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help me find a Baroque violin instructor please

Violinists: Recordings and Performances: Can anyone recommend a Baroque violin instructor?

From naomi p
Posted February 10, 2011 at 09:12 PM

 Hey everyone. I've been interested in Baroque violin for quite a while. I haven't been able to advance this interest since I don't live around any instructors. With the rise of technology such as skype, I see a golden opportunity. Does anyone know of a Baroque violin instructor who is willing to teach via skype? Your help is appreciated!

From Mendy Smith
Posted on February 11, 2011 at 02:33 AM

Check out LSU and see if they have any instructors willing to take non-university students.  It would be a bit of a drive for you but maybe manageable every so often. 

From Evan Garey
Posted on February 11, 2011 at 04:20 AM

Good to hear of violinists wanting to specialize in Baroque. If you're comfortable with modern violin technique, its possible to teach yourself using good recordings as a guide  Lucy van Dael, Monica Huggett, Sergio Luca (Bach solo, Nonesuch label), Fabio Biondi, and many others are an excellent source for inspiration.

Search the web for early baroque paintings and drawings of musicians and see their relaxed posture, their comfortable stance. Each portrayal is different, and I believe there was more flexibility in their technical approach. Leopold Mozart's treatise available in reprint has some helpful advice.

Listen to  some of the many good baroque recordings, the smooth tone without vibrato, and  how the Corelli-style bow allows the strings to resonate freely.  In general, use shorter bow strokes and lighter, more responsive touch, as gut strings require less energy that metal-wound types.

You can use a modern violin, but gut A and E are a must, pure gut or gut-core D and gut-core G should be used too.  Take off the chinrest and shoulderpad, and relax the posture for a fluid tone.

Of course, studying with a master of Baroque violinist would be great, but at least where I live, there are no such specialists, and almost no baroque music performers at all. Don't let that stop you, though.

From naomi p
Posted on February 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM

 I do not live anywhere near LSU. I'm about 1,000 miles away in fact. So, I won't be going there. I'm not really a proponent of one teaching themselves anything. There are a lot of nuances in the baroque technique especially in the ornamentation practices. I have my own Baroque violin and bow. I will not be converting my modern instrument. He must stay modern since I need him for several upcoming performances :) 


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