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Everything posted by janieb

  1. I agree - they are fabulous. I wasn't nearly that good at 12 either - in fact, I don't think I'm that good now! I'm going to watch the performance for sure. Good luck in your studies.
  2. : I saw it 2 and 3 years ago and was very impressed. Remember, we are talking about kids here. Most of them are middle-school age. The real value of the program is not in the entertainment value to the viewing public, but in the learning opportunity for the participants. You can't compare their performance to a professional orchestra. You wouldn't compare your all-state middle school football team to the Denver Broncos, would you? I plan to watch and enjoy seeing all those young people at a high point in their lives.
  3. : I know - you're right. Lots of practice is the only way. I know there are lots of ways to make one's practice time more effective. I'm not sure about levels in our orchestra. I think we have only one. I'll probably be last chair of second violin. Maybe they'll have me turning pages for the last chair of seconds for a semester. My knowledge of what to do exceeds my ability to do it consistently, if that makes any sense. All help is appreciated.
  4. :Hi Ken. Sorry you didn't get in, but it might be best this way. I believe that musicians are chosen mostly for their musical ability. When your friend said that they wouldn't take you because you don't have a teacher, she might have meant that you would play better if you did have a teacher. Playing a grade 10 piece means nothing; the important thing is how you played it. Personally, I would rather hear a grade 3 piece played really well than a grade 10 piece played poorly. Mind you, I'm not saying you played poorly, I'm just offering an example. As I remember, you haven't been playing for very long. If you are as serious as you seem to be about the violin, by all means, find a teacher. No matter how good you are, you can always be better. If you're already 18, the youth orchestras will soon be a thing of the past for you anyway. Do you plan to play in college? If so, you would certainly benefit from regular lessons with a top-notch teacher. Don't be discouraged. Just learn as much as you can from the experience. I wish yo the best of luck in the future.
  5. : I have an interest in summer Suzuki (or other) music : camps geared towards children. Has anyone had any : positive or negative experiences with the Wisconson : camp or Colorado camp at Aspen? Sorry to be so late answering, but I've been too busy to check the board lately. My teenage daughter has discovered the wonders of the net, and uses up most of our allotted time chatting with people all over the world. I have attended the Colorado Suzuki Institute in Aspen for the past 4 years. Since I've never attended any other institute, I can't offer a comparison, but I have loved the Aspen institute. Some of the things I like about it are: Excellent teachers; many recitals and concerts; few (but excellent) vendors at the site; many activities other than institute-related; everywhere you go, you hear music; everywhere you go, you hear/see/sense people learning; I share a condo with friends from other parts of the country, so I get to stay in a luxurious condo in Aspen for about $30 a night; getting away from all responsibility and immersing myself in music for 2 whole weeks. That's just a few of my favorite things. The Colorado Institute is happening right now, so it's too late to go this year. They send out their publicity in January. You can get on the mailing list by e-mailing Gail Seay at gailseay@worldnet.att.net janieb
  6. :Congratulations! I doubt that they "give" A's just to encourage you. I think you earned every bit of it. Now, on with Level 3! PS How's the weather down under? We had snow today in the mountains. But that's not too unusual. Janieb
  7. Can y'all stand one more request for Scott Cao's URL? I have a student who is ready to purchase her first full-size violin. I want her to see one of Scotts, along with a von Aue and a Doetsch (which I understand are the same thing). Thanks!
  8. :Ask her to go over the bowings with the entire section so everyone can mark in the bowings she wants. Have a pencil in your hand when you ask, and make sure everyone in the section has a pencil that night as well. Then just mark in the bowings and do your best to follow them. If you find one that is obviously wrong, wait a week or so and then take her aside and admit that you just can't play that bowing. Tell her that this other bowing is the only way you'll possibly be able to play that passage. Chances are, your bowing is right, but she will still save face. Keep us posted.
  9. : Hi John. I have a student who has the same problem you have. He is tall and lanky. He couldn't get his bow arm in the correct position, so his bow was always crooked. We tried an extended chin rest, which helped, but not enough. At one point, we talked about putting violin strings on a viola, but my luthier said it wouldn't sound good. I'm curious - how does your 5/4 violin sound? Does it have good projection? Does it stay in tune? Eventually, my student switched to viola, and is very happy with his choice. Thanks for the info.
  10. : You really won't get the information you need out of a book. My best suggestion is to see if you can interview a violin professor, or a really good teacher to get the informtation you need. BTW, shat is soteriology?
  11. :I'll pass along something I learned when I was a Cub Scout leader. In Cub Scouts, we sing a lot, and the leaders of the dens also lead the singing. Most of us think we have terrible singing voices, and are really embarrassed to lead the singing. The leader of our region told us to just go ahead and start singing, and everyone would join in. He said not to be embarrassed, cause the boys couldn't care less, and the other adults would just be so glad they didn't have to lead the songs, they would never give anyone any grief. Well, it worked. Sure enough, everyone did join in, and on one ever gave me any grief. At your recital, just think about that. The kids will be delighted to see an adult playing, and the adults won't give you any grief! Trust me on this. Glad you're back! Janie
  12. : :Oops! I guess I have a bad case of the small town mentality. I just thought everyone would know! Looks like Doug got the informtion out. Sorry!
  13. : Do you have time to attend institutes and string camps? If you have any stock on hand, you might consider getting a booth at one of these events. I have several students who need an upgrade, but don't need to spend several thousand dollars. If you have any information about your instruments, I would be happy to receive it. E-mail me and I'll send you my snail mail address. Also, do you have an approval policy? Some dealers will send out an instrument for a couple of weeks on approval. This helps a lot, as most people want to see, play and hear an instrument before they buy it.
  14. : Mimi, your son has to make his own choices. The more you try to make him stay with his music, the more he feels driven away. What you can do to help the most is to keep his violin in a safe place. Check it over every few years to make sure it's still playable. He will come back to it someday, and will be very grateful to you for taking care of it. I quit playing for 28 years. I was pretty good when I quit (or so I'm told), and could have been really good had I chosen. As it is, I made another choice. Now that I am playing again, I appreciate the music in a way I never could have if I had decided to make it my career. Practicing is a joy to me, not a drudgery. Maybe it will be the same with your son.
  15. : Lots of my students have this same problem. They just can't play in front of me. I try to help them out by leaving the room. I tell them to warm up a little while I run to the restroom. What they don't know is that I can still hear them. While I am out of the room, I decide what to work on that day. When I come back, I ask them to play an easier piece, and then I introduce my plan for that day's lesson. When they can apply the correct technique to the easier piece, I ask them to incorporate it into the current piece. By then, the student is usually more relaxed and can play in front of me. Another thing that sometimes works is to laugh (in a friendly way, of course) when they flub up and say "Now don't get nervous just because I'm breathing down your neck. I'll be gentle, I promise." This works better with adults than children. Now I'll share an experience with you - this might make you feel better or worse. I have been teaching for a little less than 2 years. My first student was 8 years old at the time, and had wanted to learn to play since she was 3. I got her all set up and ready to play. I asked her to just draw her bow across the A string. She gave me a blank stare, and I realized that she needed a demonstration. I picked up my violin to play an A, and nearly passed out from panic. I went ahead and played it, but I was shaking all over. I've thought about that experience many times. I put a lot of energy into making my students feel comfortable in my presence. You can be sure that your teacher knows how you feel. It might clear the air a bit to discuss it in a lesson.
  16. : Great idea! Maybe we should just move this entire line of discussion to Sheila's board. Hers is dedicated to learning and teaching issues. She has lots of teachers all over the world who post. She also has some really cool students, most of whom played better at the age of 8 than I will ever play. I love their input. As for the next rehearsal, let's have it somewhere really nice, like Carnegie. I've booked it for the evening of April 30, 6:00 - 10:00 PM. Y'all come! PS: Who's bringing the cookies?
  17. :You know the old saying - It takes an entire village to raise one child. It's about a lot more than just playing the violin. When an adult who is not a parent, teacher, cop, or other authority figure interacts with a child as a peer, all that emotional baggage is left out of the relationship. This allows wonderful things to happen. Your teacher is lucky to have you in her studio!
  18. : You have hit the nail right on the head. The thing I like least about the Suzuki method is that you don't learn how to read the music. This is very limiting if you want to learn to play other things. Over the past year, I have started teaching my students how to read the music. Those who are old enough to read words start reading music right away. The younger ones wait until their eyes are mature enough. Generally, I let my students learn 5 or 6 pieces by ear in Suzuki, then start teaching them to read. I want to keep the channel from the ears to the fingers open, just as I want to open the channel from the eyes to the fingers. Most of my students who are children want to stick with the Suzuki literature, but most of the adults want to play other things. I like it best when the student is an active partner in his/her learning, so I always respect his/her wishes. Recently, I have started teaching everyone the 2nd violin parts to the pieces, too. They really seem to enjoy it. It sounds great, too. the best part of it is that the students get the experience of playing in 2-part harmony.
  19. : What a great idea! I have to admit, I am one of those people who must have constant visual contact with the music, even when it's memorized. It's like a crutch. I'm going to try your method and see what changes come about. Thanks for the tip!
  20. : : : : Ok, here goes. I'll readily admit my ignorance. You sound very knowledgeable on this subject. Are you willing to help educate the rest of us? In what way is a Bergonzi different from the cheap, factory-made German violins? Is it the geometry? If so, what part? Is it the varnish? F-hole style? Scroll? Better yet, is there a book or treatise on this subject? Thanks for the info.
  21. : : I'm not being argumentative, just curious. How do you know it is not worth much? I can't tell anything from the pictures on ebay. As I understand it, when you buy something on ebay, you are at the mercy of the seller. Maybe the item is as it's represented, and maybe it's not. You have to sent payment first, and just hope your are getting what you paid for.
  22. : Hi Tina. I agree with you - you should be allowed to participate in group and solo days. I have students ranging from 5 to 56 in my studio. They all participate in everything. The kids love seeing an adult beginner get up and play a solo. Sometimes, an adult and child form a friendship because of the experience they are sharing. The relationship benefits both of them. I wish your teacher would reconsider this policy. Do like "Dear Abby" says, and show her this letter . . . Good luck! Janie
  23. : Hi Greg. I am a violin teacher, and use the Suzuki method most of the time. Approximately half of my students are past 30. Maybe I can shed some light on your questions. One of the attributes of the Suzuki method is that students learn to play by ear. Remember when you were a teenager? You could sing all the popular songs you hears on the radio because you heard them so much. If you played an instrument, you could probably play along, even though you didn't have music in front of you. In Suzuki, you learn to play the violin the same way. You listen to the reperatoire, and learn to play. You have a teacher who teaches you the actual skills you need in order to play. The reperatoire is arranged in increasing technical difficulty, and the skills are presented incrementally. If you do what your teacher says, and listen to the tapes, you will learn to play. The Suzuki method was developed with children in mind, but it works well for all ages. Children and adults learn differently. I use te same method for my adult students as I use for the children, but I speak to the adults differently. I always tell the adults the teaching point of the piece they are working on. This seems to help them get the point. It usually confuses a child to be told the teaching point. Sometimes, I tell a child "do this", and then demonstrate. This works well boe a child, but not for an adult. As a teacher, I have to be aware of the person in front of me, and teach to that person. Every person, regardless of age, gets a tailor-made lesson. I don't teach exactly the same way to any 2 people. At the end of the day, sometimes I am very tired! I think the Suzuki method works for all ages. It's the teacher that matters. Some people relate to only one age group. Before you choose your teacher, make sure s/he relates to adults. Most teachers will give you a sample lesson, or will allow you to observe a lesson or two. If you can observe, you can get an idea of whether or not that teacher is right for you. The biggest mistake I see people make when they select a teacher is this: They tend to select someone who is convenient, or who charges less. The best favor you can do yourself is to observe and/or interview enough teachers so you KNOW the person you choose is the right teacher for you. Even if you have to drive over an hour to get to your lesson, and even if your teacher charges a lot more (or less) than someone else. I take lessons, too, and I drive 2 hours 1 way for my lessons. I don't care, because it's worth the trip. Good luck in your search for a teacher. Keep us posted on your progress.
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