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On That Note: Musician Master Classes

Courtesy of Robert Cohen

Professional musicians practice a lot, and any one of them will tell you that you never stop learning or striving to be better.  However it can be difficult to find the time or opportunity for professional development once you are a working musician.  This month, cellist Robert Cohen discusses one key offering – the concept of master classes.

Cohen says master classes can serve musicians on many different levels such as learning how to deal with outside pressures, endless practicing, being constructive and performance techniques that musicians don't often learn from a private instructor. Master classes serve to help musicians fill the gap between playing better and revisiting fundamentals that can help a musician reflect on what needs improvement personally.

"I know that everybody likes to watch master classes when they're done well," says Cohen. "The musicians like doing it too because they can kind of see how to solve their own problems without actually being in the spotlight, without being at the doctor's in public - which is really what a master class is."

Robert Cohen is the cellist for the Milwaukee-based Fine Arts Quartet and a Lake Effect monthly contributor for On That Note to talk about the life and work of a professional musician.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
For 35 years one of the worlds leading cello soloist, Robert Cohen is an award-winning recording artist, conductor, artistic director and pedagogue who has been broadcast on TV and radio throughout the world. His passionate views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have been widely published.