Playing violin in orchestra is one of the most enriching activities I get to do. But, it also seems like it is fraught with unspoken expectations. Things like “to be early is to be on-time,” “showing up without your pencil is a sin,” and that the inside player’s fingerings go beneath the line.

These were all things I gradually learned along the way…many times the hard way. One time in particular I had just finished making a very detailed marking, writing out all of the conductor’s musical wishes (but apparently it was not very efficient or practical). My standpartner sighed, rolled his eyes, ERASED the long sentence I just wrote, made two slashes and a squiggle, and dropped the pencil on the stand.

That memory apparently stuck with me, and I don’t wish it to happen to anyone else. One of the things I hope to do is de-mystify the unspoken orchestral etiquette that can ruin people’s experience.

The first area I wanted to tackle was all the markings we use in orchestra to quickly and effectively take notes in your part. This is a bit of a long video, but it contains almost every marking and abbreviation you would need to make changes in your part-and in a way that is professional and courteous to your standpartner.

I’m calling it: “How to quickly and effectively mark your orchestra part without making your standpartner hate you.”

I hope it is helpful and enjoyable to watch.
Be well and practice well

If you’d like to purchase the PDF of all these tips, you can simply: