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About Laurel

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  1. : I am 43 years old and have been taking lessons for a little over a year. I am having problems keeping my hand relaxed and freed up to learn vibrato. My hand gets very fatigued and I push too hard with my thumb. Any pointers? Here are some things my teacher is having me work on: Lean the scroll of the violin up against a wall (gently) while you are practising vibrato; thus you can concentrate on the vibrato motion without worrying about holding the instrument so much. That can come later. Starting on G string, do 2 whole notes - one down-bow, one up-bow - with each finger in turn, and
  2. : Try vibratoing (is that a word?) very wide and slowly. It sounds ridiculous, but it helps to relax your hand and also to help you get used to the motions. : Angela For what it's worth, the verb is "to vibrate", according to a couple of conductors I've had. :-) Thanks Laurel
  3. I am working on Royal Conservatory exams, so I have a fairly definite structure to what I have to practise. First comes scales, arpeggios, double-stops and/or other technical requirements (not all of these in each session - don't have that much time!) Then I'll work on one of two or three studies. Next comes the concerto, then the sonata, then the "other" piece(s) required for exams - again, not all of these in each practise session. Then, if there's a recital coming up, I'll work on whatever I'm preparing for it. Finally I'll end off with whatever's just fun - maybe an older piece I've
  4. :But the reason why I kind of regret starting so early is that I always resented having to go to lessons and practicing because it wasn't my own choice. I'm sure this kind of thing causes lots of kids to be resentful - but keep in mind that it's not just the musical skills you were learning. It's the life-skill of not avoiding things just because they weren't your own choice. Isn't that one thing we all had to learn when we were growing up? just like eating those lima beans and taking baths... Perhaps this is why your parents had you continue with it... part of a parent's responsibility i
  5. I'm probably WAY too young (29) to be part of the Old Dogs' Orchestra, but as I'm not a "kid-starter" - my year was great! :-) Here's some reasoning given to me by one of my teachers about why she hesitated to accept adults: Adults don't have parents around to make them practise and come to lessons on time! Seriously, in her experience, adults just 1)have less time to practise, 2) are more likely to cancel lessons or arrive late, and 3) many aren't as good at self-discipline as they think they are (i.e., they could make time to practise, but don't). I don't happen to agree with the idea
  6. : So, what should I look for? An older Itaian by a lesser known maker?? German, Engish,French? I'd prefer an older intrument to a newer instrument... if it had a good chance of resale (in the case that I'd actually get to upgrade) that would be great... I'm looking in the 3-5 range. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks! I know you're looking more for older instruments, but my advice (which I've posted before) is: don't ignore the newer Chinese-made instruments, just because they had such a lousy reputation. The ones made in the last 5 years or so are of excellent quality and sound;
  7. : PLUCKING LIVE HORSES TAILS IS A COMMON ACCURANCE WITH THE DOMESTICATED HORSE SOCIETY FOR GROOMING PURPOSES : AND THEREFORE WOULD CAUSE ONLY SLIGHT DISCOMFORT AS SO LITTLE HAIR IS PULLED OUT. Someone at the stables where I used to ride (can't afford violin and riding both!) said that it caused the same or less discomfort as when you pull a hair out of your own head. Those nasty grey ones, for example. :-) Thanks Laurel
  8. : Hello *fake name*, : At least Mark T left his "mark" unlike yourself. Can you humor us with a more original handel? I would suggest George Frederic... ;-) Laurel
  9. You don't mention whether you've given Canadian violin shops/makers a chance. Of course there are lots of new student violins available here. Sounds like from previous posts there are the usual brokerage fees etc. etc.; doesn't sound too bad - but why are you looking in the States in the first place? Just wondering, Laurel : Hello all, sorry for bothering you again.... : I was looking at a bunch of new student violins and was wondering which violin is better: : Scott Cao STV-017 $400 : Shar - Franz Hoffmann Maestro $430 : Stringworks - Crescendo $395 : Stringworks - Artist
  10. You might also try "Introducing The Positions - For Violin". Book 1 is 3rd & 5th, book 2 is 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th. It starts with playing in the third position, as you mentioned placing your 1st finger on D on the A string, and testing it against the open D string beside it; then on to a few studies, then shifting from 1st to 3rd position with the same finger (i.e. play B with first finger, slide up to D with first finger; play C with second finger, slide up to E with second etc.); then shifting with different fingers (i.e. play B with first finger, slide up to D with first finger, and p
  11. : I know it's a little late, but I can't believe no one came up with "Danse Macabre" by Saint Saens. Perfect little Halloween piece ! I thought of that WAY too late, then I thought it didn't fit in the "really easy, quick to learn" category! :-) Laurel
  12. : Ive heard several times now that alot of violin teachers dont like to teach adult students - why? One violin teacher I talked to answered that question: she said that, in her experience, adult students need parents who will make them come to lessons on time, and who will make them practise! :-) Seriously - she found that the parents of child students were much more consistent about things like being on time, because they wanted their children to learn those life skills. Adult students, she said, are more likely to think they can skip anytime, give very short notice or no notice at a
  13. : I'm one step behind you.... I have wanted to take up violin since I was very young (I know flute, clarinet, sax), but our music teacher did not know strings. I am 29 now and have the money and time to actually learn. Only one major problem, I've had several people rave about an instructor, but I don't have an instrument. A friend of mine got a nice violin at, and I'd also like to get one used but I have no idea what to look for. Any advice? I went into a (reputable!) music store and got a "student outfit", consisting not of clothing but of the violin, bow and case. A good s
  14. : I am looking for a good solo that's about level 3 or 4 (New York). Does anyone know of anything? I'm in Suzuki book 4. I'm an older (14) beginner. Something fun, I'm getting kinda tired of endless Gavottes and Minuets. I like minor key pieces generally. : Thanks a lot! : Micaela : Ithaca, NY By "solo", do you mean music written for solo violin? or just non-orchestral-type music? I must say I enjoyed the Vivaldi A minor concerto, and later G minor; I don't know if that's the kind of solo you're looking for. For solo violin, maybe try Bach's partitas for solo violin? I don't kn
  15. : hi. I'm back, adn I'm complaining aobut my teacher again. This time, she decided that we cna't play any pieces that aren't in the key of d major or c major. It is just driving me nuts that she doesn't realise that an 8th grade orchestra is capable of playing keys other than the easiest two!!!! Wow. I sympathise with you, and I agree with Ben's comment that there's no challenge there. Did your teacher give a reason for this restriction? I guess if the teacher's going to be that way, the only thing you can do is play absolutely perfectly in those two keys - make sure your intonation i