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Everything posted by michael

  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.
  15. : I don't want to develop a lengthy discussion on this as I searched the archives and found it a popular topic! Anyway, Michael, I don't refute the popularity which the Suzuki approach has had in having students concentrate on the placement and draw of their bow. It manages to produce that full tone sound. Perhaps this is the only aspect that was embarked upon by the opening question, but tone and proficiency to me (obviously) mean something more. It is my opinion that it requires many years to accomplish the complexities involved with tonal production and color. I assume that you are refering to the basics here and in this aspect I agree that Suzuki has made contributions. If you will allow me one complaint - The Suzuki tapes seem to encourage students to copy the Nadien/Cerone (sp?) sound. Is this a proper goal? ******* Absolutely, it requires many years to accomplish the complexities involved with tonal production and color. I'm just saying that there is a lot of emphasis on this right from the beginning with the Suzuki programs I'm familiar with. I think that any method should emphasize this from the beginning, but it doesn't come in a day or 2 weeks or a year. It is a long-term project. I'm very pleased with the development of my young student mentioned in a previous post, but she is just beginning her journey in search of tone and color. As for the statement that "...Suzuki tapes seem to encourage students to copy the Nadien/Cerone (sp?) sound. Is this a proper goal?" I haven't noticed that in the Suzuki students I've seen that they are copying the Nadien/Cerone sound. However, in the programs I observe on a regular basis, the students I'm most familiar with, there is a requirement that they do lots of listening to classical music -- they have assigned listening each week, exposing them to many different performers and thus acquainting them with a wider variety than just that produced by their Suzuki tapes. The Suzuki tapes are a starting point only -- they are certainly not the only music students should be listening to. I remember with our own son several years ago his teacher told him to listen to as many recordings by different performer as he could find of a piece. I think he had 10 different recordings -- and he didn't end of sounding like any of them. He certainly didn't have the same sound as the Suzuki tape performers, either.
  16. : I have been wondering whether typical students of : Suzuki reach the tonal quality of proficiency of : Suzuki recorings after reasonable practice (say, few weeks : of practice of the same pieces). Or can such level of playing : be reached only after years of practices and experiences? I think generally it takes years of practice, but I have heard some students in Book 4 who have really beautiful tone. In the Suzuki program my son is in, the teachers encourage their students to play on the very best instruments they can afford. The Doetsch or Klier instruments are the instruments of choice usually in the 1/8th and 1/4 sizes, but by the time they reach a 1/2 size, many of them start moving into some very decent antique instruments. There is a 1/2 size Italian instrument which has been used by a couple of students in the studio which is really outstanding. These teachers are talking to the very young students from the beginning about the tone they are producing. The results are wonderful. I think, too, that the listening required by the Suzuki "method" encourages good tone production because it gives the students something to work for -- they learn early on how to differentiate between good and bad tone. I have a young 7 year old student who has only been studying since September. She is using an 1/8 size violin of mine which is a very nice small instrument. This child is very well balanced and has been very easy to set up. We have been working on tone over the last few weeks and although a consistently beautiful tone has not been achieved, she is certainly well on her way to having a lovely sound which projects most of the time.
  17. : Previously, I put a post on Suzuki method. : In fact, I was concerned that the rate of 1 book : for 1-2 months is too slow. But after reading : the comments that many spend 5-8 months on one book, : I am now concerned about depth of my practice. : On the other hand, I cannot imagine practicing one : piece in the Suzuki for nearly one month, since that : sounds too tedious. Is it because it takes one month : until students are able to play one piece from the : Suzuki without mistakes? Or is it because students are : taught and trained various aspects of techniques from : one piece of music? How these students are trained? : I just feel like I either do not learn properly or : I am a genius of violin. Dear Mac, Try out this page: http://www.netidea.com/~mirhughe/suzuki/teachingpoints.html Miranda Hughes has compiled a good list of teaching points for Book 1 (aimed at young children but applicable to adults). Try going through the songs and check out if you are getting all of the points she mentions. Is this a comprehensive list? No. In fact, she points out that it is an on-going project. A good Suzuki teacher is always learning new things about these early and of course the later pieces. A good traditional teacher should also be looking to grow in their knowledge about what they are teaching or they become stale. Anyway, this might help and she also has some other pages on her site which might be of interest to you.
  18. : At what Suzuki Book should one stop using the : Suzuki Method and switch over to the traditional : method? : Exactly how much difference in there in a student : taught by the Suzuki Method and a student taught : by the traditional method? : I'm not sure if the Suzuki Method is that old yet, : but are there any good famous violinists that were : taught by the Suzuki method? Suzuki Method has been around for a number of years. It is not so much a "method" as it is a philosophy. I know a lot of "traditional" teachers who use the Suzuki Method books but do not adhere to the philosophy, i.e. starting very young so children learn by the "mother tongue" approach -- as if they were learning their native language. The Suzuki method books, I think are a very sound technical approach. I personally know of several very fine violinists who have been admitted to Curtis, Julliard, Cleveland, Eastman... the list goes on and on. Many respected Suzuki teachers supplement the method books with scales and etudes -- if not in the very early books, then in the later. I don't know of any who don't prescribe scales at the very least for their students. One of the Suzuki Institutes this summer is offering a course in Technique to take a student from Vivaldi past Lalo. The method books differ from other method books in that the student is playing good music from the beginning. They are enjoyable tunes. They build up a sizeable repertoire through constant review of old pieces. They enjoy the social aspects of group class and learn from their peers. My son's group class goes beyond the Suzuki books and allows students to explore advanced repertoire in a group setting. In that group are students playing the Beethoven Concerto, a 10 year old playing the Bruch, another playing the Tchaikovsky, a couple of Mendlessohns and a Barber. If you go back a couple of issues of Strad Magazine, there was an article about the Indianapolis Violin Competition. In the middle of the first page of the article there was mention of a young violinist whose performance was said by the writer to have been the highpoint of the whole competition. That student was Suzuki raised -- in fact, his grandfather helped introduce the Suzuki method to the U.S. With a good Suzuki teacher -- and there are good and bad ones around, just as there are good and bad traditional teachers, the whole child is nurtured. The goal is not to make a professional musician out of every child, but to make each student into a better human being. And, I think that is what music is really all about.
  19. : michael, I read your comments and feel they are very insightful. But you mentioned something that has my interest up a little: the young Curtis student that played from Suzuki 2? Are you sure about that? The entry requirements at Curtis are staggering, even for young people. I'd like to learn more about that young boy. I'm sorry -- that was misleading. The Curtis student was about 19 years old and he inserted the Waltz on a very mature, difficult program. My point was that he took a simple piece and turned it into a masterpiece. He is well on his way to a concert career, but understood that there were a number of Suzuki students in the audience and, since he had started that way himself, he put Waltz on the program.
  20. : I have been wondering about the speed of my progress : with Suzuki material. I just like to know typical : progress of Suzuki students. Namely, how long usually : does it take for a student finish book 1, book 2, etc? : What was the fastest progress speed and the slowest? : How many years of practices are regarded as intermediate : level, advanced level? Dear Mac, Your question is not one which is easily answered. First of all I think that age enters in. Then, there is the question of how much you practice and how much you listen. For very young beginners, it is very common to take a year to learn Twinkles -- I have observed some of the top teachers in the country and they are adamant about going very slowly with their young beginners so that they are set up properly. These are the 3-4 year olds. I have a young student who is 5 who started in October and he is working on Perpetual Motion now. He is very well "set up" and is playing correctly and in tune -- he is moving very quickly for his age, but his mother practices with him up to an hour a day in a couple of sessions. He is very motivated and so is she. I have another 7 year old who is moving much more slowly, but it is important to me to have her set up correctly before we progress. The first Suzuki book is all about establishing good posture, a beautiful relaxed bow hold, a beautifully shaped left hand and getting the student to move the bow efficiently. And about listening carefully for beautiful tone. I have heard students in books 5 and 6 who could stand to go back and do work in book 1. My son started at age 4 and finished Book 1 in a year. By the time he was almost 6 he had started Book 4. For a very young student this is unusual and I think that he missed some things that he has had to work to pick up. An adult student who is motivated can finish books 1 and 2 in much less time than a very young student, but they often don't have the same ability to learn by ear that the younger students have. They are also not as flexible. I have an adult student now who is using the Suzuki books -- is not coming to my group lessons, and she is moving much faster than my younger students. She doesn't have the same flexibility as the younger students, though, and I wonder if she will play several years down the road as musically as they do. I realize that this is not much help -- early on in my Suzuki experience, I asked someone how fast was the average to go through the books. The answer was about a book a year, but my experience says that there are too many variables to give a fastest progress speed and slowest progress speed. As for years of practice regarded as intermediate, or advanced level, again, my feeling is that you can be playing a piece in book 8 on a very intermediate level or you can play a piece in book 4 very beautifully on a very advanced level. It isn't something which can be quantified. A student I know started out about 5 or 6 years ago with several others. The others ended up last year being two books ahead of this girl. Her father said something to me about how slowly she was moving in relation to the others, but my feeling was that she really wasn't. She didn't know as much repertoire as the other two perhaps, but she was playing on a much more musical more advanced level than the other two. Are you trying to decide whether or not to study the Suzuki method as opposed to traditional because you want to progress as fast as possible? You might want to rethink and make your goal to progress to playing with beautiful tone and feeling. Last year I heard a young student from Curtis play the Brahms Waltz from Suzuki Book 2 in a benefit concert and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the performance of that simple piece. I will never play it like this young man played it -- it was "too advanced" for me.
  21. : If there's a Suzuki school around, try them. I'm an adult beginner, and I rented an adequate (not great) violin from them for a very reasonable price without any hassles (and I was not studying with anyone at their school). I had to sign on to rent for a full year, but when I decided to buy my own instrument about 6 months later, they refunded my deposit very willingly and didn't charge for the last 6 months. Nice folks. "Suzuki" schools don't as a rule rent violins. Your best bet is to go to a local strings shop and try to rent from them. I have an adult student who just rented an instrument from the local music store -- there is no local strings store -- and it was a thoroughly unsatisfactory experience. Old strings on the violin, pegs were ill-fitting and wouldn't hold no matter what we did to them and she finally gave up and borrowed a violin from a friend. I think if at all possible the best thing is to buy from a strings store which has a good trade-up policy.
  22. Please, I need help finding out about this violin. It has no label inside, but on the back it has Qu...ri(I can't make the rest out. Help.
  23. My violin doesn't have a label in side, but on the back It's stamped Qu...ri. I can't make the rest out. Help.
  24. I have a Sivori bow does anyone have any information on him?
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