teaching and community

Address the Fundamentals
By Jessica Bodner
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Educational Residency and Outreach

The Parker Quartet is currently Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University in Boston, MA.  The quartet also holds a visiting position as Quartet-in-Residence at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.

In addition to these posts, the quartet is pleased to offer educational residency activities, coaching and community outreach in conjunction with concert appearances. The Parker Quartet believes passionately in the power of music to change lives and understands the responsibility the ensemble carries to keep the string quartet repertoire relevant and alive for audiences of all ages. The quartet is open to any requested activities but has a particular interest in and affinity for the following:

Performance Demonstrations
(30-60 minutes, can be tailored for any age group)

Audiences of all ages can benefit from an intimate and participatory demonstration of the string quartet repertoire. Beginning with an introduction, the quartet performs a wide variety of repertoire, catered to the audience and the interests of the organization, introducing each piece throughout the program.  Historical context, emotional triggers and personal anecdote from the ensemble members highlight aspects of the musical experience and provide participants with a unique opportunity to “listen” in a new way.  Demonstrations are always concluded with Q&A time so that audience members can enjoy a direct interaction with the members of the quartet. 

Multi-Disciplinary Explorations

The quartet has developed several courses exploring the intersections of music and other disciplines.  In an academic setting and with participation for the appropriate departments, these programs can be a wonderful way to engage non-music students.  The quartet has had particular success with kinesiology practice - allowing students to study the musician’s body in performance.  Similarly, the ensemble enjoys interacting with students of European History - drawing intersections between socio-political and cultural events and the music composed and experienced of the time period. Courses of this variety must be taught in collaboration with a willing academic partner in the discipline and must be arranged in advance.

Advanced Composition

The Parker Quartet regularly commissions living composers and the ensemble supports the creation and performance of new work.  The quartet can interact with composition students at the undergraduate and graduate level in many ways depending on the needs of the class. With advance notice the quartet can prepare composition readings, discuss their experiences commissioning new work, share feedback on the particular challenges of writing for string quartet and critique new work. Arrangements can also be made for the quartet to prepare a more extended residency with the inclusion of a composer with whom they are actively working.  This is subject to advance and separate coordination.

Business & Leadership Quartet Style
(Can be tailored for musicians or non-musicians)

There is nothing more intimate, intense and extreme than navigating the subtle needs and inner workings of the professional string quartet.  The ensemble speaks to the working relationships they maintain as members to operate a successful business, achieve the highest artistic output and stay healthy in their personal lives throughout.  Aspects of consensus building, problem solving, democratization of leadership and individual freedom are all intensified in the world of a string quartet.  The ensemble’s experience provides an excellent teaching tool and jumping off point for discussions in the larger business realm.

In addition to the above, the Parker Quartet is pleased to offer standard public masterclasses, private chamber music coaching, individual instrument masterclasses and informal talk back sessions with music students at any level.  Duration, scheduling and proficiency level should be established in advance and in consultation with the quartet’s general manager, MKI Artists.


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