violagoddess

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About violagoddess

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  1. Has anyone here gone to NYSSSA?

    Congratulations on getting accepted at NYSSSA!! I went to that program for three years and it was a lot of fun. First of all, you will be able to go to every SPAC concert, most are actually required but a few are optional. If the conductor is still Mr. Stanger, he is awesome and loves to tell interesting stories about his life- basically, rehearsal can be a lot of fun. There is definitely free time, for example Sundays are free. They do plan activities and Saratoga is an interesting place and it is fun to walk around (I say this having lived in Saratoga for 18 years- talk to someone who's just spent a few weeks and they'll tell you it's even better) Moore Hall is not the greatest place in the world, but it isn't bad. I'd be more concerned about food, though, than water- especially since Saratoga is famous for its springs and you can always leave and get world famous water! (actually, most of it is pretty disgusting) I suggest bringing food because it is pretty bad. Have fun, the program is great! Oh, I'll look for you at SPAC, I'll be there just about every night, since I'm working there.
  2. cleaning your instrument

    Just for the record I've never done this stuff Also, I would never use alcohol on wood. I've been told it is okay for the hair.
  3. cleaning your instrument

    I am the type of person that always cleans their instrument after using it. I can't stand the look of rosin all over the place. I am, however, always looking for ways to clean already built-up rosin and to make my instrument look better. At music camp this summer, I learned several things- toothpaste can be used to clean rosin off of an instrument or bow. A walnut (or spit) can help make scratches appear as though they aren't there. I know that rubbing alcohol can be used to clean bow hair. Are these things worthwhile? Will they cause damage to instruments? Also, does anyone have other techniques for instrument cleaning that they wouldn't mind sharing?
  4. Should I get my bow rehaired?

    I've been told that you should get your bow rehaired about once a year. After two or three years, your hair must be in pretty bad shape! I think another way to tell if your bow needs to be rehaired is if you need to rosin it often.
  5. question for the fiddlers

    Crystal- I don't think you realize it but you had a great comment about defying the rules, etc. I think this goes for fiddling (i.e. different ways of holding the bow) but for classical as well. I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter if you play it with your feet as long as it sounds good. I think there are probably technical reasons for the different bowhold as well but it's good that it can also be seen just as something different. Sorry if this isn't really related to the topic but Crystal's comment really impressed me. It actually relates to my current situation (which is completely classical). Anyway, about the topic- I had thought that holding the bow further from the frog would change the balance as well as lighten the bow. I guess the first part is definitely true (thanks to those who said so!) but what exactly is the affect on the music?
  6. criticism

    Okay- here's a little clarification. My experience has been with someone I had never met before. I have received COMPLETELY negative comments five minutes after meeting someone. My situation is similar to Micaela's. I think I can really sympathize with her now. Anyway, working with such people has taken away my desire to practice. It has also I think lowered my self-confidence. I can't believe that people would consider these outcomes necessary. One other thing. I'm not saying you shouldn't be told what's wrong. I'm saying that being told "you're intonation sucks" is a whole lot different from saying "you're intonation wasn't great in that passage and here are some ways to work on it". Also, like Micaela, I think it's really hard when you get no positive feedback. In her situation (I assume) as well as mine, we played for people we had never met. If after five minutes of playing you're told that you are terrible, I would think that almost anyone's confidence would be shattered.
  7. criticism

    I was recently reading a book that dealt a lot with criticism and the difference between good and bad. Reading the book paired with my past experiences, I've come to a conclusion. I've decided that it isn't WHAT is said, it's HOW it's said. I know this is not a new idea but I think I've learned its value. I know a similar topic was slightly mentioned recently but I thought I'd sort of take it up again. My question basically deals with teachers and their treatment of students. Is it necessary for a teacher to offer truly mean comments to a student? I don't understand why comments can't be expressed in a positive way. I know some people don't think teachers are necessary, but personally, I know I need one. I think a teacher should offer corrections and helpful comments but I know that I need to be told I'm doing well when I'm actually doing well. This whole idea is kind of new to me (I mean of negative comments). I'm used to being given information in a positive way that is always helpful and being complimented when I've worked hard. I have had experiences, however, where this has not happened and it can be very upsetting. I guess my point after all this rambling is that I think a lesson should always be a positive experience. Am I wrong?
  8. So who plays the VIOLA?

    In case you couldn't tell by my name, I am a violist. Violas rule! I am seventeen. Right now I am writing from a music festival. There aren't many violists here and most of them are older than I am. I'm surrounded by violinists! Oh, well. At least some of us know that violists are the best!
  9. Did Handel ever.......

    For the record, the Handel B minor is the one that is actually by Casadesus. I am curious if Handel actually did write one, though.
  10. Did Handel ever.......

    I don't know about Handel and violin concerti. Actually, though, he might have written a viola concerto but his more famous one wasn't written by him. I'm actually curious too. What viola concerto were you thinking of?
  11. NYSSMA Disaster

    Hey Micaela, don't feel bad or anything. I hate NYSSMA and have had some awful experiences. When I was in seventh grade, the judge was SO mean to me. He told me that my bowings were wrong, my tempo was wrong, and a bunch of other things. He was terrible. I also don't like that there is only one judge, esp. for All State auditions. Two people could have totally different opinions. Anyway, I'm sorry about your experience, Micaela and anyone else, but wish me luck- I have NYSSMA in about two weeks!
  12. The Violinist's Sport

    Hey, I have a question. Actually, I have several. Does your life revolve around your violin? I mean, does everything you do have to somehow relate to playing? If you like sports, can't you do them in addition to violin? When you think about it, pretty much anything can damage your hands or anything else. I don't think that there is a "violinist's sport". I don't understand why you should restrict yourself from doing things you like. If you were a soloist, I could understand why you would not want to do things in which you could injure yourself, particularly if you were playing a lot. But, even if you call yourself first a violinist with everything else not as important, I still think you shouldn't stop yourself from doing things you like. Oh, by the way, I know of an orchestra in which the members play softball games during the summer. I think maybe families play as the players are concerned about injuring themselves. I've heard, however, that the concertmaster always plays!
  13. Criticism

    Hey, I can definitely sympathize. My string quartet coach often asks us to give our opinions. Even if I can tell that someone is messing up somehow, I don't want to hurt their feelings. My advice is to be general. I try to talk in terms of "us" rather than in terms of "you". But trust me, I know what you're going through!
  14. Viola Goddess and others: Heard from NYSSSA yet?

    Hey awesome- good luck getting in. As an alternate you do have a really good chance. I am going back to NYSSSA this summer. Hope to see you there. Oh yeah, the food is REALLY bad. There are, however, ways of getting around the bad food...
  15. Practice mutes- rubber or metal?

    I've been considering buying a practice mute. I know some people say that they are bad for the instrument. Does that mean just the metal ones or the rubber ones as well? Also, do the rubber ones mute the sound as much or almost as much as the metal ones? I don't want to do anything bad to my viola or distort the bridge or anything like that. I do feel like I need a mute. I've found that while looking at colleges I like to practice before meeting with teachers. I'm not about to practice in a hotel room without a mute. What should I do?