Join us for Small Business Saturday!

November 24th, 2014 by Jessica

Don’t forget about your local small businesses during the biggest shopping weekend of the year!  Small Business Saturday is this weekend–November 29th.   Please join us from 10-2pm CST.  Thank you for supporting small businesses like us!!

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Now Hiring: Woodwind Repair Technician

July 9th, 2014 by Jessica

Update 9/15/2014: The position is now filled. We will be announcing our new staff member soon.

Midwest Musical Imports is looking for a full-time double reed repair technician for our growing repair department. Applicants should be experienced in all aspects of woodwind repair, preferably with a focus on oboe and bassoon repairs. We pride ourselves on quality repairs—we are not a production shop. Instruments we repair include: oboes, English horns, bassoons, contrabassoons, clarinets, flutes and saxophones. Our clientele includes beginning players, schools, college professors, and symphonic professionals.

Qualified candidates should be a graduate of a band instrument repair course and have a basic knowledge/skill to different types of padding, adhesion, key fitting, dent and tenon work. Preferred skills include body cracks and tenon replacement, but on-site training for these is available. Other necessary skills include: machine tool operations, soldering/brazing, and understanding of levers, spring, hinges and threaded adjustments.

Benefits include: competitive pay, bonuses, paid vacation, paid holidays, retirement plan, generous employee discounts, paid NAPBIRT dues and ongoing educational classes (including attending NAPBIRT conferences and meeting with woodwind manufacturers.)

Pay is commensurate with experience. This is an hourly position. Hours are: Monday—Friday 9-5, with an occasional Saturday shift. Schedule may be flexible. Location is in Minneapolis, MN.

Please send a resume and cover letter via email to: Jessica@mmimports.com Position is open until filled.

The Benefits of Playing a Music

May 8th, 2014 by Jessica

benefits-of-playing-music

Whether you’re into Beethoven, Bechet or Bowie, the benefits of playing a musical instrument are unending. Although some of these benefits are common knowledge, many are things you might not be aware of, even if you’re already a musician. Here is a list of just some of them:

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4 Reasons Music is Good for Your Health

May 6th, 2014 by Jessica

music-for-health

Whether you’re the person behind the instrument or you’re listening to it through your earbuds, science supports the long-believed fact that music is good for more than the soul. A good song has the ability to add fun to even the most mundane workout and creating that song can relieve stress and improve cognitive function. Here are five clear health reasons you should make music a part of your everyday life.

Listening to Music Motivates You to Exercise

After determining that people tended to choose the least strenuous cadence while walking or running, researchers studied the effect music could have on altering that cadence. The study found that, by using the correct type of music, exercisers could trick the brain into overcoming that automatic cadence and work harder. There’s even an app for that. With Cruise Control: Run, runners can challenge themselves by picking up the pace using their own playlists. Whether someone uses an app or just runs a favorite playlist, listening to music makes working out more fun, which is a motivator in itself.
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4 Audition Tips for Musicians – Dealing with Audition Nerves

April 28th, 2014 by Jessica

audition-tips

In the weeks leading up to a big audition, it isn’t uncommon for musicians to spend night after night tossing and turning. The only thing more nerve-wracking than the audition is the fact that you’re so nervous about it. What if you’re so nervous when you sit down to audition that you can’t play?

There are a few things you can do to help calm those nerves in the days leading up to an audition. By following these audition tips for musicians, you may not be able to completely eradicate your nervousness, but you’ll at least be able to settle your nerves enough to do a good job.
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5 Ways Musicians Can Use Social Media

April 22nd, 2014 by Jessica

Social Media Tips for Musicians

As musicians are honing their musical talents in an effort to win audiences, social media is increasingly drawing attention away. Today’s tech-savvy consumers are growing accustomed to receiving entertainment in short, free bursts, rather than enjoying an hour or more of a performance at a concert hall or auditorium.

To reach today’s audiences, it’s important musicians at all levels learn to leverage the internet to spread information. Whether it’s sharing information about how your orchestra is progressing or getting the word out about an upcoming event, sites like Facebook and Twitter can be a great, free way to accomplish your goals. Here are a few ways musicians can harness the power of social media.

Sponsor a Contest

One way to get the word out about your music is to host a contest. Offer a reward in exchange for a like or share. This will help build your audience at the outset so that you’ll have readers whenever you post content or news.

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Expert Performance Tips for Amateur Musicians

April 16th, 2014 by Jessica

Performance Tips for Musicians

Many musicians begin playing because of a love for the art itself. When it’s just a musician and an instrument, performing can be a euphoric experience. But stepping on a stage with an audience of any size can alter the musician-instrument bond, leaving musicians terrified and unsure of themselves.

For a musician who is new to the experience of performing, there are a few expert tips that can help them learn to enjoy the experience. While these tips may not completely allay the stage fright that is natural for anyone, a musician can learn to perform despite any fears.

Everyone is Scared

While professional performers may make standing on a stage look like it’s second nature, the truth is that everyone gets stage fright. Even some of the most accomplished performers of our time have admitted to grappling with it, especially at first. Recognizing this is the first step to learning to overcome it.

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Fox 240 Back in stock!

March 4th, 2014 by Jessica

http://store.mmimports.com/fox-renard-model-240-bassoon/

These have been very difficult to keep in stock for the last several months, and we finally have a healthy quantity in the store, ready to ship for trial. Call one of our bassoon specialists at 1-800-926-5587 and we can get you squared away!

Honoring Our Veterans

November 11th, 2013 by Jessica

Every veteran’s day, I fondly remember a good friend that died in the line of duty and am very thankful for my friends and family that have served in different wars.  One of our repair technicians, Matt Reich, is a veteran, and all of us at MMI are very thankful for his service to our country!

I recently came across an older article, written by Dr. Karl Paulnack, pianist and composer at Boston Conservatory.  It was written in 2004 as a welcome address to the incoming freshman class at the time.  In the article he talks about the value of music, and it’s still relevant today.  I’d like to share a section which he shows the effect the power of music had on a veteran during a performance.

I’ll give you one more example, the story of the most important concert of my life. I must tell you I have played a little less than a thousand concerts in my life so far. I have played in places that I thought were important. I like playing in Carnegie Hall; I enjoyed playing in Paris; it made me very happy to please the critics in St. Petersburg. I have played for people I thought were important; music critics of major newspapers, foreign heads of state. The most important concert of my entire life took place in a nursing home in Fargo, ND, about 4 years ago. I was playing with a very dear friend of mine who is a violinist.

We began, as we often do, with Aaron Copland’s Sonata, which was written during World War II and dedicated to a young friend of Copland’s, a young pilot who was shot down during the war. Now we often talk to our audiences about the pieces we are going to play rather than providing them with written program notes. But in this case, because we began the concert with this piece, we decided to talk about the piece later in the program and to just come out and play the music without explanation.

Midway through the piece, an elderly man seated in a wheelchair near the front of the concert hall began to weep. This man, whom I later met, was clearly a soldier-even in his 70’s, it was clear from his buzz-cut hair, square jaw and general demeanor that he had spent a good deal of his life in the military. I thought it a little bit odd that someone would be moved to tears by that particular movement of that particular piece, but it wasn’t the first time I’ve heard crying in a concert and we went on with the concert and finished the piece.

When we came out to play the next piece on the program, we decided to talk about both the first and second pieces, and we described the circumstances in which the Copland was written and mentioned its dedication to a downed pilot. The man in the front of the audience became so disturbed that he had to leave the auditorium. I honestly figured that we would not see him again, but he did come backstage afterwards, tears and all, to explain himself.

What he told us was this: “During World War II, I was a pilot, and I was in an aerial combat situation where one of my team’s planes was hit. I watched my friend bail out, and watched his parachute open, but the Japanese planes which had engaged us returned and machine gunned across the parachute chords so as to separate the parachute from the pilot, and I watched my friend drop away into the ocean, realizing that he was lost. I have not thought about this for many years, but during that first piece of music you played, this memory returned to me so vividly that it was as though I was reliving it. I didn’t understand why this was happening, why now, but then when you came out to explain that this piece of music was written to commemorate a lost pilot, it was a little more than I could handle. How does the music do that? How did it find those feelings and those memories in me?”

Remember the Greeks: music is the study of invisible relationships between internal objects. This concert in Fargo was the most important work I have ever done. For me to play for this old soldier and help him connect, somehow, with Aaron Copland, and to connect their memories of their lost friends, to help him remember and mourn his friend, this is my work. This is why music matters.

To read the entire speech, please visit:  http://www.bostonconservatory.edu/music/karl-paulnack-welcome-address

 

And don’t forget to thank and/or remember a veteran today!

 

 

Free shipping!

April 26th, 2013 by Jessica

Spring is finally here in MN and to celebrate we’re offering free shipping on all standard domestic accessory orders, this weekend only.

 

Use code SPRING at the checkout, or ask us if you prefer to phone in your order!

Ladyslipper

Minnesota’s state flower, the pink and white lady slipper.
Photo courtesy of Diane Nelson

 

 

Dear Midwest, I just received my oboe and English horn back from you all in the mail, and of course couldn’t wait to get some reeds out and play them. All I can say over and over... read more >