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Andrew Paa

I did it!!

June 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Well, I'm sure everyone was waiting to hear how my violin search had gone and it has gone well indeed!  I'm now the proud owner of a John Johnson violin made in 1759 in London.  I'm really happy to own this instrument and I really think that it is a violin that I will keep with me for a long while.  It has a lot of great qualities and it's been really fun exploring it thus far.  It reacts to bow speed, pressure and sounding point changes fairly differently from my old violin and it's been fun to explore those three variables. 

Other than that, I'm going full steam ahead with my DMA audition repertoire and it's going fairly well.  I had a lesson with Dr. Kim on Monday and it was nice to get some feedback.  From here on out, I am having weekly lessons.  I can play through the entire second movement of Barber without too many problems, now I just need to make it more musical.  I'm only planning on spending another week on it and then I'm switching to the Bach Fugue, working solely on the third movement of Barber and getting the St. Saens in my fingers.  I'm enjoying the challenge of learning all of the music and I'm glad my job is flexible enough to let me get as much practice time in as I want/need.  I'm also working my way through some of the exercises in Basics; specifically the ones focused on intonation!  My intonation is worlds better than it ever used to be but I must get it closer to perfection.  Violinistically, this is going to be a great summer for me.  I'm also doing a lot of scales work.  Eventually, I'm going to need to start doing intervals as well.  I don't do enough of that kind of work and it takes me longer to learn those passages in music.  Another thing I need to work on is 4th finger vibrato.  i used to have a pretty good one but it seems to have disappeared, so I'm working on getting it back and getting it stronger. 

Yesterday, I spent a fair amount of time giving my website an update.  I added a new page and updated all of the pictures.  Some of them were really old and didn't match up with how I look now.  I've lost quite a bit of weight and looking at those old pictures made me realize how different I looked in my recital versus the other photos of me performing.  If you want, check it out at  I think it's a much better website now.

Currently, I'm trying to draw out students in the area I live in.  There are actually quite a few violinists and it's hard to make them aware of your presence as a teacher when there isn't a music store in the town you live in.  But, I keep trying anyway. :)  In August I'll put an add in a few of the local papers again.  It seemed to work last time.

From Joe Lail
Posted on June 8, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Que bella  !  I know you will be very pleased with your new gem.  I can only imagine how it must feel to own , and be worthy of an instrument that fine.  My wife and I are just beginners and are like new parents with our new student instrument.  Good luck on all of your pieces , and cangratualtions again on your new acquisition.

From Richard Watson
Posted on June 9, 2011 at 3:17 PM

At the Harp and Crown, Cheapside. I had a lovely small viola by Johnson from the same period. Alas it was stolen in NYC in 1967 and never recovered. Congratulations on your find. I hope you enjoy it for many years.

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