If you are reading this blog post you likely are planning all the details for your wedding day. Congratulations as you take this next step in your relationship â this is such an exciting time!
I remember when I was planning my own wedding that all of the details could become overwhelming at times. In response, Iâve created this blog post to share my thoughts in regards to live wedding music. As a musician myself, I hope this article will make planning easier for you and of course, if you have any questions, please reach out and weâd be glad to assist!
Why Choose Live Music?
Undeniably music is essential to a beautiful wedding day; however, when brides are making checklists of what to include in their wedding day, I am often asked what are the advantages to including live music over recorded music. Click here to read our blog entitled âThe Four âAâsâ of Why Live Music Should be a Part of Every Wedding.â
What Instruments Work Best Together?
I believe music choices are a personal preference and there are not ârightâ or âwrongâ choices. Of course, as a musician I have my favorite recommendations and pointers to consider:
#1. Instruments that play multiple notes vs. a single note
When a couple chooses a soloist or duo, I recommend considering which instruments can play multiple notes at a time (e.g., piano, guitar, or harp) and which instruments play a single note at a time (e.g., violin, flute, cello). I personally love the âfullâ sound of a duo that includes a multiple note instrument with a single note instrument -- I even chose piano and violin for my own wedding day!
Flute with harp is one of our newest duo combinations and here are a couple of snippets from candid footage from recent weddings!
â#2. String trio vs. string quartet
If youâve sung in a choir before, you are likely familiar with the four voice parts: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. A string quartet is similar in structure! Although a string trio still sounds beautiful, if you have the budget for quartet, itâs definitely the way to go. Many couples especially love that our string quartet can share classical music for the ceremony and then transition into pop selections for cocktail hour!
âTo note, we also have other trio combinations found here. If you like a "full" sound while incorporating strings, some of our trios combine a pianist with two string musicians.
#3. Listen to all of the options
Ultimately though, my biggest piece of advice is to listen to all of the different options we provide. There are multiple video and audio recordings throughout our website to allow you and your fiancÃ© to make informed decisions, knowing exactly what the music would sound like for your wedding day!
As a ceremony musician, I have shared music for many beautiful weddings!
In my experience, one of the aspects that can often be overlooked is the need for amplification. Many times I'm one of the people closest to the couple and even I cannot hear the vows. I imagine this can be disappointing for guests who want to hear what is being shared. Of course, not all ceremonies need amplification; however, these are a few things I would consider:
#1. Is your wedding outdoors?
If the wedding is outdoors, I would highly recommend adding ceremony sound to your package. In general, sound simply does not carry well in an outdoor space plus the outdoors often create extraneous sounds (e.g., wind blowing, birds chirping, and airplanes flying overhead).
#2. How large is your guest count?
With a smaller guest count, the officiant and couple may be able to project enough; however, the more guests, the more likely you will need a "boost" for everyone to hear!
#3. Do you have older guests attending?
Sometimes older guests have experienced some hearing loss which makes amplification a necessity for everyone to enjoy the ceremony.
Finally, another consideration is that typically the bride and groom are facing one another instead of their guests. Although you may be able to project your voices, no one wants to be raising their voice at their soon-to-be spouse! ☺
Our ceremony sound package includes a speaker, a wireless lapel microphone for the officiant, and a wireless handheld microphone to be used by the couple (if desired) and any additional readers. Our goal is to provide high quality audio as inconspicuously as possible!
If you have more questions, please contact me for more information!
Happy Wedding Planning!
Owner, Lowcountry Pianist & Company
Great article in the Charleston Southern University magazine, Josh! Thank you too for the shout-out to Lowcountry Pianist & Co. LLC - always enjoy making music together.
To me, art is a way to connect with the world around you. My art form, music performance, is my way to connect with others on a deep, emotional level. It is my way to share my innermost passions, to express my emotions, to display my hard work and to create a point of discussion with others. It is also a way for me to share the gifts that God has given to me with others to bring light to their lives and for me to give my very best back to God.
I keep my creativity flowing by constantly being involved in music and seeking out opportunities to perform. I involved myself in the musical community by constantly listening to new music, attending new performances, and performing with new groups. I also teach students which helps me to keep my skills sharp and to find new ways of explaining musical ideas. The creativity never stops because there is always something new to explore in music.
𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐧:
When people ask me how I make music as an artist, my answer is simple: hard work, dedication, and flexibility. The field of music is extremely competitive, but there is also tons of work. You may find yourself working multiple jobs at a time, that could be teaching public school, performing in many different groups, teaching private lessons in your own studio, being an artistic director, you name it. It takes a lot of hard work to network and find jobs, but if you stay dedicated and remain flexible to doing different kinds of work, you can do it. The work is hard, but the reward is incredible, and you can rejoice doing what you love."
If you haven't heard Josh perform, check out our brand new trio page: www.lowcountrypianist.com/trios
Look for the Silver Lining
is an inspirational phrase that is often used, especially as of late as we all cope with the Coronavirus. Although the origin of the phrase seems to be taken from John Milton's 1634 poem "Comus," the song that Judy Garland made famous is often what comes to our minds! ♫
Our team has been making the best of this difficult time by continuing to engage with music, even if we can't currently share the music in-person with others. As Mallory put it, "[During this season,] we can better our gifts and talents while we have so much time, even though we are taking such a financial hit."
For Mallory this means setting aside practice time for piano and guitar; for Kim this means engaging in "fun, new projects that [she] did not indulge in before because [she] felt the pressure to 'prepare' for [her] upcoming gigs." And for me, this means checking off a "bucket list" item: learning the violin. My husband and dog have been good sports as it's not a pleasant instrument to listen to a beginner play!
I've also had time to release creative energy through learning more about video editing which I never would have pursued without this extensive break. Here's a couple of the fun projects I completed (one as a birthday gift and one for Easter Sunday) and I hope to do more in the future:
I believe we have all been thinking more "outside of the box" lately! Kim specifically shared with our team: "A fun thing I do that I now have time for now is to play with other musicians, but they don't know I'm playing with them! YouTube is such a phenomenal learning and playing tool for us musicians, and I'm having a blast playing some of the new tunes I'm learning with some of the best musicians in the world... I accompany them and we play together. It's most fun if there is a trio or already a duet playing. [Since] I play Celtic harp... playing along with one of the best Celtic harper, an Irish fiddler, and a hammered dulcimer is fantastic fun!"
Many other members of the Lowcountry Pianist & Company team have also expressed a new energy and joy from learning new music. It has been nice to engage in music solely for self-enjoyment and self-growth.
Whether you are a musician or not, we hope you will be able to also find things during this time that bring you joy. Below we have included links to a few of our favorite Facebook groups that encourage a "silver lining," positive approach to this season.
We miss each of you and cannot wait to be back making live music soon!
- Holly Slice and the Lowcountry Pianist & Co. Team
Corona Positive Group: This group is to help us all find the positive in dealing with the Coronavirus. Positive stories and memes are shared to help us all pass the time until the world gets back to normal.
Shower Songs with Josh Groban: We'll just let Josh explain #showersongs himself...
View from My Window: This group has been created to connect people from all around the world during these tough times. Members are encouraged to take a picture from the view of their window to share with others. Guidelines are shared on the page for photo submissions and after the pandemic, a book and calendar will be created to present a photo gallery with all the most inspiring photos.
What is your favorite Facebook group or webpage that spreads positivity?
Share it in the comments below!
Christ has risen, He has risen indeed!
If this video brings a smile to your face, please SHARE with others. I believe we could all use encouragement this Easter Sunday!
Thank you everyone who made our virtual choir come to life as we celebrate Easter this year in an unconventional way. The truth of Jesus' resurrection still remains the same -- He has risen and therefore we will always have hope!
"So they asked Jesus, 'Do you hear what they are saying?' 'Indeed I do,' answered Jesus. 'Haven't you ever read this scripture? '"You have trained children and babies to offer perfect praise.'" (Matt. 21:16)
Peacemakers Children's Choir:
Directed by Holly Slice (www.lowcountrypianist.com)
Special thanks to Shawna Edwards Music who wrote this incredible song!
#virtualchoir #eastersunday #hehasrisen
PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS AND CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
We know this is an incredibly difficult time financially and emotionally for all musicians, especially performers. As a performance-based music company, Lowcountry Pianist & Company has gone from 50 performances per month to zero performances due to social distancing. This is a tough hit!
VIDEO CONFERENCING TO TEACH PRIVATE MUSIC LESSONS
In order to supplement income, many of our team members teach private music lessons and have moved to teaching online through video chat apps. The extended Charleston, SC, musician community as a whole has been recommending the "Zoom" app to continue their music teaching, music therapy work, and more!
Kim, harpist with LCP, shared "[My son] is doing his karate classes through Zoom and I am teaching homeschool kids at home using this tool... [I like that] it is free to use... and is a way to maintain some income and some continuity and routine for the students."
In this video, Holly Slice (Owner of Lowcountry Pianist & Company) interviews Emilee Johnson (Professional Musician and Music Teacher) to learn more about using Zoom Video Conferencing to teach private lessons. Emilee gives an overview of the app plus features of the app that are specifically helpful for music teachers!
(Video Filmed with the Zoom App Recording Feature)
We are looking forward to "this" passing and everything returning to normal! In the meantime, if you have additional resources to share that would be helpful for others, please comment below ↓
ERIN: CHARLESTON WEDDING VIOLINIST
Erin's Background: As the daughter of a classical pianist, Erin has always been a lover of music and the creative arts. For the past twelve years she has performed professionally for weddings in both the solo and ensemble setting, accompanied praise & worship bands throughout the Charleston area, and has been featured on the albums of local indie artists including Joel T. Hamilton & Mechanical River, Slow Runner, and Run Dan Run. We are grateful that she is a part of the Lowcountry Pianist & Company team and we enjoyed getting to know her better through our recent interview!
Q: What is your favorite quote?
"Only a life lived for others is life worthwhile." - Albert Einstein
Where Words Fail, Music Speaks
As we look ahead to the new year, our team has taken time to reflect on our experiences during 2019. We had the opportunity to be a part of almost 600 events where the power of music was evident. Below we have shared some of our favorite memories from performing at retirement centers, accompanying for local schools, and providing music for wedding ceremonies.
MUSIC FOR SENIORS
"Nathan, [my son], and I were playing at Savannah Grace and there were several of the residents in assisted living present who had pretty significant health challenges. They rolled one elderly lady into the room and she just stared out the window while we played. I suspected she was suffering from dementia, so we just pressed on with our program.
One lady mouthed the words to a Beatles tune while I played, and a couple of folks knew the words to “Can’t Help Falling In Love” that Nathan played on the ukulele. Still, the one lady continued to stare out the window... Nearing the end of the hour, I began to play "Edelweiss," from The Sound of Music. Suddenly, the lady appeared to awaken as she began to sing along...
CLAIRE: MUSIC THERAPIST & PERFORMER
Claire's Background: Claire is a board-certified music therapist who has served the Lowcountry for the last 10 years providing medical music therapy services. Music has always been an important part of Claire's life; her background includes involvement in musical theater, private lessons, church choir, orchestra, band, and opera,
She has an associates degree in vocal studies from Sandhills Community College and a bachelor's degree in music therapy from Appalachian State University. She is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society.
Since college she has continued her education, completing advanced trainings in neurologic music therapy and NICU-music therapy. Claire is passionate about the creative arts and having a career that ties in some of her favorite qualities: music, healing, performance, mentorship, and self-care.
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The holidays are almost here! We hope you are as excited as we are, however, we all know
that with the holidays there is a lot of shopping to do for our family, friends, and extended community. Brainstorming for gift ideas can be difficult!
In the 1990's Oprah Winfrey began "Oprah's Favorite Things" -- yes, a spin-off of the Sound of Music song, "My Favorite Things" ♫. Since then, every year Oprah shares a list of products with her audience that she feels would make a great gift.
This year, we have asked our wonderful team for some of their favorite items and we hope you will become re-inspired with gift ideas for your loved ones!
AMAZON'S ECHO DOT + SMART BULB
SMART PLUG ADD-ON