Guest Blogger – Ariella Strings
It can be safely said that being a professional musician is certainly never dull! We don’t have any routine whatsoever!! I really can’t imagine my life with the same routine every weekday and then having weekends off work! The only routine I have is that I have no routine. I am very lucky that my hubby, John is the viola player in the group so we get to have no routine together!!
Being a musician parent has amazing perks. I get to walk my little girl to and from school most of the time. A lot of parents and children don’t have this luxury! I get to be like a mum at home but I am not really. The drawbacks are that during the main wedding season (March-September) we work every weekend, usually Saturday AND Sunday. This can be difficult when trying to find childcare. We are very lucky as John’s parents are very happy to look after our daughter. We do have a few teen babysitters to call on when Grandma isn’t available. (We play for a lot of Friday weddings but childcare is easier for Fridays) If we have evening engagements we call on our trusty teens.
When we first started up as a trio I never imagined how much work would be involved. I naively thought we would just turn up at venues and play! To run a successful string group offering top class service takes a lot of time and effort, and over the years we have constantly evolved and flourished – now we offer the choice of a trio, a quartet and a duo. Like any other business, the success of Ariella Strings is down to hard work and dedication.
Each of us have different roles to play in the running of Ariella Strings: I liaise with our lovely couples, I gather together all the information for contracts, type up the contracts and post them, sort out the playlists, liaise with the venues, deal with the publicity and networking, book musicians and send them out booking letters. Freddie our ‘cellist’ deals with the financial side of things and John takes care of all the special arrangements our Brides ask for. These are pieces of music that are not already on our repertoire lists. He finds the sheet music for whatever piece of music has been requested and then he arranges it for string trio, quartet or duo depending on which group the Bride has booked for her wedding.
Sometimes it is quite a relief for us to actually do some playing!
When we went to music college, everything we were taught revolved around playing our instruments to the highest standard. Nobody taught us about business management or putting together contracts and it was certainly never mentioned that we would have to be expert navigators – we have had some fabulous experiences of getting lost on our way to gigs, more of which I will tell you about later in the week! Thank goodness for the invention of SAT NAVS although it has even been known for Cheryl to get lost using one…
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