Category Uncategorized

A Vivaldi Duet

Every once in a blue moon, Teacher brings the duet parts for the Suzuki pieces so she can play along with me; this past Tuesday was one of them.  It’s always fulfilling for me to play like that, making real music, and this Vivaldi concerto movement was the most fun I’ve had with chamber music […]

Great 8 with Anne Sophie

The New York Times has a weekly feature that presents a nicely curated set of eight classical music videos (usually YouTube) freely available online.  I don’t know how old the feature is, but I’ve noticed sets the last three weeks.  Last night, I was exploring this week’s and became enamored of a Brahms Double Concerto […]

Shifting Away

If the final Seitz concerto movement exists in the Suzuki repertoire to help students conquer double stops, the Vivaldi concerto’s job must be to ensure that shifting to third position and back becomes old hat.  I have a whole book of position shifting exercises that I’ve dabbled with – I daresay more focus there would […]

The Way of Life Long Learning

One of my major goals in taking up the violin as an adult was to add another dimension to my pursuit as a lifelong student.  My martial arts training has been immeasurably important to me for many reasons, but one of the most profound is the way it’s helped me internalize learning as a process […]

Taste of Ravel

I’ve been digging into the music of Maurice Ravel a bit more in anticipation of a Perlman recital we’re attending toward the end of April.  In addition to works by Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Schumann, Perlman will play Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 in G Major. The piece is clearly influenced by Jazz, […]

Reading up on Carmen

This coming Friday we’re off to the opera with some friends – the renowned Lyric of Chicago’s current production of the Bizet classic Carmen.  Though I’ve never been to the Lyric before, and I have seen very little opera otherwise, I do know that it’s best to learn plenty before going.  So this morning I’ve […]

Minors, Movement, and Mutes

I’m working on a new etude, a largo piece from the Wohlfahrt book in A minor.  In addition to being my first A minor piece, Teacher brought it out because it will help me practice my bowing angles, which have been giving me fits.  Long, slow bows are what the piece is about, and that’s […]

Time and Angles

When I started playing over three years ago, my practice sessions wouldn’t last more than 45 minutes, but as the months went by I started to increase my practice time.  I worked up to days when I kept it up for over two hours.  But then in July of 2015, I had a pretty significant […]

A Lesson and Vibrato

I had a lesson yesterday – my first in three weeks.  I’ve been playing well enough recently, but I was out of town for a long weekend just prior to the lesson, so I worried about being rusty.  Happily, rustiness wasn’t much of a problem.  I’ve very nearly memorized the Seitz concerto, the first piece in […]

Nigerian Soul in Chicago

Millennium Park, one of Chicago’s downtown public space jewels, hosts free concerts on Monday and Thursday nights during the summertime.  They take place at the Pritzker Pavilion, a landmark Frank Gehry designed bandshell.  I should go more often – it’s a real treat to sit out on a blanket snacking and watching music with friends.  […]