Practicing Violin Effectively in Less Time

Is having talent overrated?

Well, this may surprise you a little, but if you want to be a great violinist, freeing up some more practice time is not enough! It’s more in the WAY that you’re spending your practice time.

images-33I’ll give you an example. Around one year ago, there was a student who visited me for just one lesson who, for a period of some five years, had been teaching herself.

She said she had practiced consistently one hour a day for those five years before she came to me for her first lesson in my studio.

You may feel that if someone had been practicing for so long, she would probably sound pretty good, but that’s not necessarily so. If somebody spends lots of time on practicing in an improper way, their progress may very well stagnate, and they may even get set back immensely.

Take Shelly on the other hand, a student of mine who’s just over 50. If she would have been practicing for five years and would have sounded like this, she definitely wouldn’t have been happy about her progress, but she had practiced effectively! It was a great help to her that I had showed her how to practice in the right way, and that I provided her with the proper mindset.

Stradivarius Instruments

Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 1737) was an Italian craftsman predominantly famous for his violins, but he also made cellos, lutes, harps, guitars, and violas.

Stradivari is considered and recognized as the greatest and most significant artisan in this specific field.

U.K. based Hills & Company violin experts are estimating that Antonio Stradivari made 1,116 instruments, and that 960 of them were violins.

They also estimate that of all Stradivari instruments, some 650 survive, including some 450 to 512 of his famous violins.

The instruments made by Stradivari are recognized as the finest and best bowed stringed instruments that were ever created. They come with high prices, and are today still favored and played by the best professionals.

There’s actually just one other violin maker, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, who has received a comparable respect among the world’s best violinists.

It is believed that Stradivari was in 1644, in Cremona, Italy, though there still exists some uncertainty about his birthplace, his childhood, and how he had managed to turn into Italy’s most skilled and famed luthier.

One thing is certain, though: Antonio Stradivari dedicated all of his life to making the perfect violin, and already during his lifetime, he had reached prominence, admiration, and recognition, which only increased since he died almost 280 years ago.

Best Strategies For Audition Preparation

unnamedA lot of people often wonder if last-minute practicing before the “real thing” is actually helpful. Just like some furious practicing to warm-up before a sports performance or looking over flash cards before a GED or an ACT exam. Well, this may seem like a highly productive exercise but the question is: does it really help?

Great athletes and performers understand that they’ve already done all the work. They know that during the last few hours before the big thing, the most important thing is that they get into the appropriate emotional, mental, and physical state if they want to to perform at their best.

In the same way, students need to understand that taking practice tests will prove more effective than reading through a book during the last minutes before an exam.

With playing the violin it’s no different. Regardless whether you to want to meditate, take a nap, say a little prayer, or play some long tones or some slow scales to get connected to your instrument, the experienced great performers do whatever they want to get into the right mindset.

You could also want to eat something like a banana or a peanut butter sandwich while you hop on just one leg, you know what you need, so just simply do it! Don’t let any circumstances get in your way, regardless what others around you may think about your game plan or rituals.

How to avoid Learning Plateaus

9466126-beautiful-young-woman-playing-violin-stock-photo-violin-musician-musicIf you want to become an artist, or a real professional, you need to (among many other things) cultivate an internal evaluation locus, your own personal concept of exactly what beautiful art, success, and excellence means.

What it feels like, sounds like, looks like, and feels like. This is, after all, one of the the fundamentals of your artistic DNA. This is what is giving us our one-of-a-kind voice. If we put our head too deep in the sand, though, we may run into another sort of problem. When our learning process is stagnating, we may very well get stuck on a plateau….

We’ve all had this sort of encounters, where we practice harder thane ever before, put in a lot of time, but where we, for whatever reason, don’t seem to be able to take it to the next level. Full of frustration, we begin to get the idea that we’re missing something, some technique element or some knowledge that could us there, but we don’t have a clue, what could it be? So we’re stuck on ore plateau….

Now how can we overcome these situations, how can we break through these terrible plateaus? How can we get unstuck?

Here you go

Today was shot day. Not an easy choice. I’ve worked with students who have documented adverse reactions to immunizations. When you teach music lessons to students, this is also part of your duties. I’ve been to the funeral of a 9 year old who had PDD and seizures as related to her immunizations (Dept of Health and Human Services agrees with this statement to the tune of enough money that the family could afford to care for their daughter with round the clock in home care and tutors).

Scout’s job predecessor has a son who was developmentally normal until a week after his second round of shots and he’s been exhibiting PDD/ASD traits ever since. And I *know* there’s not supposed to be an autism/vaccine link. I know this.

However. In my tiny tiny sample size, I know that when there were preexisting conditions of neurology or prematurity or general “not normalness” that adverse reactions have happened. It’s difficult to find good information about it too. Everyone has a very strong bias, indicating that you will harm your baby no matter which choice you make.