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michael

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  1. I recently was offered a Barcus Berry pickup for $80. I don't know much about pickups, but this was the description: Transducer clamps onto bridge with a nylon screw and is wired to a 1/4" "Carpenter" jack, which attaches to the violin like a chinrest does. BB3100. How does that compare to a Fishman Pro v200 or a Fishman v100? Any help would be apprecaited. Thanks! Michael
  2. Hey all, I am a senior in high school and I have been studying the violin for about 9 years now. While, I am a ok violinist, I have been quite lucky with auditions sliding into the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony last year. A lot of kids I meet are going to places like Julliard, Eastman or the New England Conservatory to study music, but I know for a fact that I won't make it. While I can sometimes jam at their level, I do not have the dedication and/or time to practice as they do (which drives my teacher absolutely nuts.) Recently, however, I have been quite interested in jazz and fusion. I wanted to know if anyone would be able to point me in the right direction to learning stuff like that. I would also like to know if anyone would be able to point me to a resource where I could find information about electric violins. Any help that anyone could provide would be greatly apprecaited. Thank you. michael ps if you want to email me, remove the nospam from the address.
  3. I am looking to purchase a violin, willing to spend ~ $10,000. I have the names of several dealers in Philadelphia and NY. Does anyone have any advice on how to go about purchasing the instrument, how to deal, how to negotiate the trade in? Does anyone have anything (critical or commending) to say about any of the dealers in these cities? Are there any that I should skip over? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
  4. I recently obtained an old violin with a most unusual story. The individual I purchased it from said that it belonged to her great uncle, who had played it as a child. She continued to explain that her great uncle had to discontinue his violin studies after his baby pet mouse crawled into the body of the violin through one of the f-holes. Since the mouse would not come out, he fed it through the f-holes and gave it water with an eye dropper. He even put cedar shavings in the body so that the wood would not get soiled. She said that the mouse lived well over a year in that violin. I, of course, did not believe the story, but did find it entertaining to hear. When I arrived home that evening, I popped the violins top off, so that I could repair a crack in its belly. To my great surprise, I found inside the violin the skeletal remains of a small rodent curled up next to the neck block. I'm not too sappy of a guy, but I have to admit that seeing that sight actually brought a tear to my eye!
  5. When I don't use a shoulder rest, it is really hard to support violin, as it try to fall down unless I press hard with my chin. But some of professional players who don't use shoulder rest seem to have no difficulty in supporting violin without any effort. Is there any secret method to hold violin without rest?
  6. hi monica and brandy how are you doing my name is michael.goodbye
  7. My violin is red, and I was curious about the history of red violins. Someone told me they used to be considered inferior. I think they are very beautiful. I took a picture of mine so you could see it, but I have yet to get the film developed. When I have it and can scan it, would anyone like to see it? -Michael L.
  8. Has anyone heard of a George Klotz violin (1800s??)? If so what quality of instrument did he produce? I have a friend who is thinking of buying one. Thanks for any info
  9. I find that to get a clear sweet sound, I really don't need to put as much rosin as I thought. I just recently realized this. Before, I think I used too much. -Michael L. my page
  10. Which came first Vivaldi's Concerto X or Bach's Concerto for Four Harpsichords? They sound almost identical. I heard Bach was an admirer of Vivaldi and that he may of taken it, and I heard that Vivaldi may have given it to Bach so he could rewrite it for a church setting. Enlighten me please. Michael
  11. Quartets practice several hours a day and you have to make sure the people are ones that you can "put up with." I'm in a quartet and were pretty much at each others throats before we perform.
  12. : That's exactly what I meant. I apologize if I wasn't clear. I mentioned that I have perfect pitch because Michael was suggesting that perfect pitch develops because of Suzuki training, and that Suzuki ear training methods are therefore superior. I was trying to make a point that neither perfect pitch or good ear training is Suzuki specific. Again, I apologize if I upset anyone through my previous lack of clarity. *** The perfect pitch training I'm talking about which we use with our Suzuki program is applicable to very young children -- 3 to 5 year olds are the ones most capable of developing it, although I've seen some 7 and 8 year olds. That is pushing it, though. Relative pitch is another thing and that is not as age critical, although I think it is easier to learn it young rather than say when you are 30 years old. When I'm talking about perfect pitch, I'm talking about pulling a pitch out of the air. For example, if we are out walking in the woods and I say to my son -- sing an F#, he can do it with no relative pitch as a starting point. Any pitch in random order. He can tell if a pitch is just a little sharp or flat, with no relative pitch. This type of training is most easily achieved at an early age, although I too have seen a method advertised for teaching perfect pitch. I have no first-hand knowledge of that method. I wouldn't worry, you will do just fine with your relative pitch.
  13. : It sounds like your son is having a different experience than I did. As I said before, I started with a certified Suzuki teacher. She studied with Mr. Suzuki in Japan, was one of the method's pioneers, and started her own Suzuki institute at the local university. When I started, I was 4 years old. My teacher wouldn't let me near the music, she said note reading was secondary, and would interfere with tonal and musical development. She also mentioned that it was too difficult for such a young child to comprehend everything at once. Because of this, none of her students were allowed to begin note-reading until they passed book 4. Our association didn't last long. My next teacher was traditional. I was able to handle everything at once - I learned to note-read in two weeks, although my rhythmic skills weren't polished until I began to study piano. By the way, I do have perfect pitch. Suzuki doesn't hold the corner on ear-training, it is essential to playing a stringed instrument. : Question about the rhythm: It seems like you're infering that the students learn to associate the rhymes with the written patterns. If this is so, wouldn't they have to memorize a rhyme for each pattern that exists? That's not possible, so when is real counting introduced? I'm asking this, because most of the Suzuki students I know have a lot of difficulty sight reading music unless they have heard it before. Are the students you're refering to sight reading music that they've heard before, or are they reading "cold"? Just curious, because I ran into one of my first teachers students in a student orchestra a couple of years ago, and he could barely read the notes. He was an extreme case, but most of the Suzuki students I knew were less proficient sight readers than those who were trained traditionally, especially on harmony parts. *** I think that these students establish the rhythm patterns very clearly in their heads, then later identify them with the note patterns on the page and that must transfer to good sight reading ability. The students in my son's program also do rhythmic training exercises from an early age -- clapping out rhythms from the Robert Starer(sp?) book. This is just additional reinforcement. In the better youth orchestras in our area, it is my understanding that the Suzuki students often are in the principle positions and that their sightreading skills are excellent. Again, though, there are good and bad Suzuki programs, just as there are good and bad traditional programs. My son happens to have had the benefit of a very excellent Suzuki program -- his teacher didn't study with Suzuki, but is well known nationally and also has a pedagogy program at a large university. Students from this program stand out in our area. Not only that, but several over the past few years have been accepted at Curtis, Cleveland, Julliard,...
  14. : While we're bringing up the merits of the Suzuki Method, I'd like to air a problem I've had with this method for some time. I realize that people are trying to make the early days of study more fun. To acheive this goal, the humdrum of 1234 is replaced by catchy phrases such as Mississippi Hot-dog. Note-reading is unimportant, and some teachers won't allow it until they think the student is old enough. But doesn't this just save the problem for later, and make it that much worse, when the student suddenly has to learn the rhythm and reading? Also, the later you start work on these skills the harder it becomes to develop them. I've been in orchestras where the conductor would have to make up words to the pieces to get the rhythms. Tone will even out very quickly, but aren't we leaving Suzuki students at a great disadvantage when it comes to counting and note-reading skills? ******** Who says we don't think note-reading skills are important? We just don't take a three year old and try to do everything all at once together. My three, four and 5 year olds start by learning the usual bow holds, violin setting, bowing, rhythm patterns. However, they also are gradually given note cards and learn to sing the letter name of the single notes on pitch and check themselves on their violins. This trains their ear along with their note-reading eyes. Most of the Suzuki students I know are good sightreaders. It's just that to take a very young child, hand him a violin and bow, say play and read the notes all at the same time, is an open invitation for extreme frustration. Again, my son started at 4. He didn't start out with the notecards initially, but did look at notes on the printed page when he wasn't holding the violin. As he progressed, he practiced some notereading on his own. When he switched teachers at the end of his 2nd year, he was assigned the notecard project and gradually eased into reading. We didn't really have to "teach" him to read, it just occurred naturally as part of the process. As a by-product of this notecard/pitch training, he can, some years later, pull any note out of the air and sing it on pitch. Some of the Suzuki students do practice sightreading skills with etude books such as Wohlfardt or Whistler, but this is done after the preliminary steps are solidified. All this talk, though gets back to the point that Suzuki is a philosophy as much as it is a method. I know a number of Suzuki teachers, and every one approaches the technical aspects a little differently. The Suzuki training, however, provides them with the opportunity to make use of the learning channels available in very young children. The group aspects provide a social experience which is stimulating and motivating for both the very young students and even the older teenagers. As for the catchy rhythms in Twinkles, they are all very common bowing patterns found in traditional repertoire. As an example, Mississippi Hot Dog is practice for the opening rhythm found in the Bach Double Concerto. I think a lot of the rhythm pattern practice early on makes recognition of similar patterns in later pieces much easier.
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