“More chamber music coverage!” That’s what I hear on a weekly basis from the editorial director of Strings magazine. But my boss' demand isn’t just a passing fancy. Truth is, our reader surveys confirm that a massive number of Strings readers are chamber-music players, both professional and amateur, eager to learn about technique, repertoire, and performance opportunities. And they’re proof that we are a nation of doers.
OK, so I sound like a home-improvement commercial or, even worse, a politician, but it’s true: more and more people are playing instruments and want to participate in chamber music. I recently spoke with Dan Nimetz, who has worked for the ACMP Chamber Music Network for 17 years. As its name suggests, ACMP—formerly known as the Amateur Chamber Music Players—hooks up amateur chamber musicians through an online and printed directory, and has done so in some form or another since 1947. Strings featured ACMP in the chamber-music special section in the October 2009 issue. In that interview, the organization estimated that it adds 300 new chamber players a year to its directory. However, the real figure has more than tripled and the ACMP now boasts 6,000 members.
“Amateur chamber music is a growth industry,” Nimetz says.
The experience of learning an instrument can sometimes be a solitary one, but it doesn’t have to be. I think this is why we continue to see more people join the ACMP as well as the All Things Strings Community. And, in fact, two of our biggest groups on the community are the Adult Beginners and the Chamber Music groups.
It’s not surprising, but it sure is encouraging.
So, what are you waiting for? Join a group and start a discussion. Make new friends and get out there and play!
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