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Everything posted by mommag

  1. Thank you, Andrew for your response. Unfortunately, I don't think I have good enough ear to distinguish "overtones" you mentioned. My son seems to hear it but I don't. I know it's embarassing, but I can tell the difference in tones when I put different strings. I wish I could hear them. Is it what my son call "ringing"? On another note, finally his new set of strings settled in and so far I like the overall sound. E is beautiful and the choking high notes are gone and lower strings are deeper than Dominant. My son seems to like it, too. I've never tried Pirastro Tonicas before, but how would you describe its difference in tone from Dominant?
  2. Scratchybow, duane88, he had his violin for about a year now. When he got it we had a luthier adjust fingerboard, soundpost and others. A few months ago, there was a luthier visiting the youth orchestra on site offering free adjustment so we had him take a look at his violin and he said everything was in tact. It is true he may be outgrowing his violin tonally, but since he is moving on to a full size sometime in the near future, I don't think I will be able to have him switch to another 3/4 now. Meanwhile, I will take your suggestions into my consideration to try Violino and Vision Solo next time I change his strings. The Amethyst I put on yesterday needs more time to settle. They still go out-of-tune quite a bit.
  3. Ray, thank you for the info. I guess I'm going to wait until it is available here in the U.S. Meanwhile, I just received the Warchol "Amethyst", so I put them on just an hour ago on my son's violin. So far I like the lower strings and less edgy E. Projection wise, it is not much different from Dominant he had on. My son says that Dominant rings more. It may be true. It sounds somewhat tamed than the brightness of Dominant strings. He may like the brightness better, but I like it less brighter since his playing is like a typical 11 year-old boy. I hear him practicing now. I like it.... I can hear his vibrato better. When Vision solo becomes available here, I will definitely try it. I can't wait! Busker, it is so true that the strings can make a big difference. I am in a quest for a perfect match for my son's violin. Hope my wallet will last While I'm at it. How often should he change his strings? It probably depends on the individual brand and how long you practice, but aside from unraveling of the strings. Should I change periodically? He practices about 4 hours a day. When I change, do you recommend changing all the strings? How long the strings maintain their maximum sound in general?
  4. Ray, where can I get Vision Solo? I've looked for it on Shar, and other online places. All I could find was Vision Titanium Solo which only comes in 4/4 and I've tried Vision which comes in smaller sizes and I didn't see much of a difference from Dominant when I tried it on my son's violin. Technique_doc, I know when I cut the 4/4 strings to fit to a 3/4 violin, I noticed the strings (without colored wrapped part, sorry I don't know what they are called.) came pretty close to the pegs. I wish all the strings came in smaller sizes then we'd have a lot more choices. Right now I put on a set of Dominant. I've ordered a set of Warchol "Amethyst" cause they come in smaller sizes. I'm curious how it will sound on my son's violin. If it doesn't work, I'll try to find Vision Solo if I can find it.
  5. Hi, my son is playing on a 3/4 size violin now. I've tried several different sets of strings on it in the past year including Evah, Obligato, Dominant, infeld red and vision. Someone told me I can put 4/4 size strings on it because 3/4 and 4/4 strings' guages are the same. I just have to cut the strings a little. So I think I tried TZigane on it one time. It sounded wonderful for a short time and the sound was dead. I am looking for a deeper, cello like G and singing, not metalic sounding E. I read the thread on Vision Solo. I'm wondering if it will work on a 3/4 violin. His violin's projection is not bad for it's size, but it's less than a full size, of course. It doesn't have a label, but it's probably around 70 years old German student violin. It is a brighter sounding violin and I want a little more depth in the sound. Can anyone recommend any strings?
  6. Thank you, T_D and stillnew, for the wonderful comments. I have no doubt that my son has progressed tremendously and is progressing under her guidance. I am not at all convinced by the camp counselor, but a bit offended to tell you the truth. I know things change constantly never staying in one place, but like T_D said the fundamental is the same. Even within the same school, individuals have differences in many ways. For example, my son's teacher has extremely long pinkies where my son's pinkies are extremely short and tips of his fingers are curved toward his ring fingers. So she guides him to push his elbow to the front when he has to play in high position which she doesn't have to. She examines him in detail and comes up with the bowing, etc to make it work for him. Stillnew, I agree with you. I don't think he (camp counselor) knew a lot about old/Russian school to begin with. Well, I don't either, aside from watching my son taking lessons with his teacher. But I just wanted to know what the big differences between two schools are, and this thread helped me tremendously. My son adores his teacher and she loves him like her own son. They have a great rapport. I wouldn't change a thing unless she suggests.
  7. Jeffrey, thank you for your input. After receiving posts from other people, I realized that Stradivarius Society is for promising violinists whose carrers are already in the bright directions who can afford the maintenance and insurance fees. I am sure the Society carefully choose the candidates to the investors' instruments to match financially and musically to benefit both sides. I've learned a lot from this thread about violin loan and how it works. Thank you.
  8. Thank you, Yuen, for clarifying Perlman's comment. When he said "back and forth, back and forth", I though he was talking about the bowing. Now, I see he was talking about shifting. So more shifting, less shifting, does it change anything in what they are playing, such as nuance, sound, etc?
  9. Thank you, Shirl for the info. Ok, I can read the bass clef, so there is a hope So as you play more advanced pieces, you have to learn how to read the tenor clef as well? I haven't even decided which instrument to choose, but If I choose cello, my ultimate goal will be to learn "Swan" by Saint-Sean. Is it really hard? If I choose violin, Dvorak's "Romance". I know it will take, mmmm, probably about 20 years?
  10. Andrew, good point. The councelor was a college student who is not a music major although he's been playing violin for several years, and he's never even met my son before nor his teacher. Just by given our son's teacher's Russian name, he told my husband that Russian style is an old school. So I wondered if this was really what's happening in the violin world. I admire Oistrakh, Milstein and Heifetz just to name a few. So I will be glad that if my son is getting some of the things those great violinists passed down to their later generations (His teacher was a student of Oistrakh) even if it is called "old school". But I was just curious, what is the real significant difference beside bowhold? Is it their music style or phrasing, or something else? Or is it a bowdistribution like Perlman said in the "Art of violin video"? On helping during practice, yes, I am gradually backing out of his daily practice. His teacher told me a little while ago, it is about time I slowly pull myself out of it. So now, I take notes of the things he needs to pay attention and new things he needs to work on and so forth at each lesson. Tell him to look it over when he can't quite remember what he is supposed to be working on, and when he plays out of tune and doesn't correct it, I yell from the kitchen "That was out of tuuune! He is 10 going on 11. When do kids actually start wanting to practice without being reminded?
  11. I guess for the young rising violinist, it is a dream come true to be able to play on such a wonderful historical instrument. They may even have an evaluation for the violinist's financial capability to cover the insurance and neccessary maintenance fee, no? On another note, does Amati society have instrument loan program as well? I thoght I read somewhere that a teenage violinist was loaned a french violin from them.
  12. Guys, thank you for the replies. I am so glad that I'm gaining so much knowledge from you all. Andrew, you are absolutely right. I, too, think sound and the music you play is the most important thing. My son has a loooong way to go, but he is trying very hard. It is amazing that there are so many different bowing to learn (ie, spiccato, martale, etc.) Although I can't play violin, I'm observing his teacher very carefully and try to remember when she demonstrates some of them. My son gets a little irritated by his "Can't-playing-violin coach" at home, but hey, I was appointed by his teacher
  13. Thank you, Stillnew and Yuen for the picture examples. Stillnew, I read your blog about bowhold comparison and from the pictures you provided, my son's bowhold is more like your examples of "Franco-Belgian" bow hold. Yuen, from the Sheila's page you provide, my son hold his bow exactly like the "Russian school" in that picture. Did "Franco-Belgian" stemmed from "Russian school" or is it totally developed from different school? If Heifetz is the typical example of "Russian school", my son is probably not holding in that manner. Well, his pinkie is very short, so if he were to hold his bow like heifetz, his pinkie will never reach the bow. For that reason, I think he is holding his bow deep in his fingers instinctively.
  14. Stillnew, thank you for giving me a detailed explanation on Russian style. Indeed, flexibility of wrist is reinforced in my son's lessons. I am very happy with my son's teacher and have no intention of switching to another teacher anytime soon. It was more of curiosity that I wanted to know what is so different between the two schools. Ultimately, I don't care which technique is used if one can produce beautiful music. But like you said, I think I should know that two different school exist. My son's been with her for three years now after a year of Suzuki. I remember she told me when we were discussing who he should request for the master class teacher last year. There were several teachers on the list. She wanted me to request the teacher with Russian school background simply because she didn't want to confuse my son introducing different school (style) prematurely. She said when he is old enough and get the solid skill, she wanted him to explore other school technique, but not yet. Yuen, thank you for explaining the difference in bow holds. My son holds his bow pretty much evenly distributed fingers, sort of close together, not like the index finger a little far from other fingers, or index and middle finger sort of together. Is his bow hold Russian style? I don't recall his teacher changing his bow hold at all when he switched from Suzuki. (Except, she fixed his curled up pinkie to relax and on the bow)
  15. I remember Itzak Perlman's comment from the "Art of Violin" DVD, about Szigeti's bowing. "People say his bowing using the whole bow up and down, up and down. It is an old school. Now, people don't do that anymore, but was his sould old school? No!" He also talked about bow speed. Russians don't put too much pressure on the bow, but use speed to produce strong sound. Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin and other successful Russian violinists, are they using old school style of violin playing or did they combine modern approach to their old school technique? I am not at the level of being able to distinguishing detailed differences of the players. At the same time if something is better than the other in certain area, I want to get an information and see if my son can make an improvement in that area. Thank you for your input.
  16. I just wanted to know if anyone can explain the difference between old school and new school of violin study. My so teacher is from former USSR and while he was in an orchestra camp, One of the counselor ( college student) approached my husband and started the conversation. When my husband mentioned my son's teacher's name , he replied, "Oh, She is a Russian. Russian school is an old school now. Nobody really teaches in that style anymore around here." Well, I don't believe what he says for a minute, but I know there are difference between old school and new school. I just don't know what the differences are. Can someone explain it to me?
  17. I guess by the time someone is offered a loan of strad or gesu violin, his/her career is already in good start. The article above may be one sided opinion of the author, but do those musicians who benefited from the society's instrument loan feel abligated to buy an instument from (unnamed dealer) after the loan ends? if they say "No, I'll buy from someone else." Does it cause some degree of dent in the relationship with the Society since the dealer is the board member?
  18. I wish I were around the corner from you, too, Busker Thank you for the inspiring story about your student. I am more encouraged than ever. There may not be really a big problem once I start the lesson. May be I was't being positive. Andrew, you got the point there. My joint may not last much longer holding my arm for a long period of time. Being able to sit the whole time sounds very attractive Whether be it a violin or a cello, as soon as my kids start school, I am going to look for a teacher who will take adult beginner students. Andrew, this is really a beginner's silly question, does cello use bass clef or viola clef?
  19. As I was searching for some info on how to get a nice violin loaned to a aspiring musician, I came across this article. I was shocked and it is almost scary to know the politics behind the scene. How are those budding young musicians going to be able to afford to fly wherever the sponsor requests on their own expense? What is your take on this?
  20. Thank you everyone for your encouraging insight. I feel much better now. When I told my son's teacher about my concern she said "You're not going to be a professional, so don't worry about the small inperfection and enjoy it!" Now, I can't decide which instrument to choose, violin or cello? Of course I know a little more about violin than cello since I've been taking notes for my kids each lesson, and I listen to violin CD whenever I'm in my car (which is almost all day driving kids from one place to the other), but I also like the sound of cello and may be someday I can play a chamber piece with my kids. Woo... tough decision!
  21. After a few years of watching my kids taking lessons, I want to learn how to play violin! But I am double jointed. I can't push a button without my finger bending back ward. I can't have a round pinkie on the bow. My pinkie collapses. Do you think I can still learn how to play violin? Or do you think Cello is a better fit for me since I don't have to have my pinkie sitting on the bow nice and round? Need your opinion. Thanks!
  22. Congratulations to your daughter's accomplishment! When my son performed with the local orchestra a couple of years ago, they ran through only twice hours before the concert, too. They were professional players, so it was more like how to adjust tempo and volume to my son's playing. He did just fine. I'm sure your daughter will be fine. I think parents are more nervous than the children who are performing I also think the fact she performed with a piano many a times will help a lot. Let us know how it went!
  23. Who do you think is the best violin teacher in Memphis area? I need your input. I am looking for a violin teacher for my son. He is going to be eleven in the summer. We are relocating to Memphis around that time. He is learning Kabalevsky violin concerto right now. If you could give me any suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it.