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  1. Hi, I haven't been over here for ages, but these messaged boards saved me from a very expensive mistake a couple of years ago so I'm back seeking advice. My daughter wants an electric instrument and currently is an intermediate level violin and viola player. She is fascinated by the 5 string instruments since she already plays using alto clef, but I'm not sure how functional they are. Mostly, I am interested in learning what to look for in an electric instrument so that it has a decent range of dynamics and is truly playable, without breaking the bank. She likes the generic instrument made by Shar.com and they look like a good deal, but I'm hoping someone will have some feedback on them. How do they compare to a standard Yamaha silent? Are there other brands to look for/avoid. All advice is welcome! Thank you, Wendy
  2. Thanks everyone! Being the big chicken that I am, I decided to go with wiping the bow hairs with clean clothes until all the rosin was off. We also thoroughly cleaned the strings with string cleaner, (different cloth :-) Part of the reason we bought a new rosin was the Bernardel got left in the hot car and hasn't been right since. Anyway, we tried the Andrea Paganini today and it is wonderful! I didn't realize rosin could be so different. She has her orchestra audition tomorrow so this is a nice little pick me up for her. Thanks again, Wendy
  3. The rosin is Andrea Paganini. I think the brand is Cremona, there is metal in some rosin?!? Wendy
  4. Hi everybody, I bought new rosin for my daughter and the instructions say not to mix rosin. So how do I clean the old rosin off the bow hairs? How thoroughly do they need to be cleaned? I've seen discussions here about soaking the bow hair in alcohol or something, but do we really need to be that drastic? She has two bows, neither of which need rehairing so I don't want to go that route. Is just wiping it down with a clean cloth good enough? Thanks, Wendy
  5. He was so personable! You kind of got the feeling he is still a little bewildered by all the attention. He did two encores and before the second one, apologized and promised it would be the last one! Like we wouldn't have been thrilled to sit there through 20 more! He finished with a piece from The Red Violin that was amazing!
  6. Thanks everyone! I should have posted back here sooner. We had a great time.
  7. Oops, I should have mentioned that she is 9. Hard candies sound good. I think the binoculars will keep her busy too. We are at orchestra level about half way back. We will do lots of research and will pick up a CD this week. Not being a violinist myself, I didn't know who Joshua Bell was, but even my teenager, who is also not a violinist, knew who he was. (I've been living under a rock for a few years :-) Thanks for the tips!! Wendy
  8. I'm taking Olivia to her first big concert on Thursday, (Joshua Bell at Chrysler Hall) and wondered if anyone had any suggestions to help her get the most out of it. Would we look really nuts if we brought a small discrete pair of binoculars with us? Wendy
  9. Hi Kitykayjaz, I will toss it in the wash first to get all the loose stuff off and then use Steve's idea for whatever doesn't come out. Hi Steve, Yes, it is a microfiber cloth, I should have mentioned that :-) The alcohol idea is great! 9 year olds can be a little heavy handed with rosin so I'm sure it will need the alcohol soak to get it all out. Thanks!! Wendy
  10. Hi everybody! It has been ages since I dropped in here! My daughter is hopping up and down because her cleaning cloth has too much rosin in it. Can I just throw it in the washing machine? It doesn't seem like that would take the rosin out of it, but I don't know what to do short of buying a new cloth. We are finally settled in our new home and even found a great new teacher from the Virginia Symphony. He is a wonderful compliment to her previous teacher because he has different areas of emphasis so she is growing as a violinist and really enjoys him as a teacher. The new teacher wants her to work on her timing a little more before she auditions for the Bay Youth Orchestra so we haven't done that yet, but it is on the schedule. Thanks, Wendy
  11. Thanks everyone! I've really out of my depth on this one. I think it is probably best to leave her alone until she is with a new teacher. When she auditions, it will be alone, not with a piano. I'm not sure what she is tuning to now. We have an American tuner so instead of shooting for the green light, we go a bit to the right, matching what the tuning looks like right after her teacher tunes her violin. Okay, that answers my question, it won't be a problem for her audition and I will leave changing her tuning to a professional.
  12. Hi everybody, We are still in Germany, but not for much longer. Today Olivia has her last lesson with her Russian teacher. I'm not totally clear as to how this all works, but as long as we have been with this teacher, we have been tuned to the European standard. Since we have an American tuner for checking her strings, this has meant we tune sharp. My question is, should we switch to the American tuning before her audition? Would it mater at the audition if the violin was on the sharp side, or does it not matter as long as everything else goes along with it, intervals etc. Will it mess her up to change now? I'd ask the teacher, but I'm sure she will either not know what I mean or be convinced her way is always best :-) She will have at least 3 weeks between her last lesson and her audition. Thanks a bunch, Wendy
  13. Hi Everybody, Well, I showed the orchestra audition application to my daughter's teacher and she immediately jumped to the top group saying it wouldn't be as hard as they say and that Olivia could easily get in. So I asked for the orchestral excerpts and showed them to her teacher. It was priceless! Her chin hit the floor and she admitted Olivia wouldn't be ready for anything like that any time soon. So we are preparing for the Strings audition :-) We are working on nailing down D, G, C major and D, G minor scales and arpeggios and her teacher has her going 3 octaves on the G major scale, plus the Vivaldi piece so I think she will be well prepared. Now I'm just hoping they will let her schedule a private audition while we are in Virginia to house hunt so we won't have to wait until it has been a month since her last lesson. So that is where we stand at the moment... poised and chomping at the bit to get going! Wendy
  14. Hi Allegro, Thanks! Looking at the pictures of the orchestra groups, it looks like the Junior Strings group isn't exactly babies, so where ever they put her will be fine with me. I mostly want her to enjoy herself and spend time with other kids who have goals and ambition :-) Hi Pandora, Good idea, thanks! He teacher writes each kid a recommendation letter when they leave to help their next teacher know where to begin and what they have done. Sadly for her, she has to write a lot of these letters as the military kids move every three years or so. She is loosing all but two of her American students this summer. Wendy
  15. Hi Allegro, I have no idea, I've yet to see her teacher start her on something they didn't finish and both the 1st and 3rd movements are in the book. She isn't a Suzuki kid, her teacher just uses the books sometimes because they are easy to get, but then she makes a lot of changes, like adding slides and things, (showing my ignorance here :-) About half the time they use copies of Russian sheet music so I can't even read the titles. For the audition she needs a 3 minute solo piece, plus scales and sight reading. The BYO has 4 different levels, Junior Strings, String Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and Symphony Orchestra (which plays side by side with the Virginia Symphony.) I think the string Orchestra will be where she fits in best, but I'm pretty clueless about all this stuff. What will probably be the deciding factor for which group she will be in, will be general maturity. I can't imagine her sitting still and paying attention for more than an hour at this point, and the String Orchestra meets for 1 1/2 hours, Junior Strings for 1 hour. That is her teacher's biggest sticking point with Olivia, getting her to slow down and be patient, (I try to work out some of her energy with the Karate.) I will take all the grade info to her teacher and see what grade she thinks Olivia is. She has had several students over the last two years go back to the States and get seats in the youth orchestras so I'm hopeful. If nothing else, it should help us to find a good teacher. Wendy
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