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About bubba

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  1. I know a couple of students who took an extra year after high school to prepare for auditions. It was well worth it. If you have a really fine teacher and are very motivated and feel you need that extra time, I would do it. The audition is all-important in getting into a good school with a good teacher, so perhaps your teacher feels that extra year is necessary. Building repertoire can be done at school, but perhaps he wants you to really excel when you do audition.
  2. I don't find it heavy at all, but it doesn't fit in my case. I find it quite comfortable and a couple of my students are using different versions of it and like it. However, Thom is right, like all shoulder rests, one size does not fit all. Also, the feet snapped off of mine after a couple of months use. It is being replaced, but a little annoying.
  3. I have been using one -- not the one that records, but the next level down. I like it, particularly for my students because it is very loud -- almost obnoxiously so. I just bought the one with the recorder because I thought it might come in handy for recording short snippets during practice, but haven't had a chance to use it.
  4. I have a young Suzuki student (9yo) who is winning all kinds of fiddling contests against much older students. The fiddling is sometimes quite complex and almost always by ear. One comment she has had several times from judges is to not give up the classical training because it will only enhance her fiddling. She is getting top points on her intonation and technique (as well as her musicality). That said, you might try to find a CD which is out fairly recently by a group called Time for Three. It is "classical" fiddling at its best and will show what you can do with exceptional technique. There is even a jazzed up version of the Bach Double. The artists are three young Curtis graduates, Nicholas Kendall, Zachary De Pue, and Ranaan Meyer. The CD can be ordered from the following e-mail address (and no, I have no connection with this group): Ranaan@hotmail.com. Nicholas Kendall grew up a Suzuki student--his grandfather was one of the pioneers of the Suzuki movement in this country. I am a Suzuki teacher and supplement the repertoire with fiddling and other things. We fiddle from the last half of Book 1 on. Most of my teens need more than the straight Suzuki repertoire. We are doing duets and other ensemble pieces in group class to improve ensemble skills and make things more interesting. Have you talked to your son's teacher about his desire to branch out and do more fiddling? She might have some ideas. There are some very good teachers in
  5. When my son was a little younger than you he studied with two teachers concurrently -- with the knowledge and permission of both. The primary teacher was in control and the secondary teacher (but certainly not the lesser of the two) had a clear agenda. Although I thought the arrangement was working well at the time, there were undercurrents which emerged later. This was an arrangement over a year with weekly lessons from each teacher. I'm not sure we would opt to do this again were we to do it over, but a lot of the problems had to do with the personality of the primary teacher. Of course when you go to music camps you have the opportunity to study with other teachers and many of the camps give you the opportunity for more than one lesson so that there is some follow up on what is being taught. We always sought the advise of my son's teacher before applying for music camp. I think just to go off and study with another teacher without a clear purpose in mind is perhaps not going to do a lot of good. My son found that it was best if he could have follow-up lessons, not just one-time lessons with no follow-up. Perhaps now that he is older it is a little different with the follow-up, but when he was your age, it was better for him to have more than one lesson. If you do pursue having lessons with other teachers, I think it is very important to consult your primary teacher, see what he thinks and who he thinks would be a good teacher for you to have a masterclass with. It is good to touch base with teachers you might wish to study with in college prior to auditions, but I have heard that it is not good to go out to these major teachers until you are "Ready" -- until you are able to make a good impression as someone they would be interested in hearing later on. Remember, too, that these lessons can be very expensive. Teachers my son had this summer charged $150 and up. You are at a good age to start going to music camps, i.e. Encore, Meadowmount, Tanglewood, Aria, Quartet Program -- and I'm sure there are a number of similar programs on the West Cost -- where you will have the opportunity to study with conservatory/college-level teachers and have them assess your capabilities. Sometimes these lessons can provide a breakthrough -- someone saying something in a different way -- in your playing, but sometimes you will need more than one lesson for the message to sink in. One of the teachers my son studied with at camp gave him great suggestions on where to audition and what teachers he should check out for college. He ended up being accepted into that teacher's studio for the fall, but was accepted at a couple of other places with teachers this teacher had suggested as well. It is certainly not too early to start thinking about where you might want to go to school and what teachers you might like to study with or try out, but do it with the knowledge and permission of your primary teacher. Mary
  6. I have heard good things about Point Counterpoint. I have also heard great things about Kinhaven -- I think it is in Vermont for students in your daughter's range. Ithaca has a chamber music camp --- I'm not sure what age and I think you have to audition to be accepted, but that is also supposed to be very good. My son went to Meadowmount at 13 or 14 and had a horrible experience. They do take some younger students and some kids enjoy it, but our experience was totally negative. I think that there is a camp called Encore II for younger students. I have heard good things about it. I think it may be connected with Encore which is run by Linda Cerone.
  7. My son's McCluskie was very nice, but the Matsuda is a totally different class of instrument. When he had a lesson with the teacher he will be studying with this year, the teacher pulled out his viola and said Look familiar? It was an older Matsuda. We think his is an exceptionally nice one. He tried another out recently which was also a great instrument, but not quite as nice as his. It would have been nice if he had been able to try out a Koeberling viola. He has a Koeberling violin which we like very much, but the Matsuda came along and we were able to trade up for it with the McCluskie. Bill Weaver and Dalton Potter get both the McCluskies and Matsudas in from time to time and have a good trade-up policy.
  8. My son had a McCluskie viola for a couple of years. It was very nice. We would have kept it, and were not in the market for another instrument, but a Matsuda came along which was too good to pass up, so we traded it in to Potter's. I think that McCluskie actually lives in Bethesda, MD where Potters is located and that they must have some kind of arrangement with him.
  9. I would think that the performance expectations are totally different for a theory vs. a performance major. He should at least talk to the people at Eastman. I believe they have a lot of non-performance majors who play but are majoring in theory or composition or music history.
  10. He might want to look at Eastman. I believe they have a very strong theory department.
  11. My son played the Bartok Concerto, Bach, Hindemuth Sonata, and he had the Campagnoli etude and a kreutzer ready but they didn't ask for them. He didn't play his etudes for violin auditions either except for one school where he had the option of playing the etude first. UMD asked him what he wanted to play first, so he opened with a paganini caprice. Is your son planning on majoring in performance or is he going for something else?
  12. Hi, Campagnoli are written just for viola. My son did No. 24 which he says is a lot of fun. Kreutzer are definitely good for the other schools. Etudes are really not the most important parts of auditions. My son only played an etude for one of the schools he auditioned at, and that is because he chose to play it first. What schools is he applying to? Do you know yet?
  13. Students held onto too long sometimes become too much like "family" and some teachers perhaps say to them things that they should not say. Or perhaps they have visions and are frustrated when the student starts to grow in another direction or to outgrow them as a teacher. Some teachers are able to let go easily so that a student can progress to another level. Some teachers can't. It is very difficult to lose a student. It is sometimes difficult for a teacher to let a student who has moved on come back to the studio for a visit because an insecure teacher may feel that that student might set things in motion for others to decide to move on as well. My son left a teacher and, although we speak with her from time to time, the relationship became very cold and distant after we left. It was very hard to understand since he had studied with her for 7 or 8 years. There were some very bad vibes coming from her for quite a while. Last week the teacher, my son, and I attended a dinner. She "ignored" him for most of the dinner, and then at the end called his name and asked him what his plans for school were. She then proceeded to give him advice on which school he should attend. Although somewhat belated, it was good for him to have a cordial conversation with her. Hopefully the relationship will improve over time, but it has taken about 5 years to heal. We have tried to be as friendly and cordial as possible when we come into contact with her. We have made it a point not to say anything negative about her to students studying with her. Hopefully you will eventually be able to be on friendly terms again with your teacher, but I would be careful not to push the relationship. She may have her reasons for wanting to keep a distance at the present time. It is very sad when something like this happens.
  14. Is there a recording available of the accolay concert? I find that listeing to a recording a number of times helps. With a couple of my younger students who have some difficulty playing with an accompanist, just playing through with them a time or two gets them on track. It is wonderful that your teacher sees the importance of doing this. When my son was about 10 or 11 we started having him work on a regular basis with a pianist and it has really helped him. I have heard a lot of students who just play alongside of the accompanist and never realize the importance of the ensemble, how the violin part fits together with the piano part. You are fortunate to have a pianist available to play with on a regular basis.
  15. UMd has a beautiful facility and some very good teachers and is right next to DC. Or how about Catholic Univ. Also, St. Mary's College I understand has a good strings teacher, strong academic program.