When you start practicing and hear your family members slam their doors :(
Anyone else experience this during their beginner years? It's very disheartening to say the least =(
Doesn't mean you sound bad. You have to admit, the violin is loud.
no, but in my house, the song "Happy Birthday" has taken on a whole separate subtext (because it happened to be one of the very first things in my very first method book). It is now code for "really really incredibly bad playing".
A combination of the following might be helpful for you:
Just remind them it could be worse- timpani, saxiphone, accordion, clog dancing, etc....
Close your own door but don't regularly use a practise mute. You need to hear your tone and intonation in order to work on it. Other people need their own sonic space so don't take it personally.
One time a family member said, "can you please stop, I can't take it anymore today", so I practiced a little harder. Not that I'm insensitive. But to get past the screeching faster. It must have worked since I haven't had any bad comments in quite a while.
So, I'm a very experienced player that most would call "good" (and some call "great," although probably not here) and my family members don't want to listen to me practice, either. I don't know if that makes you feel any better but, there it is.
When I first started, my family lived in a fourplex with an ER doctor on one side of us, and a classical music administrator of sorts on the other side. The ER doctor said no playing after 10:00pm, and the arts administrator was constantly annoyed with my practicing, yet frequently gave me and my parents tickets to various concerts. Soon, however, no one worried about me, as we eventually got neighbors who threw extremely loud parties almost every weekend, playing either loud rap or house music into the middle of the night. My screeching couldn't compete at that point.
Dont worry too much about it.
I have 3 teenage kids - it happens to me every day! ;-)
Different take on the potential benefits of this... When I started violin, both my kids had graduated from college and had returned home to “stay awhile”. Needles to say to anyone else who has had kids back from school but their day-night habits had become completely unglued while they were living in the dorms. This became quite disruptive to my wife and I with our need for sleep so we could work the next day.
It was really discouraging for me growing up as well. I practiced less because of that. Slammed doors -> Discouraged -> Practiced less -> bad sound -> more slammed doors. It's a cycle.
When I was growing up, I was made to practice in the basement with a low drop ceiling as the rest of the house could barely hear my playing. (Now, funnily enough, my mother speaks of missing hearing me practice every day!)
I think the violin is just go loud for cats. My two always leave the room when I play.
Thanks for the positive words and humor.
Erik made a good point, "if you're wasting energy trying to "perform" rather than "practice," then you might take twice as long to get the same result of out a practice session". Indeed, no point practicing what you already know, hence poorly played snippets of music, repetitions scales and etudes make for very boring and annoying repertoire to listen to; it's not so much screechy noise. I tried a mute, but it affected the development of my intonation and hand frame, so I now play the furthest away in the house I can, and if possible, practice when no one else is home. Conversely, my wife uses earplugs when necessary.
Practicing is different than playing/performing. No one wants to see a professional juggler break plates.
I don't know about cats but my birds always enjoyed practicing and would join right in.
A funny anecdote on practicing from the Strad magazine:
My son's labrador retriever seemed to like it very much. Or so I thought. He'd curl around my legs when I practiced the violin during dog-sitting sessions. Then he'd open his mouth and sing. Or howl.
@Arthur, unfortunately it's more likely that birds may be "shouting" at you to shut up and go away ;)
Easiest solution would be to simply remove all of the doors.
I'm sorry to hear that! It is disheartening and I myself have lost students because of their families similar reactions. I have also been in a position as a student where having to worry about my roommates can be stifling to technique development. My suggestion is to schedule a time to practice and talk to your family. Let them know, yes, violin practice is not for sounding good, at any level of advancement. It is for practice. And it is imperative to your development to be able to play loudly and boldly. Hopefully they understand overtime but at least if you let them know it's important to you and you are setting a schedule, they can respect your journey a bit more and make a plan to be out of the house :D Good luck!
so, this begs the question, is there some cheap and easy way to soundproof a room
My parents thought it would be better if they stayed quiet and not interfere with my practice. Although I always did sorta feel sad.
When I was a kid my dog always came in laid down to listen whenever I practiced and he also did that whenever my sister practiced. Our other dog went to the other end of the house.
I was in the same boat as Carl S, my cat would be asleep on the couch, but would immediately seek refuge in parts distant the moment I opened the viola case. Bloody critics!
When I started playing the fiddle, my dog Sam would lie on the floor at my feet. But when I started playing tenor banjo, he would leave the room.
Maybe try closing their doors before you start practicing? Then you will know you are getting better when they start opening them instead.
The dogs my family had would whine and howl the whole time I practiced as a beginner.
It is hard being an artist...
The labrador retriever, if I'm not mistaken, was especially fond of tunes played in the key of E flat, during my occasional dog-sitting sessions. At least, he would howl more loudly.
My dachshunds loved barking at the sound of an open A played on a $100 dollar 3/4 instrument with scratch tone.
Screeching? I don't teach my students to screech! And in technical practice I have the opportunity to make only good sounds. Life is too short to play badly on purpose (it happens anyway..)
Family members may shut the doors on you for many different reasons other than bad play/sound. Too loud, too high pitches, too distracting, too repetitive,...
In college, our access to practice rooms ended @10pm, not helpful for nightowls. I made arrangements with a nearby store to practice there after closing, often ended up sleeping in the back after I was done. A more innocent era? Perhaps. But alternatives to family/neighbour upheaval are imaginatively possible.
Never had that problem.
Why not preemptively go around closing their doors and your own when you're going to practice? Also use a practice mute if others are still being bothered. Even first class professionals do that. Consideration and effort goes a long way towards ameliorating the annoyance being expressed by slamming doors, etc.
A practise mute should only be used by those who already have a very mature natural violin sound. Only few amateurs ever achieve that. It is not suitable for learning the violin at all!
I have a photo on Photobucket of me some years ago playing my violin to an elderly spaniel - a sort of "His Master's Violin" picture. How do I post it in this discussion? There doesn't appear to be a help file here, and it's not immediately obvious how to do it.
@Trevor go to the photo in photobucket and there will be a list to the right of different copy/paste types to the right, choose/copy the one that starts like this- "
Jim, after several abortive attempts (and subsequent deletion of the several posts!) I couldn't get the other method to work, so here's the URL instead.
A couple of years ago I played my violin to a paddock full of horses, about 6 of them, and they all came over to the fence to watch me with well-mannered curiosity. Interesting how animals respond. The family isn't usually that polite.
maybe this will work:
Very thoughtful & expressive! Reminds me of our labrador when he was about to sing (howl?).
Jim, many thanks for helping out with getting my photo on screen! I've looked at the metadata (Ctrl+Shift+i in Windows 10) and I think I understand how you did it.
the dog is quiet because Trevor plays without shoulder rest :-)