While making great progress on my Suzuki lessons and my current Book Four Vivaldi Concerto movement, I do practice other things most days.  For a while now, my primary side-pursuit has been Ashokan Farewell, the Jay Ungar composed tune that found ubiquity with its inclusion in the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War.  I continue […]

I opened my violin case to practice yesterday and encountered a broken A string.  The good news is I’ve long known to keep extras on hand, so I replaced it in short order.  The bad news is new strings always take a while to break in – they slip slowly flat as they stretch out.  […]

In school, I studied Spanish from the third grade through college.  My high school Spanish teacher is the person I credit with being my best teacher ever – I had four years of Spanish with him, and proctored for him as well.  He helmed the National Spanish Honors Society, of which I was a member, […]

If the final Seitz concerto movement exists in the Suzuki repertoire to help students conquer double stops, the Vivaldi concerto’s job must be to ensure that shifting to third position and back becomes old hat.  I have a whole book of position shifting exercises that I’ve dabbled with – I daresay more focus there would […]

Earlier this year, two of my nieces had lead roles in their high school production of Oklahoma! – while I couldn’t be there in person, one of the performances was filmed, and I was able to watch it last night.  Prior to that, I’d never seen the show and really knew nothing about it except […]

Despite being extremely short on practice time these past couple of weeks, as well as skipping last week’s lesson entirely, yesterday’s lesson went well. We continued to dig into the Vivaldi Concerto, and I’m now working with over half of it.  Position shifting is rising to the surface as the most important skill I need […]

Over the long weekend, I was out of town visiting family for my oldest niece’s high school graduation.  Her graduating class was 11 people (my own was about 400!), and I think most of them and many more made an appearance at her after-graduation party, which doubled as her 18th birthday party.  It was also […]