Practicing - What else?
I've soon played the violin for one year, and I do think it's a wonderful instrument. I'm wondering what else you can do to improve your violin or your general music skills, besides practicing the instrument?
I'm interested in reading about general music theory, because I play other instruments, and I do compose small pieces. My goal is to do it for a living, but I think its hard for me to find a place to start when I'm not able to join a music university.
Thanks for taking your time reading this!
Listen. Listen to great recordings as much as possible, preferably with the score.
You can learn theory from books, albeit more slowly and less deeply than you would in a course taught by an expert.
watch performances. it's because of watching hilary hahn (who is a literal god) play that I realized I was holding my violin a little weird. and seeing people like her play can be motivating to practice more, which is a bonus.
I agree with Anna on watching performances! My violin playing improved dramatically despite starting at an older age (8 yrs) because I spent a lot of time watching the pros do it (think Milstein, Heifetz, Perlman, etc). While of course their techniques differ, there are common themes that can help you improve your own techniques.
Su Han, you started at an older age (8 yrs). Are you serious??? Here is someone who also started at an older age (7 yrs)
Thanks everyone for the very great answers!
"Performing live with a loop pedal" does not earn a living wage. It's something you do occasionally to make an extra $100 here and there in support of a teaching career. But if you are starting violin at age 17, you will not be teaching it before the age of 25 even if you work very hard at it.
To the OP, most people start on the violin at 5 or 6. Even among those, only a small subset get to get over the wall ( Bruch concerto and beyond).
Jack, good for you. You are learning at the same rate as Sarah Chang who learned to play the Bruch after a year or two on the violin.
@Zina Francisca: What I mean by 'older age' is as compared to people like Midori or Sarah Chang. I'm not saying by any means that it is completely impossible (there are of course always exceptions) but the reality is-the earlier one starts, the better.
Ignore this advice:
If composition is your game, trade your violin in for a tricked-out computer and a top-end keyboard synthesizer such as Yamaha Montage or Motif XF, and DAW software. That is the way music is being written now -- at least music that you have a snowball's chance in hell of selling to anyone.
Depending on your city, you can find a lot of student performances and various free performances - Some of these can be quite good, and some not quite so much, but you can learn a lot from a performance that doesn't quite work, and it's good to check out people of all levels and pick up some of the nuances of performance. Check out your local university / conservatory!
Okay, this is the second close to high school graduate I've run across that has posted that they want to play the violin professionally when they are older. And many of the posts are discouraging.
Practicing and learning multiple instruments is both a blessing and a curse. In some cases not as much as others. As one example, a person who knows how to play violin well might not have as much trouble learning viola or cello since they are in the same general family of instruments. Most of the time though, the artist focuses on one instrument to excel in.This is especially true with violin. The instrument is technically much more demanding than say piano or bass guitar.
I hadn't read Paul's comments on composition.I agree. If you're more interested in composition you could go for something like this.
In Leopold Auers Grade course books, he recommend to read about other violinists.
A computer and some free programs can start the career of any aspiring composer.
Unfortunately the free programs are very limited for serious composition. I think they would be a good place to see how the basics work.
I'm one of these people who plays several instruments to approximately the same level. It's doable. I tend to spend more time on violin more than any other instrument, however. Plus, it's easier to get recognized playing violin more than the other instruments I play. Pursuing composition isn't too hard, as long as you learn the craft and get good notation software (e.g Finale, Sibelius).
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