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  1. That's a good question, and I've wondered the same. I used to think there'd be an effective way to deal with all of it -- something specific and effective, depending on personality, motivation, bias (good and bad), mood, and conciousness (sometimes people aren't aware of their effect on others). But that's too complicated. So I try to be nicer than I think I already am (margin for error, since I know I can sound rather cold), and I care a lot less what others think. That last part can be hard, but it's really for the best. Remember that your own perception of others can be totally off; then it's too easy to get your feelings hurt when absolutely no harm was intended. Words can't be taken back, and people are busy gauging you, too. They can get the wrong idea as easily as you. So the short answer (if you've read this far): be nice, but care less what others think. You'll screw up sometimes, but so will everyone else.
  2. Keeping your callouses is a balancing act. Build them up slowly and they'll last longer and cause you fewer problems. But if they're breaking off/peeling, a little lubrication when you go to bed is a good idea. (In winter, I'll even carry around a chapstick to rub onto my finger tips.) The best lubricant for finger tips, though, is your own natural oils. If you're like most people, there's a bountiful source on your face(!) -- forehead, sides of your nose, under lips, etc. I know that sounds peculiar, but it's effective.
  3. For your sake, I hope you don't consider comedy one of your strengths, Ken.
  4. That's a good question, and thanks, technique, for answering. I'd love to see more on this, because it's a problem that shows up in my playing at times. It's hard to shake when it does, and I'm never sure what I did to bring it on or what I do to stop it.
  5. In all seriousness, do you think maybe your hearing was getting a bit whacked from all the hard play?
  6. Ranting about Bush can be fun, but I'm not sure how much good it can do vi0lin. It's been a long time since my school days. All I can recall is that PE was a waste of time for most kids. The jocks dominated it when they weren't bored by it. While some kids had fun, most simply went through motions and dreaded it. Most kids took little from it because of these conditions. As for organized team sports, well, that works for the small minority of kids who have some athletic ability. Those that don't can't, and will never get, anything from it. So the whole expenditure on such things totally excludes the majority of students. That is not fair, since all parents are taxpayers; does not serve the whole student body; and most definitely is not a sensible use of tight budgets. Since most of these sports are team sports, the fun ends for most of the few participants the moment they graduate. (As an ex-mediocre jock, I know first hand.) Art in all its forms is something everyone can learn to do better, and it is something we can take with us the rest of our lives. I believe it is something everyone has. But there are so many forms of it, so the only place we'll likely get to explore and know our talent will be in school. That's a real need, and it calls for bigger art budgets and more teachers to make it happen. Art doesn't intimidate, like PE and sports, so it brings out more, from more people, and on a feeling level instead of a physical one. In the real world (post high school), it's how you deal with people on a feeling level that counts. Getting physical will get you jail. And yes, while team sports teach getting along and working toward a common goal, so do band, orchestra, etc. (I mention this in case anyone touts the team angle from sports.) Art is by nature expressive. Finding one's art, practicing it, and developing it all cause one to dig inside and share what was once private. This helps us grow, as persons, and it brings us closer to others because we are sharing something intimate -- they know it and feel it too. Art makes us better persons because we learn about ourselves and learn to accept the art of others. It also teaches discipline, because you'll never get better without a sensible, disciplined approach. So you'll learn to be constructively self-critical -- a VERY useful skill. Fundamentally, I think that's what schools strive to do -- make us better persons. To miminize the teaching of art subtracts directly from the most basic mission of teaching. I hope this makes at least a little sense and is useful to you.
  7. Well, it can't be as daunting as med. school!
  8. The 4th finger can be pretty weak unless you're accustomed to working it a lot already -- like from typing/keyboarding, or playing other instruments. Scales are good exercise, but you can also work the fourth finger simply by playing a sequence of notes, e.g., 1-2-3-4, 2-3-4, 3-4. Do this on all strings to get at the muscles from every angle. Basically, the fourth digit just needs to get used to working. It can take awhile. Whatever you do, check with your teacher to make sure your posture and grip aren't working against you.
  9. Like Sarin said, they are supposed to be the same except for appearance. Try several out at the same time, if at all possible, because there'll be differences among them. I don't think this is so much a reflection on quality as it is about normal tonal differences and personal taste. I was surprised at the variation when I bought a Coda bow (a classic).
  10. If you want to extricate yourself gently and without fuss, avoid getting specific. That's the main idea. Just say that you think this should be the last lesson, that you've learned a lot from him, and that you want to experience approaches that other teachers might take with you. You don't have to explain beyond that. You don't have to know/explain what those approaches might be (in case he asks). Repeat yourself, almost verbatim and as necessary, to keep things from getting detailed and messy. Since you already care about NOT hurting his feelings, I'm sure that will be evident, and he'll appreciate it. Still, it's not a comfortable scenario to work through.
  11. A "Strings" issue in 2001 had an article by a violinist who used subharmonics. She went into quite some detail about the physics of them and how she produced them.
  12. I am glad you posted the remarks by Mr. Wigley also. He was in no position to do so, himself. The public record is complete.
  13. And you just never know what lessons you might give, Stephen. I'll bet you thought your tutelage would be limited to violin! I've now added "bounder" to my vocabulary (after looking it up -- I had no idea), and just to be sure, I looked up "sarcasm" and "irony," too, so the difference would be more clear. BTW, none of this is sarcasm, irony, or understatement. lil violinist, try the piece. Break it up and work on parts. You'll know soon enough if you're ready.
  14. That's really best, given your recall of things said.
  15. Crystal The way things get fixed is to go to the people who can fix them -- the management of THAT company. If you let yourself get bounced around or ignored by staff, of course you will not get satisfaction. Aside from satisfaction though, there is a fairness issue. I maintain that if a person has a problem, the only responsible and fair approach is to make sure management hears the complaint. So I do find the title of your thread jarring and unfortunate, your seeming apology notwithstanding. The events you claim may be true, but seldom is one person's view the only valid one. By your posts, you have been quick to indict an entire company (Shar this time, Potter's earlier) without troubling yourself to go to management. Worse, you do this publicly under the pretext it will help them. That is not a responsible approach, in my view, and it says more about you than them.
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