An Interesting Idea — Apprenticeship

I am always looking up my favorite performers, and checking out their schedules to see if they’ll be in Santa Barbara any time soon. Joshua Bell is really nice, he invited our violin studio to his concerts and posed for photos with us, like this one taken by our professor, Yuval Yaron.


I’d sell my soul to have Joshua Bell teach me in a master class at the Granada before a show, but he’s not someone with a lot of time. In fact the only way to get a lot of time with a first rate performer would be to follow in his or her footsteps as an apprentice.

Wouldn’t that be awesome to travel with Joshua Bell or Hilary Hahn? It would be even better if there were an apprentice program that allowed me to play in the back of the violins at each of their concerts.

Playing the violin is one thing, figuring out how to get around airports, concert halls, and rental cars is quite another. So I guess an apprentice would have to be old enough to drive, and maybe even 21, just in case we needed to go into a club.  In my imaginary apprenticeship, the apprentice would be between the first and second year of a master’s program and she would have auditioned for an apprenticeship with the artist. And there would be a very large stipend. A girl can dream. Let’s see, I’m a third year Bachelor of Music major, so that’s two years until I’m ready to go!

Rather than the artist having to actually figure out any logistics, their agencies could take care of all of the details. If all of the agencies did something like this, it would become an accepted thing in the music world. Symphonies would make space for the apprentices without ever even thinking about it.

The apprentice system might also solve one of the fundamental problems with having a first rate teacher who still performs all over the globe. I am lucky that my UCSB professors and ensemble coaches are very dedicated, but I have heard that at some universities, the big name artist that draws the students to the school are often unable to keep lesson appointments because they are traveling. With an apprentice system, you could get your lessons on the road.

Imagine being on a ride-along with Sarah Chang and her mythical beast, Chewie. Right now, Chewie has to stay at home while Sarah goes off to play, but in my imaginary world, he’s be traveling with us.

Who else would be fun? Rachel Barton Pine is cool, and maybe she’d bring an extra Stradivarius from her foundation for me to play on. Or she could get me up to speed on the electric violin. She played a 6-string viper in Earthen Grave, now sadly disbanded.


I’d also love to travel with Itzhak Perlman. He’s going to play in Los Angeles on January 24, 2017, and I really want to see that concert. He’s going to be at Disney Hall. Maybe I could even sneak backstage and mention that he might be way more popular with a cute little apprentice.

Future apprentice with her own cute little doggie.

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