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Practicing on a trip

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My kid wants to stay in good violin shape for forthcoming

auditions during a week-long trip out of town. I'd like to hear

about how to practice in hotel rooms without getting evicted.

I'm pretty sure practicing on airplanes is not a great idea.

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The times I've asked in hotels/motels about practicing in the room, the hotel staff said practice when you want. I think the notion was that if it's a problem, you will be told at the time it is occurring, and you can then stop.

My feeling is if you practice in that transition time after guests who are leaving that day have checked out and before new guests have arrived, say, 10 am to 1pm, the time when the cleaning staff is going through the rooms, and guests, if they are staying over, are probably out of their rooms, there's less risk of disturbing neighbors.

Putting practice mutes on your instruments is also a possibility. They quiet the instrument down so much that you can practice about anytime.

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Practice on a lower floor such as basement area, stairway corners, where sound would not matter.

Use Scotch tape to tape your music sheet on the wall.

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I practice in hotel rooms a lot! I have a big, big mute (made in Ann Arbor? ... this might mean something to you all). I like using it, especially as the first scales the next day are preposterously loud because I've ended up playing so near the bridge! I'm not sure I would recommend extended practice with this for a junior/ inexperienced player. I also have a yamaha sv120 which can really ruin all your hard work.

I remember playing near a window in a hotel on 44th ave NY.....got a few looks up from the street.....I didn't have my mute then, no complaints....

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Yuen, I don't think a young girl should be practicing near a

basement or in stairways in hotels without an adult being nearby,

even if she is playing Vieuxtemps No. 5.  Aside from being

able to create obnoxious sounds, the violin is not much of a

self-defense weapon. On the other hand, Orpheus did OK with his

flute, so maybe. . .

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You've paid for the room, you've got just as much right to use it for practising as other guests have for watching tv - and in my opinion modern tvs are much more obtrusive soundwise than a violin. I'd put the tv on in the background while she practises then the single sound of a violin shouldn't draw any attention at all. Personally I've never had any second thoughts about playing violin in a hotel room up to about 10pm which I think is a reasonable and courteous cut-off time. Never had any complaints either.

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Thank you everyone. We're not nervous anymore. If things really get hairy, we'll use the rubber practice mute AND the TV in the background idea! Or maybe I'll just leave the kid at home.

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Like technique_doc, I would not use a practice mute as my first preference. It really messes with your ability to judge and control dynamic nuance in you playing. My preference would be to practice, full throttle, around midday, and only as a last resort use a mute early in the morning or at night.

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You could try asking the hotel management if there is a room available for your daughter to practice in. Maybe an unused meeting room or something away from the guest rooms. They would probably appreciate your courtesy in not wanting to disturb others. I am generally opposed to any activity in a hotel room that generates a loud noise of ANY kind. Even if your daughter is an accomplished player, I don't think one's choice of music should be imposed on others. Loud rap music on boomboxes at the beach; Bach in Room 112 - it's not everyone's cup of tea. I agree with maestrolover that most people think nothing of turning the TV up to the max, but we musicians should be more conscientious, right? Sound can be so beautiful, even in its absence.

Mary

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