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    Blog Posts (8)
    • Practice Performing to Combat Nerves by Shantanique Moore, flutist

      I could place bets that you have experienced some type of nervousness around a performance or an audition if you are a performer. The nerves can show up before or during lessons, in rehearsal, and maybe most familiarly, before or during important performances. Feeling nervous before a performance can sometimes be debilitating. It could have us questioning our paths, wishing we could be better prepared (even when we have done all that we can), OR the nerves could energize us to give a great performance if they are handled well. The best thing we can do as performers is to get to know ourselves and how we respond to high pressure stimuli and then learn to train our minds to handle performance nerves by having a plan. I have found that keeping a journal of everything surrounding my performances and auditions – the preparation, the event itself, and the many feelings throughout the experience to be beneficial. When it comes to performing, making note on how I feel leading up to show time and after helps create better performances in the future. In this journal, I note how I felt during each stage of the performance: Were my palms sweating? Heart rate elevated? Did I have low energy levels? High energy levels? Were my thoughts scattered? Or was I in the zone? Once you recognize your patterns through journaling, you can devise a performance plan in anticipation of a high-pressure scenario. For example, if you notice that you get scatter brained right before you walk onto stage, device a plan, or a pre- performance ritual that you do every single time before a performance. Scatter brain is one-way my nerves show up for me and there are three ways I combat this: having pre- performance breathing exercises, visualization, and mock performances. I love to do a simple breathing exercise before performances and between pieces if I find myself nervous during the concert. What I do is: breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, and exhale for four counts. I do this as many times as needed to feel centered and present. Focus on the counting and breathing. If your mind wanders (heads up, it probably will), it is okay! Just gently bring your attention back to the breathing and counting. After I do my breathing exercise, I visualize myself walking onto stage. I then see myself sitting down in my chair or walking up to the music stand in an audition. I sense myself putting the flute to my face. I imagine myself going through my pre-excerpt routine or imagine colleagues in the orchestra sitting around me. I then imagine how it will feel and sound playing the given piece. This visualization helps calm my nerves prior to stepping on stage because in doing so, I have already created a successful performance in my mind. To take it a step further, practice the breathing exercise and visualization each time you give a mock performance or audition. The more you do this, the more confident you will feel on performance day. When it is time for you to take the stage for the real performance, you will have already performed your piece(s) for different audiences (family members, friends, colleagues, recording device, even pets). You will already know exactly what it feels like; you will know how your body reacts to the performance stimuli and you will have already created your rituals. You know exactly what to do when it is showtime! My most successful performances and auditions were preceded with successful pre-performance rituals to combat nerves. Performance is a practice, and we must practice performing. We will constantly be tweaking our approaches in hopes of delivering peak performances. Keeping a journal and having a plan each time you perform will help you get past those nerves. ______________________________ About the Author Flutist Shantanique Moore is the eighth recipient of a fellowship from the Pittsburgh Symphony's EQT Orchestra Training Program for African American Musicians (OTPAAM). Ms. Moore is an accomplished freelance musician and flute instructor. She has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, among others. Shantanique won First Prize in the 2016 Ervin Monroe Young Artist Competition. In 2012, Shantanique won the Wayne State Concerto Competition and in 2013, the Southern Great Lakes Concerto Competition. She has had the privilege of being invited as guest soloist on numerous occasions with ensembles such as the Birmingham Concert Band and Thurston High School's Honors Band, to name a few. During her studies at Wayne State University, she was awarded several musicianship and academic awards. An advocate for promoting musicianship and flute playing, Shantanique has served on the board of directors of the Southeast Michigan Flute Association as secretary and as the Flute Choir director. Her primary teachers are Sharon Sparrow, Laura Larson, and Carrie Wiesinger. She has played in Masterclasses for Mark Sparks, Robert Aitken, William Bennett, and Amy Porter. When not practicing and performing, Shantanique enjoys kayaking and catching up on her favorite television shows. More information about Ms. Moore can be found at

    • Performing During the Pandemic by Tyler Burchfield

      Thoughts and experiences on the time off and the adjustments upon return When live music and entertainment shut down as a result of COVID-19, we professional musicians had to re-imagine not just how we’d make up for the lost income, but how we’d stay connected to their craft and their musical communities. Although there’s no substitute for the real thing, many of us have come together and made remote online video performances, improved our online teaching logistics, and taken time to expand our skill sets. However, this summer and fall, as COVID-19 became a little more manageable and the weather was good for it, some of us got a sweet — albeit modified — taste of the gig life that had eluded them for the previous five months. As for myself, I went from March 9 to August 29 without playing live music with another human being. Since then, I’ve only done so about four other times. Since starting piano lessons in an ensemble-heavy studio at age four, I’d never gone more than a few weeks without playing music with another person, even if it was just my teacher. When my August 29 performance, a livestream from Shapeshifter Lab with the Bobby Spellman Nonet, was approaching, I imagined an emotional, cathartic reunion, not just with my bandmates, but with the music and the job as their own entities. There were fleeting moments where I felt those things. There were many other moments where it felt like I hadn’t missed a day. But one area that caught me off guard was that of the more tangible challenges that come with a return to performance during the ongoing pandemic. I consider most of these challenges to fall into two main categories: the logistical modifications required to put on a safe and legal performance and as the personal adjustments from having been out of the routine for so long. As far as logistics, Shapeshifter was required to follow specific protocols, including temperature checks, spacing requirements, mask mandate (except for wind instruments while playing), and a strict no food or beverage policy outside of water. I understand and am grateful for all of these policies. After all, as an extrovert, my instinct has been to ask during these times, “How can we do this safely?” rather than, “Should we do this?” That said, the sterile environment coming from greeting my bandmates with no more than a fist bump, having a thermometer pointed at my forehead, standing six feet apart from my fellow musicians on stage, and having to scarf down pizza around the corner was a tad jarring. I’m glad that the venue was large enough to accommodate nine musicians on the stage standing six feet apart, but it did create acoustical and interactive challenges that we’re not used to in the jazz environment. To contrast the strict legal protocols required to play Shapeshifter, when Dingonek Street Band decided to join the other brass bands’ attempts at busking in downtown Manhattan, the safety protocols were ours to impose upon ourselves (or not). Washington Square Park and the surrounding areas were generally peaceful, yet still very lively and dense with not-always-masked New Yorkers. While officials, including police officers, did not enforce mask ordinances or six-foot distances for bands (or seemingly anyone else), I still took it upon myself to perform in a paper mask with a hole cut out for the mouthpiece, so that my nose could still be covered. The facts and figures around aerosol travel through wind instruments are still being debated by those much more qualified than myself, so I considered it better to be safe than sorry. Dingonek parked at about a dozen spots around the West Village over the courts of about three hours, playing entirely for tips. In order to get the tips safely, one of us (usually me) took a grabber/pick-up tool (what do people call these things?), grabbed a candy bucket, and approached the listeners from a distance to solicit tips. Whether it was because they liked the music, appreciated the safety precautions, or simply got a kick out of the spectacle, it seemed to work! As for personal adjustments, my brain came up with a few entries of on-brand catastrophization that didn’t bear out. Will I remember how to play? Will I remember how to read? Will I be so overcome with emotion that I’ll forget what I’m doing? No on all three counts. But a few other unanticipated issues did come up. For one, the only playing I did from March to August was in my bedroom/home studio for teaching, practicing, or recording projects, and I did not guess that the routine of setting up at the venue would become rusty. It took me longer than usual to set up my horns and stands, and for a while, I was sure that I’d left my neckstrap at home, but thankfully I’d just set it aside in a way that I normally don’t. My page-staging game also turned out to be out of practice, which made it a little awkward on a couple songs. (Those of you who play long, multi-page arrangements know what I mean). Another major area of unanticipated difficulty was air support. I primarily perform on baritone sax, but as a teacher (and as a polite tenant in the work-from-home atmosphere) I kept most of my playing at home on alto sax and clarinet. As such, I hadn’t put in as much time on the bari as I was used to and I felt that my air support, and consequently, my tone and power suffered a little bit, especially on the low notes. To add to this, my brain and body weren’t used to performing — no stopping, no “punching in” on the recording software, etc. — for over an hour straight. This didn’t result in any major errors, but a little bit of sloppiness and almost-missed entrances for which I can forgive myself. The other people in each ensemble could relate. All things considered, I’m extremely happy to have gotten to play a few times between late August and mid October. Between an uptick in COVID cases and the colder weather, it doesn’t look like there will be many of these opportunities left for a while. I’ll have to be grateful for these experiences and remember the necessary adjustments for when things open up again. Until then, I’ll hunker down for a winter of online lessons and remote video collaborations. ______________________________ About the Author Brooklyn-based musician Tyler Burchfield is gaining critical acclaim on the East Coast as a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and teacher. Tyler’s experience ranges from small group improvisation to large ensemble composition and arrangement, utilizing a host of influences from the jazz, rock, soul, and classical traditions, emphasizing a sensitivity to melody and texture.  Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Tyler was exposed to many musical influences growing up, beginning Suzuki piano lessons at age 4 and listening to classic oldies on the car radio. Throughout middle and high school, he learned in many instruments, including guitar, bass, drums, flute, and clarinet, and ultimately chose saxophone as his primary performing instrument. After earning music degrees from the University of Miami and the New England Conservatory, Tyler spent the following five years as a freelance musician in Boston, as well as touring the United States and beyond. As a co-leader of the Burchfield-Vituri Project with Brazilian guitarist Pedro Vituri, he completed a Brazilian mini-tour in 2015 and released the ensemble’s debut album, Metonímia, in March 2018.  As a regular performer with Dan Gabel Music, Tyler showcased both his performing and arranging skills in traditional jazz settings, performing in every woodwind chair in the Abletones Big Band as well as the 10-piece High Society Orchestra. From 2014 to 2017, he was a regular, touring member of experimental Afro-funk powerhouse Big Mean Sound Machine, and appeared on their 2017 album Runnin’ for the Ghost. Since its inception in 2016, Tyler has been traveling the northeast with New York-based improvisatory brass project Dingonek Street Band, with whom he can be heard on baritone sax and percussion on their February 2018 debut album, Primal Economics. In addition to these projects, Tyler is a saxophonist, keyboardist, and musical director of one of New England’s most versatile wedding and event bands, The Ward Eights. As a commissioned composer and arranger, Tyler has written for big band, small jazz ensemble, chamber groups, full symphony orchestra, and pop bands. His arrangements have been played by the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Elise Roth and the Harvard Squares, and Dan Gabel and the Abletones, to name a few. In addition to performing and writing, Tyler has an active roster of private woodwind and piano students in New York and is on faculty at the Great Neck Music Conservatory. Tyler’s hobbies include adventurous home cooking, fantasy basketball, listening to podcasts, learning Portuguese, and spending time with friends, especially in Brooklyn, where he lives with his friendly cat, Franklin.

    • Interview: Chaz Salazar, flutist and activist.

      To get started, tell us a bit about yourself. Thank you for this question, I think knowing the vantage point from which a person speaks helps the listener better understand where the other person is coming from and how intersectionality plays a part in their life. I am Chicano and was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I grew up financially poor, or socio-economically disadvantaged as some people like to call it; but my family has always been wealthy in love and support. I am a proud first-generation college graduate. And I am gay. These are some of the main parts of my identity that come together to form me. What has been your musical journey so far? My musical journey began in the fifth grade at Valley View Elementary School. Mr. Gaona was our band director and he gave all of us in beginning band the option to choose the instrument we wanted to learn. Having never really heard it before then, I chose the flute. Little by little, I grew to love the flute and at the end of seventh grade, Mr. Gaona pulled me aside. He noticed my enthusiasm and fast progress so he suggested that I take private lessons. He recommended Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children which provides free music lessons to under-resourced youth. The first thing I told my then new teacher, Judy Conrad, was: “I want to be the Principal Flutist of the New York Philharmonic.” She believed in me and replied, “Let’s get to work.” I finished the program at Rosie’s House upon high school graduation and went on to earn both my BM and MM from Arizona State University. After about two years of working a day job, teaching, and taking auditions, I decided to go back to school for a bit longer and I was accepted to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where I am in the final year of my Artist Diploma. My dreams, which I now call plans, have expanded which we’ll get into next. What caused your plans to expand? Well, up until recently, I still held that dream of playing the flute in a major orchestra and that was the thing that motivated me to practice: to win a job. But during this time of both the covid pandemic and the country’s racial reckoning I started to experience cognitive dissonance. I’ve trained all my life, like an Olympian, and made countless sacrifices along the way to win an audition so that I could just play in an orchestra—the one thing that brought me so much joy to do… But, the orchestra as an institution has historically been limiting, problematic, and racist, among other things. So I asked myself: “Do I really want to be a part of an institution that perpetuates the status quo of systemic racism and white supremacy?” My answer is a big NO. So what will you do instead? I’ve decided to dedicate myself to catalyzing the changes we need to see in our orchestras, and in the industry as a whole. I think one of the main flaws in the orchestra mindset is how we think about the purpose of this music and the role of the organizations that present it. It should be art for social justice and community building rather than art for mere entertainment. Art institutions, especially the legacy ones, should not have a separate community engagement department; instead, the entire organization itself should operate as a community organization that puts the community at its core! Understanding who they are and who they stand for is the first step institutions can take that will lead them to create solutions and resolutions for the inherent racial and exclusionary issues that pervade the field. Currently, the orchestra is a microcosm of the society it lives in (US), reflecting the imbalance of power between BIPOC and white people. But, I think the orchestra can use the tools it has to fix the lack of diversity within itself as well as to then serve as an example for the country to follow. And how are you doing this social justice work and musical activism? I do it through partnerships. As a board member of Quinteto Latino, I help the San Francisco Bay Area wind quintet deliver on its mission of performing of music by Latinx composers and advocacy for Latinx musicians ( I contribute to planning the programming for the Sphinx Organization’s National Alliance for Audition Support as a member of The Artist Council ( I am a consultant for Voices Unheard, a growing concert series and initiative to empower underrepresented artists and transform classical music standards and curriculums ( as well as an ambassador for the Samuel Vargas International Music Foundation which provides life-changing opportunities through music education internationally ( And I work with the National Orchestral Institute + Festival as the Sphinx Orchestral Futurist Fellow to help build their DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, and access) efforts. I take these issues to the stage every time I perform with my programming as well as into my practice as a teaching artist. I do hope to plant my own arts organization soon… What are your hopes for the future? Remember, how I always wanted to play in an orchestra? I don’t want to be in an orchestra made up of artists, I want to be part of an orchestra made up of civic artist leaders who refer to their community work as a responsibility. And I hope, very soon, that this will be the case for the entire industry. ______________________ About the Author Chicano flutist Chaz Salazar employs “classical” music as a catalyst for social justice as an orchestral musician, teaching artist and musical activist.  He works to ensure that students who are part of marginalized communities, specifically BIPOC and those of socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, have equitable exposure and access to music and music education. In his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, he has served as the flute instructor for Harmony Project Phoenix, an El Sistema-inspired program. Salazar received his early formal musical training from a similar program called Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children which provides free music lessons to under-resourced youth. As a performer, Salazar was a founding member of the in-home chamber music series, An Evening of Music, where he made appearances on over 30 concerts. Along with performances at churches, community centers and retirement homes, Salazar has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony as a substitute musician. Currently, he is attending CCM in the Artist Diploma program under the mentorship of Demarre McGill (Principal Flutist, Seattle Symphony). There, Salazar is part of the CCM@Mercy partnership which affords him the opportunity to perform in area hospitals for patients, families, physicians and staff. He is also the flute instructor for CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement. More recently, Salazar was awarded the National Orchestral Institute Sphinx Futurist Fellowship; it is a unique artistic and performance fellowship available for Black and Latinx musicians that combines administration, orchestral performance, festival curation and community engagement. As the fellow, Salazar will work with the Director of the NOI+F on the planning, recruitment and execution of the festival over a 13-month period to advance his career as an orchestral musician and provide a creative platform for shaping the orchestra of the future. In his advocacy and social justice efforts, Salazar serves on the board for Quinteto Latino and he is a consultant for concert:nova and Voices Unheard. He is also an ambassador for the Samuel Vargas International Music Foundation. A first-generation college graduate, he earned both his BM and MM degrees in Flute Performance from Arizona State University, the latter degree as a Reach for the Stars Fellow. In addition to Demarre McGill, Salazar’s other influential teachers include Judy Conrad, Brian Gordon, Elizabeth Buck and Marco Granados.

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    • PERFORMANCES | Guilherme Andreas

      PERFORMANCES KNOWN FOR HIS "POWERFUL SOUND, INTERPRETATION, AND, ENGAGING STAGE PRESENCE." Dr. Robert McCashin, Past (Founding)-President of the national College Orchestra Directors Association READ MORE BOOKING ENGAGEMENTS An avid performer, Guilherme brings with him solo, chamber, orchestral, and recording experience. Currently residing in NYC, Guilherme has previously played with the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, held a residency with Andrews University, and has also held the position of principal flute with the Brazilian Marine Wind Symphony in Rio de Janeiro among other positions. SOLO PERFORMANCES READY TO BEGIN THE BOOKING PROCESS? FOLLOW THE LINK TO GET STARTED. CONTACT

    • MASTERCLASSES | Guilherme Andreas

      MASTERCLASSES THE MASTERCLASS METHOD Masterclasses allow students to showcase their hard work in a highly individualized manner. In this motivating and encouraging setting, students are able to work on a myriad of areas not limited to tone development, technique, vibrato, intonation tools, practice techniques, performance practice, and stage presence among others. Students are left with a new outlook and thought-provoking perspective on their given repertoire and overall musical endeavors. Andreas' is focused on Courage, Compassion, and Connection. teaching philosophy SETTING Masterclasses can be held in-person or virtually. SCHEDULE Masterclasses can be held as half-day and full-day events, depending on the number of students and schedule of events. FORMAT Masterclasses can be held as both individual and group setting workshops. FOCUS Students can choose to focus on repertoire not limited to solo repertoire, orchestral excerpts, and etudes. By doing so, masterclasses are able to cover a wide range of flute topics not limited to articulation, sound projection, tone quality, vibrato, interpretive tools, and performance practice among others. WHAT ARE SCHOOLS SAYING? Thank you again for sharing your time and energy with us. Your playing--and choice of music--was most impressive and inspiring! I enjoyed watching you quickly diagnose challenges, and lead the students toward level-appropriate solutions in the limited amount of time available. And I loved your analogies and sense of humor. Student reactions showed engagement, and I am looking forward to the "debrief" next week. Thanks again for sharing the passion! — Sherri Jacobson, Whitworth University WOULD YOUR COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY LIKE TO BOOK ANDREAS FOR A MASTERCLASS? USE THE LINK BELOW CONTACT

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