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Everything posted by MingLoo

  1. I love the Renoir. Surely no one will remove it. Interesting how that back view looks like a violin, yes?
  2. >>While I try not to be personally annoyed at the remarkable reproductive rate of morons, and limit my intercourse with them to monosyllables, and so am not actually "bothered", I have to say that I do find it rather disconcerting. Fortunately I'll be departing this planet in the forseeable future, so I'll be spared watching its fate unfold as it is given into the hands of people who appear not to be able to spell, follow simple rules of grammar, or think logically. Bob, you're not ill? It sounds like you might be. I hope not! (???) Morons and schoolyard bullies are always in good supply. I may have overstated my case for effect. But don't those particular three missives seem funny?
  3. Here's the kind of stuff I'm talking about (see below). You have to think this is funny; if you don't, you have no sense of humor: • Open Question: What is the name of this violin music? I don't know where it's from or how to explain it but it sounds dramatic. Any guesses you might have would be helpful. =] (Ed. note: no link included in question) • Open Question: need a new classical violin song to learn. any suggestions? Just for background: ive been playing for 12 years. some songs im learning are : bach partita III, bruch concerto, mozart concerto V, rode caprices • Open Question: songs for the violin? ok well i dont take violin lessons any more cuz my skool doesnt have them so i was wondering if anyone new any websites with songs on them but no too hard ons and not too easy thx!!!!! from Humorous Questions http://beststudentviolins.com/Quik_FAQ.html#Humor Note: In case anyone cares to suggest that these are anecdotal examples, that would be true if these examples were evident only a few times in every few days. But let me disabuse you of that notion. YahooAnswers has a function whereby you can request an RSS feed on a word or phrase. I have RSS feeds on violin, viola, piano, orchestra and musicology. There are hundreds of such ill-conceived missives, every single day. Does it bother me that most people appear not to be able to spell, follow simple rules of grammar, or think logically? There's not much I can do about it, so no. Does it bother you?
  4. See also: Violin/Viola Fingerboard Charts http://beststudentviolins.com/fingerboard.html
  5. http://beststudentviolins.com/luthiers.html
  6. Early holiday gift to all my friends on MN: http://beststudentviolins.com/Teachers.html
  7. >>"language is an indication of how well read the person is and how intelligent they are." I'm sorry, but I don't follow you. That's exactly what I wrote: language is an indication of how well read the person is and how intelligent they are. ..I put "the person" and "they are." I'm always happy if there is an error in my writing and someone corrects it, but I don't see where the error is if you are requesting that I write exactly what I wrote. Using "they" is questionable; it's an attempt to avoid the construction "he or she," which is tiresome. But my rather substantial imperfections, nor racism, nor being judgmental, have anything whatsoever to do with the argument, which at its base is a concern about the widening gap between the middle class and the poor, or more likely, the erosion of the middle class. And all of this, I would maintain, is a function of language use. Look at Jay Leno's "Jaywalking." He had a young woman on there with a degree in English from Harvard, who couldn't come up with the name of Tom Sawyer. We don't read, we don't think clearly, and -- because of this -- we can't distinguish what is important in society. Let's stick to the subject, and leave the ad hominem attacks to the kids, okay?
  8. IMO, the best thing that anyone can do for themselves is learn how to use their own language. This is the basis of all thought and the underlying requirement for any kind of excellence, academic or professional. On another forum, this was the subject line: "Anyone ever heared of a Yurea Violins on ebay?" There are two glaring errors: the past tense of "hear" is not "heared" but "heard." If you're going to say violins, plural (more than one), then you should not say "of a Yureau.." Another contributor in that forum refuses to put a space after a comma and two spaces after a period. It's equivalent to picking your nose in public (i.e., annoying, unpleasant and distracting). I don't care what anyone says; the cold fact of life is that language is an indication of how well read the person is and how intelligent they are.
  9. >> "cents" in this context is just a contraction of "per cent" (%) of a half step - possibly confusing for not good reason at all, other than convention (and markings on a tuner). Are you sure that "cents" is just a contraction of "per cent"? I did not get that impression from Mr. Davidovici, who introduced the concept to me. Here is the Wiki article on it, which also does not support what you're suggesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cent_%28music%29 There's no mention of "per" on that page, only "cents." I'm afraid I'll have to take issue with you, too, that I'm not teaching theory, but only what is "just essential to playing a violin with even a little bit of understanding." Basic theory, yes, but theory nonetheless. Why would you draw that distinction? Every theory book I've ever examined starts with the basics and doesn't draw the distinction between basic and more advanced, with respect to calling the material "theory." It definitely is theory: I don't know what else you'd call it. I have a list of violin, viola and piano theory books here: http://beststudentviolins.com/sheetmusic.html#vltheory For adults, I really recommend the self-teaching book, Essentials of Music Theory: Complete Self-Study Course. If they don't have any theory background, you will have to help them, but it really does cover all the basics very well, IMO, up to but not including secondary dominants. Even has a section on blues scales. For children who are studying piano, I have them get Theory Time if parents will support this or the child is especially musical or bookish. Most of the kids, I get this material to them in bits during their lessons and don't impose a workbook on them which, in many cases, would be the tipping point (tipping towards quitting). For jazz piano students (adults), you have to eventually get the Jazz Piano Book, which is the "Bible." But it's not going to be for everybody. I bought the two volumes of Dorothy Croft's Violin Theory For Beginners, and thought it was very good. I would use this for some students, if I thought I could get away with it. Mostly I just do this stuff in bits, in the course of covering the Suzuki books and other materials. If you think you have a budding composer on your hands, or a college student who wants to know everything, you can steer them to a set of books called Master Theory, in six volumes (left hand column): http://beststudentviolins.com/sheetmusic.html#more_theory If the student is really, really intense, you can have them do Dannhauser, Solfège des Solfèges (right hand column). This is what composers and conductors do, and will put them at the top of their class in Ear Training/Sight Singing (otherwise known as ear straining/sight screaming). I'm not sure that I teach more theory than other teachers but I think I may, since I did some doctoral work in composition. The real reason, however, is that if the student is a teenager headed for a university program in violin performance, I think it's helpful if they have a good general grasp of theory, conducting patterns and keyboard skills.
  10. As I understand it, keyboard are equal tempered, i.e., the octave consists of 12 exactly equal half steps. Tuning on stringed instruments is more contextual; the relationship of the notes within the octave is based on the key context; each note in the octave has a role. The scale steps are as follows: I Tonic ii Supertonic iii Mediant IV Subdominant V Dominant vi Submediant or superdominant vii° Leading tone For example, the leading tone (7th step) of a key is slightly higher, in strings, than on the keyboard; 3 and 7 are high, the perfect 5th is wide. With respect to tendency tones: 2 goes to 1, 4 goes to 3, and 6 goes to 5. The exception is that 7 goes up to 8, whereas the others tend to fall down to the tonic triad tones. Fellow, you may have opened up a very large can of worms; threads about intonation tend to be very long and often, argumentative. I refuse to argue anymore, with anyone. It's not good for me emotionally and I don't know much more about this subject than I have written, above. However, you can hear the difference. I would explain it by saying that the violin is a human, vocal instrument and the gorgeous sound of correct intonation is not equal tempered, but related to the key context, as I said. Note that the rules were very different in the Baroque era. Violin Masterclass lists four different kinds of intonation: (1) Pythagorean Intonation; (2) Just Intonation; (3) Equal Temperament; and (4) Expressive Intonation. I have a nice list of books on intonation, including Ross Duffin's How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care), which is fascinating. Write me privately if you want my list.
  11. What reply? From what forum? You mean Margo Schulter's remarks? Not a "reply," not from another forum, and used with permission. Do you not see where it says "From: Theory Notes?" (see link)
  12. >> I was also thinking, what does it matter? FWIW (perhaps not much), IMO it matters because it is a "tell" or an indication of the speaker's level of understanding of musicology, performance practice, general knowledge, the literature of their instrument, intelligence level. It matters because language matters. I was sitting in the office with one of my violin teachers and a young woman burst into the room, saying she would play "her song" at her lesson. I think it was a Mozart concerto. He looked at me and rolled his eyes. She indicated, by her language, that she was a child. My logic, such as it is, is this: if you're going to be in a profession, you should honor the people in that profession by using the terms of art correctly.
  13. It's nice that no one on Maestronet wrote that they were offended by my remarks, or responded to accuse me of snobbishness, which is frequently the case elsewhere. I cross-posted this everywhere. General conclusion: the more educated the subscribers, the more they want students to use the correct term of art, and the less "cute" they think it is. I guess the most "snobbish" forum is rec.music.early on USENET. This forum is frequented by a lot of eminent musicologists who write in musicology-speak, which is hard for me to understand sometimes. Likewise, there is a listserv, the AMS: American Musicological Society which has about the most snobbish folks I have ever seen. If you join, you cannot post with html and you must have a professional signature block. The later is also required on OrchestraList. My point here is that "snobbishness" is relative. Here's an example of academic "musicology-speak" from rec.music.early: If you're interested in this admittedly very minor topic, here are the other sites with the thread. Interesting how very different the responses are: Maestronet (here) http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=320570 Violin Forum http://www.violins.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=887 USENET - rec.music.makers.bowed-strings & rec.music.early http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.m...a57bd280ff0e5f# Amazon Top Reviewers Community http://tinyurl.com/yapvne8 String_Teacher_Support http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/strin...rt/message/3193
  14. I don't know; maybe. Some of my teachers were recording artists and they were getting large amounts of money to perform in public; maybe they just didn't feel like doing that for me. And maybe their instruments were so expensive they didn't feel like dragging them out.
  15. >> the world is going to hell in a handbasket I think this was written on one of the inside walls of one of the pyramids, along with: Young people are all spoiled, self-centered and disrespectful.
  16. Does it bother you when people call a piece of music a "song"? That is, if it's *not* a song -- if it's *not* an aria, or art song, or country song, or pop song, etc. Granted, the pieces in the Suzuki book are "songs" up to but not including the first Minuets. And I can accept that. But why call a symphony or sonata or even an opera a "song?" I have this odd prejudice that the use of language precisely is an indication of intellectual development. And I will be the first to admit my own use of language is far from perfect. But this bothers me. Anyone else?
  17. On the YahooGroup string_teacher_support one of the teachers was saying that they have a lot of students with intonation problems. My response is below. I'm curious to know how much theory teachers teach in their private lessons? If you have a lot of students with intonation problems, you can change that. You have to constantly correct them. I don't let one single out-of-tune note go by without correcting it. And I tell them, I know I'm being picky, and I hope you know that I like and respect you, and that the only way to play in tune is have it brought to your attention, etc. It's very hard work but as a result, they all play in tune. Some of the ways I teach this are as follows: 1. Have them always match the third finger with the lower string, so that the octave rings true. 2. Have them always match the fourth finger with the string above it, so that the fourth finger placement is so accurate it causes the string above it to ring (assuming the instrument is in tune.) 3. Everyone has to buy a chromatic tuner and tune early on, often just the A, and then the other strings, eventually, by ear, but then checking them with the tuner. 4. Scales: each note of the scale has a specific name and role to play. Half steps between scale steps 3-4 and 7-8 are demonstrated on the piano, in writing, sung, etc. I talk about the division of 200 cents in every whole step, which explains why intonation is so tricky on stringed instruments. 5. The concept of "frame" between the 1st and 3rd finger, with a high or a low 2, along with the notion of half steps, is carefully explained, over and over again. This concept expands as the student develops to the "frame" of the octave between an open string and a third finger or a first finger and 4th finger octave. 6. I talk about tendency tones: 7 (leading tone) goes to 8 (tonic), 4 goes to 3, 6 goes to 5. 7. Arpeggios and thirds. I have all students make 10 copies of the large print manuscript paper for their notebooks so I can demonstrate intervals (and how they sound on violin and the keyboard). My sense is that I teach more theory than most teachers. Some teachers have even told me that I shouldn't do this and just teach the violin and leave theory to some other teacher. Connie
  18. >> Growing up in Eastern Europe in the 70's, the teaching was way ahead of the West, the Suzuki method was unheard of. Can you really support that with any kind of evidence? What exactly are you insinuating? That the absence of the Suzuki method contributed to the superiority of the teaching? That must have been a huge cultural shock for you, moving to the US. What I have noticed from that cultural milieu is a huge dose of very solid and underlying sexism.
  19. Does anyone know who the distributor is for these instruments?
  20. You're talking about these things: "Wristies" Hand Warming Practice Gloves - Short Length for Large Hands: Black I have a pair of these and they don't provide any support, IMO, just warmth. You may have a slight case of carpel tunnel syndrome. If you don't have a special mouse pad, get a cushioned one, or lay off typing for a while. You might also take two baby aspirin several times a day. Those are good for your heart, anyway, and may relieve the pain until you heal. I got CTS when I was at University of California, from riding a bicycle so much. It went away, however. I would fight shy of getting any operation. Germaine Greer mentions that women (I suppose men, too, I don't know) very frequently get CTS about the age of the meno and that it very likely goes away on its own if you treat it gently. Getting the operation is a very, very last, last resort!
  21. I was wondering, as a teacher, do you teach, holding the violin/viola or do you just sit and observe and comment? I'm thinking that most of my beginning music teachers (aside from orchestra directors) did hold the instrument, play along with me and demonstrate. But then as I got more advanced, the teachers just sat and observed and commented. They rarely demonstrated, mostly not at all in university. Also, since teachers have also invariably been students, what do you recall about your own teachers, in regard to whether they demonstrated, or just sat and observed/commented? Additionally, for piano teachers, do you have a second piano or keyboard in your teaching studio? Thanks, Connie
  22. A teacher on a violin forum asked how to develop a reliable spiccato in their students. My answer is below. I would be curious to know what other teachers think. I introduce spiccato by using the Suzuki "Wish I Had a Watermelon" bowing (two groups of four 16th notes). This bowing variation is used not just for the Twinkle, but for one-, two- and three-octave scales, arpeggios and thirds. There is an older, traditional name for this, the "Round Robin." The process is to start with two octave scales, and play the two groups of four, at the balance point of the bow (lower middle - MB) without trying to make it bounce. No bouncing at first, and not more than an inch or so of bow. Eventually, the bow (if it's a decent bow) will bounce on its own, but only after dedicated practice in coordinating the tiny bow configurations and the fingers. While there are occasional exceptions in the literature, it is important to insist that each group begin with a down bow--otherwise you get a "hiccup" affect. There is a reason for this; the down bow is heavier because of the weight of the hand and the frog end of the bow, and so the tactus needs to be downbow, as a rule. [As I mentioned, there are exceptions, and Geminiani referred to this as the "wretched rule." See: Francesco Geminiani: The Art of Playing the Violin ] The "Round Robin" consists of these scales, played: 1. 8 to a pitch; 2. 4 to a pitch; 3. 3 to a pitch (this may be saved until later if the student is having difficulties, since it consists of DOWN up down/UP down up); 4. 2 to a pitch, and eventually; 5. 1 to a pitch This takes a while to develop, but is extremely useful technically. Incidentally, I identify the second piece of learning scales as the whole note, “smooth“, "football" method, which consists of another kind of "Round Robin" but in this case (studio musicians sometimes refer to whole notes as "footballs"): 1. A whole note on each pitch (this is the "son filé" practice); 2. A half note on each pitch; 3. A quarter note on each pitch (detaché) [it should be noted that detaché does not mean "detached." Detaché is in French what is called a "false friend"; it looks like an English word (remember that about 80% of the words in French are also in English), but is not at all the same thing. Detaché simply means separate bows. Another example of a "false friend" is the verb in French, demand. If you say, "Je demande" you only say I ask, not I demand...which has been known to play havoc with diplomatic translations!] This second half of the practice is somewhat like a part of the Suzuki "Tonalization" exercises. If you carefully lead the student through this material, you will find that the spiccato is better organized. Here is the page of free scales that I use to introduce these ideas (rather than having them buy a scale book just yet): Free one- to three-octave Printable Violin and Viola Scales http://www.theviolincase.com/music/index.shtml Also see: • Handout: Violin/Viola, Piano - 3 octave scale fingerings - Makeup of Major and Minor Scales - Identifying Key Signatures - Method for Memorizing Fingerings - Violin | Piano • Handout: Analysis of Carl Flesch Scale System • Common String Articulations (with MP3 files) This became a new FAQ Question: (35) What is the best way to develop a reliable spiccato?
  23. Updated list (I'm sure this is online somewhere; I did look but didn't spend too much time with it): Curtis Juilliard USC Indiana Rice Eastman Cleveland Institute of Music Peabody Oberlin (undergrad only) Manhattan School of Music Mannes College of Music Berklee New England Conservatory Boston U Yale UC Berkeley (musicology) San Francisco Conservatory (chamber music) Michigan Northwestern University of Miami University of North Texas And of course there are tons and tons of good local schools which turn out good musicians, composers, conductors, or students who go on to top schools for graduate school. The main thing, however, is to find the teacher you want to work with. And try to find what the teacher does in the summer, and do that if you can.
  24. You're so right (about everything). And how could I forget Eastman and Peabody. I thought of Rochester but couldn't think of the name of the school.. Yale doesn't have an undergraduate? Are you sure? Not much more than a year ago (or 2??) Yale came into quite a lot of money and it became known that anyone accepted into their music program would go, gratis. But I thought you had to have a _Yale_ UG to get the free ride in grad. NO?
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