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Hello everybody! MailboxThis one’s dedicated to all of the fellow students at ZHdK but might probably also be amusing for other music students. Of course, I hope people will apply certain sense of humour reading this. For past two years I played with a lot of wonderful musicians (and I would love to play with them again) a lot of whom I met accidentally. And, come on, it’s absolutely normal to contact people you never met in person in order to ask if they wanna play together. That’s how I met some great people. But let’s see how to be really annoying…

First of all, you need a great idea. It doesn’t really matter whether you want to play a recently discovered masterpiece octet for 7 violas and a glass harmonica or just an ordinary piece for the piano and a string orchestra. You just need to be absolutely convinced how amazing your project is. Another problem is to find all those musicians to play with.

The first step is to contact some students you found in the school directory. Now, there are some rules you should observe in order to prove how careless you are. To begin, never mention the name of the person you are writing to. Always begin your message with something like “Liebe Freunde” (dear friends), this will assure the recipient that you sent an exactly same message to hundreds of other people. The first sentence should go in the manner of “I want to play…” because you have to be sure all these people are only dreaming about discovering what you want. Then, you should briefly describe your project. It is always good to attach ALL of the orchestra parts in the first email. Don’t worry if you cannot send over 10MB in one message, it’s fine to send 7-8 messages with the 10 minutes interval, it will make sure the person will never forget you, even adding your address to the black list after the 5th message. Once again, all instruments parts should be sent because you can never guess what instrument this guy can play.

SpamWell, most of the people will ignore you because you are the last person on earth they would care about. Some people though, will politely reply that they cannot do it because they are already too busy (amazingly enough, most of them will be telling the truth). Do not be deceived by this because these people are just lazy liars. Use every possible way of communication this world can offer. Contact them again through the Facebook, a contact form on their personal website, etc. Be creative! Now, realize you got on a whole new level of communication because from some mildly annoyed people you will still receive a reply (well, not so polite anymore) explaining that no matter how many messages you send it will not magically create extra free time in their schedule but is a bit frustrating and demonstrates that you don’t really care. You don’t have to say sorry because it’s you who got offended. In order to finish off the person by driving him absolutely nuts just reply that you already found the musicians you needed and you don’t need any more of them. This is just to clear the fact that you did not bother to read any of the replies you received.

Just some more advice:

Do not underestimate the power of group messages. In the civilized world they are called spam but let’s just pretend you never heard of it. Discover the existence of such groups as DMU.studierende in the global ZHdK address catalogue. It will allow you to send a message to all of the music students of the school. Or even better, DMU.alle. Then, your important email will receive ALL of the people from the Music Department, including teachers! Feel free to use these group lists when advertising your concert or looking for a substitute for the job you cannot do because you received a much better paid offer. People are always glad to see DMU.alle in the “To:” field while receiving the information they would not be able to use in any way.

Have a great summer and don’t forget to smile!

Images courtesy of Gualberto107 and Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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