Santa Barbara Chamber Music
As part of our group classes, for advancing students junior high and above we often put together chamber groups, from duos to quartets.
For students who have only played in unison with others, chamber music can be quite challenging. The student must first adjust to the idea of playing an independent line within a group setting. Traditionally the violin as the highest part plays the melody, while the lowest part or the cello plays the fundamental bass note; the middle part—the viola and sometime a second violin—fills in the harmony. Rhythmically the parts vary, and sometimes the melodic function can be transferred to another voice. The student learns to count out their part, relying not only on their ear and memory, but on their internal time clock.
Chamber music provides the aspiring young musician with a framework for true artistic expression. The student must make choices on how to play a particular passage, and not merely imitate. This greater musical autonomy is developmentally commensurate with the teenage years, a time when students feel the need to assert their individuality and develop their personal approach to the world.