Category The Brain

Memorization and the Play-Through

Getting to the spot in a new piece of music where I can play it through without stopping is always a thrill.  After yesterday’s lesson I am much closer on this newest piece – we worked through the remaining section of the Third Movement of Seitz’s Fifth Concerto, a flowing stretch of slurred sixteenth notes […]

Violin Dreaming

This morning I broke free from one of those odd dream worlds that can appear when crossing over from sleeping to waking.  The dream was about the violin – not about playing the violin, but just a strange little scene with the instrument itself.  It was unsettling – I generally don’t remember dreams. Upon returning […]

Seitz and More

The new Seitz movement – the First of the Fifth Concerto – is difficult, but also quite fun to work on.  Last week’s lesson took me just a little over halfway through it.  The section I started last week brought a shift from D Major to E Major – my first time working in the […]

Brain Acting Out

Last night as I warmed up with scales I was not getting the notes.  I would play the G major scale and play C# instead of C.  Conversely, I would play C instead of C# in the A major scale, a basic reversal.  Then, while playing the C major scale I’d play F# instead of […]

Learn, Teach

I don’t have a lesson today – Teacher is away at an Irish fiddle camp in one of the Carolinas (I can’t ever keep the Carolinas straight – apologies to the good people who call them home).  I was interested in her preparation for the expedition – she has been playing her fiddle for the […]

Passions: Music Beats Politics

I’ve long been shackled to politics – here in Chicago at least we had a primary with some interesting local races that actually centered on issues versus personalities.  The elections have been important and offered a refreshing reminder of what politics should be all about.  But the national dialogue is anything but. One side effect of […]

What Makes the Sound of Music?

Linguists have argued about the neurological bases of speech and music for a long time, with most evidence and argumentation coming from anthropology and evolution – all cultures produce music, all cultures have language – these adaptations must be good for something.  Noted neuroscientist and linguist Steven Pinker, for example, has called music “auditory cheesecake,” […]