Aaaah, the holidays. They’re magical, to be sure, and for most student musicians – the holidays also mean a solid chunk of vacation time. All that free calendar space is a well-deserved reward for surviving the busy concert season, and there’s no better way to spend it than binging on holiday entertainment.
Become an audience member at a Sing-along-Messiah Concert
Check around, and odds are your community – or one nearby – offers a Sing-Along-Messiah concert. This is a chance to get out of your role as performer and become an audience member, paying homage to one of Handel’s most celebrated works. Singing along to what you know – and letting the performer’s do their job on the pieces you don’t – is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit.
Fun Fact: Did you know that George Frederic Handel, the Messiah’s composer, was a musical rebel? It’s true. His father didn’t want him to play music, so he snuck a clavichord up to a small upper-room in the house and practiced when the family slept.
Get Yourself to the Movies
Between school, work, rehearsals, and performances, who has time for the movies when school’s in session? Take advantage of student prices (with your student ID) and/or discounted matinees, and get yourself to the movies. Some of this year’s most anticipated Holiday box office hits include:
Sure, Netflix is great, but there is something special about choosing your favorite seat in the cinema and watching movies on the big screen.
Okay – Stay at Home and ‘Flix
Is the weather outside as frightful as the carolers projected? In that case, Netflix (or Hulu, or Prime…) are at your service. Streaming holiday favorites at home is decidedly cheaper, and less of a hassle, than paying for movie tickets and concession stand treats. Plus, it’s nice to hit “pause” whenever you want.
Streaming offers the opportunity to watch some of your holiday favorites, and to view lesser-known productions that never made it to the theaters. Some of the holiday movies streaming on Netflix now include The Grinch (starring Jim Carey), Dear Santa and the all-time holiday classic, White Christmas.
Looking for some great movies that focus on string musicians? Look for these on your favorite streaming channel:
Invest in This Year’s New Holiday Releases
As an aspiring musician, you should have a healthy respect for the professional musician’s career plights. In an era when music is often stolen online, you can do your part by investing in this year’s newest holiday releases.
Some of our favorite holiday CDs for 2018 include:
- Lindsey Stirling’s Warmer in the Winter, Deluxe Edition
- Eric Clapton’s Happy Christmas (it’s this famous guitarist’s first holiday release ever!)
- The Ultimate Classical Christmas Album of All Time
- James Kreger, Have Yourself a Merry Cello Christmas
Pick Up a Book or a Kindle and Read
Remember when you used to read for pleasure? There’s no better way to relax than sitting by the fire (or heater), snuggled under a warm blanket with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and a good story.
Have you ever actually read, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens? If not, we highly recommend doing so as no movie is ever as good as the original story. Other great reads inspired by the world of strings include:
- The Ensemble. Author Aja Gabel is a cellist, and her personal insights enrich her novel about four young musician friends navigating the competitive world of classical music.
- An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. This is a love story about a violinist in a successful quartet and a pianist who he loved long ago. The story takes place in Venice and Vienna – two of music history’s favorite cities.
- Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven. This biography about J.S. Bach is one of Amazon’s highest-rated, composer biographies. Author John Eliot Gardiner is a famous English conductor, considered to be one of the world’s greatest interpreters of Bach’s works.
Whether you choose to read a great book (or listen to one), attend a concert, go to the movies, stream shows from home or catch up on much-needed rest – the Connolly Music team wishes you and your family a happy (and peaceful) holiday season.