Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Romance of Bell

In 2002 Joshua Bell had a new $4 million violin.  He had just saved the Huberman Stradivarius from ending up with a collector who intended it for a museum, the last place instruments of that caliber need to be.  To raise the cash Bell sold his own Stradivarius for two million and somehow managed to […]

Family Music

We’re just back from our annual Christmas trip to see the family in Wichita, KS – the weather on the return leg of the journey turned our one day road trip into two, with an unplanned stay in ice-blanketed Cameron, MO on Monday night, but otherwise the trip was wonderful and we had a great […]

Setting the Mood, Softly

Michael and I are in Wichita for our annual Christmas with family trip, and yesterday we shared meals first with my parents at their house, then at my grandmother’s house a few short miles away.  On both occasions, the two generations up from us had given attention to background Christmas music.  Mom and Dad had […]

Accounting for Christmas Taste

I’ve always loved traditional music.  When I was a kid and kids my age were supposed to be favoring the “black shirt bands” – at least that’s what I called them – I just could never see what everyone saw in the music;  I definitely couldn’t hear anything lovely either.  While over the years I’ve […]

Unexpected Pleasures

I was talking to Michael last night about expectations.  Suzuki learners are supposed to listen a lot, so I do.  A CD comes with the books, and when I’ve purchased a new one I’ve listened to them quite a bit, to the point that the tunes are familiar and I can hum along with them.  […]

The New and the Not-So-New

My new song – the Book Three Becker Gavotte – is quite challenging.  I’m getting close to the point where I can play it through, but I’m not there yet.  I am not close at all on the memorization.  There are some complicated bowing indications, and being in tune is a constant challenge – there’s […]

Musical Doodle

I generally ignore Google Doodles, but when presented with a caricature of Beethoven with keyboard first thing this morning as I opened up my laptop I couldn’t help myself – apparently it’s the classical master’s 245th birthday; he was born in December of 1770, but the precise day has been lost. Google’s Beethoven birthday celebration […]

Dreaming Up Movement

I’ve been busy.  Very busy.  But though I’ve been away from the blog for almost ten days (perhaps a sad record), I’ve definitely been playing my new Gavotte and trying to work up vibrato.  The Becker Gavotte is coming along much better than the vibrato – I’m not making very rapid progress at all there.  […]

A New Gavotte

The gavottes just keep piling up – Wednesday I began working with my third gavotte, and that’s only counting the gavottes in Suzuki Book Three!  There was one in Book One and several more in Book Two.  This new one is by J. Becker, whom Wikipedia reports is Jean Becker, a German violinist living from […]

The Right Stuff:  Gratitude and Peg Drops

I’ve been complaining about my A string – the peg has been problematic, loosening often, failing to stay in tune; it “pops” out from time to time, releasing all the tension of the wound up string.  The same thing happens on the G string too, but to a lesser degree and less often.  Well, I […]