Violinist.com members may keep personal journals on the website. Violinist.com's editor selects the best entries for the column below. Links to all other recent blog posts may be found in the column on the right.
By Bram Heemskerk
December 15, 2012 07:03
Pietro Antonio LOCATELLI (1695-1764) violin concerto's opus3 no 4,5,6 :
By Liz Lambson
December 14, 2012 19:38
I recently wrote a post entitled, "Tidings of Comfort and Joy: 10 Ways to Tune Up the Holidays," and have since been thinking more about music as a source of comfort in our lives. Today news spread of another terrifying shooting at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, just days after one just miles from us at the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Oregon.
During this Christmas season, there will be many families gathering together to find a sense of peace and comfort through music, whether to feel the spirit of the holidays or to overcome a sense of grief as they remember loved ones lost.
There have been times in my life when music has been like medicine to me. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Music offers an escape from the noise and chaos in the world. Music therapy is even a popular, effective, and growing practice.
I thought I'd share a list of a few beautiful classical pieces with a brief description of their backgrounds in case you're looking for a calming piece with which to reflect, rest, or even fall asleep. Perhaps take a listen to a recording on Spotify, or put together your own compilation of "Musical Comfort" with downloads from iTunes. You could even pick up some sheet music and learn one of these numbers for performance. Enjoy these magical and comforting pieces during a season of love and togetherness!
Are there pieces or songs that bring you a sense of peace and comfort? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment to share your favorites. Tweet
By Michelle Jones
December 14, 2012 12:20
I am honestly asking this question as I deal with new graduates each semester. Just because someone has received a degree from a university does not mean that they are now suddenly “professional.” That term must be earned through experience and practice. Just because you know how to play an instrument for pay does not make you a professional musician. There is a difference between being a paid musician and being a professional musician.
A professional musician is one who has taken the time to learn the ropes in the real world from his fellow musicians (usually older and more experienced). He has learned how to handle contracts, act on the actual gigs, deal with referrals and business contacts, and most importantly, be a responsible, ethical person.
1. Contracts – I have a whole blog post on this. Basically, each gig should have a contract that spells out the terms, requirements, etc. Vinylinist.com
2. Acting on the gig – This is the essence of this blog post. How you act is judged immediately from the first communication. If you act professional, then they will expect a professional. If you were recommended for a gig, then you are representing the person who recommended you. Your actions are a direct representation of the person who recommended you. This is one reason I try to be SO careful with recommendations! Be on time (preferably early). Allow extra time for traffic, finding the venue, loading in, parking, etc. Come dressed professionally. You may not be in your performance attire, but you should look presentable. Do not smoke prior to or on breaks at any performance as the odor permeates your hair and clothing. Do not consume alcoholic beverages prior to or during the event. Many contracts have specific clauses that you cannot partake in alcohol at any time on the premises or with the guests, even after the performance. Make sure you are in place at least 3-5 minutes before each set. NEVER give your personal information (especially your card) to anyone other than the person who recommended or hired you. If the gig came as a result of another company/contractor/agent, you must ask them first relating to handing out cards, websites, etc. And if the client requests you for a future date, that booking should always be handled through the original referring/contracting party.
3. Dealing with referrals and business contacts – When I recommend someone, I am saying that I hire him; that I have “vetted” him as being a professional who represents my company. I am trusting that person to be ethical and know that all referrals should come back through me. This is a sure-fire way that I will definitely recommend him again, and even continue hiring him. I have spent years developing my business contacts, and I have learned the hard way about proper business protocols. I am now a respected and even preferred Union contractor based on how I conduct myself with other companies and musicians whom I hire, but that has taken a lifetime to create. I don’t want that reputation jeopardized when one musician acts unprofessional on my event.
4. Being a responsible and ethical person – does this really need to be explained? It appears so. Do the right thing – always. If in your heart you think you did something wrong, you probably did. If you feel the need to try to explain it away, then you probably did something that went against your moral compass. If you screwed up, be an adult and take responsibility for your actions. Apologize, fix whatever might need fixing, then don’t do it again. Learn from your mistakes. Sometimes it is more important to maintain a relationship with someone who can help you and get you many more gigs than to tick off that person in order to get one more gig on your own.
I invite you to read more entries at my website Vinylinist.comTweet
December 13, 2012 20:02
I am documenting the construction of my 100th instrument. Included will be a brief description as well as photos of the various steps. Stay tuned!
By Kate Little
December 13, 2012 07:40
Learning to play an instrument should feel like sailing toward the horizon: You know you’ll never arrive, but you can chart a course for any destination you please, allowing the goal to guide the journey. The further out the goal, the greater the territory covered, the more numerous the challenges and adventures met, and the more capability accrued.
Violin students, particularly adults, should shun the stale excuse “Of course I’ll never be a professional.” This is true of more than 99.9999% of people who ever undertake to learn a musical instrument anyway, so there is no significance in the remark. Rather, go ahead and set any goal you choose, no matter your age or ability. You’ll get so much further working toward a difficult challenge then you would have had you never set your goal out toward the horizon. And this leaves you with so much more ability with which to make merry. Especially on your violin.
By Nathan Cole
December 12, 2012 18:34
Today was a big milestone in my project with ArtistWorks, as my online school has officially launched. It's been tough recording and sitting on all these video lessons without being able to interact with students, but that changes starting today!
Actually I got a sneak peek at how my school works over the last 10 days, during "beta testing". As you probably know, software goes through several stages of testing before being released, so that any "bugs" can be found. The same was true for my site. I had a crew of about 20 students who tried every link, tested the forums/chat features, and submitted videos for my feedback. That's been the best part of the pre-launch time: seeing student videos, responding with my own video, and getting their feedback about how they're progressing.
What's interesting to me is that one of the founders of ArtistWorks, David Butler, designed the original AOL (it's true!) so he's intimately familiar with how social networks grow. He observed that nobody visits an empty chat room, or even one with 3 or 4 people in it. But once the room reaches "critical mass", say 7 or more chatters, it explodes in size and activity. On my site, the main resource isn't chat, it's Video Exchanges. Each exchange equals a student video paired with my video feedback. So while it seems daunting at first for a student to post a video of herself playing Mozart Symphony 39, she can watch a bunch of Video Exchanges of that excerpt before posting her own. Therefore each lesson (68 excerpts, 8 concerto movements, 2 Bach movements, 17 etudes, 22 fundamental skills) will eventually have a library of past Video Exchanges that all students can watch and search.
I've taught so many live lessons, and Skype lessons, but I'm excited to see how these exchanges will help my students. You give up the "live" aspect, but you get to watch your feedback as many times as you want, for as long as you want. And you get to see others playing and getting feedback on the same piece. That's something I remember fondly from my Suzuki days.
I even mentioned the shoulder rest debate in one of the lessons on shifting! For the record, I mentioned that even though I use one, I've spent two 1-month periods in my life without, where I learned a great deal about the left hand. :)
nathancoleviolin.com is the place to go.Tweet
By Bram Heemskerk
December 11, 2012 15:14
Some people do not have enough money for wooden instruments so they made it of trash. Here for example someone plays on an oilcancello a Bach sonate:
By Laurie Niles
December 11, 2012 14:31
Let's hear it for live music! Congratulations to the President's Own Marine Corps Orchestra for its appearance on the David Letterman Show Monday night.
They played Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride," the ultimate holiday mood-lifter! (Look for our friend and V.com member Peter Wilson in the violin section!)
By Heather Broadbent
December 11, 2012 06:44
I have taught privately for twenty years and never did I ever think that my studio would be online. I never even imagined skype lessons. When the idea was presented to me I thought how effective could it really be. I travel quite a bit with performing the violin and one summer before going overseas a student of mine (from a military family and very comfortable with skype) requested skype lessons. I said ok we can give it a try but I never found the time to make it possible. The following year she asked again and I thought OK - I will seriously give it a try. That summer I taught three students by skype and was terribly surprised by how effective it was. The same summer I was encouraged by another person to make youtube teaching videos. Again I ventured out of my comfort zone and was very surprised, yet again, how effective this is for a teaching tool and it goes hand in hand with the skype violin lessons. I am a die hard traditionalist and am nowhere near what I would call a techie but in many ways I have ventured outside of my comfort zone. Since then I have read multiple articles on the new age of education for children. Children's brains are "turned on" while being taught through social networking sites for example youtube and skype. I have seen this for myself when with one student of mine who struggled learning a scale after having conventional private lessons with me finally learned it perfectly via a skype lesson and one youtube video.
Everything could not have been orchestrated better because now I am living in Gabrovo, Bulgaria playing with the Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra and I am still able to teach my violin students in the states and add students from around the world to my newly located online violin studio. Currently, I have a student that is a high school senior preparing for university auditions and because of skype violin lessons I can still work with her in her preparation process. We indeed do live in an exciting day and age with endless possibilities.
Now when I tell people I teach on skype they look at me and say how is that possible and I smile and say I once thought the same.....
December 10, 2012 13:07
Although classically trained, and instilled with a love particularly of the Baroque, I do like to cross over and use my violin as a fiddle! Here's a playlist of some of my favourite Folk Fiddle Tunes!
I like a bit of melody and rhythmic interest, a tune needs to have something special about it, there are hundreds of Irish tunes, for example, I hear and try to play which don't quite connect in my head, but occasionally something clicks! Although my main focus has been on music of the UK and Ireland I am open to discovery, American bluegrass or old tyme throws up some pleasant moments.
Here's another playlist you might like to have on in the background over the Christmas Holidays,
Not really anything to do with Violin or Fiddles, but more music from the folk side of my split personality!
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