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Everything posted by saggio3of4

  1. I'm left-handed and have always played 'normally"--the thought of playing any other way is absurd. I consider it an advantage--it gives me more facility and flexibility in my fingering hand. Vibrato and hard sequences came more naturally than they do to my peers. I've found the same thing with my left-handed students (3 out of 10!)
  2. That all sounds like a good policy to me. And yes, there are always unexpected events...something I sometimes neglect to factor into my equation!
  3. I love the thought of a gypsy piece. That's exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks! Maybe I'll do Monti's Csardas...or does anyone around here have any favorites they can suggest?
  4. Hello Everyone, Well, my studio has finally expanded to the point where I can hold a spring recital--10 violin and viola students ages 5-14. It's so exciting. I have reserved a chapel and set a date--May 14. I have a couple of questions. First, how soon should I begin working my students on their recital pieces? It seems like it might be hard to find that "optimal range" where the student has enough time to prepare the song and polish it, but they won't be bored/overworked with it by the time of the recital. Does this make any sense? I can just remember getting so overworked and tired with a song that by the time my recital came around, I was glad to play the song for the last time and then didn't want to play it for a LONG time after that because i was so sick of practicing it! I just don't want that to happen with my kids--I want them to peak right at the recital time. They range in levels from Suzuki 1 to Suzuki 4. And then, I also hope to perform a (violin) piece at the end of the recital and I was hoping you could offer suggestions. I've spent most of my violin career studying longer concertos and mazas/kreutzer etudes, so I don't have much that's approprate. I'm just looking for a shorter piece~around 3-5 minutes would be good, 7 at the outside. I need something that won't take me too long to learn (I'm a full-time student and work 26 hours a week! I can't afford to spend an extra hour a day until the recital rolls around learning this piece, on top of my regular practicing...) and will be interesting and melodic--something really enjoyable for the audience. I'll have a piano accompanist at my disposal. And, any other hints, tips or suggestions you are willing to give for making recital day go more smoothly are *welcome*. Best Regards! Britt
  5. Welcome, Sara! When you ask, "what is too old," first we need to establish what you're too old for. No age is too old to learn something new and perfect a skill you can be proud of, and increase your musical abilities! Without hearing your playing I can't judge whether you're too old to do something like play professionally. But it sounds like you've made good progress so far. I have a student right now who is in exactly the same place as you. She sings, plays piano, and used to play trombone but decided it wasn't for her. So now she's taken up violin--and taken to it quite well. In less than a month of playing she's gone halfway through All for Strings book 1. She has quite an advantage over my younger students who can't read music and don't have the coordination necessary to pick things up very fast. We'll see how far she goes before slowing down. My advice to you is don't give up no matter what others say. When I was fifteen I wanted to be a professional violist in an orchestra--not a famous soloist, not even a famous orchestra, just a paid player in our mid-size city's orchestra. One day I told my teacher about this and she totally blew me off and said there was no way I could ever get that good, that I had "Missed the boat" and the best I could hope to do was have a career teaching. I was stupid and believed her...and for a while I was so discouraged i almost quit. Now I really regret those days of little practice. I lost so much time and ground that would have been very valuable to me now, as a college student. So the moral is never give up--push your limits farther and farther. Practice as much time as you can devote to it--an hour a day is good if you can, more than that is super. The key at any age is dedicated practice. Good luck to you.
  6. Awesome. This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Your firsthand experience makes me feel a lot better!
  7. It's me again :-) Though I didn't win the violin I as looking at, I'm also interested in getting a cello and I waws wondering what people had to say about those found on eBay. I can't afford a cello from Shar or any of our local shops, with rentals around $50/month. But I see some cellos on eBay for buyitnow $170-300ish. Now I realize these aren't professional quality instruments, but how good are they? Are they absolute junk that I shouldn't even be thinking about as a self-respecting musician? I play viola for serious, violin for fun, and have always longed to play cello. So this would be more of a hobby instrument/learning instrument for me.
  8. Unfortunately, no. It ran a little bit out of my price range and with Christmas and everything I couldn't justify it. I'm still kicking myself, though :-P
  9. You could be describing my littlest student. What you have said fits "Annie" to a t. Kids are so cunning...she'll do/say anything to take the focus off lessons. Tactics include blowing her nose, itching her leg, telling me about what happened this week, about her favorite video, about what her little sister said, etc. I have found that this is merely a smoke screen for her insecuries. She has no confidence in her ablities whatsover. She'll play something perfectly (well, as perfect as a 6-year-old can...) and then be all surprised when I praise her for it. And yes, for a few weeks we'd have a crying spell every lesson. I have just had to slow down my teaching to her level. Lots of praise and encouragement. Don't let the tears frighten you. Give her a hug, tell her how well she's doing and how proud you are, and don't pause for too long. Give her a *few* seconds to get her tears under control, offer a kleenex or something, then turn back to the subject at hand and work through it slowly and patiently. Even if she's still close to tears. At the end of the lesson more praise is necessary. Hopefully that gets you through the tears phase in a few weeks. She'll simply learn that they don't work on you. And simultaneously you need to be showing her that she *can* do it. Hope I've helped.
  10. John, I appreciate your sharing your experience. That gives me hope. Sorry the link doesn't work, I don't know what's wrong. Here it is again: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...item=3770456447 or if that doesn't work, the item number I'm looking at is 3770456447.
  11. Quote: Being able to practise at work sounds cool. Being that I work on campus at my school, I can just go over to the music building (a stone's throw from my building, no less!) and snag a practice room for an hour. It's really nice to have that release at lunch time--just forget about all that's going on at work and concentrate on something that's so relaxing and exhilirating at once (well, on a good day :-) )
  12. sorry...that was my post. I wasn't logged in at the time and didn't know of the new 'anonymous' feature. Cheers!
  13. I often bring my violin to work to practice during the lunch hour. I did this yesterday, because i've been in a frenzy practicing for holiday gigs, church services, etc. It's been crazy--especially since I just finished exam week, too! So at the end of the day, I walked out to the car, feeling strangely empty-handed. I reviewed everything I should have...I had my computer, my purse, my plate of Christmas cookies...what was missing? Finding nothing, I drove home. I got home and realized the missing piece--my violin. It was one of those "oh, I am such a dumb***" moments. Decisions, decisions--take an hour and a half to go back and get it for my two gigs this weekend, or swallow hard and play my backup violin? (A sweet fiddle to be sure, but not so extraordinary as my primary instrument...) For sheer reasons of time I decided to do the latter. But I still shake my head every time I think about it. I know it will be safe in the office over the weekend--being a website studio, we lock it up tight because of all of our equipment. But still, I worry... I'm glad I don't own a strad--if I did I would be a basket case
  14. It seems I've hit a sort of touchy issue with many different points of view! I had no idea that there were so many different views on the right way to hold the instrument...bow holds, playing styles, maybe...but I always thought that there were two ways to hold it--left side or the wrong way! Thanks for the many replies.
  15. Thanks for the help, but unfortunately that's not it. The peg end is yellow. Maybe I'll just call the luthier and see what their preferred brand is...that's probably what's most likely on there.
  16. Thanks for the commet.s This student has only been playing for 2 months. At this point she's got a fairly competent Twinkle going and some open-string work. THe size of her violin could be part of the problem. SHe and her older (8 year old) sister share a violin because it's cheaper for the family. While I'd prefer they each have their own, I recognize that perhaps that's just not economically feasable right now. The girls are pretty close in size, however I really feel like the younger sister would be more comfortable on a smaller violin.
  17. Hello, I'm looking for some advice with one of my students. She is 6 years old and just starting out. She's a fairly compliant kid with one major issue: she constantly holds the violin out front of her body instead of to the side. She says that then she can see her fingers and the strings better. I've tried all kinds of things to stop her: positioning the violin correctly and the music to her left side instead of in front, positioning the violin for her, etc. But by the end of the song, she's got it back straight in front of her. Anybody encountered this and how do you suggest I break her of the habit? She's a very tender kid, prone to tears if I'm not too careful. Nervous and not very confident. So I'm working real hard to build trust with her and build her confidence up. It's slow going. Thanks
  18. Hello, This summer my grandpa gave me an antique violin as a gift, and before giving it to me, he had it set up with a new bridge and new strings. However, now one of the strings has broken and I have no clue what kind it is. It's fairly common, I think I've seen them before. It's an A string, and the bottom winding is mostly green with a string of black also spiraling around it. Thanks
  19. For a time during my highschool years I played with one of those cheap but marginally adequate Glasser fibreglass bows. Mine was beginning to show its wear, and I did eventually retire it in favor of a carbon fibre bow because of a bouncing issue. Every time I got about 3/4 of the way down the bow on a downbow, it would start skipping. It wasn't an issue with my positioning or playing; others were able to produce the same effect (including my very accomplished teacher.) So while it's unlikely, it could be your bow.
  20. Wow, what a great website. I'm sending my students there <pronto>. This will be a great asset and supplement to the curriculum!
  21. You can't know until you try.... If he really has the drive, the potential and the talent, who's to say he can't accomplish amazing things in a short period of time?
  22. Six children and thirteen years later, she just doesn't have the time. Once in awhile she'll pull it out and we will do duets, but I think she gets frustrated because her third position is iffy and her vibrato nonexistent. Ann, thanks for the advice and encouragement.
  23. ...Right before chair auditions!! Tonight I went to practice viola for chair auditions coming up on Monday. I got the instrument out of the case and the bridge was leaning way forward. A bit of adjusting and...pop! Out comes the bridge! Click! down falls the soundpost!! I'm bringing it to the local luthier tomorrow and I really hope they can have things fixed up before Monday. Until then I'm fortunate to have another instrument in the house...my mother played viola once upon a time, and she has a fairly nice instrument which she is graciously letting me play. The only problem is it's an inch longer than my own...causes some intonation issues, and it's not good for my tendonitis-plagued, fragile rotator-cuff shoulder. Augh... Oh well, life goes on Regards Saggio
  24. I agree with Andrew Victor's suggestion--post what you've written so far, and we'll certainly let you iknow of any inconsistencies, and tell you any suggestions we might have to make it more authentic or interesting!
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