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Josie

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  1. Ben, As my current teacher told me in my first lesson, a beautiful tone quality is affected by good intonation and bow control. (Pressure, contact point, speed) Never leave a piece when the tones are out-of-tune. Always take time to correct it. And strive to make your violin "ring" when you hit tones related to the open strings - overtone series. It is awesome when that happens! Good luck! Josie
  2. Karla, I fake too in fast orchestra parts! In fact, my teacher gave me a lesson in how to fake effectively! Also when I suggested a chamber group, I didn't mean an orchestra, but rather more of a trio or quartet. No, you don't have others on your own part, but the music can be a whole lot easier than real orchestra parts. (Though there are difficult chamber pieces too). Brattleboro Music Center (in Brattleboro, VT) also runs a one-week camp for adults called Camp Andantino. It's in August, and is a lovely way to grow in a non-treatening way. I think there's an adult camp in Rochester, NY as well. Josie
  3. Hi again, Karla, Yes, it is harder for we adults - but not impossible! I tend to think too much sometimes about the music instead of just playing it as a younger student would. And we are not as flexible. But if you have the desire you can do it!! There may be easier orchestras in your area. I study at the Brattleboro Music Center, and they have different levels of orchestra for various players - kids and adults alike. You might be able to start in one of those sooner. The music tends to be easier. The group I'm in is a community orchestra sponsored by BMC. We don't play arrangements, but the original works. In November we did Beethoven's 4th, and a Brahms Serenade. Though I am only on 2nd violin parts, the music was quite difficult at times - especially the speed. So I wouldn't rush to a group like this for at least 3 or 4 more years. Great that you're doing duets with your teacher! Are there other students of your age and level you might play with in a chamber group? Lots of luck to you! Josie
  4. Hi Karla, I won't pretend to be a violin teacher - just one who has travelled the road you are now on! And I say, "Bravo," to you for sticking with lessons on violin!! You have the right attitude in my book about trying to get the best tone you can - at 9 months I wasn't working on vibrato either. Work on playing in-tune and on developing good bow control. Strive to make your violin ring as you hit tones related to the open strings. It is the neatest sound ever when that happens!! Violin is such a beautiful instrument - well worth the struggle. My teacher, who I think the world of, always said to me, "I don't care if you use vibrato or not. Playing in-tune is so much more important." Vibrato will come in its time. You'll know when you're ready. Perhaps some of the teachers on this board will suggest you begin some vibrato exercises. But don't neglect developing good in-tune work first - and good bow control. And best of luck to you! After four and a half years of lessons, I finally joined a community orchestra this year! And am having a great time doing that plus three chamber music groups. Keep practicing and you'll make your goals come true too! Josie
  5. Blanche Moyse is one of the most renown interpreters of Bach's sacred pieces today. Her recording of the b-minor mass is magnificent. It is produced by the Brattleboro Music Center in Brattleboro, VT. (38 Walnut St. 05301 zip, I think) Every year in October there is a Bach festival with Blanche conducting at Marlboro, VT. She was 95 this year, and still conducting! My violin teacher has been her concertmaster for over 22 years.
  6. Hi, Mine has both a zipper on each side and a latch, and I like the security of having both! It is a Musafia case. Josie
  7. staylor, I loved your reply...............very deep and meaningful. It's a question I often ponder as well. My only addition to your comment would be that sometimes the music itself dictates a certain mode of expression, by the nature of the rising or falling phrase, or any articulation or dynamics that the composer specified. Great food for thought! I'm currently working on Dvorak's Romance, Op. 11, and dealing with many expressive issues. My teacher played this piece with an orchestra 2 years ago, but luckily allows me the freedom to express myself my way, which I think is important. Josie
  8. You might try the Free Library of Philadelphia. They have sets of scores/parts that they loan out for either free or a nominal fee. At one time in my early career I considered becoming a music copyist for them. Josie
  9. Josie

    Competitors

    Not so close to Madison, but Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, has a great music program!
  10. Hi Jillian, I think that's terrific that you are 13 yrs. old and interested in learning violin. Your background in piano and in flute should be a hugh plus in reading music and playing in an orchestra when you have some technique. It is a wonderful instrument! I know many other forum members would support me in saying that you should definitely not try to teach yourself. Learning to use the bow is so important and needs careful guidance from a qualified teacher. Be sure to find the best teacher you can afford in your area. (Ask any friends you have who play violin well who their teachers are). As to an instrument, I would recommend you and your parents go to a qualified string store (not a general music shop dealing in band instruments and some strings, but one which deals purely in strings). Ask them to show you some good student violins in a price range your parents can afford. It's often a good idea at first to rent an instrument, but be sure you get a good one. Your teacher may also be able to help you. Ask the salesperson to play (or have your teacher do this) any instrument you like, and choose the one whose sound is best. A new instrument may be fine for flute, but may or may not be the best choice for a violin. Be sure the shop will allow you to trade up to a better quality instrument when you are ready to take the next level. I assume as a 13 year old you are big enough for a 4/4 violin, but if you aren't very tall, have your teacher recommend a size. E-bay also has many violins for sale, but be careful, as many are not very good. And you don't have the advantage of seeing the instrument and hearing its sound first, before you buy. Plus it's best to have a business relationship with a violin shop, in case you need some repair. Chinese violins vary from excellent to not so good. Scott Cao, who is a Chinese American maker/shop in CA., makes fine copies of well-known instruments. They are well-made and have a lovely sound. Some of these sell for, oh, maybe $700. - 1200. Check out his name on the Internet. Don't forget the bow! There are many fine student bows. Some are made of wood (pernambuco is best, but less expensive bows use brazil wood) and some of a carbon fiber. I wouldn't buy the cheapest, as the bow is often more important than the violin. I have both wooden and carbon fiber bows, and like each for different reasons. And of course, a case, and rosin. Many shops will sell a package deal - violin, bow, case, rosin - for a more reasonable price. But if the bow is not very good, you could probably ask them to replace it with a better one for just a little more money. I'm sure some other members will add to my thoughts to give you and your parents some good information. Best of luck to you in your study of violin - I also started as a pianist at age 5, and a clarinetist in band in jr/sr. high school, but my real love is violin. It is a fantastic instrument, and I hope you enjoy it as much as the rest of us do! Have a great time! Josie
  11. I practice 3 to 4 hours a day, typically, although there are some busier days where I might only make an hour and a half or two hours. Usually spend 45 min. on scales/etude, an hour and a half to two hours on pieces I'm learning, and the rest of the time on quartet or orchestra music. Usually this practice time is split into two different parts of the day so I don't get too tired. If I have a bad day, on occasion I will take a total break the next day. Or once in a while a few days break. A mini-vacation from practicing usually helps me to attack my practicing with more vigor next time. Any physical problem demands attention, though. A violinist once told me, if you are tense and hurt, STOP before you do serious damage to yourself. I've had the usual aches and pains, especially since I'm an older player, but careful warming up and lots of TLC have helped. Josie
  12. That's wild, Stephen! But I agree with you that the 4th is a great symphony - I've listened to it constantly for a month, and still find new things. Josie
  13. To all of you who wrote with great ideas and supported me at my first rehearsal, I want you to know that it was just fantastic! I loved every moment!!!! Not only was it fun, but also I learned so much about Beethoven's intent in the way he wrote down the music. (For eg., when you see a series of measures, each of which is marked "f," what was intended at that time period was a crescendo!) I tried to apply as many of your ideas as I could, and they helped. And hey, maybe I didn't play every note perfectly, but I did OK - better than I thought I could. (Though the conductor's tempi were slower at this first rehearsal). But more importantly, what a joy to be able to play through one of Beethoven's masterworks. It was a blast!! Can't wait 'til next week. Love this Maestronet forum, as I have found some many great folks willing to share their interest and experience with those of us who are just moving up. So many many thanks to you all!! Josie
  14. FSviolin, What a riot!!! Loved your amusing "suggestions!" Thanks. It's helped a lot to laugh at some of these things, as it takes away some of the nerves! Josie
  15. Violin Angel, Bravo to you, as well, for your similar newbie experience with an orchestra! I agree with you - it's wonderful to have this opportunity! We will both learn so much. Best wishes- Josie
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