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"Technique is all in the Head" and Kreisler


intrepid

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I remember reading something about Kreisler and his 'theory' that technique is all in the head. Did he believe it so much that this theory became his reality?

Any thoughts/ extra information about Kreisler or about his statement that you'd like to share with Maestronet?

I'm curious about this.

intrepid

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If Kreisler said this I think he was dead on. And I would add that "facility is all in the fingers". Too many students cultivate facility and have almost no technique. I think of them as pinball wizards. Good reflexes and coordination but no intelligence. Of course facility is a necessary condition for great violin playing but it is not sufficient.

Technique encompasses such things as finger preparation, pattern preparation, "posture" preparation, bow distribution, etc. etc. Its enormously picky and can be very consuming. In the end its almost all intellectual.

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Technique is all in the head in so much as control of the mind over the physical actions is all of our goals.

I tend to think this.........

For a beginner the Violin is 90% physical and 10% mental

For a top player the violin is 90% mental and 10% physical

Technique is the ability to carry out physical actions contolled by the brain. It doesn't matter how good or bad you are, until you have the ability to link the two up (and can actually do the things you want) you cannot employ the 'mind over matter' principle.

When I play golf, the ability to change the flight of the ball is controlled by small physical changes and mental approach. When I started, no matter how hard I tried (mentally) I could not control my body/arms and hands.

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg........?

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There is a simple test that each of us can perform to show how much of our technique is in our heads and how much is in our muscles and our automatic responses. Simply reverse your hands, bowing with your left hand and fingering with your right to see how much your brain will do for you unaided by trained muscles.

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When you play you have to consciously control your actions... right? Otherwise it wouldn't be "controlled" and would be more of rote learning... right? (can anyone concur? =) )

However I've noticed when I play fast passages, if I try to consciously control everything I can't play the passage too fast (in contrast to when I play passages "without really thinking", the fingers hit the right places and can be played faster)

I think in the beginning we have to control every movement with the conscious mind then the subconscious takes over. During fast speeds it's the subconscious working out... right?

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I don't think violin playing is all in the head in a concious way. Certainly muscle memory is an unconcious thing. People have commented on how it works in prior threads, particularly the time it takes to sink in. The artistry part may be carefully worked out but although it's concious choice, it's a talent that can be nurtured, practiced and polished by experience but not really taught in a classroom academic way.

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Interesting, Intrepid. If I can remind folks of the story of playing Wieniawski thinking of the chocolate in my case, it is possible (and in some cases prefferable) not to think but allow the instinctive memory to take over. This, as you suggest is performance by rote. In the beginning (either as a beginner or learning new notes) you need to engage your brain fully. As the memory kicks in (brain and muscle) too much concentration can (I believe) overload the brain. In fast passages I tend to think about the evenness, tempo, dynamics - the notes look after themselves. The best Golf shots I ever hit are those when I get a 'feel' for the shot and let my mind and body perform the exact motions without too much consciousness.

In the books 'the inner game of....' the author(s) actually suggests deliberately avoiding the excessive control of the actions by the brain and letting instinct, experience and natural action take over. I think the same is true for the violin.

It's a big issue I know...perhaps some others might like to comment on how much they 'think' when performing.

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