Jessica Frost

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)
  • Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Hurricane Irene #147469

    I am friends with a wedding coordinator in Virginia Beach. She was tearing her hair out about a bride who was supposed to get married this afternoon on the oceanfront. Apparently bright and early this morning the bride was standing outside arguing with a police officer. She wanted to hold the ceremony out on the sand, despite the rain, and was using the argument that they “weren’t going to go in the water so they’d be fine”. She said her guests knew she was getting married outside rain or shine and would be dressed appropriately. The coordinator tried to explain the difference between a rain shower and a hurricane. I don’t know what ended up happening but I’ll post when I do.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Scales & Arpeggio practice sheet – can email it out #106628

    Armande,

    I would love a copy for my students! My email is jessicaafrost@gmail.com. Thanks for your work on this!

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Disrespectful Audiences #106997

    I’ve also really enjoyed this thread…I’ve heard all sorts of things whispered and even screeched during concerts so this is not a new revelation but a very sad one. Even when etiquette rules are posted blatantly in a program there’s still one or two idiots who will ignore them and do whatever they please….

    There’s a relatively new dine-in movie theater in my town and one of the ads at the beginning of a movie shows the scene from “Gremlins” where the theater blows up at the end with all the Gremlins inside. At the end of that clip the screen reads something like “No talking during the movie or we’ll take you out.” It follows with “…and texting totally counts as talking.” It finishes with a screen that informs you that if someone complains about your party you’ll get one warning…after that you’ll be asked to leave with no refund. It’s the kind of theater where you write your food order on a ticket and leave it standing on your table so it can be easily grabbed by a waiter/waitress. It’s easier to complain about people because they don’t know if you’re ordering food or making a complaint. I’ve had to complain twice about people in a movie and both times I was not the only person to complain and they were asked to leave. Maybe that’s what we need for classical concerts, operas, plays!

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Wedding Minimums #149558

    In the area where I live (Shenandoah Valley…near Northern Virginia and DC but not close enough to charge “city” prices), I have to be very careful about keeping my fee reasonable enough for people to pay for a professional rather than an amateur or student. There are plenty of students and amateurs taking gigs and teaching gigs at an obscenely low rate ($50-100/event) which really hurts my ability to make a living. And unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it. In this area some people don’t really understand the difference between professional and amateur/student….they’re looking for the cheapest price.

    My wedding fees are structured in the following way:

    My flat rate for a wedding which includes 1.5 hours of my time (30 minutes to arrive and set-up, 15-30 minutes of prelude music, and 30-45 minutes of ceremony music [length for ceremony depends on how long their prelude is]) is $325 for an indoor ceremony and $375 for an outdoor ceremony. If I know the wedding will be long (for example, a Catholic Mass), I encourage the client to purchase an extra 15-30 minutes in advance to save themselves possible overtime charges which are clearly laid out in my contract. My overtime rate is $100/30 minutes (rounded-up) but they can purchase extra time at $25/15 minutes and up. For every hour after the ceremony I charge $100/hour (this applies to cocktail hours and receptions at the same location as the ceremony). If I have to move locations there is an additional fee of $50.

    I also charge mileage for events over 60 miles round-trip. The rate is $.45/mile over 60. For events over 100 miles round-trip I add an additional traveling fee of $50 to the mileage charge.

    My hope is to raise my rates soon but I will wait for the economy to get a little better before making that jump. I also know of several other area professional harpists who are looking to raise their rates soon. When speaking or emailing with a client I lay out all of my fees so that they know exactly what I am charging them for and what they’re paying for. I find that most of my clients appreciate this….I feel that it’s the same as wanting to know the breakdown of price from a caterer for napkins, forks, glasses, etc.

    I have never had anyone complain about my rates but I do occasionally lose gigs just because they’ve found someone willing to play for $50. Usually they’ll try to guilt me into “matching” rates but I refuse to lower my standards. If a client doesn’t care about the quality of the perfomer than they get what they pay for. I’ve actually had brides come back to me and tell me that they wish they had paid for me instead.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Music written (or arranged) for harp & spoken word #108392

    Hannah,

    I am barely 4’11” and a half….I usually try to claim the half just so that I look closer to five feet!

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Sporatic students #84328

    I have only been teaching for four years but the majority of my harp students are adults. Of the 34 I teach, 26 are over the age of 18 and more than half of them are over the age of 50. Some have come and gone but I’ve noticed that many of the students who do start coming “sporadically” or quit altogether, quit because they are frustrated by their lack of progress. And not necessarily a lack of progress in my eyes, but a lack of progress in their minds when compared to my advanced high school students. I constantly have to make sure my adult students realize that they will probably not progress at the speed of the younger students and that learning a new instrument (especially if they have no musical background) will take time. As adults, they are used to picking things up quickly and music can be incredibly challenging.

    Routinely I also record my students in their lessons (sometimes unbeknownst to them) and after a few weeks/months I’ll play it back for them. Especially if one of them is having a bad day and is convinced that they haven’t “gotten anywhere” in 6 months, when they hear the recording from 3 or 4 months ago, they realize that they have actually progressed. I also make a habit of mentioning at least one good thing in each of my students’ lessons. Sometimes it’s very small things (turning a page quietly, playing a beautiful rolled chord) but it reinforces that there are good things happening, even if it’s not always noticeable to the student.

    Of course I also have students who have to quit or take a temporary break because life gets in the way but I find that they are more likely to return when they can if they’re feeling confident about their progress. I have lost fewer now that I’ve realized why some of them were inclined to quit in the beginning. Just asking them why they want to quit will usually get to the root of their problem and I find it’s usually a frustration with themselves and a lack of confidence in their abilities. Just my thoughts 🙂

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Sporatic students #85551

    I have only been teaching for four years but the majority of my harp students are adults. Of the 34 I teach, 26 are over the age of 18 and more than half of them are over the age of 50. Some have come and gone but I’ve noticed that many of the students who do start coming “sporadically” or quit altogether, quit because they are frustrated by their lack of progress. And not necessarily a lack of progress in my eyes, but a lack of progress in their minds when compared to my advanced high school students. I constantly have to make sure my adult students realize that they will probably not progress at the speed of the younger students and that learning a new instrument (especially if they have no musical background) will take time. As adults, they are used to picking things up quickly and music can be incredibly challenging.

    Routinely I also record my students in their lessons (sometimes unbeknownst to them) and after a few weeks/months I’ll play it back for them. Especially if one of them is having a bad day and is convinced that they haven’t “gotten anywhere” in 6 months, when they hear the recording from 3 or 4 months ago, they realize that they have actually progressed. I also make a habit of mentioning at least one good thing in each of my students’ lessons. Sometimes it’s very small things (turning a page quietly, playing a beautiful rolled chord) but it reinforces that there are good things happening, even if it’s not always noticeable to the student.

    Of course I also have students who have to quit or take a temporary break because life gets in the way but I find that they are more likely to return when they can if they’re feeling confident about their progress. I have lost fewer now that I’ve realized why some of them were inclined to quit in the beginning. Just asking them why they want to quit will usually get to the root of their problem and I find it’s usually a frustration with themselves and a lack of confidence in their abilities. Just my thoughts 🙂

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Teacher-Virginia Beach, Virginia #163110

    I’m from Virginia Beach and my first harp teacher was Hye-Yun Chung Bennett.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Berlioz Symphonie Fastastique #111350

    Yes his memoirs are enjoyable to read, but he mostly mentions the orchestra he’d like to work with in his treatise on orchestration.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Berlioz Symphonie Fastastique #111347

    I know there are 2 distinct harp parts but I believe Berlioz wanted at least 6 harpists per part.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: The most idiotic comments at gigs #145735

    Mr Sara,

    When I was much younger I was at an event where there was a harpist (this was when I had just started taking lessons) and I went up with my father to see what kind of harp the woman was playing and to ask her name.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: The most idiotic comments at gigs #145732

    I’ve gotten the standard, “don’t you wish you played something smaller?,” “can you play Stairway to Heaven?,” but my favorites are “is that a cello?” or a mother telling her kid that I’m playing the cello!

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Salvi Daphne 40 #68883

    My first pedal harp was a Salvi Daphne 40 which I used through middle school and two years of high school.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Fashion Sense #86598

    I’m sorry if I was misunderstood or offended you….I didn’t mean to imply that you couldn’t discuss clothing.

    Participant
    Jessica Frost on · in reply to: Fashion Sense #86595

    For more formal events, I’ve found that at least in the area where I’m living now, “church clothes” usually fits.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)