Jo Stephens

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About Jo Stephens

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  1. I have found that suggested fingerings, even when apparently awkward, do usually make what follows easier or sound better. But it’s not cheating, there is often more than one way to play a passage and you should go with what works for you.
  2. A very good article from Laurie. I have always been taught that as a student you should get the best instrument you can afford, both for ease of use and to encourage practice - if you sound good and the sound improves as your skill builds you want to keep practicing! Fine instruments are just the other end of this spectrum, you need a higher skill level to get the best out of a fine instrument.
  3. When I first learned Viola I supposed that a shoulder rest was necessary - have also found this uncomfortable. The nice thing about the Viola is it’s that bit bigger, I tried it without shoulder rest and found I can hold it just fine. Still use one for violin though.
  4. I’m not sure there is a best way to practice multiple instruments, it’s always going to be a trade off as you only have so much time and energy. That doesn’t stop me though :-) I tend to practice my main instrument (violin) regularly and pick up the others as and when the mood takes me, knowing that my progress will be more limited. To progress multiple instruments at once would take up a bigger time commitment for practice, could be achievable if you are organised, maybe alternate practice days?