Quiz: What’s Your Ideal String Career?

Let’s face it: A lot of string players hit the practice room hard thinking, Soloist, soloist, soloist. Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Kim Kashkashian. That’s the goal, right? Not necessarily. There are a lot of career options in the string world that allow you make great music in all kinds of settings. Take the quiz below to find out where you might be happiest.

1. You’ve been practicing like crazy and you need to unwind a little. You:

A) invite some people over and have a sight-reading party.

B) go over to your bassist friend’s house for a jam session.

C) work on études and basics in your cozy practice space. Focusing on these old friends is like meditation.

D) listen to your younger sister play and give her a few pointers, maybe play an easy duet with her. Helping her get better makes you better.

2. What would be your venue of choice?

A) Small, intimate settings: places where people and music can really connect

B) I’m not that into traditional venues; I’m more comfortable playing on the sidewalk than in a concert hall

C) Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center . . . someplace with star power

D) A studio. Performing onstage is great, but the studio is where you feel most at home

3. What’s in your iPod?

A) Late Beethoven quartets, some Shostakovich, and the Lark Quartet’s recording Klap Ur Handz

B) Mark Feldman, Eddie South, Natalie MacMaster, Bobby Hicks

C) The greats playing Mozart, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns

D) Nicola Benedetti’s new recording, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Turtle Island: You’re influenced by a lot of different music

4. If you were not an aspiring musician, you’d probably want to be:


A) A diplomat

B) A club owner that books great, innovative acts

C) An astronaut

D) A college professor

5. All are great for performance degrees, but this school tops the list for you:

A) New England Conservatory of Music

B) Berklee College of Music

C) Juilliard School

D) Indiana University


6. You’d most like to attend:

A) Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

B) Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp


C) The Meadowmount summer program


D) A master class by teacher Mimi Zweig

7. You:

A) like to travel, but feel more secure with a home base.

B ) are more interested in the scene itself than where it is geographically located.

C) love to travel. All the time.

D) enjoy traveling for fun, but prefer a more scheduled, structured existence for everyday life.

8. In school, you prefer:

A) a mix of group work and solitary projects.

B) mainly group work.

C) solitary projects.

D) mainly group work. You usually find yourself in a leadership role.

9. On the wall of your practice space, you have a picture of:

A) the Section Quartet.

B) cellist Rushad Eggleston.

C) violinist Hilary Hahn.

D) Henri Vieuxtemps.

10. Your friends describe you as:

A) focused, a lot of fun, and a good listener.

B) a true original, and the life of the party.

C) determined, independent, and always busy.

D) supportive, caring, and great for advice.

Ready to find out what your answers say about you? Click here.