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Martha

How would you describe your music?

Classical and whatever else pays the bills!

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

As a freelance music, my marketing challenge is gettingmy name out there. Fortunately, because I have permanent job in a couple of symphony orchestras, I don't have to try too hard. My main job is tokeep my skills in tip top shape and come prepared to any job I take on.

Describe your gear.

My "gear" is a very nice 100 year old violin which I use to perform in a variety of venues: symphony orchestras, chamber music, back-up orchestras for singers who come to town. I am also a private violin teacher.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

In the music world it is about how well one can play. If you can hold your own, then they can't do much to you. There is a "good old boys" club" in some symphony circles but it is rapidly disappearing because women can play just as well as men. I went into this business with the assumption that there was going to be a difference but the more I became aware of my own power, the less it mattered what others were doing.

Related Themes: Behind The Music Cashing In

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Yes. The younger generation knows less about how hard it was for the older generation to break into symphony circles. It wasn't too long ago that the Berlin philharmonic had no women in it--not because women couldn't play but because women weren't allowed. The younger generation doesn't remember that time and I barely remember it.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"My initial training as a musician was horrible in terms of how to get started in the business. No one gave me any advice until I was much older.

My advice to young musicians these days is to just stay with it. Don't give up. It is hard to get established as a musician. Sometimes it takes years but you must do whatever it takes to survive. Have plans laid out about how you expect to make money while you build-up your music career. Be willing to take on students and give back what you know to them. "

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

I started out on piano as a child but my hands couldn't reach a tenth. My piano teacher recommended I try the violin.

Related Themes: The First Time