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Meet the Musicians: From Prodigies (or Not) to Pros Hardcover – March 7, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 9
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080507743X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805077438
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,453,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-10 This collection of interviews with 15 musicians in the New York Philharmonic presents an in-depth look at what it takes to become a professional musician. Each biographical sketch acquaints readers with the personality of the performer and shows that these talented people are well rounded with interests that include sports and other hobbies. The focus throughout is on how they chose their instruments and became proficient enough to become part of this world-renowned orchestra. Many of them did not select their instrument until they were in their teens, and several began on a different instrument from the one that ultimately became their career choice. Three boxed sections accompany each interview, offering insight into the workings of the instrument, practice tips, and concert watch, in which readers are advised about things to look for during a performance. Mediocre-quality black-and-white snapshots are scattered throughout. A final chapter on teamwork sheds light on the idiosyncrasies of playing in an orchestra. This title will appeal to a select audience, but it offers valuable information and encouragement to those for whom music performance holds appeal. Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Soloists may be classical music's most prominent role models, but this excellent book offers a glimpse of a more common destiny for young musicians: employment in a professional symphony. Nathan, following up The Young Musician's Survival Guide (2000), interviewed 13 of the New York Philharmonic's members, representing 11 different instruments, and spun their articulate comments into brief, readable profiles, supplemented by various sidebars--among them, an invaluable feature outlining pros and cons of individual instruments (it's easy for a beginner to coax a sound from a trombone, but few opportunities for solos arise). The artists' diverse career paths show that few rules apply: while a few were typical prodigies, most mourned sacrificed hobbies, often dreaded practice, and struggled with uncertainty. Though the title's format is somewhat drab, with childhood and current photos reproduced in grainy black and white, the practical advice mixed with inspirational words strikes just the right note for children at many different stages in their musical education. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Photo shows the author at age five, on a family vacation in Western Maryland.
For more information on Amy Nathan, author of nonfiction books for young people, please visit her Web site:

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a child did you ever hear your mother call "Time to come inside and practice?" You were having a great time playing outdoors, doing really fun things with your friends, and now you have sit inside on a piano bench and play those durn scales.

Or, as a parent have you been frustrated because your offspring won't take time to practice when you're paying good money for flute, violin or tuba lessons?

Most of us have been in one of those situations or both. Now Amy Nathan, author of "The Young Musician's survival Guide," gives us her latest book which proves we're not alone. "Meet the Musicians" is an upbeat, informative, up-close-and-personal look at 15 professional musicians all members of the New York Philharmonic. Many of them didn't like to practice when they were kids any more than we did. As adults and accomplished, disciplined musicians they offer excellent practice tips for both parents and children as well as sharing the paths they took to being part of a world class symphony orchestra.

Beginning with Carter Brey, Cello and concluding with John Deak, Bass we find photos of these musicians as children, their favorite childhood activities, their educational backgrounds, the inside scoop on particular instruments, how they came to be members of the New York Philharmonic and brief biographical sketches.

Young readers will easily relate to these musicians on many different levels.

Violist Cynthia Phelps said, "When I'm on stage, I think I'm the luckiest person in the world, having such a good time doing what I love to do." She speaks for the musicians represented here, and perhaps for the musicians of tomorrow.

Also included in "Meet the Musicians" is a helpful glossary and list of resources for those who wish to further pursue an interest in music.

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Hardcover
When you see an orchestra perform it look like the people in it play effortlessly. This is not the case. They get to be that great through LOTS of practice! In Meet the Musicians we are introduced to 15 member if the New York Philharmonic. They tell us there stories of how they found out they really wanted to be professionals.

The book included a helpful glossary and a list of resources for learining.

Young musicians will gain useful advise from the pro in this book.
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By J. Smith on November 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book for young musicians for inspiration. It tells a brief story in an easy to read format for each musician for a variety of instruments. Good for those who have the potential to go professional.
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