Music in lockdown - Julieta Iglesias
Julieta was born in 1985 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She started her piano studies in 1995 at the Alberto Williams Conservatoire. She is now based in London, and her repertoire is made up of classical, tango, rock, pop, and folk music. Julieta has a wide experience of performing in many venues around Europe and in Argentina.
Rebecca Mary Haslam spoke to Julieta about working as a musician during the pandemic:
Let me tell you a bit about my experience as a musician since lockdown. First of all, it's not the same to perform through a device as performing with a real audience. You can't connect that much, you miss the applause, the 'bravo'—which is quite important and rewarding!
Also, people are not willing to buy a ticket unless it's something that they are really, really interested in. And, in my experience, when I asked for a contribution, I didn't get what I expected—despite knowing that they really enjoyed it and they posted lots of lovely and thankful comments. It was quite disappointing, since musicians practice for hours and hours, and sometimes it seems we just do it as a hobby because we really enjoy it.
But it's our job. It's not just a service we offer to the community to get them inspired. I say this because I got messages from people telling me that my music was so helpful for them in those hard times—that it helped them in dealing with the loneliness—which was very nice to hear for me. But still, I think they couldn't realise the effort and the purpose behind that, even though I used to make myself clear about asking for collaboration because I was experiencing a very difficult time in terms of work.
I started doing online recitals at first, but then I noticed I was investing a lot of time and effort on that and it wasn't worth it, because I also needed to figure out how to cope with my economic situation. Then, I started recording and trying to grow my fan base on Instagram, Spotify, and Youtube. So I'm still trying to figure out the best way to take profit from that.
I really miss performing live, and I hope it comes back soon. I think the virtual thing is very good, but not enough. Yes, you can reach people from all over the world but, as human beings, I think we need face-to-face contact.
In terms of piano lessons, at first it was quite frustrating, since most of my pupils didn't want to move to online mode. But the ones that did don't want to come back to face-to-face, since they find it better now—they save commuting time and expenses. In the past months I got new online pupils and I only have two coming at home. I'm still not as good as before March 2020 in terms of pupils, but I think it will get better. Many people have prejudices about learning online, and I think that's why they're waiting for more flexible regulations before they start in person.
By Rebecca Mary Haslam
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