V.com weekend vote: Have you ever quit your instrument for a period of time? border=0 align=

V.com weekend vote: Have you ever quit your instrument for a period of time?

February 16, 2018, 1:02 PM · Have you ever wanted to just quit? Have you ever done it? Did you come back? And then what made you come back?

For me, I've never really quit, though I've had periods where my focus has been elsewhere. After I got my degree in music, for example, I went on to get a master's degree in journalism. I still played and took lessons during that time, but it was not with the same intensity as I did as a music major!

And certainly, injuries, motherhood, attempting to pay bills with other work, etc. have meant for periods of less playing. There have been times when I've wanted to chuck the fiddle out the window (so to speak, never literally!) -- like after bad auditions, frustrating performances, or life's difficulties simply piling up too high. Somehow the music always calls me back.

Also, I can tell you that I've taught adults who took long breaks -- 20 and even 30 years! I've found that they are very successful in getting back to the instrument, as long as they put in the consistent practice and keep the faith.

What has your experience been?

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For the Record, Op. 45: Lisa Batiashvili's Visions of Prokofiev; Cellist Kian Soltani border=0 align=

For the Record, Op. 45: Lisa Batiashvili's Visions of Prokofiev; Cellist Kian Soltani

February 15, 2018, 12:41 PM · Welcome to "For the Record," Violinist.com's weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Visions of Prokofiev
Lisa Batiashvili, violin
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting

Following her 2016 album with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim, Tchaikovsky & Sibelius Violin Concertos, Lisa Batiashvili releases "Visions of Prokofiev," a new album with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The album features Prokofiev’s two violin concertos as well as select movements from his famous ballets (Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Love for Three Oranges), newly arranged for solo violin and orchestra by Lisa’s father, Tamás Batiashvili. BELOW: Batiashvili performs excerpts from the album and briefly talks about the music of Prokofiev.

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The Rocky Road to a Smooth Vibrato border=0 align=

The Rocky Road to a Smooth Vibrato

February 15, 2018, 6:10 AM · When I was a young boy I started many techniques, such as vibrato, bow distribution and shifting. It took me too many years to learn them because of one huge and maddening obstacle. I applied various exercises mindlessly and tirelessly, without thinking about what was actually happening with those techniques. I would have preferred more talent and natural ability to get me through those formative years, rather than knocking my head against the wall racking up my “10,000 hours.” I don’t knock hard work, but this idea that anyone can be great at something if they spend the time ignores the fact that practicing mistakes wastes time. My time would have better spent if I had searched for hidden slivers of talent that I didn’t even know existed.

I was clearly in a dead end. Even the tiniest of insights would have been appreciated. Great vibrato involves large motions yielding results over a tiny area. Mine was very narrow because my muscles and movements were strained in the wrist area. If I had instinctively known that the pitch is supposed to change, but never sound out of tune, and that the fingertip will move passively as a result of an extremely wide movement of the arm from the elbow, I would have had greater success much sooner. Keep reading...

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