Monthly Archives: November 2013

On Leveling up and Fingers

The last lesson was a whirlwind – our typical pattern is I play all my old material, from Twinkle Twinkle through my newest song, and Teacher corrects me on finer points as we go along.  The finest of the finer points is often my bow hold.  That still holds, but last week as I played, […]

I’d Rather Be Playing the Violin

I miss a day or two practicing per week.  Even so, I’ve never missed the day before a lesson, but yesterday was a very long one and by the time I got home dinner and the couch were all I could handle.  We’ll see how today’s lesson goes as a result.  I’ve determined already that […]

Some Things Old Are Some Things New

One of the first CDs I purchased as a teenager featured Paganini’s 1st Violin Concerto.  I don’t remember the soloist, but I think she or he played alongside the Hungarian Philharmonic.  The Concerto remains a favorite and an inspiration – I’ve watched several YouTube performances of the piece, and am enamored of Sarah Chang’s simultaneous boldness and grace.  […]

Rhody the Right Way

Earlier in the month I wrote a post about re-discovering an old song from my first go-round with the violin back in elementary school – Go Tell Aunt Rhody.  In my lesson earlier this week, Teacher introduced me to a new song – Go Tell Aunt Rhody!  Of course I had some of the details […]

Riding the Kreisler Highway

My quest for proper violin hold, bow hold, finger and arm positioning, and bow placement on the strings continues.  Weekly, Teacher makes minor corrections to my configuration, and, weekly, I’m able to absorb ever so slightly more detail about doing it all correctly.  Yesterday, I was tickled when she made me aware of a new […]

The Sound of Music

The Von Trapps were adorable, weren’t they?  I’m talking about the fictionalized ones.  This morning in the shower I found myself humming “Do, a deer…” and it took me a moment to remember where I first heard it.  It actually was not on first viewing the movie version of “The Sound of Music” sometime in […]

YouTube Is No Teacher

YouTube has never really been my thing.  I have seen my share, of course, as a passionate, 21st century consumer of information, but I prefer reading – in fact I will often skip a news story if it’s only available on video.  But since I started playing the violin, I’ve started watching YouTube videos about […]

Dr. Suzuki Said Never Be Lazy

Wikipedia has its detractors, but I think it’s a great place to start an exploration. I’ve just read the article on Shinichi Suzuki, the namesake and creator of the Suzuki method of music instruction. He led an interesting life, and his philosophical disposition seems to match up with a lot of my own views on […]

The High Life

Life in a high rise is great – we feel very secure, the view is extraordinary, and the rest of Chicago is 17 stories down, which makes it a quiet escape.  But it has some downsides, sometimes including the necessary courtesy we extend our neighbors.  Along those lines, I’ve decided I cannot practice before 9:00 […]

Little Voice

In my lesson yesterday, I realized I was relaxing and becoming more comfortable playing in front of my teacher.  It might seem strange, but I did not consider the performance aspect of taking up the violin before I did so.  But now, every week I stand in front of a great violin player and play […]