Monthly Archives: April 2015

On Posture, with a Priorities Finish

When I was a child learning how to play the violin, I sat.  I don’t remember any discussions of it at all – to sit or stand?  Obviously orchestras sit down, so playing the violin while seated is fine.  But Suzuki, in Book One, makes a point of a standing posture.  He describes it, with […]

To Read Is To Spar

Wohlfahrt’s Opus 45 is a book of etudes – pieces composed for the technical skills they build in their players.  So I assumed that’s why Teacher wanted me to get it – as a tool to help me improve my technical skills.  But in yesterday’s lesson she told me that she has another quite concrete […]

I Love Books

Teacher gave me a shopping list last week.  In addition to Suzuki Book Three (which I’ve already got and am listening to like a good Suzuki Kid), she recommended three supplements to the Suzuki series for this stage of my playing.  They are books of exercises; they should arrive tomorrow.  Based on the reviews online, […]

Beethoven and Lenin – Anything but a Travesty

Tom Stoppard, in his eccentrically witty and brilliant play Travesties, juxtaposes choice historical figures as they might have been had they all gathered together in a library in 1917 Zurich.  Stoppard can be forgiven for allowing caricature to reign in the work, since that’s the point; as _______ as any one of us frail humans […]

There Is No Finish Line

We made it through to the end of the Boccherini Minuet in Wednesday’s lesson, and with it the end of Suzuki Book Two.  I love this minuet – it’s extremely fun to play, and, while challenging, the technical details are not such that I feel I won’t be able to make the piece sound OK […]

Hilary Hahn – Mozart 5, Vieuxtemps 4

I’ve not mentioned Hilary Hahn before except once in passing, but as far as violinists go she is one of the greats – everybody thinks so.  I have thought that she makes the violin sound like it has buttons.  There’s a phenomenal YouTube recording of her playing Mozart’s 3rd Violin Concerto for Pope Benedict’s birthday […]

Canon in D

On Monday the ubiquitous wedding march Canon in D, by Johann Pachelbel, popped into my head.  I’m not really sure why – I do enjoy the tune, but it’s quite well-represented by others in the universe.  I’ve never considered it to be one of my favorites, personally speaking.  But it did occur to me that […]


Now that I’ve landed on the final piece of Book Two I don’t know what’s next.  Happily, Book Three came yesterday, so I immediately opened the CD and loaded it into my iTunes and started listening.  Suzuki’s big plan included lots of listening to the music in the repertoire – learn what it’s supposed to […]

Dvorak Plays Chicago

In 1893 all eyes were on Chicago – the Columbia Exposition was happening in Hyde Park, demonstrating to the rest of the country and the world that Chicago is a first rate place.  Guests to the fair rode the first Ferris wheel and many saw their first electrically lit-up spectacles – there were lights all […]

One on Two

“String hopping” is something I’ve done since the beginning – going from, say, the third finger position on one string to the third finger position on an adjacent string by lifting and putting it down again.  That technique came up in one of the very first songs in Book One and has been a part […]