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Nine months later and still going....


Karla
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Besides, if faking were easy, Hollywood actors wouldn't make us laugh in their attempts at playing the violin on the big screen. When I see actors play, I always imagine that in order to do the filming they must be putting bow to string and actually making some sorts of sounds. How does the film crew stand it--do they wear earplugs??? How do the actors keep from laughing (or crying!) at what they hear? They must have to overdub the speech later, after erasing the "music"...


Maybe they have them go through the motions with no rosin on the bow.

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I have a contrasting problem to Karla's indiffernce to some things like vibrato. My problem is I want to learn ALL at the same time, vibrato being one of the top, but I am still a beginner like Karla, 1 year in violin learning.

Both of the teachers I had so far agree that I tend to get ahead of myself during my home-practice sessions.

Karla, you seem to be desciplines in terms of these things. And keep following your teacher's advices. Try a couple of other teachers if you need to, and find the one that best matches your intended pace of progress.

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I started at the age of 46. It was the best thing I ever did. It's been frustrating at times, but the joy is great.

I have a goal to someday play in a community orchestra also


Well I was about your age when I started to learn, and yes it is the best thing I ever did too. Regrets??? Only that I didn't start sooner.

I now play in the local community orchestra (after about 2 and a half years when I first joined) and am a very good faker!! BUT I do know that each term I have to fake less than last time. And I play in a string quartet (2nd fiddle of course) who are not for public consumption, but we just meet every week and play for our own enjoyment.

I would thoroughly recommend BOTH these activities as soon as you feel confident enough. The quartet has done wonders for my sight reading (I couldn't read music when I started), and both the quartet and orchestra are tremendously supportive. I think the main thing is that they can see that I am serious, that I practise, have regular lessons, and I am getting better, so they are willing to put up with my faux pas from time to time.

Quite honestly the violin has changed my life in so many ways. Lots of new friends, new experiences and a life so much richer.

Jane

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< I now play in the local community orchestra (after about 2 and a half years when I first joined) and am a very good faker!! BUT I do know that each term I have to fake less than last time. And I play in a string quartet (2nd fiddle of course) who are not for public consumption, but we just meet every week and play for our own enjoyment.

I would thoroughly recommend BOTH these activities as soon as you feel confident enough. >

---------------------------------------------------------

Oh I intend to as soon as I can. I'm told everyone learns at their own speed, so I can't predict when that will be for me. I don't feel terrible talented, but I work hard at it and I'm progressing. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Karla, you will probably find that at about two years into your violin studies, you will make a break-through. There will be a decidedly significant change in your playing and your physical understanding of the instrument. It will (most likely) come out of nowhere and be quite profound.

At university, we had several string players that began their studies at a later age (most to fill-out requisites or like composition majors to understand strings better and began their studies in college). For very focused adult learners, it was not uncommon for players to be performing in ensembles by the second year. One student went from twinkle twinkle little star to the Bach Sonatas and Partitas in that time. I believe most of the "excelerated learning" is a combination of previous musical experience, drive, physical awareness of self and maturity.

As most orchestral playing involves nothing much higher than third position, and community orchestras are notorious for having a full gamut of levels of players, don't be put-off by how "imposing" it may seem. Generally, community orchestras, with a good director/conductor help their musicians and improve their over-all musicianship, precisely because not everyone is a graduate in string performance. I wish that every neighbourhood had one. It cerntainly would make orchestral music more available to the common person.

One thing I caution adult learners about is that the vast majority of pedagogy in the worl is based on early learning. The world has yet to study and produce a truly adult-based learning system. In reality, there is no reason in the world that an adult should ever have to play "twinkle, twinkle" as an etude. But, very few have even attempted to draft new etudes for this growing audience.

One thing I hope you do, when you've had ensemble playing, orchestras and possibly solo performance under your belt, is to Champion the adult learner cause. At the present time, it is a segment of serious music that does not receive enough attention, and may be the very segement that allows this type of music to survive into the future.

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Hello Karla and all others that participated in this thread. All I can say is WOW! This has been such an uplifting and motivational thread for me to read. I am a 39 year old student violinist (actually can't really call myself a violinist yet, more of a wannabe ) that just started the violin a few weeks ago. To this day I have had two lessons with a teacher I find is wonderful and reading this thread has given me much more hope than I had before.

I have played guitar for about 23 years and the last 12 years of that have been classical. Due to an unexplained pain between my shoulder blades in my upper back area I had to give the guitar up (maybe old age, don't really know ) Anyway, learning the violin has always been a long time love of mine and goal in my life but due to the time needed to learn the classical guitar I just didn't have the time for it. Now that I have the time I knew it was time to begin. Now, I guess that becuase of my guitar mastering background, I would just be able to pick up the violin and play . . . boy was I wrong! I never heard so many bad tones come from one instrument!! I was in desperate need of a teacher. So, in my first lesson my teacher showed me the proper way to hold my bow and violin. I said outloud, "Well, this didn't feel natural". He said that in time it will and it already is becoming that way. He started me drawing on open strings. Pretty terrible I must say but with practice I was able to sound not too bad but still nothing to write home about. On my second lesson he showed me the correct left hand positioning and technique as we began to play notes on the D string. But wait, where are the frets? Oh yeah, this is a violin not a guitar and no frets! This is something that is going to take some getting used to. Anyway, after making some very flat and sharp E, F#, and G notes I was able to use my ear to intonate them better. I never thought that "Mary had a Little Lamb" could be so difficult! (LOL) You mean "Twinkle, twinkle" is suppose to be easy??? So this is where I am today and I so look forward to learning this instrument.

My teacher also told me that becuase of my prior music experience that I may be able to join the small chamber ensemble that he leads in about 6 months or so and I thought, are you crazy? Do you want your ensemble to suck?! Then he assured me that the pieces they play are geared more toward a learning enviroment. He said that they play some holiday shows at local events and retirement homes and the like. I very much so look forward to that.

In most, I just wanted to show my thanks to the conversations in this thread as I have found them to be very moving. It's good to know that there are others in the same boat as myself and I hope to learn and share experiences with you all.

Being new to Maestronet, is there any way to receive e-mail notification when someone else has posted to a thread that you are in?

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Two things:

Supporting Adult learners...there is a great organisation in London who do this (and have a spin off org in Leeds too ) check out this website http://www.ellso.org.uk/

AND

"I wish I had started this 30 years ago! "

Me too. But stick at it, it will bring you enormous rewards (if my experience is anything to go by). You have the advantage of already understanding music which will mean you progress faster. Best of luck!

Jane

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Hello, Brian ~ Your relating of your violin experience is so entertaining! I agree that this board is not only supportive, but imensely informative as well. (I started viola again after umdoodumdee years, and even though I am creakingly old, I still seem to be learning. You will have no trouble. Good luck, anyway!)

AND I gather that you have electricity, after the ghastly weather you had recently - our daughter in Indiana just got moved back into her house. Hope you didn't get too badly hit(and didn't have to burn your violin for heat!) Shirley

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Hello Shirl and my violin is still in one piece, though it was on the fire line next!! Yes, the weather hit us pretty hard and caused alot of closings but as always we managed to get through it.

I find this forum very informative as well as entertaining and I am glad I found it becuase I have been talking to so many nice people and have been learning tons. I think it is great that you got back to your viola after you time away from the instrument. I have come to realize that it is not an age thing becuase making beautiful music isn't about an age, it's about a love. Now if I could only make that beautiful music . . . oh well, in time . . .

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Hello everyone. I'm new to this site and so far I've loved reading this thread . I'm a wee bit younger than some of you, I believe. lol. I played the violin in 5th and 6th grade and am just now getting back to it. Though, I will pretty much have to relearn, I think . I now have my very own violin and my mother-in-law copied some pages out of a violin book, for learners. I'm VERY excited about getting started again. Anyways, like I said I'm a newbie around here . So I'd like to hear from you guys....and ladies.. lol.

tigerpupmomma

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Hello everyone. I'm new to this site and so far I've loved reading this thread . I'm a wee bit younger than some of you, I believe. lol. I played the violin in 5th and 6th grade and am just now getting back to it. Though, I will pretty much have to relearn, I think . I now have my very own violin and my mother-in-law copied some pages out of a violin book, for learners. I'm VERY excited about getting started again. Anyways, like I said I'm a newbie around here
. So I'd like to hear from you guys....and ladies.. lol.

tigerpupmomma


Welcome!! As you can probably tell from around here, it's never too late to start learning again.

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What kind of a vibrato are you learning, Karla?


Oh CRUD... you mean there is more than one??? I am not really learning vibrato right now. I am learning to do vibrato-like movements with my left hand. I don't want to work too hard on it right now due to more pressing things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No one really has to learn vibrato or to do a lot to vibrato. It comes natural as time comes. Just move and rock your hand and fingers for longer notes..However, There is a lot of right hand (bowing technique)actions to learn.(On strings and off strings). Put your attention to the right hand. /yuen/

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No one really has to learn vibrato or to do a lot to vibrato. /yuen/


Vibrato making music, too much or too less will be a lot of difference music making, recent example I have is Mutter vs Ricci on Brahms violin sonatas #3 1st mov, Mutter's too much vibrato uncomfortable me and I understood now why Ricci is a master of the masters. I attended some of his master class in the past few years, he is a charming little giants when he was playing.

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Learn how to cook is one thing, learn to cook a dish for someone to like it,is another. Right hand is where most problems are. Left hand is less a problem in general. Would you think so (agree)? /yuen/


I would kind of agree with that, but remember, your left hand has to do vibrato, memorize different postitions and shifting, left hand pizz, and lots of other difficult technique.

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My guitar teacher says to equate it to talking. When you speak you have the words (your vocabulary) and you have the way those words are presented. We raise our voice when we are excited, etc. Words, just spoken in a monotone voice mean almost nothing. The left hand is our words and the right hand is how we deliver those words. Of course both MUST be developed in order to present the best story or capture the audience.

Since I started this post, my playing has really soared. I am starting to hit more good than bad notes during parts of my practice which is very uplifting. I still am not too worried about vibrato and have started working on playing in the second and third positions. It is going remarkably well as I am gaining skill in intonatation. My left hand is becoming very loose and nimble in this work. It's all good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Karla,

Just a note to say "way to go!" I was an older beginner (in my 40's) on the violin and just passionate, yet frustrated that I did not sound as fantastic as I so wanted to in my heart!

Due to an overuse injury, I ultimately gave up the violin (after years of physical therapy - a shoulder problem). All that work, and desire, and hope.... But not to give up on strings, I recently took up the cello! I am loving it, but STARTING ALL OVER again with my frustrations (not to mention I have not read the bass clef in 30 years!) I really appreciate your post, and all the encouragement you've received as it continues to encourage ME to not give up! I would LOVE to play in a chamber orchestra someday with the cello, and sometimes laugh at the mere thought of it! But, I think I can do it eventually (I've been playing the cello for 7 months and just started Suzuki book 2 and second position :-)).

Best of luck and keep us all posted.

Jill

San Diego

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Well since you brought this to the forefront again I will share my experience of yesterday. Yesterday I played my violin out for the first time ever. I took it to a little blues-jam session. In that session there are mostly guitarists but there is also a mandolin on occassion. Yesterday there was a fiddle. I figured out that if I knew the key I could pretty much play the right notes to improvise a solo and even easier, I only had to play the tonal note of each measure to play along with the guitarists. It actually sounded really sweet and it wasn't just to my ears as the fiddle was invited back next time!! The intonation was easier with the guitars.

I shook for at least 2 songs after the first solo piece! But I did it.

Oh and this month is my 1 year point. I am still kicking!

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Karla,

Congradulations! It really sounds like you're progressing incredibly fast, and well! I feel the whole point (well, for many) of the violin is to have fun playing, specially with others. Try to get out and play with as many people as you can, you will have plenty of good times.

Keep going, if you're this good, after only one year. You have no reason to quit, so keep going! You don't hear about this good of progress that often.

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