VC INTERVIEW | Robert Lipsett and Fabiola Kim on the Sounding Level Academy


The Violin Channel not too long ago mentioned the upcoming academy with its co-founders and inventive administrators, Robert Lipsett and Fabiola Kim — who are actually each on school on the Colburn College in Los Angeles.


Are you able to inform us about how this challenge got here to fruition and its affiliation with the Colburn College?

This concept got here collectively within the spring of 2020 through the first COVID lockdown. Every little thing had closed down for the primary time, and we had been simply getting used to educating on Zoom. We had been desirous about what we may do to encourage our college students and produce artists collectively, and we determined to do an internet program. Inside the subsequent few days, our web site and utility had been up and working, and fast-forward three weeks, we had been on our first Zoom class with 130+ college students from all around the world!

We had no plans for this system to proceed once more on-line or in-person, however when the constructive suggestions saved coming in from college students, we determined it was solely pure to take it to the Colburn College, given our very sturdy ties to the College. With its improbable services and workers, all events agreed that this collaboration could be extraordinarily thrilling.


The place does the title come from? How does the course differ from different Summer season academic packages?

Sounding Level is an space between the bridge and the fingerboard on a string instrument. Discovering the optimum level for sound is a really elementary and inventive a part of violin enjoying. I personally spend a lot of my time on the lookout for the precise sounding level with my college students and my very own enjoying. In an analogous means, we hope that our Academy helps information college students to their (and the precise) sounding level.

Our program could be very centered. We now have follow time built-in, two classes per week, and provide completely different courses to assist college students develop into well-rounded violinists. It’s a program led by people who’re at the moment within the enterprise and have a transparent understanding of the music world.


Ms. Kim, you’ve indicated the main focus of the Academy is on “future leaders.” Are you able to please clarify this mission? How are your workshops and actions tied to this?

We consider it’s essential for musicians today to put on a number of hats, and we offer instruments to assist college students obtain that. We may have school members who’re soloists, chamber musicians, pedagogues, and concertmasters, in addition to visitor artists who will are available in to present lectures and recitals. Our intention is to assist college students open their eyes to all elements of violin enjoying, all of the whereas serving to them keep centered on their craft by beginning every day with a method class and built-in follow time.

We now have grasp courses given by our school, visitor lectures, excerpt courses, and even a public-speaking class, overlaying many elements of what their careers would possibly seem like. I personally discover that being a instructor of roughly twenty college students — whereas sustaining a efficiency profession — could be very fulfilling. My educating helps my enjoying, and my enjoying helps my educating. We hope our college students go away this program impressed by the a number of elements of violin enjoying that they uncover and discover.


For which musicians would you say your summer season course is most suited?

Our program is suited to college students who wish to pursue severe musical careers!


What does a day on the Sounding Level Academy seem like?

We begin every morning with a 30-minute method class. Every day will likely be centered on a distinct idea led by our school. It is a good way for everybody to start out the day collectively, motivated to get to the follow rooms! We then have 9:30-12 pm and 1-3 pm scheduled for follow time and personal classes. College students may have two classes per week. Within the afternoon, now we have group courses scheduled, and on some days, now we have scholar and visitor artist recitals within the night.


Ms. Kim, for you, what are crucial qualities a musician wants at this time within the twenty first Century so as to achieve success and be a number one power in at this time’s working panorama?

I feel just a few of crucial qualities are persistence and honesty. We’re lucky to see so many nice abilities and performers. Nonetheless, the artwork that we try to good takes hours of persistence and onerous work, and there’s no shortcut. Little doubt, it takes a substantial amount of persistence and time to really commit your self to this.

We additionally reside in a time the place all the things is so simply accessible; each one among us can create a persona on social media, generally making it increasingly tough to remain sincere with your self and your music-making. Once we will be true to our artwork and self, our music will come throughout that rather more real as properly. I additionally suppose it’s essential to reside as citizen-artists. Through the pandemic, many people realized how actually essential music was to the lives of these round us, and I used to be so touched by that. Music is exceptionally highly effective, and we are able to completely use our artwork to affect and assist the communities round us.


Ms. Kim, are you able to inform us extra in regards to the public-speaking elements of the academy?

Connecting with our viewers is essential. What we do requires an viewers, a response. I get pleasure from talking to them after concert events, and I’ve usually discovered that you could assist the viewers make quick connections together with your enjoying and the music in case you’re in a position to discuss your artwork and what you may have curated to carry out for them.

I usually see performers who’re charismatic on their devices, however when they’re requested to talk on stage, they’re very uncomfortable. It’s as a result of they’ve been skilled to carry out solely on their devices on stage, however to not communicate and verbally categorical themselves on stage. I feel it is an extremely essential instrument, and simply as we practice to carry out on our devices, we are going to assist college students practice in public talking.


Mr. Lipsett, what’s your greatest recommendation for younger college students popping out of faculty at this time seeking to discover their path within the skilled world of music?

Regardless of how a lot the world modifications round us, there are specific constants, and a type of constants is to be glorious at what you do. Competitors could also be higher than ever, however in case you are actually glorious as a performer, there will likely be a spot for you.

I feel that if you attain your twenties, it’s best to begin desirous about what space of music you belong in or that you simply care to pursue. With that in thoughts, direct your self towards it, be taught all the things you’ll be able to about it, and put together your self for it. The music enterprise is difficult and multifaceted, with a number of layers of prospects.

Being versatile in your pursuits is essential. If one factor doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to attempt one thing a bit of completely different. In skilled work (that’s, performing,) I all the time lived by the motto of “keep busy.” If what you actually need will not be accessible to you, don’t hesitate to take one thing a bit of decrease within the pole, however the essential factor is to remain busy. Work your self up the ladder.


Mr. Lipsett, you may have been educating on the highest stage for a lot of many years. Are there any explicit pedagogical ideas or classes you may have discovered alongside the best way that you simply wish to share with our viewers — college students, gamers, and academics?

Sure, I consider in educating from a platform — a platform consisting of three issues: rhythm, pitch, and sound. Every little thing that you simply follow for ought to have these stable underpinnings. Great phrasing with poor pitch has no relevance. Nice enjoying with poor rhythm has no that means. And when you have not but developed fantastic thing about sound, the door is closed.

To a big extent professionally, you’re being paid for the perfection of rhythm, pitch, and sound. Together with these three issues are: musicality, temperament, and character. As an example, as an orchestral musician, conductors are all on the lookout for rhythm, pitch, and sound, primarily. As a soloist, rhythm, pitch, and sound are primary to the event of your artistry of nice music-making, temperament, and hearth.

The realm of actually nice soloists resides in all of those qualities, plus spontaneity and nice character. All nice educating should rise from these primary qualities.


How can musicians apply to the 2022 Sounding Level Academy?

You’ll find all the mandatory data on our web site at: The appliance is due on or earlier than April 8 at 5 pm PST!



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