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Posts posted by tchaikovsgay

  1. On 4/14/2021 at 10:34 PM, PhilipKT said:

    Well, I had no idea what to google, so I just googled Mark O’Connor, and got a whole Lotta stuff about Mark O’Connor, but it’s OK



    I've found it. That's very interesting. Never expected pedagogues to hate each other. I wonder if composers also develop enemies too. I thought music is supposed to be fun.

  2. On 4/8/2021 at 9:03 PM, uncle duke said:

    after reading a few pages of suzuki 1 i'm thinking to myself that i'm glad i had old school teachers along with their methods of teaching - non- suzuki style.

    one question though - was it difficult to comprehend what a major scale is while learning through the lowered numbered suzuki books or was it a easy, learnable lesson/chapter when gotten to? 

    I never was taught Suzuki so I don't really know. I was taught with Shinozaki method and scales. (Which is not thorough enough)

  3. 8 hours ago, violinnewb said:

    Hi!  From the many posts you have authored, I take it that you are much younger than me.  If you are starting out as a new teacher for young students, I do in fact support your decision of using Suzuki.  As you know by now, many of us either disagree with the Suzuki method in one aspect or another.  From experience, I will tell you that if you are teaching students under the age of 10 years, you have to remember attention span.  I know that there are exceptions, but most need nurturing of the art itself more so than the technique behind the art...at least at the beginning.  

    To comment directly on your recent comment, some of the earlier books, like book 2 for example, teach a very simplified technique for a more interesting and technical piece.  Take the Boccherini Minuet.  The recordings and book suggest the eighth and sixteenth notes to be played staccato.  I teach spiccato, at the very basic level, pretty early on.  So when my students are ready to play that song, they play those passages off the string.  I also have them return to book one and play the Happy Farmer with a leggerio/spiccato stroke.  You will find that in a lot of these arrangements.  The point being, the Suzuki books are pretty good for a centralized compilation of repertoire that you can supplement with scales and etudes, go back and polish up for a second learning. 


    Good luck! 

    Thanks. Yes I've taught part-time when I was doing my bachelor's, but never full time. Also I really thought the Gossec from Book 1 was supposed to be played spiccato until I heard the recording; that's why I thought I have to get the revised editions to know what Suzuki truly meant. However, upon mastering the piece I agree we can ask students to try different bow strokes on the same piece.

  4. 21 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

    Seems like you misread the OP who just wanted a digital copy for analysis.

    I've got my digital copy on Amazon. Never expected this post to become an academic debate. However it's interesting the probably most popular violin method is actually criticized by a considerable amount of people (not the first time I heard someone saying the Suzuki method is flawed). My only problem was the old monochrome blue editions I have contain almost no explanation of the pieces. This makes a teacher difficult to judge what does the specific notation and symbols Suzuki used in the pieces imply. With recording some clues are revealed, but it's better to have the actual direction itself.

    Now I'm reading and playing through the revised editions, I found out apparently Suzuki uses the term "staccato bow stroke" for détaché on staccato notes. From the books I've read staccato is a polysemic term; it can mean an articulation (staccato notes) or a bow stroke (a sequence of martelé in the same bow direction). I wonder if this will make the student more confused.

    However, violin terminology is always complicated and ambiguous on a lot of levels, same as musical symbols, especially the staccato dot and tenuto mark. I think it is important for me to analyze these methods to understand what different editors and arrangers mean with their ways of using musical symbols.

    P.S. after all these years I still haven't heard a concrete definition of the portato bow stroke (not portato articulation).

  5. On 4/12/2021 at 11:14 PM, PhilipKT said:

    To the OP: have your thoughts on Suzuki as the ne plus ultra of pedagogy been changed at all?

    I've always known one violin method is never enough to nurture an all-around violinist. Basics exercises, scales and studies (études) must be introduced. I'm just getting a digital copy for analysis of what most current beginners are learning from. I'm also going to analyze Early Start on the Violin by Egon Sassmannshaus.

  6. Update:
    If I remove

    Gabriel Fauré
        Violin Sonata No.1, Op.13
            Allegro Molto

    Then I'll have to find a replacement piece from the syllabus in major key, a slow tempo and from the classical or romantic era, having a duration of about 12:22. It can't be a concerto or solo piece either.

    Otherwise, the whole programme will be in minor key, andonly having the Bach Andante being slow. :(

    Am I over-analyzing or has programme choices always been this tedious?

  7. 9 minutes ago, Rue said:

    I believe Stephen means that all the choices are the same type/flavour. All on the "serious" or more academic side.

    It's nice, in a program, to have mix of selections. Example - one being "serious", one being light and dance-like, something fast, something slow and romantic, etc.


    Edit: think of it as a plate of food with 4-5 selections. Would you prefer that plate to have 5 different meats on it, or would you prefer one meat dish, a vegetable, a salad and a desert?

    I see. I'll have to change some of the repertoire.

  8. 5 hours ago, gowan said:

    I don't know whether this is an issue but I notice that almost all of your pieces have fast tempo indications, except the Bach Andante of course.  But if I were a judge I would miss hearing something at a really slow tempo such as Adagio or Lento, since there are musical as well as technical aspects in playing slow music that are not present at a faster tempo.

    Thanks for pointing that out. I'll have to make some adjustments then...

  9. On 12/19/2020 at 4:09 PM, uncle duke said:

    Can this be done without accompaniment?

    If I were to be a judge I'd request you play all of it just to prove you're not just out to toot one's horn.

    Otoh -you'd be the greatest I've heard so far if you can pull this one off, imo.

    The ABRSM guidelines strictly stated violinists must have accompaniment for pieces that are meant to have one.

    As much as I'd love to learn the second and third movements, they are not included in the current LRSM syllabus.

  10. 1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

    I was going to suggest an slightly obscure program, but this sounds fine to me. If I am the judge that program will interest me. The Khachaturyan is not a good concerto, but it is fun.

    In general I think it is always best to avoid war horses. Find good quality music that is little known. Seeking it out and preparing it will speak well of you.

    but this is fine.


  11. Hi. I'm planning to take LRSM for violin. As I've graduated and have no teacher anymore, I have to plan my own programme.

    Quoted from https://gb.abrsm.org/en/our-exams/diplomas/music-performance/,

    'You should plan your Recital so that it lasts approximately 40 minutes (it may be up to
    10% longer or 10% shorter). This total duration includes any breaks between items, as
    well as one longer pause (of up to 5 minutes) for woodwind, brass and singing
    candidates. Please note that the examiners reserve the right to stop the Recital if you
    exceed the prescribed duration'

    'In your choice of repertoire, you should aim to present a balanced programme that
    includes a contrast of repertoire from at least two distinct musical eras. Variety of mood
    and tempo should also be a guiding factor in the construction of the programme.'

    Here's my inital prgoramme:

    Johann Sebastian Bach
        Violin Sonata No.2, BWV 1003
            Andante [6:32]
            Allegro [5:49]

    -A minor, Late Baroque, German

    Gabriel Fauré
        Violin Sonata No.1, Op.13
            Allegro Molto [9:05]

    -A major, Late Romantic, French

    Aram Khachaturian
        Violin Concerto, Op.46
            Allegro con Fermezza [14:56]

    -D minor, 20th–Century, Armenian

    What do you guys think? It is within the duration, but does it satisfy all the above requirements on varied eras, mood and tempo? Do they take genres and countries into consideration too?

  12. 1 hour ago, J-G said:

    Oops, I missed the "m.s." in the excerpt above.  If that applies to the whole passage, then it isn't the flamenco-style strumming after all.  (Might be easier with right hand though?)

    (Edit: )  I now see that neither of the two scores on imslp has the m.s. indication, so I guess the composer intended right hand. 

    (2nd edit:)  Just checked Hilary Hahn's performance on Youtube.  As I expected, she plays LH pizz for the open E only, then strums with right hand.

    Yes. The m.s. only applies before the start of the rasugueado, according to all videos found online.

  13. 3 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

    the video reminds me that where the fingers happen noticeably is near the frog.  what he terms the "auxiliary motion" seems to be the elbow going upward at the frog in preparation to start the downbow by moving the elbow down.  the finger thing is like what would happen naturally from inertia if the wrist was loose, e.g. the hand wants to stay behind from inertia as the arm begins the downbow.  likewise at the end of the upbow as the arm begins to stop the hand wants to keep going.  it's the same as what your hand would do painting a house with a brush if you can form that mental image.  you wouldn't paint with a stiff wrist.  you'll encounter ppl stressing this or that thing and ignoring other things.  my approach after i stopped taking lessons was to pick what worked for me from all the possibility thrown around

    So can I say, with finger movements, the elbow moves first, then the hand follows? So before a down bow, when the finger is curling (making the bow go upwards), the elbow is going downwards (in preparation of the down-bow)?

  14. 17 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

    it's integrated with the arm movement of course, otherwise there'd be a disruption at the end of the stroke while you do your wrist thing.  you can learn a lot at that level of detail by watching players very closely.  robert rozek says the first instant of bow stroke should involve the whole arm

    If so, do you think the arm movement and the finger movement are towards the opposite direction? (i.e. during stretching the fingers before an up-bow, the arm is moving up)? Because I'm really confused by the term 'auxillary motion' in this video:


  15. Hi. I understand when playing a stroke, with:

    Finger involvement only

    The fingers are stretched to play a down-bow; curled to play an up-bow.

    Contrastingly, with

    Finger, wrist and elbow involvement

    The fingers are curled before a down-bow;  stretched before an up-bow.


    My question is, assuming the stretching and curling are done before the bow change, when stretching or curling the fingers, are wrist and elbow involved, or if that part of the stroke is strictly only a finger involvement? Thank you

  16. Hi. I'm moving with my partner into a newly rented flat. It's a short building with a few other flats. Of course I'll have to practice because I have to finish my degree.

    Under coronavirus I'll have to record myself playing for the exams instead of giving a recital at the University. This means my laptop, webcam and microphone will be needed, making booking a place outside and recording there an issue; I'll have to carry my violin, sheets, music stand, laptop, webcam and microphone to the place!

    I'm already practicing with a rubber practice mute as I've got a bad experience from being complained by neighbours from the previous place. It got to a point that I can't even focus on practicing because it made me feel I don't have the rights to play the violin at home, even if I never play before 0900 and after 1800. (They even called the security once!)

    I can never let that happen again. However, I also need my to ace my degree. I don't mind to do ANYTHING to maintain my rights to practice in my room without worrying. I'm thinking about soundproof materials, informing the new neighbors about my situation, asking if the University allows me to record my recital with a practice mute (last resort), etc.

    Any advice will be very much appreciated.

    Edit 7/8/2020: It happened! Today's the second day I played without a practice mute (have to record some Bach for an exam), I hear neighbors complaining! It was 1pm, so I've decided to take the advice from everyone and go downstairs to talk to them, 'be sorry but firm'. I told them I am sorry that my violin is too loud and said I was recording for my exam, usually I have mute on and I won't practice after 4pm... They looked accepting (but you'll never know right)

    Anyways I've got my 2nd last module done! I just need to record for my final exam :D

  17. 20 hours ago, Evan Smith said:

    on pg. 43 , #1,  he speaks of starting a note with an intense vibrato.............................then.......let the vibrato become more gentle.

    I have assumed he ment a clearer cleaner harder vibrato, a touch more on the tip of the finger, vs a  pad of the finger softness.

    Intensity is neither speed nor width,,,,,,and the difference in intensity would be subtle, a little goes a long way.



    Thanks for reminding me to readeery sentence more carefully! I think I've found my answer.

  18. Hi. I'm reading Principles of violin playing and teaching by Ivan Galamian. I've encountered the term 'vibrato intensity' for the first time.

    'Should it be performed by the arm, the hand, or the fingers?... Within each of these three types, speed, width, and intensity can be varied to a fairy great extent' (Galamian, p. 37).

    I understand the definition of the first two variables as Sassmannshaus has explained vibrato can be slow or fast; narrow or wide. However, what does intensity mean? I'd really interested and want to incorporate this element into my playing.

    Thank you


    Update 4/7: Just realized on the same page he also wrote 'changing the pressure of the finger and its angle with the string' as when describing vibrato intensity.


  19. Hi. I'll graduate in September. I hope I can squeeze a minimum of 1 hour per day for practicing the violin apart from my job (hopefully I can get one).

    Currently as a music student, I have the luxury to practice for a maximum of 5 hours per day, doing basics, scales, studies (etudes), concertos and solo piece (so far, just bach), 1 hour each. I also read theory and violin books and watch violin performances and tutorial videos in between breaks.

    Worst case scenario is my job has nothing to do with violin playing. But, I swear I won't stop playing the violin. Any advice on the proportion and content for this condensed 1 hour routine?

    P.S. Some life goals I want to accomplish include having played all 16 Schradieck & Sevcik exercises, studies by Fiorillo, Dont, Gavines, Rode, Paganini, Wieniawski and eventually Ernst at the right tempo correctly (unfortunately still on Kreutzer), and having learnt my favorite concertos including Khachaturian, Vieuxtemps 4 and Prokofiev 1. Then, I can challenge myself for LRSM and FRSM. Also, LMus and FMus; I'll try to read on public transport I guess...

    Thank you

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