While writing this, I am listening to Circulo Trio rehearsing for their performance last Saturday at Steinway Gallery in Chicago. Even though they are not brass related ensemble, the elements of ensemble playing are still the same. They are interacting, exchanging idea, and having fun together. They are bonded through music making.
I would like to offer some of my thought and from other sources that I could find too.
It is worth mentioning that by ensemble I will be discussing about a smaller ensemble without conductor (or you could call it Chamber Music).
It is fun to be working with few more fellow musicians or friends after all self-practice. Playing with other people also helps developing other skills that self-practice can't such as
- Develop your musicianship such as listening, rhythmic skill as a group
- Learn your role - to be a good leader, a good support, and to be a good partner.
- Learn to collaborate and sustain group's relationship. - Being in a Chamber group is like being in a family. Discussion/Opinion/Argument or however you call it during rehearsals and works need to be respected, and should be left once it is done. Once it is being taken personally, it deems to be doomed.
- The most important of all is to communicate. Those could include listening, looking, body language or any mean that would group message deliver to audience. Basically, communication at any level.
- Making of a chamber musician - https://www.peabody.jhu.edu/past_issues/spring07/the_making_of_a_chamber_musician.html
- Benefits of being in an ensemble - http://theendinmind.net/benefits-of-being-in-an-ensemble/
- Why ensemble playing is so beneficial - http://chordmelody.org/pdf/ensemble.pdf
- The Practice of Practice by Jonathan Harnum --> highly recommended!