V.com weekend vote: How old is your current cake of rosin? border=0 align=

V.com weekend vote: How old is your current cake of rosin?

November 28, 2021, 4:38 PM · Rosin, derived from tree resin, is that stuff we rub onto the hair of the bow to make it sticky enough to make a sound. How long can it last? Pretty long, actually - at least more than a decade if you are careful with it! But it can also fall and shatter like glass, and it just takes on drop on the floor to wreck it.

How long have you had the rosin that you are currently using? Do you tend to be able to keep your rosin intact for a long time, or does it tend to crack up? What kind of rosin are you currently using? Is it round or rectangular? On a piece of cloth, or wood? Is it actually currently broken? Does yours have a groove in it? And beyond the rosin you use every day, how old is your longest-surviving (i.e. unbroken) cake of rosin, if you have several?

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Reflections on Violinist Eugene Fodor

November 27, 2021, 1:18 AM · This a link to a video I found both moving and disturbing at the same time.


On it, Eugene Fodor (winner of the silver medal in the Tchaikovsky Violin Competition with the gold being cancelled so an American couldn’t receive it) not only demonstrates playing ability that has to be seen to be believed, but is also either sandbagged or voluntarily discusses his cocaine addiction and rehab at the kind of minimal depth that talk shows seem to excel in.

I may be wrong, but I think Fodor may be largely unknown and unheard by the present generation of violinists. I wasn’t particularly aware of his existence or extraordinary abilities until I recently began collecting all his performances that are floating around on the Internet. Keep reading...

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Remembering Roger Johnson (1937-2021), co-founder of Johnson String Instrument

November 26, 2021, 3:29 PM · New England-based Johnson String Instrument co-founder Roger Johnson, who died earlier this month at age 84, is being remembered not only for his talents as a luthier and entrepreneur, but also as a painter, sculptor, guitarist and singer.

Born in 1937 in rural Hillsboro, Ohio, Roger Johnson was the youngest of 10 children in a farming family. Roger’s passion for music and the building of stringed instruments began at the age of 11, when he built two guitars - one of which won first prize at the Ohio State Fair. Keep reading...

A Thanksgiving Reflection for Musicians

November 24, 2021, 9:01 AM · As a violin teacher, I caught myself feeling incredibly stressed in the last few weeks. It's everything - managing a hybrid studio of both in-person and online lessons; upcoming winter recitals, for which each student has their own individual needs and preferences; coaching audition preparation; handling last-minute schedule conflicts and requests for changes; planning future repertoire; planning spring group classes; starting to think about summer camp; the ongoing pandemic existential stress. It's a lot.

And then I remembered a year ago. At that time, there was no chance of seeing any of my students in-person, in any capacity. I hadn’t played music with another human being in months. I had no idea when or if vaccinations would become available or when in-person life would resume. I didn’t know when it would be safe to hug my family.

I started to think about all the things I've done since last year that I wasn't able to do a year ago. Keep reading...

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