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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

 

Matsukawa Millard Bassoon Workshop

April 23rd, 2013 by Jessica

CurtisSummerfest_320px

Refine your bassoon skills this summer at the Curtis SummerFest, June 16-20, 2013!

Workshops and masterclasses will be with bassoonists Daniel Matsukawa, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Christopher Millard, principal of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada.  Learn more about the faculty.

You can participate as either an active participant or as an auditor.  For more information, including a schedule, please visit:  Matsukawa Millard Bassoon Workshop.

 

Bassoon Event – Maxwell Bassoon Profiler Demonstration

April 11th, 2013 by Jessica

Bassoonists! Mark your calendars…the Minnesota Bassoon Association is hosting a Maxwell bassoon profiler demonstration on April 20, 2013 at 4:30pm at the U of MN (Room 280 Ferguson, University of Minnesota School of Music.)  Dr. Susan Gustavson Maxwell will be presenting. For more information, visit: http://www.mnbassoon.org/

Not a member of the MBA?  Click here to join!

The Minnesota Bassoon Assocation (MBA) was founded in 1983 by bassoonists John W. Miller, Jr., Bill Jones, Dr. Reuben Berman, James Preus, and Chuck Ullery. The organization is based in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, and brings professional bassoonists to the area for recitals, workshops, and master classes.

Maxwell bassoon profiler

Maxwell bassoon profiler

Boost Your Creativity

December 22nd, 2012 by Jessica

I recently came across this article and thought it was pretty interesting.  A recent study has shown that after spending time outside and being unplugged from technology, you can boost your creativity by 50%!!  See The Surprising Side Effect of a Winter Hike. Read the rest of this entry »

October News, Events, & Specials

October 18th, 2012 by Jessica

To stay up to date with all Midwest Musical Imports news, check out our October newsletter!

Medir Canes
We’re excited to welcome Medir oboe & bassoon canes to our already diverse selection of cane products!  This medium to medium-hard cane is grown in the Catalonia region of Spain near Barcelona.  The warm Mediterranean climate gives the cane a rich color and smooth texture.  We’re currently stocking oboe tube cane in 9.5-10mm, 10-10.5mm, and 10.5-11mm diameters.  We’re also pleased to offer bassoon tube cane, gouged, gouged & profiled, and gouged, shaped, and profiled.

We’re also pleased to introduce Var Select oboe tube cane to our line-up as well!  This is a medium-hard to hard cane grown in the Var region of Southern France.  We’re currently stocking 10-10.5mm & 10.5-11mm diameters.  Have questions?  Give Steven or Jeff a call to get details on the most recent batches of tube cane!

Fall Instrument Repair Special
Fall weather wreaking havoc on your adjustments?  Leaky pads?  Sticky keys?  Well you’re in luck! For instrument repairs entering our shop from now until November 15th, we will be offering a 10% discount on all repair labor.  Current repair wait time is 3-5 business days.  Get your instrument tuned up before the winter concert season starts!

Hey, Clarinetists!
We recently had one of the Minnesota Orchestra clarinetists hand select new Buffet Crampon R13 Bb and A Clarinets for us. We know you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with trying our expertly chosen instruments.  All of our clarinets come with a 1 year adjustment/2 year crack warranty, in addition to the standard warranty from Buffet.  Please contact Brandon or call 1-800-926-5587 to start a trial today!
For more information, check out the clarinet newsletter.

New Bassoons
In the market for a new bassoon?  We currently have the flagship Puchner model 6000 in stock and ready for trial. It’s an impressive instrument for any professional for orchestral or solo use. We’ve also introduced a new Pro level reed making kit with Rieger tools in a Kolbl tool pouch.

For more info, check out our bassoon newsletter.

10% off Repairs!

October 16th, 2012 by Jessica

In need of repairs? Sticky key before the big concert?  Troubles with your low notes? We are currently offering 10% off repair labor through November 15, 2012.  Current turn around time is 3-5 business days from receipt of instrument.  (Turn around time may be longer, depending on the extent of repairs needed.)  Send your instrument in today, Matt and Eric will be happy to take care of it! Visit our repair services page for more information.

"I just want to thank you for the repair you made recently to a Fox oboe for my daughter at New England Music Camp. Everything went exactly as you said it would - the repair, the s... read more >