are not many "apprenticeships" if you're referring to orchestral performance. The few that there are can be found on https://www.musicalchairs.info. The most common way to gain experience would be to sub with local orchestras. Perform with part time orchestras that are driving distance from you. The professors at your college should have a few connections there to maybe get you on their sub list if you're at that level. There are summer festival orchestras such as Verbier, AIMS in Graz, and Pacific Music Festival (all are free if you make it). Then there is Eastern Music Festival, Brevard, and Aspen that are also really good, but you pay for (scholarships available). If you aren't at a professional level yet, then school ensembles and local community groups is what you have. College is also a good time to create your own opportunities and see what works. When you graduate, you will more than likely be self employed and have to create your own opportunities. Start now so that you have something going for you when you are actually on your own.

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Paul’s Answer

First of all, you are VERY smart for thinking this way! And you are absolutely right - a combination of formal education and practical experience is the most powerful way to get your career off to a good start.

Hopefully, your college's career placement department can help you find ways to get practical experience. But frankly, don't be surprised if they're not much help (mine wasn't). The next steps finding what opportunities are in your immediate geographic area. You can research local music groups such as an orchestra, community theater or opera group, and make an appointment to see with someone. If they don't have one directly, they or their members may be very helpful to guide you in the right direction. Don't be afraid to contact performers directly, as they are living the life you are pursuing.

You may also be able to look into opportunities to play in the recording studio. Many other students may be doing recording projects, and this is just another way to get practical experience.

Just a few thoughts to get you on your way. Good luck!
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