February 3, 2010 at 5:24 PM
Thanks for setting out those good, simple rules. Good luck with your playing.
Excellent things to remember!
May I add one of my own? Stop buying new scale and etude books - master the ones I'm currently working on...new books won't suddenly make me "better".
Simple rules to follow. Or maybe not, particularly "If it's not enjoyable and/or helpful, don't do it". Although I'm no longer a "professional" music student, most of the violinists I hang out with are. None of them can believe I never learned the Bruch G minor concerto (some of them act like I committed a heresy). I simply tell them "I don't even enjoy listening to that piece, why would I take the time to learn something I don't even like?" If I want to learn the Pleyel concerto rather than another Mozart because I like the former better, whats so wrong with that? Sometimes I think we're to dogmatic on what works "have" to be learned to be considered a true violinist and that can hurt some people.
Tom - Thank you!
Bev - totally agreed! I used to feel the same way about equipment (if I use a Kun, I'll sound like Hilary Hahn). I like my Everest for $12 just fine, thank you very much. ;-)
Wayne - I couldn't agree more (though not about the Bruch... how could you! jk). I have never "done" the Mendelssohn (though I've worked on it independently for the few things I feel that piece has to offer) formally either.
As I was re-reading your rules I had a question about one of them (Practice to learn to play well. . . Do not practice to learn to play better.) Although I do understand your point, I was wondering if for further edification, if you could explain your thoughts on the difference between playing "well" and playing "better"?
P.S. You can join the crowd of violinists who want to burn me at the stake for my opinion on the Bruch :)
Wayne - mostly, I am speaking in terms of positive language. If I say to myself, "I have to play XXXX better!" It becomes a competition between myself and my goals. I am never able to truly meet my goals, as I am human and thus prone to imperfections. By saying I want to play well, I am not negating my humanity, but am ambitious for improvement (perhaps significant improvement).
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