Monthly Archives: September 2014

An Old School Musical Party Favor

Last weekend was my 20th high school reunion – the Wichita High School East Class of 1994.  As it was for many people, high school was an odd time for me.  My school world was never my real life when I was a child; my church world was my real life.  But, like most of […]

Seasons and Strings and Bits of Old, Dry Wood

String instruments that sit in their cases languishing for over 50 years and then get picked back up have some stretching out to do to in order to reconnect with their past glory.  I’ve read that it can take a year or two of usage for them to reveal their capabilities to decent players.  Now, […]

An Old and New Song

The Two Grenadiers, which I started in Wednesday’s lesson, is a song written by Robert Schumann in 1840.  Schumann, whom I’ve mentioned before as the composer of another Suzuki tune I have in my repertoire, Happy Farmer, wrote many songs.  And though sometimes I throw the word “song” around loosely – many of the compositions […]

Speed Demon

Since downloading the Book One CD last week, primarily so I can have a good, speedy-enough-but-inclusive-of-all-the-repeats accompaniment track for Gavotte by Gossec, my little showpiece, I’ve been working on all my old Book One songs with renewed interest.  I find that having accompaniment renders the simpler songs less boring.  And listening to the way they […]

Musical Origins

A friend commented on a post on human origins and the oldest flute in the world a few days ago – she wondered about the impact of music on human evolution (or vice-versa), and it got me wondering about it too.  I’ve done some very cursory looking on the subject, and there is, unsurprisingly, a […]

Book Two Is Phase Two

Teacher tells me she’s going to bring me a shopping list.  Apparently the list will include supplemental instructional materials to Suzuki Book Two, providing “etudes” and such for me to work with (I learned a while back that etude just means exercise).  Of course I love any excuse to buy violin stuff, so I’m looking […]

Fall Fling – Mutter does Vivaldi

Anne-Sophie Mutter is one of the best in the world.  I just bought two tickets to see her at Symphony Center on November 19 – she’s coming to Chicago with a group she runs called the Mutter Virtuosi – an ensemble of younger musicians who graduated from her foundation in Munich with whom she tours.  […]

There’s an Ap for That

This morning’s New York Times includes a story about the Japanese – apparently good old shiny plastic CDs still account for about 87% of music sales in the country, long on both progress and nostalgia.  As such, they still have a 9 story flagship Tower Records in Tokyo.  Here at home, the article reports that […]

Fast, Like a Gavotte

I came back to practicing after vacation and pulled out the accompaniment track I’ve been working with for Gavotte by Gossec, the final piece in Book One that I’m still seriously working on working up.  I was astonished to find that as I went back to the recording it’s just painfully slow.  Somehow while away […]

Picking up Where I Left Off

The week away did not seem to have much of an impact on my playing.  Most surprisingly, I seem to have been able to return to my newest piece, a Bourree by Handel, right where I left off.  My brain seems to have kept it in place, which was not what I expected at all, […]