Celebrating 2 years of playing the violin - Schindler's List Theme

June 2, 2017, 11:03 PM · Hello everybody,

Today it's been exactly 2 years since I started playing the violin and I'm so excited about it! One year ago I posted (http://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/28056/) a recording of my playing on this forum and I received lots of suggestions to improve my playing. It was very helpful to me! I've worked hard with all your suggestions and here is the result one year later.

Now I would love to ask for your suggestions again. My new recording is of the Schindler's List theme which I found pretty difficult and I realize there is a lot of room for improvement, of course. Based on this recording, is it possible to give me some feedback as to what repertoire and technique I should focus on in my next year of learning the violin?

Here is my recording: https://youtu.be/PfiuisRRjYU

Thanks so much!!

Replies (20)

Edited: June 3, 2017, 12:04 AM · Intonation errors are prominent especially when you perform the shifts. Remember that if you get your shifting wrong, then all of the following notes are gonna take a hit. It is like the domino effect. Try playing scales (3 octaves) with a tone generator in the background. This will help improve your intonation. The distance between the intervals get smaller and smaller as you go up the fingerboard. So, you will need to adjust the placement of your fingers accordingly.

You could also improve the quality of your vibrato. Try to do a slower vibrato(on each of your fingers) with a metronome and increase the speed gradually. Do this everyday as a warmup and you will be amazed by the results.

Most of all, you need to play this piece more expressively and sustain the relevant notes when required. You seem to play a bit faster. Your bow grip isn't perfect either.

Honestly, you need to get a teacher if you want to get serious. Asking online for suggestions on technique and repertoire won't help.

P.S. This is just my suggestion and please don't get me wrong.

June 3, 2017, 1:40 AM · Congratulations on the 2nd year of playing! :)
Do you have a teacher or are you learning on your own?
June 3, 2017, 5:17 AM · Congrats for being so dedictated! And congrats for being so brave to post a video!
Did you ever practice with drones? That might help you with intonation.
http://fiddlerman.com/fiddle-learning-tools/drones-for-intonation-practice/
June 3, 2017, 5:27 AM · Congratulations indeed! It's a wonderful thing to take on the challenge of learning violin at any age, and especially as an adult. I think you're doing great for two years into the adventure. The fact that you feel the music pulling inside you is the most important thing. Learning to let it out is the life journey. I'm still learning something every day after playing for 50 years. There's nothing shallow about these waters.

I would also encourage you to find some way to arrange for in-person lessons with a real teacher. Even if it means making a weekend trip once a month. Or possibly taking part in one of the many summer music camps. You'd have a blast playing with other people, as well as the individual lessons.

So much of learning music isn't by words. It's how a teacher listens to you. It's how they then play a line, or perform a shift, or shape a phrase, in a way you start to absorb. It's getting to play together with someone else, and hearing your sound blend with theirs. It's how your own listening develops. It's how a teacher can guide you from where you are to where you want to go.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

June 3, 2017, 10:56 AM · Just a notice here before I share my opinion:
Guys, I truly value the importance of a good teacher, but Mariko is one of these people who can't take lessons for geographical reasons. Please respect these who teach themselves for legitimate reasons. I give my deepest sympathy to these who must teach themselves.
Hi, Great work! Your tone and intonation have improved dramatically since last year. I would just forget about vibrato for now and not spend so much time in positions higher than fourth. I would focus on landing more prompty after shifting. I would also keep a more consistent bow speed if you're making noises or think about the way you move your right arm when crossing strings. You could be moving too much. Try using more bow or not squeezing your bow hand so much when starting a note.
June 3, 2017, 11:06 AM · I can not give any more advice than what is already given. That being said, Mariko you are so encouraging. Please keep posting updates. Viotti 23 might be good for you next if you have not already done it.
June 4, 2017, 11:27 PM · Thanks so much for your replies and feedback! I will continue to work on improving my intonation especially when shifting.

Thank you Ella Yu for your encouraging words!! That really helps :-) I will work with your feedback. I will look into what happens when I do string crossings because I often hit other strings. It's especially happening the last two weeks since now I have a new violin and the bridge is slightly shaped different from the one I had on my old violin. resulting in hitting the other strings more often. I will pay attention to this and hope to avoid it soon. :-) I will also try your suggestion for starting a note. Thanks a lot!

Thanks so much Helen for your repertoire suggestion. It sounds wonderful! But I looked up the sheet music and I think it's still much to difficult for me (especially the fast passages). The concerto I learned most recently is Vivaldi Concerto in A minor (and I didn't play it at full speed). Then I focused a lot on shifting and learned Schindler's List. So I feel like I'm not ready for Viotti 23. What do you think?

Any other repertoire suggestions for me?

June 5, 2017, 12:41 AM · Have a look at this one. I think we are somewhere around the same level. My teacher suggested it. I thought it's quite a challenge but it is manageable and fun. IMHO a lot easier to pull off nicely than the Schindler theme.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y18i1ctkBOc

I listened to the Viotti and thought as well no way I could do it in any foreseeable time.

Edited: June 5, 2017, 9:41 PM · Hi Eva, that seems a great suggestion. I just listened to it and I like it very much! I'm now revisiting an other concerto by Rieding (concerto in B minor Op 35). After that I think I will start learning the one you linked to. Thanks for the tip!!
June 5, 2017, 2:02 PM · Mariko, if you looked at it and you were intimidated, wait on it. That is fine. The Rieding concertos, like Eva suggested, I think would be great for you.
Edited: June 5, 2017, 2:59 PM · Hello Mariko,

My salutation and thank you for sharing your progress. I am sure you enjoy playing it! :)

I think you will be able to play another concerto of Rieding which is opus 21

I have not found Rieding A minor opus 32. I only know Rieding opus 35, in B minor.

Good luck on your journey!

June 5, 2017, 9:40 PM · Thanks Helen, yes I will enjoy the Rieding concertos. :-)

@Vanessa, you're right. I'm sorry I mixed up the numbers, the one I'm revisiting is Rieding opus 35 in B minor. It's fun to play!

June 5, 2017, 10:05 PM · I also liked Elgar Chanson de Matin a lot. I picked it but my teacher agreed. It is graded higher but I did not have too many difficulties with it.
It is slow with a lot of tone.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=btVEmRqsMKA
June 6, 2017, 3:07 PM · hi Mariko, for 2 years self-taught this is really wonderful, congratulations. You have a good feeling for where the notes are on the fingerboard. That is very important. In that aspect you clearly have a talent for the violin. The main aspects I would suggest you work on next are playing fast (but still clean), and improving bowing. Best wishes!
Edited: June 6, 2017, 3:25 PM · Congratulations on your progress. Actually Schindler's List is a wonderful but difficult piece to play well. My suggestion would be (1) play slower, focusing on each note, and (2) shift more carefully.

Also listen to professional recording while paying attention to detail. Perlman's performance is the de facto standard for this piece, but my personal favorite is Chloe Hanslip's:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTQQIQcPv-I

Compared to Schindler, Rieding's B minor concerto is much more straightforward and easy, although the latter is faster. This is just an anecdote, but my daughter could play Rieding reasonably well (for a student) after two years. However, it took her additional 5-6 years to play an enjoyable Schindler.

Enjoy the journey.

June 8, 2017, 1:35 PM · Thanks for your replies and suggestions for pieces. I will work on playing faster and improve my bowing. That's why I am studying Rieding's Concerto again. It's easier indeed but that way I can focus more on the bowing and playing clean instead of on the notes. I'm having lots of fun with it. :-)
June 10, 2017, 7:36 AM · Wow. You got to this stage as an adult learner within two years? That's awesome. It gives me hope.
June 11, 2017, 12:17 AM · Thanks so much Jamie Smith, that is wonderful to read!! And very encouraging for me too! So I guess you just started recently? I wish you lots of good luck and I hope you will enjoy learning the violin as much as I do. :-)))
June 11, 2017, 7:13 AM · Clearly you've been working very hard at this, and congratulations! It appears as though you may tense up a bit and lose a bit of the rhythm of the piece. Slow practice and concentration on a metronome should help with this. Keep up the good work, you're doing great!
June 11, 2017, 12:23 PM · Hi Bailey, thanks a lot for your comments. :-) I will practice with metronome.

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