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Mary

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Everything posted by Mary

  1. I think that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to deal with the thumb question because everyone has different hands. If you check with 5 different people, you will notice that their thumbs are all different lengths in proportion to their hands, so I think it is partly a question of adapting to what is best for you. However, one problem I have been dealing with with some of my young students is the problem of a double jointed thumb. I am noticing that usually the thumbs on these students are rather long. The base joint actually pops out of position and makes it difficult to balance the violin, making them feel as if they must grip. I have talked to a colleague about it who is double jointed and has successfully dealt with it. She suggested having them rotate the thumb a little to the side and balancing it on that first joint -- I can't rotate my thumb because I'm not double jointed, but it seems to be helping. The double jointed students can rotate and it keeps the joint from popping out, causing the violin to slip. You might want to check out whether or not you are double jointed, because this might be adding to your difficulties.
  2. : Sounds great, except, don't old habits die hard?? if you teach kids that little to hold the bow that way, aren't you just paving the road for bad habits later on? Those are just my thoughts, I'm not a teacher. : Katie No, because you don't keep the bow hold for that long. In the past we started with the beginner's bow hold with the thumb on the outside of the frog on the clip. Eventually it moved in. Now we are still keeping the thumb on the outside, we just aren't forcing the pinky on top of the bow until a little later. I've found that if you force the pinky on top at the very beginning, it becomes just an exercise in frustration. Many times the pinky wants to go straight and then this causes the index finger to press. This is a far worse habit to break to my way of thinking.
  3. : I'm curious to know why no one is biding on tarisio auction? is it because they are un relyable? I tried to sign on to bid a tarisio, but my sign on kept getting rejected for some technicality. It wasn't clear what the technicality was, and I didn't have time to pursue it. Perhaps others have had this problem?
  4. Actually we have been experimenting with a modified fist bow hold with very young beginners. It keeps them from pronating or pressing down on the index finger and promotes use of the big muscles. It is so very frustrating to try to get a 3 or 4 year old to "curve their pinky" on top of the bow and this seems to be much less frustrating at the beginning. They also seem to put more of the weight of the arm into the bow so that the tone isn't coming from the pressing index finger. It helps distribute the weight more evenly across all of the fingers. Of course, we don't keep this bow hold for a long time -- just at the beginning, but so far the results are promising!
  5. What is the difference between Carbon bows and wood bows? Why should I use carbon bows when everyone has been traditionally using woodemn bows? How are they different? For carbon bows, usualyl how much do they cost? (reasonalbe price and reasonable sounds)
  6. : Does anyoen know of any luthiers in the Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk area in Virginia? I need to have some work done on my bridge apparently and want to find someone who would do a good job. There is a shop -- I think it is Cappellers (sp?) in Richmond. Greg d'Amato, who works there did some very nice work on my son's bridge. : Jon
  7. : Does anyoen know of any luthiers in the Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk area in Virginia? I need to have some work done on my bridge apparently and want to find someone who would do a good job. There is a shop -- I think it is Cappellers (sp?) in Richmond. Greg d'Amato, who works there did some very nice work on my son's bridge. : Jon
  8. =) A Cello hotel? That's funny! The cello is German (I wrote to Al through the Casa Del Sol website, a very nice one btw!) http://www.maestronet.com/casadelsol/Overview.html For some reason they made these highly decorated instruments in Germany at places like Zimmerman Brothers (not many though, mainly being known for inlayed tailpieces, frogs, etc.) The cello was well under my price range as the maker (still hasn't) been determined. Before buying it, I compared it to several more expensive cellos under consideration but the sound of this one won every time (the luthier fortunately was a really great cellist!) It sounds better than the old Derazey I was using, which was a relief. Al asked me the neck length to determine when it was made (it's from the 1800's). He's great, check out his website! I've seen a couple decorated German violins with this really opaque red varnish. My cello is golden brown...what was the Amati copy like? Thanks for your reply! Still laughing about the Japanese Cello Hotel. =) Mary
  9. : "in silvis vivi silvi canora iam mortua cano" Funny, I just asked Al Stancel about my cello which has this very phrase inlayed into the back of it. It means, "In the forest I lived silently, Sweetly in death I sing." Meaning the tree. (Mine uses "suaviter" or something rather than "canora" though). Where did you see this phrase? Bye! Mary
  10. We paid the $25 price in Maryland, mike, but at one point, that $25 shop screwed up the bow by putting too much tension on one side. Another time, the rehair wasn't done properly and most of the hair fell out within a couple of weeks -- granted, we practice a lot. So, I still use that shop sometimes, but when I have time, I take our better bows to another place -- I think he charges $45, but he is much more selective about the quality of the hair and I am much more certain that my bow won't be damaged. The increased tension on one side warped my expensive bow and I had a repair bill, so it actually isn't any more expensive in the long run to pay a little more and have it done properly. For inexpensive bows, I agree, the $25 job is fine, but when your bow is worth several thousand $'s, it is worth the extra to have it done right!
  11. : I've read many posts in the last several months on how much a particular violin may be worth. The violins in question have ranged from cheap German copies to those of modern makers. So, I'd like to share with you my experience, for what it's worth. : Since 1982 I've bought about seven or eight violins, mostly German Strad copies. In all but two of them I ultimately came to dislike their sound. Of the two whose sound I DO like, one is an old (possibly early nineteenth century) no-label fiddle with a beautiful, powerful, and deep sound. However, I've had to put about $1000 worth of work into it, and even with that certain measurements are off, such as the distance from the nut to the f-holes. On top of that, it is still in need of some expensive work to make it less fragile. : Finding a replacement for this old violin was difficult. To get a similar quality of sound from an older but better built instrument was simply too expensive. In due course I decided to pursue a new instrument from a current maker, because, for me, playing the violin will always be a beloved avocation; I do not require a professional-quality, antique instrument. : Last November I bought an instrument of a young, talented, perhaps up-and-coming maker for about $5000. It is a beautiful instrument, both in its looks and its playability. In the months since my purchase it has continued to improve in the quality of its sound. It is a joy. Naturally, this is the other violin whose sound I've been satisfied with. : What's this new violin worth? I have no idea what its market value is. But to me, at least for the nine months since I've owned it, it is priceless. I wonder if others have had similar experiences. I, too, bought several old violins at antique stores and flea markets, had them fixed up, and used them. However, I outgrew them as my playing improved. I then bought a very nice American-maker violin from the turn of the century which I kept for a couple of years. I was very happy with it until we bought my son a violin from a contemporary maker ($8,000). I then bought myself an instrument from this same maker ($6,000). In the past year, the prices for our violins have increased from $8,000 to $10,000 and from $6,000 to $7,000, so, for insurance purposes, that is the "value." However, that doesn't mean I could go out and sell them for that. I really don't care, though how much I could resell them for (although we have had offers on the $8,000 violin for more than we paid). They are, for the money, much nicer than anything we could have afforded, so, to us also, they are "priceless."
  12. If anyone has had dealings with Sunnyvale Amusement (George Linley)- please contact me. I have paid money for goods never received.
  13. If anyone has had dealings with Sunnyvale Amusement (George Linley)- please contact me. I have paid money for goods never received.
  14. : Hello, I am VERY new to playing the violin, and would like some information. I have been reading the posts on this board for several weeks now, and I am sure you all will be able to give me some very good advice. : I have played piano for eight years, and I am about to enter college next week. I wanted to try a new instrument, and since a piano is quite difficult to fit into a dorm room I purchased a violin. : Now, I know very little about violins, but I bought one off of Ebay anyway....And although some of you may be saying "What a retard" right now, bear with me : I purchased a violin that I"m sure some of you saw, because there were quite a few of them for auction...It was a German, Herbert Schmitt and Sons violin outfit...and I payed $125 for it. : I would appreciate any knowledge you can give me about the violin, such as market price, and the quality of Schmitt violins, etc. : thank you, : Daniel Kinsaul
  15. Potters has many instruments including German trade violins from the turn of the century. The thing is, if you look at a place like Potters, and there are a lot of other shops out there like them, you have the option of trading up when you are able to afford something better or have outgrown the instrument you have without having to sell your old instrument on your own or taking a big loss on it.
  16. : I am about to purchase my first violin and was : wondering what I should expect. I am an adult : beginner who has been playing for about 4 months : and am ready to spend about $1500 - $1700 on a : violin. Of course, if I can get a MUCH better : instrument for a few hundred more, I'd be willing to : spend a little more, but I have a feeling that : it's just like everything else in that there's : always something a little better that costs a : just a little bit more... : What types of instruments should I be looking at? : Old? New? German? Chinese? American? Should I : even bother with the classifieds or should I : just go to the violin shop and get an : instrument from them? : My teacher seems to be much more patient than : myself and seems to think that waiting for something : in the classifieds would get me a better instrument : for less money. I unfortunately may not be that : patient. She is willing to help me take a look : at instruments if I find any. Think I should take : my time and try this method? : Anyway, I'm looking for some good second and third : opinions, so any advice you have would be great. : Thanks in advance. : Michael Dear Michael, I agree with "well-wisher", but would add that you should buy from a violin shop with a good "trade-up" policy so that when you outgrow your $1500-$1700 violin musically, you can trade-up to a better instrument without having to worry about selling the instrument yourself.
  17. : If you are just starting the violin, and you cant : afford an expensive one, I do suggest that you : just buy a cheapo to start with. : They are easier to learn off, and when you become : more experienced with playing, you should : consider upgrading a better one. : But of course, everyone has there opinion. : Yana.
  18. : My daughter turned 5 this month and has outgrown her 1/32nd violin. What is a decent, but affordable 1/16 violin? I have bought several small violins for my young students over the last year and some of them have rented smaller instruments. I think that for the 1/16th size, the Suzuki violins I have found have been the best. The Meissel are also okay. The thing is, though, that even in the very small sizes, if they have not been properly "set up" they don't work as well. The ones I like the best we got from Potter's. It was perhaps more expensive than getting it out of a catalog, but the pegs didn't slip, it had decent strings and the bridge was adjusted. We bought a cheaper one from a mail order place and it fell apart. Even though a 1/16th doesn't make a great sound, at least they are decent. We had some rentals from the local music store -- which were actually new violins-- and they had the cheapest strings and the pegs wouldn't hold and the bridges were not cut properly. So I guess what I am saying is you will be better off in the long run spending a little more money and making sure that the violin is not just one straight from the factory. Plus, if you go to a reputable violin shop, many of them will trade up when your daughter outgrows the 1/16th. At this age, some of them grow so fast that that happens quickly. One of my students bought an 1/8th in April and I suspect he might be into a 1/4 size by early fall (he is 6). I also had a couple of 1/8th size violins made for me which were really great instruments. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any more questions. Hope this helps.
  19. My experience is that it is best to provide a child with the best instrument you can find -- even in the early stages. Not only does it make it easier for them to produce a better sound, but in the long run it is less expensive -- at least in our area. When my son started, we purchased a Suzuki Nagoya 1/10th and followed it with an 1/8th. At that time there wasn't much out there that was any better. However, when we moved to a 1/4 size we purchased a Doetsch from Potters Violins (then Weaver's) and it made a huge difference. Potters and some of the other reputable dealers have a very good trade-up policy so that you lose very little as you trade up to the next size. However, we have never needed to "trade up". The first Doetsch I sold for what we paid for it. Then we bought a 1/2 size French violin -- more money, but again well worth it. Again, I sold it for what we paid for it and could probably have gotten more. Then the 3/4 size I again sold for what we paid. The buyer had it appraised for insurance purposes and it had appreciated $1500. At the end, I had a small investment to put down on a really great full-size violin, so basically I got back everything I invested on the smaller instruments, plus, my son had the advantage of playing on top quality instruments from the time he was 5 years old. Recently I took a beginning student who had rented a violin which was a piece of junk and loaned her a Doetsch. She progressed more in the week following the loan than she had in several weeks preceding the loan. I had been telling her mother that it made a difference, but she had no comprehension until I loaned her the Doetsch. Now, there is no way they would go back to the cheaper instrument. The instrument I loaned her makes a better sound, plus it is properly set up. She is not having to battle with the instrument all the time and it really makes a difference.
  20. : Hi. : I'll try not to make this propaganda for Potter's, but they have some very nice little fiddles. I played a half size from them six or seven years ago, it sounded great. I have a friend that plays a 3/4 from Potters. The first time I heard her play it I was surprised at the projection, and warmth. The full size are kinda expensive, I think they're around $2000, but they do trade up, so you don't lose much buying the 1/4 and trading up to the full. I've played several of their full size instruments, I like them, but I prefer the sound of my 80 year old fiddle. I've been to the shop, it's nice, they've got a lot good violins, and several great violas that I liked. : Don't go to a general music store, they have really cheap instruments. These fiddles are usually heavy (especially in the neck), not graduated well (if at all), hard to keep in tune, and have no sound, or at least good sound. I'm gonna take apart on of these fiddles and graduate it and convert it to baroque. : Your gonna need to get a good bow to go with a good instrument. Don't get a fiberglass, ugh. I don't know about prices on the little bows, but you can get a good full size bow for about $200, I just got a great bow for $610. I don't really know about the playability of the little bows either, I don't remember, I've been playing for 10 years, I can't be expected to remember that But I've looked at little bows, I'm interested in bow making. The ones that I saw weren't very flexible, due to the size, but there may be some good one out there. : I hope something in this incessant stream of babbling helped. : Good Luck, : Ben Potter's Doetsch Violins are about $750 I think new in the 1/4 size and come with a nice wood bow which will be very adequate.
  21. Does anyone know where I could get a couple of chinrests for 1/32nd size violins? I have a couple of Meisels which I am using, but the chinrests which came with them are too big for the instruments and do not fit securely. One of the instruments I have has a very small flat chinrest and is working well, but the other two aren't working well and are just too large. Thanks for any suggestions.
  22. : For the past few years, I have exclusively used Kun rest. : Initially, the rest seems to give me a good support. : But in few minutes later, I find myself trying to support : the falling down violin with the left hand and feeling : tiredness on my neck. The result is uncomfortable, : restricted motion due to extra suport with left hand : and strain on my neck. In the previous post, some : mentioned that Wolf Forte Secondo gives more secure : support. I would like to know if the Secondo rest : will solve my problems. Dear Rob, Without seeing you and seeing you play, it is hard to say if the Wolfe rest would help. Perhaps you could go to a violin shop and ask them if you could go into a room and play with several of the rests. Perhaps you just need more support on the right side of your violin. I have seen some players affix a sponge for more support. However, with my own students, the first thing I check when I have drooping violins is their feet. If you are not playing with balanced posture, the violin is more prone to slipping, no matter what rest you use. Try standing with your feet apart -- some teachers suggest that the toes point slightly out, some have them aligned straight ahead under the hips. I have had better success with my students having the toes aligned also, rather than the left foot slightly in front of the right. Then, stack yourself up -- soft knees -- not locked back, hips on top of knees, ribcage on top of hips, open rather than caved in chest... --in other words just have good standing posture. Then set your violin so that it covers the shoulder. Be careful not to clamp your chin down on the chinrest because that causes your balance to shift forward. If your balance shifts forward, your violin will creep forward. I'm finding that unbalanced feet, locked knees or weight shifted unevenly on the hips, when corrected, fixes the slipping violins more often than not with my students. Hope this helps.
  23. I have a young french student whose mother brought in a violin today which belonged to her grandmother. It has a small label inside which reads CELEBRE VOSGIEN. It is a deep reddish-brown and has a one piece back. Does anyone have any information about this violin? The case it came in is an exquisite hand-made wooden case labelled caressa & Francais, 12, Rue de Madrid, Paris.
  24. I majored in piano in college, but work took over afterwards and I had little time to practice. I had also played the violin some as a child. When my son was 2 1/2 he started walking around with two tinkertoys under his chin pretending to play the violin. It became an obsession with him, so my mother bought him one for Christmas when he was three. I finally found a teacher for him at age 4 and my mother bought me a violin, too, so I picked it up again then. That was about 10 years ago. We finished the Suzuki method books + other pieces together and I am now obsessed as well. He is continuing to study and hopes to go on to a conservatory and I am doing the Suzuki teacher training and have a small studio in Virginia. We both are very interested in the instrument aspects as well as playing and have from time to time purchased violins at auctions or antique stores and fixed them up. This year we commissioned Michael Koeberling to make a violin for my son which has turned out to be a wonderful instrument and then Michael also sold me the violin he made for the VSA competition which I am really enjoying. If someone would have suggested to me 10 years ago that violins would become our obsession, I would have laughed at them, but we are hooked!
  25. : Not all suzuki students get good results. Problems with this method include : never practicing scales or studies, which are essential for good technique : trying to learn the techniques they need for a piece in the context of the piece- this is great except they can't apply it to the next piece. Dear Darcy, The fault for those problems lies with the teacher or the student not practicing -- Look around you at all the students from traditional teachers who don't play well. The thing is, if done right, Suzuki is a wonderful method, but even more, it is a philosophy which makes it enjoyable for children to play. It's basis is positive reinforcement -- being nurtured by love rather than by admonishment. How many traditional students are there out there who don't practice technique. At least the Suzuki method provides pieces which do build technique. To teach a 5 year old a lot of scales and etudes can be a frustrating experience. However, the Suzuki teachers I know do include scales and technique. I know if I had to start over and could pick the Suzuki method or traditional, I would pick the Suzuki method hands down. The children play pieces they like right from the start and it motivates them. The group violin experience also is very motivating -- and fun.
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