Season’s Greetings!
Fantastic projects are on the horizon for The Grossman Method© and I’m excited to share them with you. Here we
ho ho ho go!
  Northwest Music Retreat
The Grossman Method has been asked to join with LIFEArtsInc. to create the Northwest Music Retreat. Injury prevention is at the core of this
5-day workshop where you will learn body awareness techniques to incorporate into your playing and teaching. Then put those techniques into practice during your afternoon chamber music and chamber orchestra rehearsals. The trainings will include studies in anatomy, stretching, and breathing techniques. Muscular tension issues or anxiety issues that arise during the afternoon playing will be discussed in the training the next morning. It all ends with a public performance at Fort Worden. Certificate of Participation will be offered and scholarship assistance is available. We are limiting enrollment to 16 participants so I hope you will fill out the inquiry form and reserve your spot soon!
            SBM - Our New Sponsors                 
You might be aware of Strings By Mail, the mail order company that offers great prices on a multitude of string brands for the string player. The Grossman Method thanks and welcomes Strings By Mail as our workshop sponsors. SBM will feature new TGM videos on its website and on their YouTube channel. They plan to offer discounts to workshop participants so please do give their website and YouTube channel a visit.
Workshops and Concerts
I always enjoy when I can combine my
No Pain, ALL GAIN: A Healthy Way to Stretch and Play and Breathe Your Way to Better Playing workshops while on my performance tours. And I've had the joy of doing just that lately. My recent recital tour of Michigan, Arkansas, and Oklahoma was great fun and I had the opportunity to introduce good stretching techniques to many young musicians along the way.

      I was thrilled to have performed again with guest Italian guitarist Giorgio Mirto and the Nexus String Quartet in Florida. I had previously played with Gio in Michigan with the Saginaw Bay String Quartet. Next time in Italy, I hope!  

     Upcoming concerts with the Serafin String Quartet in Delaware and Oklahoma, two concerts on From The Edge Chamber Music Series, and a return engagement on the Folio Chamber Music Series in Seattle are all part of the upcoming few months. I hope you can join me so please check the calendar on this newsletter.  

Creating the Healthy Musician Course
My online book, Creating the Healthy Musician: An Integrated Approach to Teaching Violin and Viola Mastery is in production. The course has over 40 instructional videos to help you play and teach with time-tested body awareness tips. Updates to follow.
A Note from a Student
One of my primary goals as a teacher is to help players learn to play without pain. I have the great pleasure of working with Lauren this year and she has agreed to share her journey with you in this newsletter. I hope it will be helpful and relatable. Thank you Lauren!

Lauren wrote:
As I near the end of my first semester working with Professor Grossman, I am happy to report that I have already started to notice big changes in my physical awareness as a violinist. This is huge for me, since physical tension and pain, as a result of violin playing, has been a constant for me in my life since early high school.

Having recently completed a Masters in Performance degree at a prestigious music school, I was quite discouraged with the fact that I still felt pain even after all those years of study I knew that something had to change if I was going to move forward with my plan to continue performing at a high level. Making the move to work with Professor Grossman felt like an easy choice after I found out about the work that he was doing with his students using the Grossman Method, a method that was developed with the philosophy of "using larger muscle groups in the training of smaller muscle groups."

One of the biggest challenges I face as I work through my physical barriers is patience. I am essentially retraining my muscles to work in the most efficient way possible. This type of work is done best in short bursts of practice, rather than the long hours sthat I have grown so used to throughout my years of playing. It helps that Professor Grossman is patient with me, continually reevaluating my progress in each of my lessons, and backtracking if necessary when something isn't working. Through this careful and deliberate process, I have learned a lot about myself as a musician. Instead of falling back on old habits, my new goal is to earn to create music more effectively with proper technique and posture.

Professor Grossman has guided me to think about these types of issues in much more depth. He has also started the process of providing me with the correct tools to prolong my music career for years to come. I am very thankful for the work we have done thus far and I am looking forward to unlocking more of my potential on the violin as the year continues.
Ask The Teacher:

Kate Ransom
Director of
The Music School of Delaware and
Member of the
Serafin String Quartet

A Cello student from Texas asks: I'm getting ready to graduate and I'm worried about my career path, advice?

The truth is, with regard to professional situations, most of us in the field of instrumental music performance, and music academia and education, “end up where we end up”. We all train from a young age toward the highest level of proficiency in our specialty (mine being ostensibly “violin”, but, in reality, “string quartet”) and, then, opportunity and circumstance dictate how things actually play out. In my training years, and right on through my six years in a full-time string quartet, I never would have expected so-called “music administration” to have played any part of my professional life. Today it is central!
When we are young, we have nothing to do but aspire and achieve.  As we mature, “life” also enters in to what happens career-wise – our family situations (who we follow, marry, our children), our financial background (which can restrict or facilitate our ability to pursue education, summer programs, competitions), our geographic location, our personality, our values – all of these, and more factors, shape, propel and/or hinder us, each step of the way.

I am sure, for example, that I was hindered in some ways by a relatively late start to taking the violin really seriously. The fact that I didn’t start practicing assiduously until I was already age 14 meant that my efforts to achieve technical mastery were well behind others who had started diligent and extensive practice at age 2, or age 4 or age 10. On the other hand, I never took music or violin “for granted” at any level - by the time I started seriously practicing I already knew I wanted to be a string quartet player professionally. This passion, in turn, fueled my discipline to work hard, and I was highly motivated. I never looked back.

The twists and turns of career and life are always unique to the individual. For me, like for most people, I ended up residing in a geographic location because of where my schooling took me. The northeast proved an intense and vibrant region for music, literally saturated with highly trained performers – and also with performance opportunities. This ended up being a boon for me in that I resided in an area rich with excellent players with whom I could forge a meaningful and high-level chamber music career.

The best direction I could offer any young, aspiring instrumental performer is to become as proficient as you possibly can in your specialty, and apply your proficiency fearlessly to taking, and making opportunities for yourself. If you prepare to the greatest degree you can, you will end up with a greater array of choices.

More than anything, in my own professional life, I have valued having those choices: the choice to be a full-time quartet player, the choice NOT to be a full-time quartet player, the choice to play concert performances exclusively and the choice NOT to play “gigs”. These are things that happen to matter to me – things I happen to value. I know others who would never desire to lead my life as an executive in an educational institution, and perceive it as a life of headaches, stress and drudgery. But, I would rather work in a position of leadership in educational programs (like my current position as president of The Music School of Delaware – a place which reflects and fulfills my values) and, in turn, be able to focus my performance time exclusively on formal chamber music concerts. While, for many, the stress of organizational leadership is intolerable, for me, working as a professional “jobber” playing in orchestras and driving here there and everywhere to play weddings and background music would be a life wholly unsatisfying.

 Each musician’s professional landscape reflects who they are, what they value, what gives satisfaction or causes untenable stress. For each person, these things are different from others.

So – to live a fulfilling life in the music performance field – train, train, train! Work hard early-on to be all that you can be as a player, and to know as much as you can about music. Your path will unfold in unexpected ways, no matter what – and as you grow and discover more and more who you are and what makes you “tick”, if you are thoroughly trained and ready for opportunity, you will have positioned yourself to have the greatest possible set of options.

Upcoming Workshops & Events

January 5-8, 2018

Baroque Cello Bootcamp with Phoebe Carri (Juilliard School)
Cambridge, MA

January 18, 2018

"From the Edge" Concert Series with the Serafin String Quartet
Norman, OK

February 6, 2018
Art Museum Concerts with Grossman Studio Violinists

University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

March 20, 2018

University of Delaware
Newark, DE

April 12, 2018

"From the Edge" Concert Series
Norman, OK

April 29, 2018

University of Louisville
Louisville, KY

June 2-7, 2018
Northwest Music Retreat: Port Townsend, WA

June 28-July 9

Aria International Summer Academy South Hadley, MA

July 22-August 5

Marrowstone Music Festival Bellingham, WA

Dates are subject to change. Message me
HERE to confirm!
Featured Stretch:
Airplane Hanger

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Click here to chat live with Hal Grossman about all your somatic questions and concerns!
Video Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning this or any exercise program. Exercise at your own risk. If you feel any discomfort, please stop immediately and consult with your physician. The GrossmanMethod, LLC, accepts no liability for injuries from this or any of The Grossman Method© videos. TheGrossman Method, LLC, makes no representations or warranties concerning any usage of the information offered here and will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other losses or damages that may result. Reliance on any information appearing on this site or from me is strictly at your own risk

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