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Violin, life and lessons

May 26, 2009 at 7:10 PM

I just got the result for my last examination on violin and I got 81%! Which makes me really happy indeed :) I got the comment: "Plays with great expressiveness" which makes me really really happy but I did also get the comment: "Work needed on intonation". I did do a lot of work on intonation this winter but I guess that in the test I threw it out for the sake of expressiveness and having fun playing. Which is after all, just as important. What is a violinist, even though he has perfect intonation if he doesn´t play with expressiveness and enjoys playing.I also got the comment: "Well prepared test" which the test was (I played Bach A Minor Concerto 1st mvt. on the beat 40 for an entire week, just as an example). And the number of times I played those scales, oh man! Bud I also got a great comment for my scales which made me happy. I have actually come to love doing scales and hope to continue that love.

The test I took was similar to 7th grade ABRSM and 7/8 grade ASTA. This test qualifies me to start in advanced department in my music conservatory. I should have started a year ago but my teacher postponed until this spring since I didn´t have good enough vibrato. It dissapointed me but it also made me incredibly determined to succeed which I did. Just one of the many lessons violin has taught me. I had advanced enough year ago to take the test but this year I really really advanced and I practised with such determination and I really concentrated. Last musical year I advanced more than I have ever done in so many incredible ways. I am never letting violin go. I once got the comment: "I have the feeling you´ll also have the violin by your side" from my etacher and I know it´s true.

I am going to walk into the summer shouldering my violin and enjoy fulyl every moment I play. I´ve been told that I have a great joy for playing and I do. Technique is important but if there is no joy in the playing there is no life. I am by noooo means techincally perfect and still have a way to go. But I enjoy to smithrens playing and to me that is the most important aspect. I wouldn´t do this if I wouldn´t absolutely love it.

So I encourage you all to carry on playing and practising and perfecting but don´t forget the joy of playing, even though that means the intonationw ´won´t be perfect ;)

From a happy happy intonantionally needing to improve violinist

Posted on May 26, 2009 at 7:35 PM

 What is a violinist, even though he has perfect intonation if he doesn´t play with expressiveness and enjoys playing.

The problem with that theory is that you may be the only one wanting to her yourself play. I seriously recommend using a "good" tape recorder on a regular basis as part of the practice routine. It gives an instant critique of both intonation and expression.

From Marianne Hansen
Posted on May 26, 2009 at 8:44 PM


Congratulations!  I am sure from the rest of what you say that "intonation needs improvement" does not in fact mean that you are hard for others to listen to.  And I am equally sure that your joy in playing is a delight for your listeners.  You must be very proud that your hard work of the last year has been recognized in this way.

Way to go!

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on May 27, 2009 at 12:15 PM

After a good exam, you are on a "high" for days! 

Congratulations and intonation is not easy for anyone even if in an exam it is super important.  Of course the music has to past first.  Ideally one should be excellent at music and technique but this is a lifelong goal... !!!

Happy for you1


From Anna Meyer
Posted on May 27, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Thanks for the comments :-) I am really going to work on my intonation this summer. Generally it´s good but in the test I was rather nervous and didn´t concentrate as much like I normall do. I thought just: "Oh well...I´m nervous, might as well relax and enjoy playing" which meant enjoying playing but not concentrating as muxh as usually which sadly diminshed my intonation. But I will work on that. This summer will be dedicated to the scales and the metronome.

Posted on May 27, 2009 at 9:55 PM

This summer will be dedicated to the scales and the metronome.  Remember, scales do not have to be drudgery...can actually be fun depending on one's mindset

From Dimitri Adamou
Posted on May 27, 2009 at 11:59 PM

My teacher complains I make my scales too exciting and that I should play them rude :(

From Anna Meyer
Posted on May 28, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Dimitri, my tecaher always tells me to play my scales with a big tone and bow. It really helps, and it´s fun :-) I actually love doing scales, although they can be incredibly mind and finger boggling.

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