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Elaine P.

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  1. Hi M.Alice: I, too, DESPISE doing solos, but I like your teacher's approach. Even if your goal is ensemble or orchestra work, you need to add your "voice" to the group. In group playing, your input is every bit as needed/valued as the soloist(hey THEY need our back up for concertos, right?). If you(like me)hate playing solos in public, you need to decide for yourself if it's worth the agony of doing it. I went into serious coronary palpitations when my teacher first approached me with that first public solo. But horrible as it was(I was a basketcase!), I've kept doing it for one reason only: the challenge. Sort of like "why does anyone climb Mt. Everest?" I know I'll never be a soloist, but putting myself out in public with not even piano accompaniment helps me get a grip for when our ensemble plays. Conversely, my teacher recently took on an adult cello student. She has stage fright so bad that she declined a solo for the upcoming recital. Me? I figure the worst I can do is make a fool out of myself, but the sun still comes up the next day. Interestingly though, I learned that even my teacher has stage fright where solos are concerned, but put her in a group and it's like hearing angels sing! You have to decide. Besides, it takes millions of "stars" to make a starlit night, right?
  2. Tina: Do you have or have you seen Mark O'Connor's videotaped fiddle lesson? I had seen it for sale at his web site, but was holding off buying it until I come back from his camp in August. I'm always a bit leary of learning via videotapes, but there aren't many fiddle teachers in my immediate area, so one tries what one has available.
  3. Ron: where in NC is your daughter's teacher performing? I live in NC and always looking for fiddling events to attend.
  4. I faced this with my teacher. She tended to give me pieces with very difficult passages, but were manageable with practice. I too, was getting very frustrated and decided I needed to approach my teacher about it. What I did was bring her a "New Year's Resolution" list of sorts, with the techniques *I* felt strongly needed work. On the list was to work on simpler repertoire pieces and concentrate on dynamics, espression, etc. Then use etudes and technical studies to advance my technique. So far it has been working really well. But you are right, more difficult repertoire forces you to advance your skills to make the music, but it had gotten to the point that I was getting as frustrated as you and decided I was doing this for fun, so wanted to step back and evaluate just how I wanted my lessons to go. Unless you have a teacher with a MAJOR ego problem, he/she should respond to your concerns. Good Luck!
  5. When your first violinist doesn't want to follow the bowings in the music??? Yeah, I know: Confucious say "first chair always right." Even when they are wrong. We have a small community ensemble and our first chair is always doing her own thing. Not that we are the NY Philharmonic or anything, but I was taught our bows should by in synch. So I'm doing my best keep my bow going with her's, but it drives me nuts. Any suggestions from you guys on how to deal with it? Some of the pieces we are playing are fairly fast tempo and it makes bow direction changes pretty tricky! I've given up in the past and just played. What the heck, the church congregations probably don't notice, but then again, there is that "protocol" thing that keeps going through my mind. Plus, while we are a "young" orchestra(fairly new), we are getting more and more calls to do performances(paid) and I think we should not only sound professional, but look it too: bows included. Help?
  6. Of course I know you're joking. Question is, did you know *I* was..... I think by now we've all gotten used to your, shall we say, slightly bizarre sense of humor? Hmmm, did I say "slightly?" :-) By the way, do you live on the West Coast or somewhere else that your posts seem to come up in the middle of the night? Or you an insomniac and do your best work between midnight and sunrise? Just curious....
  7. Millicent: you offer me hope that need the days I think I AM too old to be doing this violin thing! But what comes to mind: is/was there an "older beginner" who became a renowned violinist? Everyone knows the story of how Grandma Moses got started painting late in life and the applause her work received. Is there such a person who plays violin/fiddle?
  8. When you say "anonymous", do you mean people who put "anon", use obvious pseudonym, or don't put an e-mail address. Just curious, since I'm one of those who chooses not to put up my e-mail address. Hope that doesn't qualify me as "anonymous" since the name is mine!
  9. Quite true! As red as Adean makes me see at times, the point is I AM seeing, reading and thinking about what has been said. I don't always agree with the tone of certain posts on this board, but as you say when each of us has a strong opinion, we want to get it across(trans: we get obnoxious!).
  10. Seems to me most of the "inappropriate" discussion has taken place in the middle of the night by our resident "Internet Grafitti" Artists who will post anonomously and are rarely taken seriously. The bulk of the discussion(ableit it heated and pushing the limits), made valid points and obviously got quite a few people thinking. I don't think name calling is necessary nor direct insult to get a point across, but for the most part, I agree with your comment, D. Ellison(yeah, REALLY!!).
  11. Unfortunately, like most "white" havens of times gone by, the classical playing opportunities afforded to white people have not been available to blacks(or other "non-caucasians") for economic as much as social reasons. Anyone who owns a violin knows how expensive they are to purchase, maintain and the cost of other necessary equipment to play. Then there is the issue of education to learn to play. It's been an interesting observation to me, that the same exclusion seems prevalent in figure skating as well. How many black figure skaters have we seen even in recent years? Debbie Thompson and Surya Bonali(sp?) are the only two that come to my mind. But as with most things, I trust this will begin to change. Even in the ever stigmatized South where I reside, I've had occasion to see many orchestras and have been pleased to see a mixture of people in the orchestra. Think back not too awfully long ago and you rarely even saw women in orchestras(of any race!). We are all learning, and hopefully some day any person, not only black, but any race, who has the talent, drive and dedication it takes to become a virtuoso, or one of the orchestra members, will achieve their dreams. Having lived through the times of segregation in the South and seeing the end of the "coloreds only" entrances to establishments, "coloreds only" water fountains, etc., I look forward to the day when the world becomes "color blind." Oops, I better close up before I get accused of having a "bleeding heart" again! ;-)
  12. I think most everyone seems to have missed my point in all that below. I was trying(in vain) to convey the issue that all forms of violin playing deserve equal respect. And as Adean has so politely reminded me, I'm a mere babe in the woods with my training, however it too, is classically based. Which is what I meant by "insulting my own mother" when I was commenting about playing classical music. I know fully well we can't compare a fiddler to a classical violinist, but again, that point didn't seem to get across either. They are very different playing styles, but both require hard work and dedication to perfect. Which is basically where the similarities end. Time to saddle up Old Silver
  13. Adean: To paraphrase your words in your "jazz violinist" post above, those of you who know me only as an over the hill beginning violinist don't know me very well at all. Simply because I have only begun to play doesn't mean I spent the last 42 years of my life in ignorance of issues like the entire complete dedication it takes to become a classical violinist or for that matter (eghads, dare I say it again) a top notch fiddler. Every art has it sacrifices. Every life time professional, no matter their profession, who has given their all to develop their expertise and talents should be granted our respect and gratitude. Finally, I'm fully aware of my meager skills as a violinist, but that doesn't mean I my opinions should be blown away simply because I am an "amateur." I don't recall demanding any reader here to agree with me. I certainly don't blow away your posts in spite of your being a "tight assed classical violinist."
  14. No names to add, but as to your last line? Gotta love it! You never cease to surprise me, ADean! Best giggle I've had all day :-)
  15. I've heard the name Dorothy Delay before. Isn't her methodology usually considered a bit controversial? Seems I heard some negative press about her. What can you tell us about her?
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