La Folia

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  1. Hmmm, it seems you haven't seen any of the good programs. Among the Suzuki programs I have had personal experience with, virtually all the kids learned to play well, and quite a large number of them turned out to be successful professionals, including some international soloists. Even the hackiest teacher I know produced a student who later won the Paganini Competition. Ah, you're on to me. I guess I'm not a real musician. I've only been playing violin about 59 years.
  2. We're talking about educating children. They start out writing with crayons and don't actually produce great works of literature. Nor do they produce great renditions of concertos. But the often-repeated claim that they don't express emotion well is both false and unreasonably demanding. Many of Suzuki's first students went on to become prominent professionals, some of them concertmasters. Suzuki's students and those of his successors did learn to play with excellent technique, and with flair and expressiveness, at a time when just about no one had any idea whatsoever how to teach young children. When Suzuki first came to the U.S. with his class of children, they dazzled the western world. When we were hiring teachers for our children in the 1980s, we found a lot of highly competent Suzuki teachers who had students who played very well. In contrast, we could find no competent traditional teachers at that level. Their student recitals were, without exception, aesthetic ordeals. Yes, I know that a few outstanding traditional teachers exist, but at the time we couldn't find any at all. Suzuki has had a huge influence on a large number of outstanding teachers and players. I don't know what's happened since his death, but he certainly can't be responsible for thousands of teachers 20 years after his death. Frequently someone posts here and tries to trash a dead man's reputation. If you're interested in teaching methods, read the Wikipedia articles and other literature. You can't deny the resumes. If you're trying to find a teacher, ask around, then attend lessons and recitals and see for yourself whose students play well. There are a lot of sour grapes around. Don't listen to the criticisms without seeing for yourself.
  3. It's simple, really. With few exceptions, the old guys had no neck or short necks, and many of them were overweight. The others didn't make it. There was a time when the shoulder rest didn't exist. In a tradition-bound art there must have been a considerable backlash against anything new. I think it took roughly 100 years for the resistance to collapse. By the way, even Galamian endorsed shoulder pads in his book, albeit somewhat begrudgingly. For a very long time students were discouraged or forbidden to use one. That attitude must have prevented or destroyed a lot of careers. Now we discover anecdotally that many of the greatest violinists were cheating by using hidden padding of one sort or another, while claiming they were not using a shoulder rest. I'm happy that so many top modern soloists use one. Contrary to predictions, it certainly doesn't hamper their tone production or their careers. I think the prescription to hold the violin with your collarbone is misguided and unnecessary. I have seen some very bad results from people trying to follow that directive. Holding a violin is not easy. I once carefully watched the violin sections of a major symphony. Most of them were continuously squirming and shifting their position, with apparent discomfort. Teachers owe it to their students to help them find an effective method to hold the violin -- with or without a shoulder pad, and without outdated historical preconceptions. Every student is different in that respect. Any teacher who can't do that should either be shown the door or relinquish the job to someone who can. Maybe teachers should have mandatory assistance from someone with special training.
  4. I wonder what the Germans were smoking? After all, it was made in Italy, and Italy is in the EU. So why do they think that's importing, or that duty might have been owed? Do you have to pay duty every time the thing is "reimported"?
  5. If you go to the Philadelphia mint, they give away free samples of money, so just think--you could make your own violin.
  6. This stuff shouldn't even show up by title. I'd have to say that's a forum bug. If it can't be displayed on the forum, the title shouldn't be displayed either.
  7. Apparently it's even better than I thought. It shows what I know.
  8. It seems like a very bad idea. To my (nonexpert) eye it looks like possibly a low-value cello even if it were in top condition. This, on the other hand, is in very poor condition. There's a high risk that you will waste all your money on it, for nothing. And restoration, even if by some miracle you can manage to do competently and without causing further damage, will cost you another pile of money and huge amounts of time to learn how. Sometimes I'm wrong about the value of instruments, but in this case I would certainly want strong evidence to the contrary before I risked any money on it. You said your current cello is good. There you go. If you really must have a better cello, I think you need to find a better way. EDIT: The ebay auction is here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/italian-4-4-CELLO-to-restore-TESTORE-old-violin-violon-violino/173769932457?hash=item28757ebea9:g:C2QAAOSwFSNcUfNS . I think we're not supposed to comment on ongoing sales, but this seems blatant. The description looks intended to deceive. It hints that you're getting a Testore for nothing, but there are very many obvious mistakes and contradictions, and few actual claims, so the seller can claim ignorance. It looks like low-end workmanship to me, and the instrument is a wreck. Keep in mind that I too can claim ignorance, but good luck finding an expert who thinks it's a good deal.
  9. Sometimes they don't even look at it. All they need is a piece of paper.
  10. I found these: 6W, 500 lumens https://www.amazon.com/Byingo-Crafting-Simplicity-Stepless-Adjustable/dp/B073TTJW1Z/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 7W, 800 lumens https://www.amazon.com/Joly-Joy-Flexible-Gooseneck-Brightness/dp/B076LBYYFG/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 12W, 1200 lumens https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GPJJPHF/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza All have adjustable brightness and color temperature. All are claimed to be flicker-free.
  11. I was asked to straighten a cello bridge that was almost folded in half (I'm only exaggerating a little--it was really warped). Since the student was supposed to play in a few minutes, I put a sweater under the tailpiece, gave the standard disclaimer (we don't want to be responsible for wrecking your cello) and pulled it back into position. The next week I saw it again, and it was like new. The student's father had taken it off and steamed it flat.
  12. The good news is that if they start to warp, the player can fix them just by standing them up straight.
  13. I see. So it's a climate thing.
  14. Aw, for gosh sakes, guys. Why don't you just install a humidifier on your furnace?
  15. If it cleans up OK, then I guess you can't ask for more. It doesn't show signs of wear. Most violins that have been played consistently over the years will show considerable wear on the varnish where it's contacted by the hand, and maybe by the shoulder.