Monthly Archives: May 2014

Cradling the Neck

Since my first lesson, Teacher has been working with me on the proper violin hold. She’s been showing me the same thing week after week and my progress has been small and incremental.  In last week’s lesson, however, I had a bit of a breakthrough, and over the past week I feel I’ve finally been […]

Precious Cargo

A friend on Facebook linked to a CNN story about Zachary De Pue, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, who refused to check his 1757 Gagliano violin into a US Airways plane’s cargo hold for a quick jump to Fayetteville.  What did De Pue do?  Why, a tarmac recital, of course: Turns out De Pue is right on the […]

The Kodály Method

My musical sister called me Saturday to wish me happy birthday, and as we chatted she made me aware of a pedagogical method about which I’d been clueless – The Kodály (say ko-DAY) Method.  Apparently Sister and Brother-in-Law are prepping to host a fellow who’s doing some intensive study on the Method at a nearby […]

Birthday Present

Last night I got home and had a package in the package room.  Teacher told me to order Suzuki Book Two, so I did – I got the one that comes with the CD.  I opened it, started leafing through the book, and started getting excited about what’s to come! For one thing, it looks […]

The Elements of Music: 5 of 7, Timbre

Why does a clarinet’s sound differ from that of an oboe?  What makes a high C on a piano sound different than when it’s produced by a soprano?  Timbre is the answer.  It’s everything about the sound other than pitch that makes it unique. Some folks at Georgia State University have a handy but old […]

What Is a Gavotte?

Gavotte is coming along.  It’s a very long song for me – 8 lines that repeat and repeat and repeat.  Consider that each letter below represents two lines of music.  Here’s the pattern of Gavotte: AABCCDDAB For some reason section B does not repeat until a D.C. repeat, but all of the rest of the […]

The Elements of Music: 4 of 7, Contour

As the elements go so far, Contour has easily been the most difficult for me to get my head around.  The basic notion is not too difficult – does the music’s pitch rise or fall as the piece progresses?  Consider Twinkle Twinkle: Little Twinkle Star How I Wonder What you Twinkle Are   The melody […]

The Dave Matthews Band

One good thing about my lack of musical passion over the years is that I’ve never spent any energy on hating popular acts the way some people seem to need to do.  Justin Bieber?  Never heard one of his songs.  Brittney?  Same.  Going further back in time we can look at New Kids on the […]

Steinbacher’s Booth

Yesterday I decided to spend a little time listening to Beethoven, and while watching Arabella Steinbacher play his violin concerto I started to wonder about her instrument – it’s a 1716 Stradivarius called “Booth.”  I learned that, like many great players playing great instruments, Steinbacher has the Booth on loan.  I’ve written about The Stradivari […]

The Elements of Music: 3 of 7, Tempo

Allegro, andantino, allegretto – all are titles of songs by Dr. Suzuki from Book 1.  All are also tempo markers.  Of the elements of music I’ve written up to date, tempo is easily the most straightforward.  How fast or slow is the music?  Convention dictates the tempo be expressed with an Italian word.  Sometimes, composers […]