Monthly Archives: November 2015

Cheating E Flat Major

Ever since posting a memorial to my friend that included the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables I have been stuck with it coursing through my head.  It’s a beautiful song, so yesterday I decided to see if I could play it.  I looked up music online and l found some potential vendors, […]

Growing into Hunter’s Chorus

As a rule, I don’t play all my old songs anymore.  Nowadays all I’ve kept in the rotation from Book One are the Bach minuets for warming up G Major (one of the three is a Leopold minuet but The Suzuki School has never noticed).  From Book Two, I’ve held on to the final two […]

On Gratitude for My Bounty

I’m a day late with this decidedly non-musical Thanksgiving post – I wrote it yesterday morning but it ended up feeling a little curmudgeonly for T-Day proper.  Perhaps it’s even more relevant on Black Friday, consumerism’s own Grand Hajj.  Michael and I had a lovely Thanksgiving, and I hope you did too! Over the past few years, the […]

Vibrato Report

I’m working on vibrato.  It’s challenging, and I’ve developed some questions that I need to consult with Teacher on, which is to be expected whenever I try new things on the violin. One of my main questions is when I should turn it on and off.  Eventually it will be on all the time, on […]

My Groupie

Can you have just one Groupie?  I think I might.  Last night on my way into the building the lone female on our maintenance staff in the building was stationed at the front door.  We’re quite friendly, often chatting in the laundry room and in passing all over the building – the building front door […]


Another lesson, another milestone – well, it is to me, anyway.  She’s been teasing me with it for a while, but yesterday we spent most of the lesson on introducing me to some techniques for producing vibrato on the violin.  On one hand I’ve been itching to get going on it, but on the other […]

“She Played a Scale.”

My wonderfully musical sister sent me to a blog post on Saturday called Why I’d Spend a Lot More Time Practicing Scales If I Could Do It All Over Again.  In it, music performance psychologist Noa Kageyama discusses scales as the quintessential practice tool.  To sum up his thoughts, scales provide a structure within which […]

They Sound a Little Flat to Me

Writing in Huffington Post a week ago, Elizabeth Weinfield lauded a trend in music performance – that of tuning instruments to the frequencies that were more standard when older pieces of music were written and played.  A while back I wrote about learning of temperaments – different ways of tuning instruments to make them sound […]

Sliding up to Harmonics: Pinkies Are Useful

I had a great lesson last Wednesday – I played through Humoresque for Teacher and we started some refinements on it.  The piece has so many little moments where subtleties make a big impact.  Dynamics are just the tip of the iceberg.  No piece I’ve worked on to date so fully explores the nuance of […]

A Dream In Memoriam

I learned last night of an old friend’s passing; she died last week at 42.  I hadn’t seen Melissa for 20 years or more, but she was a significant part of my young adulthood, part of a group of friends that came along at exactly the right time for me, helping me see and come […]