The 2017 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies begins Tuesday at Juilliard border=0 align=

The 2017 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies begins Tuesday at Juilliard

May 28, 2017, 10:44 AM · New York, here we come! Be sure to check in at this week, when editor Laurie Niles will join violinists and teachers from all over the world at the The Juilliard School's Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, which begins on Tuesday and runs through Saturday.

The Symposium is a biennial celebration of violin performance and teaching, featuring five days of master classes, recitals, lectures, and pedagogy sessions, all at The Juilliard School.

Highlights this year include master classes with Donald Weilerstein, Joan Kwuon, Stephanie Chase, Shmuel Ashkenasi, and Paul Kantor.

Pedagogy classes will feature various topics with Brian Lewis; Paganini Caprices with Kurt Sassmannshaus; personality and motivation with Susan Crook; and Beethoven with Nicholas Kitchen. Keep reading...

Win Ysaye's violin transcription of Chopin's gorgeous Ballade No. 1 op. 23!

Win Ysaye's violin transcription of Chopin's gorgeous Ballade No. 1 op. 23!
This week we are giving away four copies of Ysaye's transcription of one of the most beloved pieces for piano by Chopin, revised by Jacob Niederhoffer. Enter here to win: (Ad)

Batons, Beats and Tapping Your Feet border=0 align=

Batons, Beats and Tapping Your Feet

May 27, 2017, 8:05 AM · If violinists could teach one thing to pianists, it would be that music exists within boundaries. Each time a musician looks up at a conductor, there is a plan in play. Unlike a metronome, the beats are conveyed in a musically convincing way. The fabric and dynamic of each sound are not just displayed for all to recreate, but are presented to show the limits which we need to organize ourselves. Coloring within the lines has never been easier, and the better the conductor, the more defined we become.

When pianists don’t learn the boundaries imposed by playing with others, and you find yourself playing with them, it’s best to just stay out of their way. Follow them as best you can. It will be a wild ride, and not necessarily un-musical. Their rhythm has a certain flair, and it must feel incredibly great to the pianists. While throwing caution to the wind is one of the components of music, it’s just not high on the priority list.

Different Rules Reach the Same Results

The ideas of rules and boundaries aren’t spelled out, but from the moment we play in an orchestra, the lovely, magical relationship between beats and musical interpretation is absorbed. Some people are better at absorbing than others. Ansel Adams recreated with his camera what he saw at Yosemite, while the average eye never sees the national park as anything more than a two dimensional image. Without that third dimension, something dull and lifeless emerges instead. Keep reading... weekend vote: At what age did you start playing the violin? border=0 align= weekend vote: At what age did you start playing the violin?

May 26, 2017, 1:51 PM · We've had a lot of conversations over the years about what age is best for starting violin.

The "best age" for starting is a subject that is up for debate. The Suzuki method encouraged parents to start teaching children to play at a very young age, as young as two or three. Before that, a more traditional age might have been around age eight or nine, when many school programs tended to offer lessons. And what about starting as an adult? Does that doom a person to limited progress?

I can confidently say that, with steady work and attention, anyone can progress on the violin at any age. I have seen adult starters who went on to play in semi-professional groups and who later taught themselves. (Did you know that Suzuki was a late-starter?) Also, I've seen people who played just a little as a child, then they come back many years later and make great progress and are able to make the violin a special part of their lives.

By contrast, I've known very young starters who burned out by age eight!

The most important thing for success on the violin is a person's level of devotion, persistence and daily practice.

That said, I'm very curious about when people started, and how they feel about that. As for me, I was just shy of my ninth birthday. As soon as I started, though, I was a complete nutcase about the violin and caught up quite quickly to most of those who started before me. I have a few of these kinds of students right now, who did not begin as toddlers but who are devoted and rapidly "catching up"!

Please vote, and then tell us your thoughts about age and violin/viola learning.

Keep reading...

Comments (49)

Keep Reading

Our Kokopelli
Please support
your donation
or sponsorship campaign. is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Corilon Violins

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Bobelock Cases


Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop