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Could anybody help me find a way to practice more effectively

i.e. with better results. I know it's an odd question but I need

something to give me hope that I can play much better than I do now.

The war in Bosnia made me leave the violin for 4 years and now I have

to make up for all the four years I`ve missed. I was 14 when it began

now I`m 18. I hope that there is somebody who has a story of his own as an

example of how I could become more motivated.

I have another question... every time I have to play a solo or when

I have a concert infront of an audience I become very confused

and I usually play the piece very badly. Is there a way to avoid

that strange feeling. Just today I have preformed the "Traumerei"

. I was so cofused that I had to improvise just to continue playing.

I hope that there are some maestros of violin today, who had the same promblem in the past,

to help me by answering my questions.

Please excuse my bad english and any inconveniences my question might cause!

Thak you!

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Dear Nihad,

I've got a story for you! I was a full time violinist/fiddler until I suffered a shoulder disability. Like you, I was away from the violin for 4 years. After 4 years, I still could not use my shoulder properly, and I wanted to play violin so badly that I decided to teach myself how to play the violin left handed, even though I am naturally right handed! After 4 years playing left handed, I am almost as good as I used to be. I expect to keep getting better and intend to be better than I used to be! Something that really helps me practice is to see in my mind a picture of a really good violinist playing the piece that I am working on. I imagine how the violinist moves the bow, and imagine the beautiful sounds, and experience the vibrato and other techniques. This even helps when I am performing in public.

Good luck with your playing! Just keep working hard and you'll get better and better. Try to spend time as much time as you can with other people who feel the same way as you do about music.

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Your interest in making your practicing more productive indicates that you will probably find a way to make it happen! First and most important, find a highly skilled teacher who will help you. Remember to view everything that your teacher says or demonstrates for you is an observation about an area of your technique that you need to practice. Make your practice time as long or short as appropriate to maximize your productivity. Hear the pitch and the quality of the sound you want in your mind before you play, even if this means playing very slow. When it does not sound the way you want it to sound, stop and think about what made it sound that way then decide what you will do to make it sound more like what you hear in your mind. When you make the same mistake twice, play it correctly at least twice as many times before you go on so that you avoid learning errors. Practice every day (even if you don't have more than 30 minutes), and try to gradually increase the amount of time you spend in daily practice. Try to find opportunities to play in orchestras and chamber groups at different skill levels. Obtain enough sleep - too little sleep interferes with your ability to solve problems efficiently and creatively. Listen to and watch others play. Establish musical goals that are realistic and achievable for you. Even when you are working very hard on new and challenging music, make time to play through things which you know you play well for your own enjoyment. Enjoy what you are doing, but don't let that enjoyment get in the way of being objective and observant. These are all things that help me. I played violin fairly seriously until age 22, then became discouraged and went into a different career. I played very little for almost 14 years. When I resumed playing, I was more motivated than ever and made much better progress than I had been, especially when compared with the last 2-3 years before I stopped playing. I hope that this advice helps you.

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